[eDebate] I Vdare the Community to truly stand up

M G malgorthewarrior
Fri Aug 1 13:00:40 CDT 2008

"(b) the judges who voted for Towson cheated, and (c) Towson's title is
a sign of the white guilt and intellectual decline of the university
system. Those three arguments are the core of his attack"

I have heard these arguments made numerous times by people in the community.  Just because it happens through back channel, or snickering in the hallways, or rooting for a team to lose because they run an argument that is non-traditional and flies in the face of policy debate, doesn't mean it's not happening.

I get shit all the time for voting for Towson all 3 times I judged them.  It's funny too because I vote against K teams way more often than I vote for them (Garrett Abelkop wins on framework in front of me like it's his job....well i guess it is his job)

Keep in mind:

Judge preferencing is a way to express these sentiments-I guarantee you that many judges in this community are labeled "repeat offenders" when they vote for K or, especially, for non traditional teams.  Preference and good judge have become equivalents-at least in name-we think the best judges are the ones who are most preferred.  Indeed oftentimes this is true.  But striking a judge or moving them down because they vote for some crazy leftist argument is in the eyes of many another way of saying that judge is wrong, or a bad judge, because they don't cast aside an argument on face.

In this sense, openness of judging (and by openness I mean the willingness of a judge to evaluate any argument) can sometimes cause them to be viewed as poor-quality judges, because they don't have an ideological straight jacket (Hester has often refered to this as argument-generative versus argument-restrictive judging).  

Also don't forget that large parts of this community DO think that non-traditional affirmatives are cheating, their rationale being that debate has a constrained, objective way it should be evaluated and deviations should be excluded.  So, in the eyes of lots of debaters, the judges who voted for Towson were cheating, because they were voting for cheaters.  

We should question a point when large and influential segments of our activity devalue open-mindedness and acceptance of argument, and prefer to place bias in the back of the room.  It's quite stupid since their original complaint is that teams that run 'project' or non-traditional affirmatives are too biased toward their movements.  

In keeping with that thought though, this is not just a problem the 'right' has toward the 'left.'  Leftist teams are just as bad in many regards-a judge that votes against them in favor of an argument like framework or leftist Ks bad is disregarded as too policy friendly.  

Sometimes in debate radical leftism is proven a better option, sometimes it's proven to be detrimental to the activity.  Too many people just swarm to one side or the other.  My favorite teams were always those that could roll anyway they chose.


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