Volley of Words: Young debaters shine in historic courthouse
By JOHN A. WINTERS
It is said one should not bring a knife to a gun fight at the O.K. Corral.
It’s a question of balance and odds. Odds as in you will stand little chance with your knife against a bullet.
And instead of gunfighters, you’re up against the University of West Georgia’s nationally recognized debate team. You might sneer, as all four of those team members are, as Dr. Michael Hester, debate coach and dean of the Honors College at UWG, put it, under the age of 20. Your life experience and years of knowledge can easily outwit a bunch of teenagers.
Word of advice. Stay home. You may have a gun. They’ve got a nuclear submarine.
Tuesday night, the UWG debaters squared off in a Lincoln-Douglas style debate. Each side took a position on a topic, and gave a short presentation backing up their argument. Afterward, the other debater got a chance to ask questions, and from there it was like watching a tennis match, except they were volleying words instead of balls.
It was hard to keep up, because when one finished you knew they had nailed it. And then the other debater would come right back with an ace along the baseline. And your head is just spinning.
The first topic was “Resolved: The individual mandate in the Affordable Healthcare Act is unconstitutional.” It pitted Miguel Feliciano against Damiyr Davis. Feliciano won. I mean Davis won. I mean... never mind.
The second topic was “Resolved: Birth control should be defined as a ‘preventive service’ and covered by insurance without copays or deductibles as part of national health care reform. This one was easy, as Osayame Gaius-Obasecki won. I mean Vanova Robles won. I mean... never mind.
Let’s just reiterate the earlier point. Forget their age. Stay home.