Saturday, March 9, 2013

Debater's Manifesto 2012-2013 section 1

Rather than writing out a boring 5 paragraph essay with signposting and transition sentences, I decided to express my manifesto on speech and debate in pithy, bite-size sentences instead.  I’ll first be covering the stock issues, then moving onto disadvantages and more general points on debate, and finally addressing – whoops, forgive my signposting.

Section 1 - The Stock Issues
* Topicality consists of 4 elements: interpretation, violation, standards, and voting issues.
* A topicality that lacks any of the above components is illegitimate.
* Topicality in the 2NC should be ignored.
* The resolution calls for a reform to the present status quo, not the future status quo.
* Substantially is an adverb, not an adjective.
* One man’s trash is another man’s substantial.
* “Resolved: that the U.S.F.G. should significantly great put an end to an evil its war presence of other nations and/or commitments.” Grammatically nonsensical interpretations are impossible to fulfill.
* The common man is lacking in intellectual sophistication, as evidenced by those who vote for Obama Phones and Obama Money.
* Foreign aid is not a military commitment.
* Banning firearms, ammunition, and other equipment reforms neither the presence nor commitments of our military.
* Extending current presence/commitments doesn’t reform anything.
* 90% of cases this season have been off topic.
* Significance applies only to the harms of the status quo and to the reform of the affirmative plan.
* Significance on numbers or percentages is illegitimate without an expressed “bright line”.  Significance with such a line is also illegitimate because the number is completely subjective.
* Significance is not a proportion.
* “Non-unique” is a prime example of the comparative numerals fallacy.  "Because the victims of the 9/11 terror attacks were only 3000 of the 100-some million lives lost in 2001, 9/11 wasn’t very significant."
* Inherency is underrated.
* The affirmative plan only has to solve for its impacts.
* The affirmative plan need not solve for any harms presented in the 1AC or external to it.  Real-world legislation is never presented with the aim of eliminating harms but with the goal of improving on the status quo.  The War on Terror wasn't initiated to purge international terrorism, an impossible labor, but to make America safer from threats like Al Qaeda.
* The affirmative team can only mandate action, not results.
* The affirmative plan need not solve for harms 10 years in the future.  E.g., thoroughly dismantling Iran’s nuclear weapons program solves for the annihilation of Israel even if Iran chooses to build a bomb again somehow, somewhere, sometime way in the future.  Killing the death tax solves for economic woes in the present even though some commie will probably reinstate it at some future time.
* After the 1AC, it’s the negative’s burden to show the plan doesn’t solve, unless...
* ... the 1AC has zero solvency evidence, in which case they've already lost.
* The criterion for solvency is Preponderance of Evidence, not Beyond a Reasonable Doubt.
* 100% solvency isn’t requisite for an affirmative ballot, as a plan may achieve its purpose even if it doesn’t completely purge the status quo’s harms.  A plan may solve if it substantially mitigates the abuses presented.  Complete solvency of any evil is an unrealistic and fantastical expectation.

* The advocacy requirement “argument” is reprehensible and faulty for at least a dozen reasons.
1st – the affirmative team acts as an advocate in debate role-play theory.  Any argument that belittles said advocacy as insufficient is an insulting and offensive smear of the affirmative team’s intelligence, and the negative team should be struck down on that rhetoric alone.
2nd – shouting down ideas that lack a given advocacy is equivalent to censorship and suppression of free speech.  The advocacy argument is thus the antithesis of the 1st amendment and is severely anti-American.
3rd – the objection neglects the Harms stated in the 1AC evidence, which represent a clear advocacy for changing the status quo.
4th – the advocacy complaint also ignores the Solvency evidence in the 1AC, which is the true determinant of a plan’s workability.
5th – good ideas are good not because someone thinks they’re good, but because they’re good in essence by virtue of proof and logic.  Good ideas are good regardless of popular opinion because reality is objective.
6th – whether or not real people approve of a certain policy’s effects has no bearing on the program’s ability to solve.  The wars on drugs and poverty have garnered widespread support from liberals and conservatives respectively, but neither has worked as originally intended.  One can make a strong case that the war on poverty has actually had negative solvency, increasing government dependency and poverty rather than alleviating it.  Advocacy does not equate to solvency.
7th – advocacy, rather than supporting solvency, actually undermines it.  Real-world advocates have crippled the U.S. economy, weakened America’s foreign influence, and run up trillion dollar deficits for the last 5 years.  When analyzing foreign policy, real-world advocates have called for appeasement of barbaric, religiously driven terrorists and for U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, which has historically led to anarchy, death, and the ascendency of the Taliban.  Real-world advocates are Chamberlains with no knowledge of history or capacity for logical reasoning.
8th – the entire justification for team policy debate is that real-world advocates/politicians aren’t doing their job, so the enlightened homeschool community should step in and do their job for them.   If real-world advocates were doing a great job, there’d be no need for the team policy event.  Hence, real-world advocates should not be considered necessary for an affirmative case, as their failures are the very catalyst for the debate.
9th – those who make the advocacy contention promote dependency on external opinion in the debate round, which encourages debaters to lazily lean on sound bytes and other politicians instead of fueling the debate with their own logic and rhetoric.  The ideal debate is the one shaped by the students’ own arguments, not by a bevy of elitist Ph.D.s, newspaper editorials, and other sources.
10th – clinging to outside sources and opinion negatively impacts the educational value of debate, which stems from developing students’ deductive reasoning and eloquence of speech.  A fine example of this effect is the Aristocracy argument levied against the death tax case from last year.  The entire basis for this disadvantage was a citation from a BYU professor on Canadian politics, who said that repealing the tax would end democracy as we know it (I’m down with that) and let the rich take over the universe.  Negative speakers never had to articulate a syllogistic and sensible argument supporting their point because they had a seemingly credentialed advocate who made their point for them, albeit without a logical procession of thought.  On the other side of the table, the affirmative team would boast about how many think tanks, businesses, and conservative politicians advocated death to the death tax, but such arguments were also lacking in logical depth.  Appeal to authority is fallacious and detrimental to education.
11th – what the Dell is an “advocate”, anyway?  Must he be a qualified expert in a field related to the case, an officer in the military, an intern majoring in military strategy/history, or just a loyal New York Times customer who tweets low-information news to low-information voters around the nation?  The definition of an advocate is completely subjective and worthless.
12th – the word “advocate” does not appear in the team policy rules, hence the affirmative team should not lose for excluding one.
13th - negative teams making this point often fail to give an advocate for the status quo.  This is hypocrisy.

* “No empirical success” isn’t a solvency argument.
* “Empirical failure” is.
* “No numbers” isn’t a solvency argument.
* “Terrorism/illegal immigration/unemployment/debt/crime/sin etc. still exists” isn’t a solvency argument.  If it was a legitimate point, then all plans to mitigate the above abuses would have to be discarded as insolvent because no government will ever totally eradicate crime.

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