1928 – PRESENT – HIGH SCHOOL DEBATE TOPIC RESOLUTIONS – DIDN’T WE HAVE THIS DISCUSSION BEFORE?

Recently a Democratic Congressman stated at a Town Hall meeting that “he had been a high school debater” and “debated the health care topic before.”

Well, that might make him pretty darn old! Here’s when the issue of national health care was first debated by high schools in this country:

In 1936 the National High School Debate Topic Was: – Resolved: That the several states should enact legislation providing for a system of complete medical service available to all citizens at public expense.

In 1947, the National High School Debate Topic was: 1947 – Resolved: That the federal government should provide a system of complete medical care available to all citizens at public expense.

Slight difference of wording, but same basic idea.

Here are some resolutions that actually eventually were adopted as policy:

1928: that there should be a Cabinet level Secretary of Education.
1932: that there should be compulsory unemployment insurance for unemployed individuals.
1940: Resolved: That the federal government should own and operate the railroads. (AMTRAK).
1941: Resolved: That the power of the federal government should be increased.
1942: Resolved: That every able-bodied male citizen in the United States should be required to have one year of full time military training before attaining the present draft age. (Adopted from WWII thru 1975).
1943: Resolved: That a federal world government should be established.
1944: Resolved: That the United States should join in reconstituting the League of Nations. (United Nations Bretton Woods GATT World Bank IMF Formed 1944 and subsequent years).

