Charles Russell ParadigmLast changed 2/1 10:45A CST
I, like my coach before me, have an old-school policy paradigm. What this means is that I look at the round and evaluate it based on what I feel is the best policy for the Unites States under the given resolution. In round you should argue everything under the assumption of that framework.
Speed – I am not a fan of speed. I understand that you are going to need to speak faster than a normal talking rate of speed and that is fine given the time constraints in round but there is no need speak at the extreme speeds that are becoming more and more common. I am a great proponent of depth over breadth in debate. The more reasonable your speed the better you will likely find yourself doing in front of me.
Topicality – This is something that I fell can be put to great use and I have no problem seeing in round. That said, there are a couple of conditions. First the voter in front of me is always jurisdiction, if you can reasonably prove that the Aff being presented is outside of the topic area I am likely to vote for T. Second, I am not a huge technical T judge. I much prefer that in round abuse or potential abuse is spelled out for me rather than someone trying to tell me that we should win T because the other team didn’t answer every small technical detail of a T argument.
Advantages and Disadvantages – This is the bread and butter of my judging paradigm. This is where I prefer to see most rounds debated and is the place that most rounds are won and lost in front of me. I want to see real world impacts with realistic link chains. If your opponent is telling me that everything is going to lead to nuclear war or global extinction you just need to prove that this is not a realistic scenario and you will have won the impact for that advantage or DA. Politics is also perfectly allowable. The only politics DAs that I do not like are those saying that you spend political capital therefore these bad things happen. Those DAs tend to run roughshod over affirmative fiat so I don’t like seeing them and I don’t give them much if any in round weight.
CPs – Absolutely love to see a good CP. My only real requirements here are that the CP should be non-topical and competitive. CPs using other actors or consulting other countries are great and I am perfectly willing to entertain them so long as they meet the above requirements.
K – Kritiks are something that you need to be very selective with in front of me. You need to make sure that the alternative is a real world policy alternative and not something that would never apply in reality. I absolutely agree that there may be questions of morality that are addressed by a kritik but without a policy alternative it isn’t going to go very far in front of me.
Last thoughts – First, be specific when you are telling me where your arguments are going. Don’t just tell me “on the Labor DA flow” and start spewing cards. Give me the specific points that you are attacking and don’t expect me to do your work for you. I am more forgiving at the novice level because those debaters are still learning but I still expect you to tell me where you want your arguments to go. Second, if you feel an argument is going to be important in round I had better hear more than 10 seconds about it in the constructives. Arguments that are presented as blips in the constructives and then expanded upon for 3-5 minutes in the rebuttal come across as something that you didn’t really care about that much until you realized that there may be a viable strategy option. If you want to go for something at the end of the round make sure that you have spent sufficient time on the argument in the constructives.