[eDebate] Scott's Solution

scottelliott at grandecom.net scottelliott
Wed Oct 1 22:27:33 CDT 2008

Dear Jason et al:

How can someone as smart as you not "get it"? How can some of the smartest
people I have ever encounted in my life, not get it?

Jason, I have been a fan of yours for years. I am excited when you judge my
teams because, in a strange way, you tend to tell them exactly what I want them
to hear in your after-round critiques. I do not understand how someone as
obviously intelligent as yourself can fail to understand....

I will make it as plain as possible...so even an idiot savant...can
you can run ANY argument you want in policy debate as long as you 1) do it with
a smile; 2) respect your opponents; and 3) wear decent clothes.

Sorry, but if many of you should ever step outside the ivory tower (horrors! I
did it for  almost a decade!) you will find that people who cut the checks,
i.e., pay your salary and pay for your travel funds; will tolerate any
intellectual argument as long as it is PRESENTED in a civil manner.

Your objection is on a restriction regarding style. As someone who wears blue
jeans alomst everyday, I agree. But, I am a (dare I say it?, I think I will....)
a pragmatist. Sometimes it pays to put on the monkey suit. Let me clue you in.
When you eventually get your Ph.D., you WILL have to swallow your pride and
wear a suit in tie for an interview--so you can feed yourself. (I cried the day
I had to cut my hair, shaved my beard, and prepared for a job interview) If you
want to impose your views of the world on the youth of America, you too will
have to whore yourself out for the purpose of landing a job. It is reality. I
am sorry, you will all have to deal with it for a moment.

In the same way, if you want to have a debate program... you may have to
sacrifice. What is the sacrifice? Telling your students that they cannot
literally shit on the 1AC as a form of "social protest"?  Repeatedly (as I did
this very day) stopping practice rounds to tell students, "Dude, you have got to
stop saying 'bullshit' every five words in the 1AR."?

I think most of us within the debate community would love to live in a world in
which San Fransisco State can simulate homosexual Al Queda Rape in rounds to the
point where other students cry. I am sure most of us support other Professors
getting into throw downs in which one is called a racist M-----F---, and the
other drops his pants as a form of social protest. I an sure we can all gather
around the Keg, and shout "wooooHOO!" at the most recent form of sticking it to
"da Man." It is nice when you are in grad school, however, it sucks when you
grow up and realize that thousands of dollars and students (some you have yet
to meet)depend on you.

If you want to preserve this little game, you may want to think about how the
way in which we present ourselves has real impacts, and can very well determine
whether programs exist. The exhibits/evidence of my argument lay upon a broken
field of battle like the lives lost in Dalton Trumbow's "Johnny's Got a Gun."

How many programs have to be canceled before Directors of Debate decide to say

Run Democracy Bad. Run Capitalism Bad. Run Racism permeates Policy Debate. Run
White Supremeacy good and the genocide in Darfur is a way to relieve
overpopulation. I do not care,...and neither do Administrators. As long as you
do it with some modicum of preofessionalism and civility.

As coaches and directors, we are all making choices. I prefer that I reel my
students in a bit over the short term over the prospect of students I have
never met foregoing the opportunity to participate in college policy debate.


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