Friday, September 2, 2011

A Different Debate Analogy For The South Dakota Supreme Court Decision

At the Madville Times, Cory compares the South Dakota Supreme Court decision upholding the state's education funding formula to a high school debate round.  He writes,
In high school debate terms, we could say the plaintiffs won the Lincoln-Douglas battle but lost the policy war on Harms and perhaps Inherency (which is still a voting issue).
I have not read the decision as carefully as Cory has but it strikes me that a different debate analogy is in order.  Also, public forum debate needs to be included in the analogy.

I don't see much "inherency."  Instead the value debate looks like a critique of the system.  It seems that the plaintiffs lost because they ran a critical case with potential harms in front of a stock issues panel that said "no link, no brink, no harm."

To begin the public forum debate analogy, South Dakota judges may not need to follow the elections.  Living in a one-party state affords them that luxury.  That being said, however, it's pretty clear that the "grand crossfire" sections of all debate being held in the greater public forum are being won by those who hold a very minimal view of the word "adequate." 

The sad part of the comparison is that high school public forum grand crossfires frequently become incomprehensible shouting matches.  In the broader general public, the grand crossfire is also being won by those who shout the loudest, not those with the better argument.

1 comment:

caheidelberger said...

I was thinking very much of you when I formulated the initial analogy, with the hope that you would provide exactly this elaboration. Thank you!

So to win, do we need to shout more loudly, or do we need to find judges with different paradigms?