“Dawn of Three Resolutions”

Taryn Enos

There once was a time before the prehistoric, when dinosaurs walked the earth and Team Policy debaters ran for their lives. The great heroes of Lincoln Douglas walked with the giants and debated many resolutions. These resolutions allowed them to expand their horizons and find new philosophies at each tournament to debate. It was a great time of concurring heroes and felling great foes. This is Lincoln Douglas.

I love Lincoln Douglas. Though I began debating in Team Policy I loved using logic and philosophy to throw the TP crowd on their heels.  During that time, I debated LD two different ways. One year, we had one resolution the entire year and the same through NITOC. My last year, we had multiple resolutions. As a former debater and Alumna, I can wholeheartedly say that my all-time favorite was having multiple resolutions.

Here is why:

  1. More Interesting Debates
    • Overall, the debates that I had with multiple resolutions were always different. Having unique and interesting debates is why I love debate. In LD, our focus was always on values and value clash. With multiple debatable resolutions, I was challenged to find new ways to debate values. Because we did not focus on a singular resolution the entire year, we did not get bogged down in statistics and details. Did people still do this? Of course. However, I found that the most relevant and effective arguments were focused on values and philosophies. Is this not why we debate Lincoln Douglas VALUES debate?
  1. More Learning
    • Learning is a blast. One of the greatest benefits of debate for a young person is that they dive into a new topic that they may have never thought of before. In addition, they research and form opinions and philosophies about these different topics. In most cases, I would have never had a conversation about Liberal Arts Education versus Vocational Education had that not been a topic in Lincoln Douglas Debate. What is better than increasing knowledge and learning for our students?
  1. More Fun
    • One of the most common complaints that I get about Lincoln Douglas Debate from students is that it becomes repetitive. After debating an entire year, multiple tournaments, and sometimes in different states, they eventually get to the point where they are repeating the same debate multiple times in different words. Usually, by the end of the year, the students are bored, the coaches are bored, and the debate is now about who can find the most unique example to throw off their opponents.

Overall, I am excited about the prospect of multiple resolutions, and I think the students, parents, and coaches will all benefit!

Larry Sparks

On his experience debating multiple resolutions

To learn more, please visit one of these pages:

Your first step is connecting with a local Stoa club. We can help.

Click Here To Connect