Skip to content
January 5, 2016 / compassioninpolitics

The question of critiques and uniqueness

Here are three key reasons:

1) The question of ethics isn’t one which needs uniqueness.  The question of racism, sexism, or doing the right thing isn’t contingent on what is being done now.  Racism could be 100% of society or it could be 5% and its still the right thing to stand against racism or other non-ethical things.


2) The ballot provides uniqueness.  Its a forced choice between ideologies.  (Its a question of allegiance)


If they win framework–this is pretty much a forgone conclusion.


Sometimes the critique will come with a card that says something about “reject each and every instance.”


In fact, cross-examination is a great place where you can use 30 seconds to point out via questioning that the notion of uniqueness doesn’t apply to issues of ethics by using an example.  Specific, concrete examples helps.

I would choose an example either relevant to the human experience or relevant to the life of a teacher. (ie.  for instance unprovoked physical violence might be the former and the later might be cheating).


Cheating, lying, being a bad person (integrity, character, or ) isn’t a question that is continent or conditional on how much of something is going on now.  Its the same ethical question if you’ve done it zero times or you live in a society where it has been done a million times.  This is something thats really important to get.  Its something that no matter the context, its a key issue.


It has to do with the nature of ethical claims vs. more consequentialist claims.  The former aren’t uniqueness bound.


3) The alternative.  Counterplans do the same thing in this regard.


You can leverage uniqueness to make other arguments–but its mostly only in combination with other arguments.


I might probably point out that the solvency turn tends to be linear–the more you go in the direction of the aff (or the more aff representations), the more you get the opposite of your intent.


These arguments are often made with “root cause” cards or claims about the ideology in question–that this is the root cause of the aff harm (presumably).


This is a key debate thing you want to understand, learn, and leverage in your debate–the distinction between offense and defense.  When you learn that distinction–it helps you see the flow and the debate differently.

Uniqueness is a defensive argument.  The primary use of uniqueness is undermine the size and credibility of the DA OR to set up your link turn.  The uniqueness argument itself isn’t going to get you very far.


Learning how to use a combination of offense and defense is critical for understanding how to spend your time.  (It also helps you priorities and it helps you make better, more strategic decisions)

Learning how to use a combination of offense and defense helps shape your frontlines. (your list of arguments for each 2ac position)

Learning how to use a combination of offense and defense helps you understand how experienced judges thing.


You want to prioritize offense in your frontline, but you still want to include defense, particularly defense that will do one of the following:

a) require a long time to answer

b] they won’t be able to respond to AND makes significant inroads into the argument.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: