Last changed on
Fri June 10, 2022 at 1:35 PM EDT
Special Section, NSDA Nationals
Welcome! If you’re reading this, then we are definitely going to be meeting each other. I wish you all the best: congratulations on being at Nationals. Below are the Public Forum paradigm, and an expansion of my normal National paradigm (building on the NSDA document you already have).
A lot of what I have in my Policy paradigm (below) applies here. Here’s what to keep in mind:
Audience. Unlike the more technical Policy, I understand Public Forum as Outward Facing whose intended audience is someone reasonably informed. Terms and ideas are expected to be accessible. Rhetoric (diction, vocal presentation) are important factors.
Spread. Keep it rapid and conversational (roughly 150 w.p.m.). Excessive speed violates Outward Facing. With spread clarity about tags and structure is critical, as is enunciation.
Comparative Advantage. I will compare the two sides relative to advantages and how they meet their Framework (below). I expect both sides to make affirmative cases as to why I should prefer their reasoning. You will not win by solely attacking the other side; your case matters. Be clear about your impacts.
Framework. Show how your case fulfills or meets your framework (this is the core of Comparative Advantage for me). If given time you should explain why your framework is to be preferred.
In formal terms I follow an open policy paradigm. I'm a realist; I come from politics and extemp. For me, debate deals with the questions and discussions we (community/society) deal with in the public, decision-making space. Of course, all discussions have social locations, especially with this year’s topic, and thus can be profitably interrogated by critical theory or explored through CPs; just show me why it matters or how it connects to our decision-making.
Leave academic or debate theory arguments outside. I will find them interesting, even entertaining, but not decisive.
Some practical details:
• Impacts do not have to go to catastrophe to be persuasive (especially the N-war move). Plausibility counts.
• I pay attention to how links are made, how the internal logic works. If you call attention to a dropped argument, show me why it matters, otherwise, I will defer to the points of clash.
• Where the argument turns on a key piece of evidence, I may examine to determine how much weight to give it (i.e. reliable, authoritative etc.) I am open to voting on T.
• And last, as a practical matter, I have old ears, so make tags clear. Preferred delivery rate tops out at 180 wpm.
Now for some additional Nationals Specifics/extensions
As noted above I am open to arguments that illumine where an argument is (culturally) situated. I tend to treat Ks as a relative of the DA or perhaps a CP
Ks that I am comfortable with:
structural racism, Afro-pessimism
Neo-liberalism , colonialisms
the Foucaldian suite of approaches, including biopower
Other critical theory approaches: be cautious. I will not be able to track you as fast. Practically this means I will lean into the card re: authority.
Meta theory, debate theory — no. I find these involve a host of tacit assumptions that I may or may not be willing to accede to.
On a continuum of the very focused or limited to the very broad, I lean to the focused side.
as CPs expand, I tend to defer to the Aff
Extensive CPs carry similar burden as the 1AC.
Conditionality — there are strategic reasons to drop a CP, I will accept this within reason. (NOTE on the NSDA paradigm I’m a bit more conservative)
PICs — Use with caution. I hear these as a stepping stone, a way to interrogate the AFF case. The idea of testing the case with a “what about” that isolates an issue… good. When it is a broader form, I want to know how you avoid the DAs of the AFF case
Bright Lines or what’s out of bounds
Abusive behavior in the round (language; overly aggressive CX).
Refuse polarization. Extending abusive behavior to culture. I realize this is a challenge in our polarized culture; stay clear of the easy ad hom attack on “them”.
Cases that advocate violence in order to work.
Arguments that advocate non-democratic solutions. This can crop up in Ks: how does Power not end up in oppressing the many?