[eDebate] On Fidelity and the Debate Community

Brent Culpepper brentonculpepper
Mon Aug 4 13:09:26 CDT 2008

We were not present during the quarters of CEDA and only have the limited
context of this discussion on edebate and the video itself from which to
draw conclusions. That being said, we feel like there is one very real
underlying issue that has gotten lost in this discussion. One of the best
parts about the debate community is that, theoretically, we should be able
to have a passionate, heated discussion about whatever we believe but
afterwards be able to go have a drink with someone whom we viscerally
disagree. The idea that almost all the commentary following this episode has
largely centered around blame induced personal attacks is disturbing.
Ironically, the argument that is typically made against framework is
exclusion, but it is no different here where instead of engaging an
identified problem of whether or not strikes are legitimate argumentative
ground, this discussion has chosen to vilify a person who has devoted much
of their life to this community. A person who quite frankly ushered in a
style of debate that makes the quarters of CEDA (debate round, not
post-round) possible.

Who knows if what happened following the quarters of CEDA was reasonable or
inappropriate on either side, but POSTING that we should encourage the
community to write to universities seeking someone's termination is cruel
and antithetical to anything this debate community has ever stood for.
Moreover, the idea that someone would garner enjoyment or thrill from this
conflict is disheartening. Given some of the behavior the debate community
finds acceptable or at a minimum forgivable, we find it strange that this is
the instance that starts the battle cries for the end to someone's presence
in the community.

We encourage everyone to put down your arguments about debate for just one
moment and realize that, at times, actions about our community have very
radical effects on someone's livelihood and that of their family.

Brent Culpepper & Michael Greenstein

P.S.  The authors do not consent to this being used as evidence to beat
policy debaters.
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