One of the things judges/coaches beat into debaters heads over and over again is that they need more explanation of things. Instead of explaining the importance of this instead I thought I would post some examples of how to explain things better.
Extend conditionality is key to negative flexibility- without it we couldn’t read a lot of arguments, reading a lot of arguments improves the quality of debate because we discuss more issues. Also the affirmative gets infinite prep so we should get something too. Not a voter- reject the argument.
Conditionality is key to negative flexibility- the affirmative gets infinite prep to select the best case, best arguments, and best evidence. The negative can’t possibly bring this level of prep to every case- conditionality is an equalizer because it allows us to make in round decisions to compensate for the disparate level of preparation- we can kick arguments that are un-winnable and focus on others. The alternative is educationally bankrupt- forcing us to go for a counterplan that is doomed after the 2AC makes the rest of the debate pointless. This outweighs affirmative offense- the affirmative can adapt to conditionality by writing efficient blocks, selecting the best evidence, and having diverse strategic options- there is no other reasonable remedy for the preparation advantage garnered by the affirmative. And- the remedy should not be a voting issue- if the affirmative wins it is illegitimate for us to kick the counterplan then don’t let us kick it- they control their strategic choices like time allocation. If damage is already done its because they didn’t think through the 2AC not because we asserted the option to kick the counterplan.
Bad argument: Extend our evidence that Obama is spending capital on healthcare now. This proves their political capital link should have happened and there is no uniqueness for the Afghanistan DA.
Good Argument: Healthcare should trigger their political capital link- while they are right that they read specific link evidence to our case their internal link evidence is not specific- it just says political capital is key to getting more troops. There is no meaningful distinction between the capital Obama is spending on health care and the capital he would theoretically spend on the plan. In fact health care is a much larger and more controversial proposal than our case- the negative is in a double bind. Either passing big controversial social service programs costs enough capital to prevent troops at which point health care triggers the link, or its possible that Obama can do that and get troops at which point the plan wouldn’t be enough to trigger the link either. It is inconceivable that Obama has some magical goldilocks level of capital that is just enough to do health care and troops but not enough to add the plan- they have no evidence to support this. Don’t believe their BS assertions- failure to hold the negative to a high level of scrutiny on issues like this warps debate- it encourages them to research terrible politics disads that have no value other than they catch the aff by surprise and win because the aff has no specific carded responses- this encourages the neg to evade debate instead of clashing. Defense of this kind should be viewed as absolute- if we win this argument it doesn’t reduce the risk of the disad to 70%, it reduces it to Zero.
Bad 2NR on Try or Die: Our disad is faster than the case- so timeframe takes out their inevitability claims. You should vote negative to avoid war in the short term since we both access the same hegemony impact.
Good 2NR on Try or Die: Look try or die is code for we don’t solve anything- they may win the uniqueness claim that structural factors make long term collapse of hegemony inevitable- but that isn’t a reason to vote affirmative if our disad turns the case because that proves the aff will have no meaningful effect on hegemonic decline. While the economy may make hegemony fail in the long run, our disad is a more proximate cause of hegemonic decline. This means the disad turns the case more than the case turns the disad- its logically possible that failure in Afghanistan will short circuit affirmative solvency, it is not possible that the boost the affirmative provides to hegemony decades from now can prevent our impact. Short term factors should be given higher weight because long term factors are definitionally more uncertain and more likely to be solved by intervening actions. Long term terminal impact uniqueness arguments have been vastly over emphasized in debates in the last decade- it is more meaningful to delay nuclear war for a decade then to vote aff on the absurdly low probability that impact uniqueness makes the da impact “inevitable”.
Bad 2AR on Value to life: Extend our not an idiot evidence that says value to life is inevitable- people will always have value for some reason so there is no way we kill all of it- plus you have to be alive to have value so the case outweighs.
Good 2AR on Value to Life: Existence is a philosophical pre-requisite to value- this makes the case’s death impact a logical prior to the negatives impact. Also- death is irreversible whereas value is fully reversible- we may lose ontology today but hire existential detectives who find it for us next week. This may appear a trivial distinction but if we both win the full weight of our impacts it should serve as the tie breaker. Finally, our impact outweighs on all levels
A. Magnitude- even if hegemony entails a violent ordering of the world that views people as mere objects- that doesn’t devalue every life on the globe- only the lives of countries opposed to US leadership. Extinction effects everyone equally- our impact accesses a broader spectrum than their value to life claims- and if value to life can truly be lost surely some of the people out there have already lost it- their uniqueness is highly suspect because the US has been managing the globe for decades. Death however has a clear brightline- 6.8 billion die if you vote neg- emo kids all ready think their lives have no value.
B. Timeframe- when exactly does our management devalue lives ? Surely it isn’t instantaneous because if it is than its already happened by us reading our case- you should privilege our concrete impacts over nebulous value to life claims. In reality lives wouldn’t be devalued until the US came in contact with resistors to the hegemonic order and had to violently manage them- if we win solvency this will never happen.
C. Probability- our not an idiot evidence indicates that multiple values like reciprocity, compassion, and aesthetics give life meaning. The likelihood that we eliminate all of them is very low whereas the likelihood that nuclear war kills people is certain- it hasn’t been contested. The negatives argument that our impacts are constructed threats is circular- our impacts are constructed because the people who write them construct threats- our Sokal evidence says empirical data should be given the most value- empirically we have been able to prevent war and people maintained their value to life. Prefer this to abstract theorizing.