Judges at High School Debate Tournaments Increasingly Won’t Allow Debate
“Before anything else, including being a debate judge, I am a Marxist-Leninist-Maoist. . . . I cannot check the revolutionary proletarian science at the door when I’m judging”
As we have pointed out countless times, the left no longer wants to debate the issues. They would prefer it if their political and ideological opponents would just sit down and shut up.
Now this attitude is even making its way into the actual activity of academic debating.
Imagine having a worldview so weak you have to prevent high schoolers from challenging it. pic.twitter.com/wW5hCRWgpD
— Seth Dillon (@SethDillon) May 25, 2023
James Fishback writes at the Free Press:
At High School Debates, Debate Is No Longer Allowed
My four years on a high school debate team in Broward County, Florida, taught me to challenge ideas, question assumptions, and think outside the box. It also helped me overcome a terrible childhood stutter. And I wasn’t half-bad: I placed ninth my first time at the National Speech & Debate Association (NSDA) nationals, sixth at the Harvard national, and was runner-up at the Emory national.
After college, between 2017 and 2019, I coached a debate team at an underprivileged high school in Miami. There, I witnessed the pillars of high school debate start to crumble. Since then, the decline has continued, from a competition that rewards evidence and reasoning to one that punishes students for what they say and how they say it.
Fishback explains that students can look up debates and debate judges on Tabroom, where judges can describe themselves in a profile.
Then Fishback offers real examples of what a student might see:
…let’s say when the high school sophomore clicks Tabroom she sees that her judge is Lila Lavender, the 2019 national debate champion, whose paradigm reads, “Before anything else, including being a debate judge, I am a Marxist-Leninist-Maoist. . . . I cannot check the revolutionary proletarian science at the door when I’m judging. . . . I will no longer evaluate and thus never vote for rightest capitalist-imperialist positions/arguments. . . . Examples of arguments of this nature are as follows: fascism good, capitalism good, imperialist war good, neoliberalism good, defenses of US or otherwise bourgeois nationalism, Zionism or normalizing Israel, colonialism good, US white fascist policing good, etc.”…
Debate judge Shubham Gupta’s paradigm reads, “If you are discussing immigrants in a round and describe the person as ‘illegal,’ I will immediately stop the round, give you the loss with low speaks”—low speaker points—“give you a stern lecture, and then talk to your coach. . . . I will not have you making the debate space unsafe.”
Debate Judge Kriti Sharma concurs: under her list of “Things That Will Cause You To Automatically Lose,” number three is “Referring to immigrants as ‘illegal.’ ”
Ted Cruz and Vivek Ramaswamy reacted to this story:
Wow. Truly disturbing. https://t.co/WO4eL306gE
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) May 25, 2023
High school debates are now adopting the same rules as left-wing media: if you say “capitalism can reduce poverty,” “Israel has a right to defend itself,” or “illegal immigrants,” you will lose. No questions asked. This is why young Americans are so lost.https://t.co/v9igIzYvte
— Vivek Ramaswamy (@VivekGRamaswamy) May 25, 2023
This is the progressive left, today.
They do not want to have a discussion.
Featured image via YouTube.
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Be it resolved that in all future debates, that the team arguing the non-woke side, lie upon the floor, open mouthed, while the opposing team defecates upon them.
The gun rights movement has seen this for at least a generation. When they speak of “dialogue” or “having a conversation”, they mean for you to shut up, sit down, and be lectured by them until you assent to whatever they’re preaching.
It is truly undebatable. Capitalism can and did reduce poverty. Many countries where people starved now face obesity epidemics.
Only in America will you hear radio ads for the childhood obesity epedemic in the same break as one lamenting that one in five kids goes to bed hungry.
I’m pretty sure that “one in 5 kids goes to bed hungry” is a lie.
I am 100% sure that 20% of US children are not going to bed hungry. They have to make up things like “food deserts” which basically means that you don’t have a supermarket close by.
