Departure for state this year took an exciting twist, as we discovered late last night that the tournament did not in fact begin on Saturday, but rather this afternoon! Which wouldn’t be an issue, but because this tournament is in Moorhead (basically North Dakota), we had to leave hella early for the 4 hour drive – which unfortunately resulted in two debaters being left behind :(.
In order to best represent the trip, these quotes (mostly from the wonderful Dan “I see dank memes” Gold) are unaltered. “Whoa, that sign that says Yellow is orange and black – that’s such a dank meme.” In reference to George W.: “Think of history if we didn’t have that rabbit-eared shit in the White House” “You guys remember that singer Avril La-va-gan?” (Seriously Dan, how do you not know Avril Lavigne’s name?) “A good Third Reich is one that exterminates ALL the jews” (in a conversation about virtue ethics) “So I got banned from my favorite dank meme page for making fun of trigger warnings…” “Lowkey, fuck white people” “If we were actually the North Korean government, we’d probably believe our rockets worked” “That circle thing would make such a dank meme if it had some cool text” “This house is the Taliban, and we will entice women to vote by not killing them and making them shwarma!” “Sometimes, I wonder if we’re bad people, and definitely yes” “Wait, what does dank actually mean?” (Dan asks the hard questions)
Getting to the round just before rounds, we pretty much started right away with the debating.
Round 1: Resolved: Minnesota should welcome more refugees.
Ben and Josh were gov, and, realizing that the state of Minnesota doesn’t actually control federal refugee policy, decided that Mark Dayton should talk to the appropriate federal authorities and offer to take in refugees. Their opponents suggested that this might lead to the overpopulation of Minnesota – a concern that seems very legitimate here in the dense urban metropolis of Moorhead. Ben and Josh talked about the innovation that diversity brings, citing such examples as pizza, burgers, and hot dogs (is it clear we were hungy?) which Ben followed up by eating primarily garlic bread and gas station donuts for dinner.
Carolyn and Amanda treated the topic as a facts case – their opponents accepted this, but argued that their semi-existent plan would fail due to the underfunding of Somali basketball teams. People are still racist, so it would be inappropriate to bring in more refugees. Because the way to solve racism is make sure white Minnesotans never live near people of color.
Dan and Ani were also gov (3 for 3!) and decided to throw their opponents for a loop and accept Latin American refugees rather than Syrian refugees. In the middle of a debate over private prisons, their opponents intimated that if refugees have mental illness, it might be better to keep them out of Minnesota, as they might not be the most productive in the economy. This fit well with their framework of net-benefits to only Minnesotans, which Dan pointed out maybe justified everyone else in the world working in sweatshops to help Minnesotans (it’s like the utility monster, but passive-aggressive). Uff da.
Round 2: This house would entice people to vote.
Ben and Josh was opp, and their Stolaf opponents ran a pretty damn clever plan of providing refreshments at polling places – after thinking over attacking the cookies in the plan on vegan grounds, Ben and Josh instead took to describing the plan as coercion through taxes. Also, if the plan makes people happier with the system and the system is still bad, then maybe the plan is a bad idea? This debate also encouraged a high quality discussion on the concept of mandating shots before caucuses, which would result in some particularly interesting results. Dan, our local Jim Gilmore enthusiast, was a fan.
Carolyn and Amanda were also opp. There opponents defined this house as Marco Rubio, and for the plan to him totalk to people in cities. After pointing out that Marco Rubio is already, y’know, campaigning, their opponents suggested that he simply do more – which elicited concerns from our team for his software developers. All that work must be bad on the system. The disad that he might run out of batteries was sadly missing. There was never really a clear reason why Marco Rubio had an impact, but the real clincher was the counterplan to reduce voter turnout and swing the election for the GOP. Their opponents noted that Marco might not make it to the general election – which, I mean, not with that attitude! Surprisingly, there was no perm on this counterplan.
Dan and Ani were (surprise!) also opp. Their judge noted before the round that the debaters should know that she was a “stepmother of cats”, and that her main hope for the round was that there be “less debate shit”, which we wholeheartedly support. Their opponents gave a $50 tax rebate to everyone who voted, which they claimed would solve for people who might lose their job if they took time to vote. Dan and Ani were skeptical of whether $50 was a fair price for a job, but whatever. They argued that increasing voter turnout would push liberals to the right, which maybe Bernie Sanders solved? Also, the funding mechanism apparently used welfare money to fund this rebate, which seems incredibly fair and not regressive at all. For the second straight round, Dan and Ani used the phrase “states are the laboratory of democracy” successfully. Also, they ran a CP which removed the electoral college and created a federal voting holiday. Is this competitive? Probably not! Was there a perm? Nope!
Afterwards, we decided that it might be a good plan this round to interpret this house as an oppressive regime (or the Taliban!), and then open up for democracy, which might have bigger impacts than cookies (not to trash talk cookies though!)
The debanquet was pretty fantastic, with a touching tribute to a retiring coach and a hilarious speech about forensics as an activity, and with senior quotes left for another date. We retired to our high quality hotel, where we now had three rooms for six people, which in the words of Dan Gold is “dank af”. I think. We’ll be back for two whole rounds tomorrow!