Every year, new variations of the same bad arguments resurface. Here are 5 arguments that every affirmative should prepare for, and then eat for lunch.
Bad Arg Numero 5: Lol! We can't fiat Russia!
Why people run it: To newer debaters, it feels powerful to be able to go up and make a cogent argument about "fiat." It also feels like a head shot to point out fiat shortcomings.
Why it's bad: The lack of fiat isn't a problem. In real life, we can't fiat Russia either. Assuming that every affirmative has cards saying that Russia might accept, has reason to accept, or even would consider accepting, affirmative still carries risk of solvency. In real life, we offer Russia stuff because we think they will accept. No one stands up in congress and goes "WAIT! WE CAN'T DO THIS! WE DON'T HAVE FIAT OVER RUSSIA!" Please, move on negs.
Bad Arg Number 4: HAHAHAHAH! Your plan is in congress! It'll be passed soon!
Why people run it: I have no clue.
Why it's bad: It literally presents no reason to vote neg. First, there's no way to actually prove that congress will pass it. Its like betting on Charles Barkley to win the 100m sprints at the Olympics, while wearing a sandwich board and shackles. Its just not in the cards. Bills veeeeeerry rarely get through congress. Hundreds of bills are proposed every year, and Congress only passes a handful of them. Plus, even if the bill does clear, it hasn't yet, which means that policy should be changed. THIRD, by arguing that congress likes the plan, you are putting them out as advocacy for the aff. Fourth, the aff just comes up and goes "Great. The judge has legislative power too. Why is it better for congress to pass it?" Please. NEVER RUN THIS ARGUMENT.
Bad Arg Number 3: This won't SOLVE the problem!
Why people run it: They don't understand solvency.
Why it's bad: Basically, people come up and say "They can't solve this harm." As in, the aff has to solve the entirety of a harm. For example, last year, one of our cases had the harm "30,000 deaths from air pollution." We claimed roughly 85-90% reductions in air pollution. Negs would come up and go 'They can't solve all this!" Like its a BAD thing to vote aff because we ONLY solve 90% of the harm? What? Solvency is tied to the ability of the aff plan to generate their claimed advantages. If the aff claims to solve 75% of the harm, and they prove that they do, they win. Its not a loss if they don't solve the whole thing. Look at what the aff claims before you argue that they don't solve.
Bad Arg #2: We don't know....
Why people run it: To sound mysterious. Like a mystery wrapped in a riddle, stuffed inside a Twinkie.
Why it's bad: This is my pet peeve. Negs who come up and say "We don't KNOW that these people are dying from air pollution specifically." "We don't KNOW that Russia will do this." "We don't KNOW that Putin is the Russian brother of the Old Spice Man."... So what? These kind of arguments ignore logical thought and don't present a reason to vote neg. Let's take the air pollution example. Sure. We can't PROVE that people are dying solely from pollution. Let's be smart, though. Having soot floating around cannot be good. Even if its not the cause of death specifically, removing air pollution can only be beneficial, and the studies support that. Make decisions on logical thought and established fact. Don't sit around and go "Well.... we don't KNOW."
The worst argument Ever: OH NOOOOOES! SPENDING MONEY!
Why people run it: Because excessive government spending is bad.
Why it's bad: Because... SPENDING MONEY ON A GOOD PLAN IS.... GOOD! Take the military, or roads.We spend tons of money on the military. We don't complain, though, because the military keeps us safe. We spend money on roads. We don't complain, because roads are good. If the plan is good, then spending money on it is good. People don't hate government spending. They hate waste. If the plan is good, it isn't waste. Just that simple. Saying "This plan costs money" isn't an argument. Its an appeal to natural hatred of waste, while ignoring the fact that (hopefully) the plan isn't a waste. Any affirmative with legitimate advantages can look the judge in the eye and say: "Yes. We do spend money. But that's a good thing, because this money gets us this, this, and this." Not to mention, any good affirmative will have found a way to pay for it, mitigate cost, etc.