Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Ending Cross-Examination On A High Note

One time, my partner and I were debating this team. That happens to debaters a lot. We were affirmative, and our plan would result in the eventual loss of tax evasion by instituting a simpler tax code that is therefore harder to evade without all those forms and loopholes and whatnot. Not that I know how to evade taxes. Anyway, the neg basically said that our plan was so simple, we couldn't possible generate as much revenue as we do now. Cross-Ex was fun that round:

Me: So what you're saying is, the current system, with its tax evasion, generates more money than our plan would?
Opponent: ...yes.

I didn't actually say any of this in caps or italics, but you get the gist. I could tell by the look on my judge's face that she got was I was going for: logically, a system without tax evasion is probably going to generate more than one where people avoid taxes, despite the stance of my opponent. I was so excited about the outcome of that question that I immediately ended Cross-Ex right there. I had said everything I wanted to, and though I probably could have come up with more less-interesting questions, why not quit while you're ahead?

Cross-Examination fascinated me before I joined debate. It still does. There are a lot of sneaky things you can do to get the judge leaning sliiightly to your side without even making any arguments. Forms of sneakiness are best put at the very end, I think. That way, the judge may be already agreeing with you, perhaps unconsciously, before your partner even starts his next speech. When it comes to Cross-Ex, we like to go out on a high-note, and try to look really confident and smart when we say "No further questions," which is not an inherently intelligent statement, but it could make you sound very smart if you pull it off.

You're homeschooled. No further questions.

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