[eDebate] Is it time to get away from Policy debate?

Kuswa, Kevin kkuswa
Wed Apr 8 09:10:22 CDT 2009


"We" does not always mean United States--that's your first problem, JP.

The second problem is that debaters are not the USFG.  You learned that in kritiking 101, didn't you?

Moving away from the USFG agent would be a GOOD MOVE for CEDA-NDT Debate.  Besides, why not give it a shot for one year?

This Iraq argument is just plain absurd....

kevin

-----Original Message-----
From: edebate-bounces at ndtceda.com [mailto:edebate-bounces at ndtceda.com] On Behalf Of JP Lacy
Sent: Tuesday, April 07, 2009 10:41 PM
To: scottelliott at grandecom.net
Cc: edebate at ndtceda.com
Subject: Re: [eDebate] Is it time to get away from Policy debate?

Critical problem facing the world: We (the United States) are at war in 
Iraq.

How does focus on the US government avoid discussion of this issue?

--JP


scottelliott at grandecom.net wrote:
> I agree that we should have debated the U.S. involvement in the War on Terror
> straight up at least two years ago. But, and I am the first to admit that I
> cannot articulate the full extent of the problem, the policy debate community
> is FAILING to address the critical problems facing the world. We are avoiding
> these debates. It is either the topic selection process or, the mentality of
> the community that focuses on USFG that makes us avoid discussions of deeper
> issues.
>
> Scott
>
> Quoting JP Lacy <lacyjp at wfu.edu>:
>
>   
>> Is the US government really irrelevant to current problems?
>>
>> There are some recent blunders by the federal government that could have
>> been avoided by full discussion & debate. Namely, the war in Iraq &
>> deregulation of financial institutions.
>>
>> More debate about those decisions would have made them better.
>>
>> I'm not willing to give up focus on the USFG when it makes mistakes that
>> are very relevant to our daily lives.
>>
>> I tend to think that our collective inability to really debate the Iraq
>> war in public was an important "cause" of the current problem.
>>
>> Why run from the USFG given that failure?
>>
>> --JP
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>> scottelliott at grandecom.net wrote:
>>     
>>> Before the backlashing begins, read it through. I am not complaining about
>>> CEDA/NDT or even calling for the abolition of organizations in this post. I
>>>       
>> can
>>     
>>> do that any time.
>>>
>>> Rather, I propose that we get away fromt he concept of "policy debate," and
>>> shift over to "evidenced based" or "research based" debate. This would 1)
>>>       
>> more
>>     
>>> accurately describe what we do and 2) it opens up the possibility for
>>> alternative resolutions.
>>>
>>> 1) I have been observing and participating in 21st Century college "policy
>>> debate" for the
>>> past two years. Like most of you, I believe we are seeing dramatic changes
>>>       
>> in
>>     
>>> the activity. Having watched elmination rounds at CEDA nationals, I swear
>>>       
>> that
>>     
>>> I only saw one affirmative case that would meet the traditional S.H.I.T.S.
>>> stock issues...especially in terms of traditional Topicality. The movement
>>> toward critical affirmatives and the use of impact turns to topicality (and
>>> yes, people do win these debates) makes a mockery of the term "policy
>>>       
>> debate."
>>     
>>> (Maybe it should be mocked,however, it is not an issue I want to address
>>> here.)What we now see in at least half of the debate rounds are nothing
>>>       
>> more
>>     
>>> that Framework debates. Half of the community is wanting to present
>>>       
>> evidence and
>>     
>>> arguments on whatever they want, even openly rejecting the requirement that
>>>       
>> the
>>     
>>> USFG should be the agent of action, and the other half fighting a losing
>>>       
>> battle
>>     
>>> to maintain old style standards for policy debate.
>>>
>>> If you do not believe me, I suggest looking to the two teams that were
>>>       
>> finals at
>>     
>>> CEDA Nationals this year. (I cannot speak about the NDT. I was not there).
>>>       
>> In a
>>     
>>> nutshell, telling people that we engage in policy debate is a misnomer at
>>>       
>> best.
>>     
>>> I think explaining what we do as research and evidence intensive debate is
>>>       
>> more
>>     
>>> representative of what we do.
>>>
>>> 2) This, to me, is the more important point. If we describe CEDA/NDT debate
>>>       
>> as
>>     
>>> it is, rather than harkening back to the good old days of NDT, circa 1976,
>>>       
>> we
>>     
>>> may very well open ourselves up to new possibilities for debate resolutions
>>> that are more substative. As it stands now (sorry to pee pee on parades),