I think you mean “within easy waddling distance before getting out of breath.”
They mean “supermarket”, meaning a store that wealthy white liberals feel comfortable shopping in – and that is built so security is impossible and shoplifting and robberies would drive the store out of the inner city if they were stupid enough to build it there. All those cramped little bodegas where the grocer can watch the entire store from the cash register don’t count.
Para: they have taxpayer-paid electric invalid scooters to take their 450 lb selves there.
The free market reduced poverty. “Capitalism” not as much.
(A long debate about the difference between those and how we never had what Marx described here in America could ensue. But I’m too tired to pursue it and it’s only relevant because of my pedantry.)
I dipped my toes in the waters of college debate back in the late 1990s; my impression was that these same biases existed then, though much less overtly so.
Many moons ago when I was on a high school debate team, being assigned to argue a viewpoint either entirely opposite of your own or very socially unpopular and doing it well was considered the height of competence and capability as a debater.
Apparently that sort of debate is a lost art.
In Middle School I had to deal with that, Our history teacher (we were the students that in high school would be in the honors classes) decided we needed to debate the ERA. Since I was one of the few guys in the class AND one of the few who would take it seriously, she assigned me to be the anti-ERA debater. (There were actually others on my team, but all of them were afraid to make the arguments needed.)
So, I went to ALL of the arguments. And a bunch of them were terribly weak. But I turned them into Premise-Premise-Premise-Conclusions and worded them to tighten them up and generally had a rebuttal for everything the other side of the question brought.
Though the teacher was a feminist, I won the debate because I fought well and used rhetoric and logic to good effect. She was unhappy (and told me so – she admitted to me she had thought the other side would win based on her opinion of the matter) but she was also impressed. The girls arguing the other side were also pissed at me for beating them.
Which brings us to the As Good As It Gets quote of the day:
I think of a man, and I take away Reason and Accountability.” 😉
I have never been in favor of frivolous lawsuits, but I think my opinions are evolving 😉
If there is no debate there is no growth and no change.
That’s the point!
Oh I see! High school debates are beginning to look like presidential debates.
I can imagine serious people arguing that at some point it may become necessary to physically eject these people from our society.
“I will not have you making the debate space unsafe.”
Use that snowflake weapon on me, and I will show you what unsafe actually means.
They can hardly object to inviting violence when they reject free speech and debate to resolve conflict.
My thoughts exactly Chief. They truly seem to be asking for it. I don’t think they’re gonna like it when they are finally obliged.
I was a high school debater back in the late 1970’s (2 time state champ in Student Congress format debate, 2d at nationals in 1979), and the experience was excellent prep for college and law school.
By the 1990’s, however, high school debate had become a bad joke, with victim status arguments being more important that rhetoric or delivery, and I stopped recommending people participate in it.
This latest news development is just the continuation of that unfortunate trend.
TY… Sad to hear.
I think debaters need to have a keen intellect. Obviously someone had to even the playing field. SMH
Concentration camps don’t pop up overnight. They arrive in small deliberate steps.
I will no longer evaluate and thus never vote for rightest capitalist-imperialist positions/arguments
Then you’re no longer a debate judge and should be removed as one. Period. Feel free to set up all the Progressive Councils you want, though to talk doctrine and use your totem words and magic thought. Just don’t do it with gov’t funding or label it “debate”.
Lila Lavender, the 2019 national debate champion, whose paradigm reads, “Before anything else, including being a debate judge, I am a Marxist-Leninist-Maoist. . . . I cannot check the revolutionary proletarian science at the door when I’m judging. . . .
This is why they suck so bad at real life debate. If they were half as smart as they think they are, they would honestly assess the debates to learn where the weaknesses in their arguments lie and thus improve them. But that would require them to admit they’re less than perfect, something they’re quite unable to do.
They haven’t had to debate which fork in the road to choose…. one road leading to destruction. Marxist-Leninist theory will not save them then.
