Harbinger hosts heated debate

Claire Hunt

     On Monday, October 22, the Future Conservatives and Young Liberals faced off in a debate hosted by the Hereford Harbinger during Enrichment. The groups argued over the issues being presented in the upcoming presidential election.

     Representing the Future Conservatives was Meghan Anderson (10), Charles Paton (12), Patrick Anderson (12), Elijah Giuliano (12), and Aaron Leininger (12). Club members Tamara Girode (11), Jon Galla (11), Nathan Good (11), Max Nozik (11), and Tyler Hagan (10) represented the Young Liberals.

     Mediator Henry Bison (12) began by asking the Liberals their opinion on the topic of Health Care. The Liberal club members advocated for Obama’s health care plan, asserting its neccessity for the middle class. The Conservatives quickly rebutted, saying that the inefficiency of the plan placed too much of a burden on the states and failed to quickly provide relief for the economy.

     Elijah responded to the question on the economy for the Conservatives with heated words against what he called Obama’s unnecessary taxation and lack of ability to make change. He then supported Republican candidate Mitt Romney’s sense of fiscal responsibility.

     The Liberals, however, vouched for Obama, claiming that the reason for the hindered change was the conservative Congress putting too many limits on the president. Elijah said the limits were “to avoid spending the unnecessary money!”

     The Liberals remained true to Obama’s plan to put higher taxes on the wealthy. “Say, 50% of a one-percenter’s income could be set on fire and many of them would not notice any significant difference…whereas 50% of a person in poverty’s income…could mean that they starve for a week,” Max said.

     Meghan led the Conservative’s argument that the governments’ role is only to regulate the laws of the people, not to interfere. This argument, however, did not seem to fully follow what their view was, especially in terms of gay rights, as pointed out by the Liberals. “How does [someone] being gay interfere with your freedom?” Jon said.

     While Patrick tried to justify his reasoning on the subject by claiming it interferes with his religious beliefs, Max won the crowds’ attention by yelling: “I’M NOT FORCING YOU TO MARRY ANOTHER GUY!”

     The Conservative argument, however, held in areas referring to the need to cut down on government jobs in order to increase productivity in the smaller markets.

     The Dream Act, an act allowing children brought into America illegally while under the age of 16 to gain amnesty as well as being given college opportunities, brought up a heated argument; as the Liberals supported it, the Conservatives opposed it.

     While the Liberals argued that these immigrants had no choice in coming to America and, therefore, do not deserve punishment, the Conservatives were able to relate the issue to the students who were at the debate. “It frustrates me that [my chance at getting a scholarship] will be hurt because someone else, who is here illegally, will get more money when they are less-qualified,” Aaron said.

     Ironically, while the Liberals began their argument by saying that they were not necessarily anti-military, the Conservatives began by saying that they are also anti-military, and disagree with Romney in that matter; “Not all conservatives are the same,” Elijah said.

     The Liberals claimed to be in complete agreement with how Obama has been handling the war in Afghanistan, but the Conservatives demanded more radical action. Claiming that Obama is just using money that the United States doesn’t have as he takes his time removing troops, the Conservatives believed that troops should be pulled out of Afghanistan quickly.

     In trying to justify their reasoning behind the war, the Liberals seemed to stumble when finding an answer and ended up claiming that the Taliban would become a threat to the entire Middle East and possibly Asia. “I find that highly unlikely,” Elijah said.

     After the debate, Jon said, “I think it went pretty well… The Conservatives were very coherent and persuasive but some of their arguments didn’t have any substance.”

     Patrick, however, disagreed, “Our arguments were very clear and we proved how we felt,” he said.

     Conservative adviser, Nancy Dinkins, was impressed with the students’ arguments. “I loved the enthusiasm I saw for politics and change in the world,” she said.

     Melinda Campbell, Liberal adviser, was also excited about the way the debate turned out. “I found it interesting that a lot of students opinions crossed sides…which allowed them to see that [politics are] not black and white,” she said.