Trumps Case

I have already seen a lot of people discussing (or even debating this last weekend at Damien) the possibility that the new president “trumps the case” .  The basic idea here is you just


  1. Take a card from the election file that says Trump turns the case
  2. Read it as a solvency takeout
  3. Everyone agrees because Trump is evil that the entire case goes away.


This is… silly to say the least. Ignore for a second that we have debated liberal topics (like energy) during other GOP administrations (Bush) and lets just talk about what fiat is/means.


Fiat is the idea that we debate whether or not the Aff proposal SHOULD happen, not whether or not it WOULD happen. Most of these Trumpers rely on him rolling back the plan- that shouldn’t be a legitimate argument. Affirmatives are required to have inherency, which basically means they are required to say their plan is unpopular. If Rollback arguments were allowed this means any aff that was inherent would probably lose on rollback- which would make debate awful.


Now we get into the sketchy gray area of “circumvention”. This argument was big on last years surveillance topic with arguments like “the NSA will ignore the plan” or other such nonsense. It should be obvious that if rollback is not a legitimate argument than circumvention should be at least somewhat suspect. In the case of surveillance, the argument boiled down to “one part of the resolutional actor will ignore another part of the resolutional actor”. This is stupid. That a bunch of people in debate decided to let it slide for a year does not make it any less stupid. Obviously in the real world there are different parts of the government with different interests. Obama may want to publicly be perceived as limiting surveillance, but may for national security concerns actually want surveillance to continue. Therefore he may make a pronouncement/enact a policy that limits surveillance but let the NSA slide in terms of how strictly it is enforced. These are all important real world considerations about how surveillance reform WOULD work, but do not speak to the desirability or how surveillance reform SHOULD work.


The obvious response to this is “well if the reform doesn’t have any effect, that proves it SHOULD NOT be done”. This can be true in some instances- if the affirmative cuts carbon emissions by 1% and claims to solve warming, the fact that that number is insufficient could be a reason that policy should not be done. There is a difference between saying

“If implemented this policy will have no effect”


“This policy ill have no effect because it will not be implemented”


The question ultimately becomes “does the affirmative get to fiat implementation?” which we all know is 90% of policy making. Well, if they can’t we are back where we started- every aff loses due to inherency.


Think about it this way- would you consider it legitimate if the 2AC grouped 10 solvency based disads and said “the plan won’t be implemented-circumvention”? Probably not. So why is it legitimate when the neg does it? It isn’t.


Which brings us back to the Trumper. Trump will slap a 45% across the board tarif on China- well that certainly doesn’t “roll back” most affirmatives. It is an argument for why the SQ may overwhelm the Aff’s “relations” internal link, but it certainly isn’t a rollback argument- so its allowed. This means the aff may have to change their advantage(s), not ditch the topic.


Similarly, on the college climate topic- Trump might try and end US participation in the Paris agreement (something easier said than done). This may hurt aff solvency for Climate or Leadership advantages, but it certainly doesn’t “rollback” the plan. Again, the aff may just need to modify their advantage claims.


So, to sum up

  1. Most “Trumpers” are weak solvency take outs at best, certainly not “turns the case”, and certainly not rollback quality ev
  2. If they were rollback quality cards, fiat should solve them


And finally, its not as cut and dry as you might think that everything will get Trumped. This is true both of the high school China topic, and the college energy topic. Cut some cards.


Here are two interesting podcasts that tackled the Trumper re: the college topic


Global warming policy on the chopping block

The presidential transition process was slowed down today by changes in leadership and other personnel. There’s what’s been described as a “knife fight” between New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and Trump’s influential son-in-law, Jared Kushner. Mike Bender, national politics reporter for the Wall Street Journal, has more on the changes in the transition team.

Hot & Bothered Podcast #7: What Trump’s Victory Means for the Climate Movement

Hot & Bothered #7 is a little different. The national election this past Tuesday was a $#$#*(@ disaster. Donald Trump will be president of the United States. We did not expect this. We did not plan for this. But the future of our species will in part depend on how successfully we can fight back.

By chance, Kate happened to be in Philadelphia, where Daniel lives, on November 10. So we sat down on a couch, poured a couple glasses of wine, and tried to wrap our heads around climate politics in the age of Trump. We talked about a lot. Fundamentally, we tried to grapple with how in this dark moment, more than ever, we need to merge the agendas of climate justice, economic justice, racial justice, and social justice writ large. The timeline for climate action is really, really tight already. The world cannot afford to lose four years of U.S. climate action.

But there’s no separating climate from violence, from bigotry, or from class struggle. If Trump’s victory represents climate emergency, it also portends wide-scale violence for countless people in this country. In our hour-long conversation, we got past our immediate, desperate emotional reactions to Trump’s victory to discuss the how the climate movement can, and must, connect its agenda to the movements already blossoming to resist the onslaught.

Tweet your dread and your hope to #HotBotheredClimate. We’re feeling them both. We don’t know what’s next. We do know that we’ll be thinking, debating, organizing, and fighting back.


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