In 2005, Ronald Walter Greene and Darrin Hicks authored an article in the journal Cultural Studies that has been used by debaters to criticize the ethical and political implications of “switch-side debating” at contest round tournaments. Entitled “Lost Convictions: Debating Both Sides and the Ethical Self-Fashioning of Liberal Citizens,” the article has been excerpted to support “critique” and “project” arguments by establishing the harmful effects of traditional debate pedagogy. In particular, quotes from Hicks and Greene are leveraged to argue that the switch-sides methodology contributes to the creation of “exceptional subjects” whose personal convictions are neatly separated from their public statements and who therefore contribute to the ideological maintenance of American exceptionalism.
Debaters wishing to respond to this argument must defend the virtues of the switch-sides model of contest round debating. Below the fold you will find three pieces of evidence that should be helpful starting points for the construction of a persuasive response. I have left the cards untagged and ununderlined: I encourage debaters to read the original articles and to consider the best ways to package their answers to Hicks and Greene. Feel free to use the comments to begin a discussion—consider this another “crowd-sourcing” experiment in the construction of compelling debate arguments.