>>>       
>> we
>>     
>>> are going to be pretty much stuck with a Russia topic this year. Having
>>>       
>> been in
>>     
>>> Russia during grad school, I think I can figure out a case or two. But, I
>>>       
>> really
>>     
>>> do not want to research it, coach it, or (JEEZUS!!!) have to judge 200
>>>       
>> rounds of
>>     
>>> Russia--world going boom--for the next 8 months.
>>>
>>> The problem with policy debate, as it is currently framed, requires us to
>>>       
>> use
>>     
>>> the USFG as an agent of action. On international topics, we end up doing
>>>       
>> some
>>     
>>> sort of engagement with a set of countries. We have exhausted China, the
>>>       
>> middle
>>     
>>> East, Europe, Native Americans. Now we are left with Russia and Latin
>>>       
>> America. A
>>     
>>> lot of Latin America was covered on the Ag topic. Central Asia was covered
>>>       
>> (at
>>     
>>> least by my squad) on both the Middle East topic and the Ag topic. So,
>>>       
>> almost
>>     
>>> by default, we are left with fricking Russia.
>>>
>>> I look at all of the international problems facing the planet, and I would
>>>       
>> love
>>     
>>> to work on another topic paper. However, each topic area I come up with
>>>       
>> becomes
>>     
>>> an automatic "fail" because the current way of framing policy debate, and
>>>       
>> policy
>>     
>>> debate resolutions, becomes a non-starter.
>>>
>>> Let me give you a list and any coach worth her salt can explain why a USFG
>>>       
>> agent
>>     
>>> of action is always going to be a non-starter.
>>>
>>> 1) Proliferation (uh, Iran and North Korea are just two examples, CBW's
>>>       
>> etc.)
>>     
>>> 2) Global Climate Change (anything the USFG does will always be a failure
>>>       
>> unless
>>     
>>> China and India get on board)
>>> 3) Sexuality (most of these issues are really within the purview of the
>>> States--sometimes state counterplans do have value)
>>> 4) Global poverty/overpopulation (Can the USFG really do anything?)
>>> 5) Postmodernism;
>>> 6) Science and Technology and the status of humanity in a post-human world.
>>> (Again, what can the USFG do unilaterally?)
>>> 7. Mass species extinctions;
>>> 8. The collapse of the global capitalist economy.
>>>
>>> None of these topics can be covered in depth under the current method of
>>>       
>> framing
>>     
>>> college policy debate. However, I posit that these are the exact issues our
>>> students should be debating. trying to squeeze these topics with in Russia
>>>       
>> (or
>>     
>>> Latin America, or China) does not provide for the depth of research,
>>>       
>> analysis
>>     
>>> and argument that we should be striving for. Our students are facing a
>>>       
>> world in
>>     
>>> which the United States Federal Government enacting a one shot policy just
>>>       
>> is
>>     
>>> not realistic. I think it would be more realistic, and be of more service
>>>       
>> to
>>     
>>> our students, if we choose topics that really addressed these global issues
>>> full force, without trying to shoehorn them into the dead format of USFG
>>> policymaking.
>>>
>>> Switching away from policy debate to evidence based debate opens up the
>>>       
>> space to
>>     
>>> actually engage in debates that are timely and more in depth than what we
>>>       
>> can
>>     
>>> accomplish under the standard "Resolved: the USFG should...." model.
>>>
>>> As it stands now, we are pretty much going to be stuck with Russia, blah,
>>>       
>> blah
>>     
>>> blah....China gets pissed, blah blah blah, nuke war, Fem IR, blah, blah
>>>       
>> blah.
>>     
>>> In my alternative world, what would resolutions look like:
>>>
>>> Resolved: the anthropogenic causes of climate change should be
>>>       
>> substanitally
>>     
>>> curtailed.
>>>
>>> Resolved: humans, through their institutions, should substantially reduce
>>> anthropogenically caused global warming.
>>>
>>> Resolved: international non-proliferation or antiproliferation regimes
>>>       
>> should be
>>     
>>> substantially enhanced and/or enforced,
>>>
>>> Resolved: global capitalism should be allowed to collapse.
>>>
>>> Resolved: continued scientific and technological advancement is desirable.
>>>
>>> Just a few concrete examples to start the discussion.
>>>
>>> Scott
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> _______________________________________________
>>> eDebate mailing list
>>> eDebate at www.ndtceda.com
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>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>       
>>     
>
>
>
>
>
>
>   

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