Ryan Galloway ParadigmLast changed 11/1 6:57P EDT
Director of Debate
Coached for 24 years
Note: I agree with pretty much everything Adrienne Brovero says in her paradigm.
Top-Level Stuff you probably want to know:
While I still believe affirmatives should have to be topical, my actual voting record for T or Framework in these situations actually isn't that high. I find that non-traditional teams frequently out-execute their opponents on important elements of the line by line. I expect the negative to know the answers to the primary affirmative arguments and execute accordingly. I do prefer T to Framework, and feel that the affirmative should provide the negative with plausible lines of response to the affirmative.
You can win on the NEG without a topical version of the AFF. A lot of ideas aren't topical--but that doesn't mean the AFF somehow automatically wins. Also, if your AFF isn't on the wiki I'm more persuaded that the NEG shouldn't have to be prepared to debate it. You should disclose your scholarship.
Other Kritik related news:
I'm a decent judge for teams with specific philosophical indictments of the affirmative they are debating. If you have specific links to the AFF and a well-grounded alternative, you'll be in good shape. If you have a generic cap K with a "they used the state" link, you're probably in trouble. I expect your links to be specific to the topic area that you are debating. I expect your impacts to be pragmatic indictments of the world-view in which the AFF operates.
In my heart of hearts I'm a liberal pragmatist that thinks we need to adopt real-world solutions to make the world a better place. I don't think the perfect should be the enemy of the good, and I think that solutions that are too radical won't be accepted by society and thus are poor choices for social movements. That said, if the NEG can prove that the world is irredeemable in the system in which the AFF operates, I'm willing to roll the dice and look for an alternative.
Topic Specific News:
This is one of the broadest topics in recent memory. In general, I am a believer in reasonability on topicality, but with a topic that spans five unrelated areas, unified only by the generic Trump presidential powers good disad, I am more willing to listen to topicality on this topic than usual. If you are skirting the bounds of the resolution in one of the five areas, you could be in trouble in front of me. I think the mainstream aff's are very strong, so I am less tolerant than usual about the need for aff flexibility.
I don't know how to confront the plethora of T violations that I characterize as "this topic is incorrect." This includes T arguments that treaties aren't the executive power of the president, deference to executive agencies isn't the executive power of the president, etc. My law school days taught me that one should always assume that a statute has meaning and to defer to the framers of the statute/resolution. However, on a topic where we are supposed to be gaining legal education on these issues, I'm somewhat compelled by the idea that if it is impossible to affirm the topic as written, pretending the topic means something it doesn't undermines legal education. What to do? The teams need to resolve this issue. I'm fundamentally torn from my general premises about statutory interpretation and the flaws in the topic.
Requiring Congressional authorization for a first strike is not the same thing as an NFU policy. That should be obvious, but apparently many AFF's (of all things) are confused about this distinction. You're also in trouble if the NEG can re-cut your AFF articles and take-out your whole AFF.
I think Topicality is an important issue that should be debated. That said, I don't like contrived interpretations that make heart of the topic affirmatives not topical. I'm more of a believer in contextual evidence than most judges. If you have an affirmative at the heart of the literature, with contextual evidence to support your interpretation, you'll be fine. That said, if your affirmative skirts the outer limits of the resolution, I have no difficulty voting on T even in important debates. Ground is not the be all end all of topicality. Education and relevance to our everyday lives are viable standards. The fact that you've run a non-topical AFF all year is an interesting FYI.
Disads and risk:
I tend to be more link-oriented than many of my colleagues. I'm willing to no link a disad down to zero. That said, having judged on many panels, I would give you the following advice:
1) You need to sell thumpers to me: You need to win what the implication of your thumper is. A fight is not the same as a big fight unless you prove so. Link differentials matter to me. I'm not sold that a small non-unique takes out the entire link to the disad when the link is much larger than the status quo thumper.
2) I'm very persuaded by disad turns the case. A credible link to a disad + disad turns the case combined with minimal defense vs. the internal link to the advantage is usually a winner for me. Usually NEG's are thin on their rationale for disad turns case, so answer it.
3) Don't just go for impact defense. Going for "economic decline not that bad" is usually a loser. Challenging internal links to advantages is incredibly important. Many advantages are contrived and can be taken out with analytic arguments against the evidence.
4) Be careful how you frame the debate. If you say "uniqueness controls the direction of the link" I will take you at your word. If you say "link direction controls uniqueness" I will take you at your word. Framing issues are very critical to me, I flow them and listen carefully and do not impose a pre-prepared belief on how I should evaluate risk. Matt Sessions, who debated for me, says the best way to win Galloway's ballot is to take whatever they say is the most important thing in the debate and turn it. He is not wrong.
1) I don't think most process counterplans compete. It's not a slam dunk, but you're in trouble if you only mess with the process of the plan. I can also be sold that they're just bad, even if you come up with a method of competition. Artificial competition is a thing, even without a perm.
2) I tend to think there is a residual link to the perm. When I sit out, I frequently sit out on this issue.
3) Advantage counterplans are powerful weapons. Use them.
4) A dropped internal net benefit to the counterplan is like dropping a disad. The fact that you weren't paying attention in the 2ac doesn't mean the 1ar gets to recover.
5) Conditionality. I'm less worried about the number of counterplans than how they function in the debate. I can be sold that contradictory positions make it difficult to be AFF, I can be sold that you only get one conditional counterplan, etc. That said, one conditional counterplan and a conditional K seems pretty reasonable to me, and two conditional counterplans without a K seems pretty reasonable to me. I'd rather decide the debate on substance than theory.
1) It hurts me that anyone would clip. I believe the community relies fundamentally on a sense of trust. I trust you. When you take advantage of that trust, part of what binds the community together begins to fray. Don't cheat. Mark your cards. Be beyond reproach in what you do. Better to lose a debate honestly than win because you got away with one.
2) Civility. I strongly believe we are having a civil discussion. There is no point in yelling, screaming, ad hominem attacks, etc. Reasoned disagreement sometimes results in hurt feelings, but I feel these are best resolved through calm discussion. What many people consider humorous I consider to be rude and hurtful to the other person. Self-depricating humor is the best kind. I love our community and respect people even with whom I disagree.
3) Speaker points. I think speaker points are important. I think speaker points are designed to illustrate a measure of individual performance in a given debate. I want you to feel you earned whatever points I gave you based on your performance, and not a sense of ideological fidelity to a cause. As a coach, I use speaker points as a metric to determine the individual progress my debaters are making. Artificial inflation or deflation of such points hinders the goal of determining said progress.
4) I have grown more sensitive to norms in our community that marginalize female debaters.
5) I wish you would number your arguments.
6) I wish you would label your arguments: No Link, Turn, No impact, etc.
7) Most people would be better off going 80% of full speed.
8) I am now officially old.
9) If I'm on a panel with you and you aren't flowing because you are checking email, checking Facebook, cutting cards, etc, I will do my best to publicly out you. We owe an obligation to our students to give it our all in every debate.
Any other questions? Feel free to fire away at: firstname.lastname@example.org.