Utah Debate Topics 2019-2020


Middle School 

  • Policy (CX) "Resolved: The United States federal government should substantially reduce arms sales from the United States in one or more of the following areas for focus: Saudi Arabia, Taiwan, and/or human rights." 

  • Lincoln-Douglas (LD)
    • 2019 (First Semester, Aug-Dec) - "Resolved: In the United States, colleges and universities ought not consider standardized tests in undergraduate admissions decisions.
    • 2020 (Second Semester, Jan-May, State Tournament) - Resolved: In a democracy, voting ought to be compulsory. 


  • Public Forum (PF) - "Resolved: The benefits of drones outweigh the costs."


Arguments FOR Arms Sales:

  1. Sources of revenue and jobs for defense industry
  2. Improved alliances and foreign relationships
  3. Prevents other countries from filling-in with their arms

Arguments AGAINST Arms Sales

  1. Increases risk of conflict and tension
  2. Little oversight results in human rights abuses
  3. Harms US credibility and image 

Arguments FOR & AGAINST Drones:

A team could choose to focus and emphasize a particular field or application of drones, 
but should be prepared to respond to different areas:
  1. Military - Drones reduce the need to risk American soldiers lives, BUT they also increase the likelihood of strikes. In the same way, they may be helpful in fighting terrorists, but they also create hatred resentment towards the US, which inspires more anti-Americanism. 
  2. Private - Drones provide fun opportunities to capture family photos, BUT they also pose the risk of invading privacy.
  3. Commercial - Drones could facilitate cheaper and more responsive package delivery systems, BUT any use of drones by a company would naturally displace human workers. 
  4. Government - Drones help government agencies collect data and respond to problems (ex. forest fires), BUT drones are expensive for tax payers and over-saturating the airspace creates control and coordination problems.


Intro to Drones Debate by Susan Giddings 

TABS Organizer by Susan Giddings