Essay:Current Debates Remind me of Terrible School Projects

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When I was a kid there was a class where people could pick important topics and debate a solution to them. Like a precursor to debate, politics, and geography. People could collaborate or debate (usually people collaborated), for or against, it was pretty free form.

The collaborative projects usually went somewhat along these lines.

Kid 1 would start the project, look up the relevant data and formulate a collaborative draft.

Kid 2 would play video games and do nothing. Usually say he was working on it.

After awhile of trying to get something from Kid 2, Kid 1 would complain to the teacher. Kid 2 would complain that Kid 1 wasn't being fair, that Kid 1 refused to meet with Kid 2 to hash it out, and Kid 1 wouldn't accept Kid 2's ideas. The teacher would get a headache and tell them to work it out.

So they would go back to trying to rehash it, which would get a vague outline from Kid 2. Just something along the lines of what the problem is, high level solutions and end goals. Kid 1 would think this is nice, but it really doesn't have anything of how it needs to accomplish those goals or address anything in Kid 1's proposal. Kid 2 would demand that Kid 1 accept it as it is, without anything additional, or he would demand that it would be a debate.

Kid 1 would not accept, and they debated in front of the class.

Kid 1 presents a reasoned well thought out proposal, from timelines to end goals with the steps between. Kid 2 presents his outline and rants about how Kid 1 doesn't address all the problems, that it would mean "bad things" in the future that can't be quantified (and hasn't been researched), and that "everyone" is against it. Kid 2 proclaims that everyone must vote down Kid 1's proposal, and he will work on the rest of it later. It's not perfect, and can be further tuned, but the class would vote for Kid 1's project. Kid 2 would flunk the assignment as well, even after rants about how the teacher was biased against him and cries foul how he was victimized.

Who really is at fault for failing to provide a solution to the problem?

Watching the health care debate reminded me so much of this, I was stunned. It seems to be something that has been continuing forward as well, with different bills proposed that conservatives rant must be voted down without any counter solution to the problem. Even if none is thought needed, there is really no proof. Save that their opponent is liberal, and some vague calls it's socialism. Which doesn't address the problem or the facts.

At least we had an excuse; we were 12 at the time. What is theirs?