2020-2021 NCFCA Debate Resolution Perspectives

Have you taken a look yet at the new proposed NCFCA resolutions for 2021?  There is quite a breadth of interest represented there!! Our hope, as always, is that you explore the resolutions for yourself, or as families. Have discussions and read analysis. We are excited to be able offer different perspectives over the next few days…

Kristi Eskelund (coach/parent) –

First of all, the white papers included with the proposed resolutions are EXCELLENT!  Don’t miss these.  Read them.  Read them again.  They offer fantastic short analysis and great starting points for your family discussion.  I mean it.  Step one, read the white papers – all of them.  Even if you think you don’t like a resolution at first, the white paper will open up some real value for you.  

Secondly, talk about the resolutions.  Talk about the ideas you got from the white papers.  Discuss these ideas with your family whether you have debaters or not in the mix.  Remember that a good percentage of your judge pool will come from the community and it’s worth understanding the community response to these topics.  It’s worth seeing where community bias exists or doesn’t exist.  It might surprise you!

My family is all with me for the quarantine.  I have four NCFCA alums in the mix (two national level debaters and two non-debaters), two spouses who are not alums, a retired military officer, and a 12-year-old who is just trying out opinions. One of my daughters-in-law is Salvadorian and an immigrant. The other hales from New York and a pretty progressive-thinking family.  It is a great mix, and I just threw out the resolutions and let them chat it up at dinner.  Even at the end of that first time discussion, we had new perspective on every single one of those statements!  It was interesting and very enlightening.  

Thirdly, watch the upcoming webinars.  Absolutely do this.  Even if you are not a debater and don’t intend to debate.  You will certainly be asked to judge a round along the way, and it’s worth making an informed vote on the resolutions our students will be grappling with (and you will be listening to!) I know the people on these panels and they are worth your time.  They know how debate works.  They know what the research will be like.  They understand philosophy and the intent of these resolutions.  One hour or two invested now – especially while our live are all slowed down – is WORTH your investment.  It could mean a far more meaningful and productive season for many kids and many judges.

Ultimately, we want our students to learn to think, to understand that there are always a range of approaches and that each side has advantages and disadvantages.  We want meaningful research and hearty debate that will help our students change the way our representatives currently scream at each other and shame each other and stonewall each other.  We want the kind of engagement that produced our Constitution out of the Federalist and Anti-Federalist debates!  Or that led to the increasing awareness of Slavery’s ills through the original Abraham Lincoln v. Stephen Douglas debates!  The ideas that our kids grapple with here make them sensitive and savvy.  They learn to see fallacies but also avenues through obstacles.  Let’s help them on that road by choosing well what they will study! Right now, we are raising our kids, but one day, they will be forming policy that impacts our lives.

I also think relevance is critical.  All of these resolutions are timely.  All of them suggest ideas on which our kids really need to form their own boundaries and personal positions.  They need to know more about other countries in the world and how our relations with those nations impact our own economy and posture in the world.  They need to come to personal philosophies about privacy and what constitutes a guaranteed human right and where they fall of the spectrum of democracy. Any one of these resolutions will bear fruit, we just have to choose which fruit!

So, do I have favorite resolutions?  Yes.  I know what I think I want to vote for.  As a coach, I know what I want to hear about and what I think will help our kids.  And my dinner discussion changed my initial preference. But…I’m not voting until after those webinars.  I want to hear more from that panel before I check the box.  After that, I’ll openly share how I’m voting and why!

Rebecca Frazer (coach/alumni) – NCFCA TP Analysis