Mar 15, 2008

notes from our state debate tournament

Fortunately, I didn't see one bad round at our state's Lincoln Douglas debate tournament. Most, in fact, were quite entertaining, intellectually speaking. Some of my observations:

1. Negatives, setting out to prove that hate crime enhancements are just, rarely had sufficient criteria. They'd say, "My criterion is proportionality," which is one aspect of justice, but, in most schemes or theories, not the whole. Sadly, few affirmatives realized this, or took advantage.

2. Several debaters admitted that they had never read the ruling in Wisconsin v. Mitchell; I don't know how this could be possible, but it was. It seemed like such a crucial case.

3. I never saw a value clash. Everyone went with "inherent in the resolution."

4. I was thanked for blogging by a fellow coach. It is still a bit strange to think that I'm a national discussion-shaper for the activity. Power madness hasn't quite bubbled into my head, but I'm sure it will soon.

5. Don't ever argue that destroying your opponent's criterion will win the round for you, and offer an eight-point criterion attack, and then drop all your opponent's contentions. Otherwise, you'll watch as she applies all her contentions to your criterion, and wins it away from you. Saw it happen.

Did you have a state or national qualifying tournament this weekend? What did you learn? What worked, and what didn't?


okiedebater said...

I just got back from Regionals. wasn't a state tournament or national-qualifier, but it was the state-qualifier. I want to say thanks for all the analysis and discussion on the topic. I placed 2nd in my class out of 20 debaters, even above last year's state champ (who now got 3rd). I noticed that a lot of those affirmatives were proportionality or retributivism (all variations on: HC's are worse so they deserve greater punishment).
I was able to beat that in 4 rounds as the Aff, but lost to it in the finals because it was well argued by the Neg with a few variations. I'll try to include more details sometime in the next few days when I am more intellectually present.

Anonymous said...

Most of the affirmatives said something about HCE causing more injustice, immoral, unequal, etc. Universality and distribution problems were quite popular. Negs went with the stock argument of HC is worse crime so they need harder punishment. Pretty much stock things with no unique twist which made the actual debate quite boring.

okiedebater said...

Here are the two negatives from the two best/most intense rounds I had (both were split decisions):

Neg #1:
V: Justice
Cr: Locke's Social Contract
C1: Gravity of the background of crime is directly proportional to punishment
A) mens rea
B) philosophy- passion
motivates all men, we
must check hate the most
C2: Consequences of HC are greater than the consequences of other crimes
A) Attacks people group
rather than individual
B) Psychological harm
C)HC effects last longer

Neg #2:
V: Societal Progress
Cr: Deontology
C1: Resolution implies difference between HC and other crimes
C2: HC must be evaluated differently
A) Logic
B) The Law must address
different forms of crime
C3: HCE address the difference between HC and other crimes
-HC are separated from
other crimes by their
motive: hate
-they are an infringement
against the person, but
also the society
-reciprocity demands
higher punishment

Euan said...

I have a debate in a few weeks, I regularly check this blog. You are a hero for my debate team, although we generally like to run the more off-beat arguments which we don't necessarily find here.

Our coach is a student at Harvard, used to be big in the Debate scene. His sister, still in high school, is apparently a big-shot in some of the other forensics events.

Anonymous said...

I had a solid negative case which was built around a social contract framework in which the government is morally required to implement HCE.

I had much trouble with my aff though. As a neg, I didn't face any formidable aff arguments and as aff, I was thwarted by mediocre negatives.

Could anyone offer a affirmative shell or any aff arguments that judges seemed to buy? One of my arguments was that HCE was immoral and that seemed mildly buyable.

Thanks for the help and congrats to okie.