“Revolutionary proletarian science”… oh…..joy…. when has that “science” ever worked?
Lysenkoism. It works because the government SAYS it works.
For many of them they have never had to make any of life’s trade offs. Many of these ass clowns have inherited wealth or cushy govt/NGO jobs where making decisions has no personal consequences. Their Parents send them to x boarding school then on to an Ivy as a legacy and they coast on that CV into a career that doesn’t involve much actual work.
Remember, too, that this is a religion.
While religion can be debated, a great many followers simply accept received wisdom. Their arguments are often first and foremost appeals to authority. They follow that with appeals to morality – morality that you don’t share if you’re a Christian (or several other religions). If all else fails, they resort to totem words – “racist”, “sexist”, “transphobe” – that they don’t understand, but can “explain” with magical incantations (which are not understandable, either).
Was she given the title of Champion based on debate skills or identity points?. I know what I think.
an IQ somewhere above 80 is required
Many people have high IQ’s and never use them.
Read Checkmate Berlin (it’s on audio) and has some good flavor on how the Soviet / leftists roll. It covers the madness the Soviets pulled leading up to the Berlin airlift.
Aside from being a great history lesson on the events leading into the cold war, I found it extremely useful in understanding leftists will break every rule and abide by no fair play, while simultaneously using your compulsion to follow the rules against you and invent new rules for you to follow because your compulsion for following the rules is one of your greatest weaknesses.
Also useful is how many of their weaknesses we completely missed and could have exploited (half their army would have defected and gone to the west if they had the chance).
When the left owns academia is when academia will cease to exist.
“When?” We’re already well past the point of no return.
I debated in high school and college and I also coached and judged at the collegiate level.
The activity is totally nuts now. There was one constructive speech that involved a lot of ukulele playing and a rant about how the activity per se was racist and hegemonic or something.
If university trustees observed intercollegiate debate as it is exercised now, it might get defunded. I would hope so, anyway.
I would think anyone who wanted to judge a debate would understand what the word “Judge” meant. It means forming an opinion after hearing arguments from both sides within the parameters known before debating. If the judge harbors parameters that no one knows about then it is not judging. If they published a list of forbidden terms or words, then it might be fair but not if these forbidden things are not known to the debaters. To me, one of the most interesting and thought-provoking way of having a debate is for neither side to know which side they will be defending until the day of the debate. That way, the contestants will have to learn both sides and come away with that knowledge and will learn both sides very well. Win or lose the debate, they will all be winners in life.
I’m reminded of a story my grandmother told; when she was in high school in the late 1920’s, a history teacher divided the class in half and assigned each side to debate the Northern v. Southern positions of the Civil War. My grandmother was part of the Southern side. The Northern side barely prepared because after all it was obvious they were right (this was in Wisconsin). Whereas my grandmother and her side diligently prepared. When the debate happened the Southern side won, hands down. The Northern kids were furious; protesting the North had won the war and was ‘right’ in real life! Of course the teacher reminded them that’s not what debate is about.
Can you imagine that happening in any public high school in America today?
Lincoln was one of the 5 worst presidents in history and celebrating him for ending slavery is like celebrating Biden for ending the war in Afghanistan.
How many Americans died for a war that was optional and could have been avoided?
If you want to see the state of modern college debate teams, look up the Towson University debate team on YouTube
If you have stipulations on what can and cannot be debated or used to defend a point then you should never be allowed to be a judge and these three should be removed immediately.
As far as a debate judge giving someone a lecture…..well no one has to listen to you either and even in High School I wouldn’t have stood there and listed to some fruitcake lecture me.
I did have one time where a judge tried to interrupt me, which she had said ahead of time she would do, I just kept talking. She tried turning off my Mic and soon discovered I had never turned it on. I have always had the ability to project my voice without much strain, that’s how I got stuck being the Cadence Monkey in my Platoon.
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