Today for class we had two debates. The topics were 1)Bernie Sanders is a wholly unviable candidate, and potentially destructive to American politics & 2)America’s gun laws deny the collective fundamental right to life. I was assigned the Pro Sanders position in that particular debate. The reason for this in class debate was that we were to listen, engage and discuss. We were given 35 minutes once we knew the position we were going to be to prepare our arguments and the likes.
Our position was focused on how he has experience as a politician, a consistent voting record, he’s progressive (some would say socialist), for the poor and middle class rather than the 1%, as well as being for equality whether its women, income, or health care.
Our opposition focused on his age, his slightly fluffy looking foreign policy (they picked at the fact that he said he was against war, however he was quoted saying that he would do what it took to protect the USA), they argued that taxing the rich more was unfair in that it would make it harder to become a millionaire or a billionaire which in their argument was an attack on the “American Dream”.
Overall this assignment was really interesting and rather fun. Our debate in particular seemed to be the most structured between the two since the other topic wasn’t as much of a back and forth as it was a circular debate. Most of us not involved in the other debate lost track of the argument as did the debaters themselves potentially. We were graded on how we could listen to the other side and form a counter argument that was constructive rather than just a dig at someone or something with everyone needing to contribute otherwise their individual grade would be affected. Our next assignment is to write a reflection paper on the debate but we’ve not yet got those details.
If I were to be completely honest I would say that my side lost the debate, we all had good points but the other side seemed a lot more prepared and together than ours. In our professor’s mind the other side also won because they addressed issues that pertained to him whereas we discussed education that pertained to us. All in all, good debates and critical thinking about each of the topics brought up.