[eDebate] LARSONS MISPRESPRESENTATIONS- NOT TRUE!
Thu Apr 13 13:41:27 CDT 2006
On 4/13/2006 12:57 PM, debate at ou.edu wrote:
>No you do not need genuine advocates, you just need a resolution that allows ample mauvering space while
>on the affirmative to practice those skills of conviction while possibly arguing against (while always
>researching) the things in which you might agree on the negative.
>SPACE FOR CHANGE ON THE AFFIRMATIVE DOES NOT MEAN A DEATH TO TOURNAMENT DEBATE.
I am confused as to what type of "space" you are looking for on the
affirmative. On the four topics I debated in college, there were room
for good critical affs where one could have challenged the
exceptionalist nature of American hegemony (death penalty, withdraw from
NATO, reduce all fossil fuel consumption, and on this year's topic:
Northwestern's adoption aff, Dartmouth BM's AIDS aff, Whitman BM's
dissidents aff, Emory GP's Tibet aff, Uighurs, and many many others).
You are right that the topic called for "pressure", but many of these
teams were able to interpret pressure beyond comprehensive sanctions on
China by using mechanisms like cutting off international aid and arguing
we give it to China but not others because we perceive China as a useful
ally in the war on terrorism.
Perhaps this isn't the "space" you were looking for -- maybe you wanted
room to discuss some specific convictions you or your debaters have. If
so, what topic do you propose that would allow everyone to speak with
conviction about the issues important to them (whether they be the
genocide of Native Americans, the lack of women in the Senate, a living
wage, or abolishing the designated hitter). It seems difficult, if not
impossible, to find a topic for everyone to be able to express their
true convictions on, but as far as I can tell, all recent topics have
allowed teams to discover *new* convictions (about energy, the death
penalty, gender protections in China, etc) and argue in favor of those.
The last concern I have is about the type of negative arguments that
would be used on an overly broad resolution. If the resolution is so
broad that the aff can discuss any of a number of issues, especially if
they can advocate relatively non-controversial issues like
"racism/sexism should be eliminated", it seems like the negative will
likely run to the margins and begin to prepare more generic arguments
like "the state is bad," "the English language is bad," "rationality is
bad," "the debate community uses too much paper," etc just because it
will simply be impossible to keep up with a specific debate against each
case being run. Jackie, you may feel that your teams are able to compete
on the negative, but many of the rest of us are just not as good at
researching as you are apparently, or else we want a different type of
interaction between the aff and neg. After all, what is the purpose to
debating about something you feel strongly about if the debate is not at
all about your chosen topic, but instead about a tangential issue? Yes,
this happens now with agent cplans, politics disads, etc but this
happened much less on more limited topics like treaties where there were
in depth debates about abolishing the death penalty, testing nuclear
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