You get the basic idea….enjoy reading thru the entire list…

FULL LIST OF RESOLUTIONS 1928-PRESENT

• 1928 – Resolved: That a federal department of education should be created with a secretary in the President’s cabinet.
• 1929 – Resolved: That the English cabinet method of legislation is more efficient than the committee system is in the United States.
• 1930 – Resolved: That installment buying of personal property as now practiced in the United States is both socially and economically desirable.
• 1931 – Resolved: That chain stores are detrimental to the best interests of the American public.
• 1932 – Resolved: That the several states should enact legislation providing for compulsory unemployment insurance.
• 1933 – Resolved: That at least one half of all state and local revenues should be derived from sources other than tangible property.
• 1934 – Resolved: That the United States should adopt the essential features of the British system of radio control and operation.
• 1935 – Resolved: That the federal government should adopt the policy of equalizing educational opportunity throughout the nation by means of annual grants to the several states for public elementary and secondary education.
• 1936 – Resolved: That the several states should enact legislation providing for a system of complete medical service available to all citizens at public expense.
• 1937 – Resolved: That all electric utilities should be governmentally owned and operated.
• 1938 – Resolved: That the several states should adopt a unicameral system of legislation.
• 1939 – Resolved: That the United States should establish an alliance with Great Britain.
• 1940 – Resolved: That the federal government should own and operate the railroads.
• 1941 – Resolved: That the power of the federal government should be increased.
• 1942 – Resolved: That every able-bodied male citizen in the United States should be required to have one year of full time military training before attaining the present draft age.
• 1943 – Resolved: That a federal world government should be established.
• 1944 – Resolved: That the United States should join in reconstituting the League of Nations.
• 1945 – Resolved: That the legal voting age should be reduced to eighteen years.
• 1946 – Resolved: That every able bodied male citizen of the United States should have one year of frill time military training before attaining age 24.
• 1947 – Resolved: That the federal government should provide a system of complete medical care available to all citizens at public expense.
• 1948 – Resolved: That the federal government should require arbitration of labor disputes in all basic American industries.
• 1949 – Resolved: That the United Nations now be revised into a federal World Government
• 1950 – Resolved: That the President of the United States should be elected by the direct vote of the people.
• 1951 – Resolved: That the American people should reject the welfare state.
• 1952 – Resolved: That all American citizens should be subject to conscription for essential service in time of war.
• 1953 – Resolved: that the Atlantic pact nations should form a federal union.
• 1954 – Resolved: that the President of the United States should be elected by the direct vote of the people.
• 1955 – Resolved: That the federal government should initiate a policy of free trade among nations friendly to the United States.
• 1956 – Resolved: That governmental subsidies should be granted according to need to high school graduates who qualify for additional training.
• 1957 – Resolved: That the federal government should sustain the prices of major agricultural products at not less than 90% of panty.
• 1958 – Resolved: That Units States foreign aid should be substantially increased.
• 1959 – Resolved: That the United States should adapt the essential features of the British system of education.
• 1960 – Resolved: That the federal government should substantially increase its regulation of labor unions.
• 1961 – Resolved: That the United Nations should be significantly strengthened.
• 1962 – Resolved: That the federal government should equalize educational opportunity by means of grants to the states for public elementary and secondary education.
• 1963 – Resolved: That the United States should promote a Common Market for the western hemisphere.
• 1964 – Resolved: That Social Security benefits should be extended to include complete medical care.
• 1965 – Resolved: That nuclear weapons should be controlled by an International organization.
• 1966 – Resolved: That the federal government should adopt a program of compulsory arbitration in labor management disputes in basic industries.
• 1967 – Resolved: that the foreign aid program of the United States should be limited to nonmilitary assistance.
• 1968 – Resolved: That Congress should prohibit unilateral Units States military intervention in foreign counties.
• 1969 – Resolved: That the United States should establish a system of compulsory service by all citizens.
• 1970 – Resolved: That Congress should prohibit unilateral United States military intervention in foreign counties.
• 1971 – Resolved: That the federal government should establish, finance and administer programs to control air and/or water pollution in the wilted States.
• 1972 – Resolved: That the jury system in the United States should be significantly changed.
• 1973 – Resolved: That governmental financial support for all public and secondary education in the United States be provided exclusively by the federal government.
• 1974 – Resolved: That the federal government should guarantee a minimum annual income to each family unit
• 1975 – Resolved: That the United States should significantly change the method of selecting presidential and vice-presidential candidates.
• 1976 – Resolved: That the development and allocation of scarce world resources should be controlled by an international organization.
• 1977 – Resolved: That a comprehensive program of penal reform should be adopted throughout the United States.
• 1978 – Resolved: That the federal government should establish a comprehensive program to regulate the health care system in the Units States.
• 1979 – Resolved: That the federal government should establish a comprehensive program to significantly increase the energy Independence of the United States.
• 1980 – Resolved: That the Units States should significantly change its foreign trade policies.
• 1981 – Resolved: That the federal government should initiate and enforce safety guarantees on consumer goods.
• 1982 – Resolved: That the federal government should establish minimum educational standards for elementary and secondary schools in the United States.
• 1983 – Resolved: That the United States should significantly curtail its arms sales to other countries.
• 1984 – Resolved: That the Unites States should establish uniform rules governing the procedure of all criminal courts in the nation.
• 1985 – Resolved: That the federal government should provide employment for all employable United States citizens living in poverty.
• 1986 – Resolved: That the federal government should establish a comprehensive national policy to protect the quality of water in the United States.
• 1987 – Resolved: That the federal government should implement a comprehensive, long term agricultural policy in the United States.
• 1988 – Resolved: That the United States should adopt a policy to increase political stability In Latin America.
• 1989 – Resolved: That the federal government should implement a comprehensive program to guarantee retirement security for United States citizens over age 65.
• 1990 – Resolved: That the federal government should adopt a nationwide policy to decease overcrowding in prisons and jails in the United States.
• 1991 – Resolved: That the United States government should significantly increase space exploration beyond the earth’s mesosphere.
• 1992 – Resolved: That the federal government should significantly increase social services to homeless individuals in the United States.
• 1993 – Resolved: That the United States government should reduce worldwide pollution through its trade and/or aid policies.
• 1994 – Resolved: That the federal government should guarantee comprehensive national health insurance to all United States Citizens
• 1995 – Resolved: That the United States government should substantially strengthen regulation of immigration to the United States.
• 1996 – Resolved: That the United States government should substantially change its foreign policy toward to People’s Republic of China.
• 1997 – Resolved: That the federal government should establish a program to substantially reduce juvenile crime in the United States.
• 1998 – Resolved: That the federal government should establish a policy to substantially increase renewable energy use in the United States.
• 1999 – Resolved: That the United States should substantially change its foreign policy toward Russia.
• 2000 – Resolved: That the federal government should establish an education policy to significantly increase academic achievement in secondary schools in the United States.
• 2001 – Resolved: That the United States federal government should significantly increase protection of privacy in the United States in one or more of the following areas: employment, medical records, consumer information, search and seizure.
• 2002 – Resolved: That the United States federal government should establish a foreign policy significantly limiting the use of weapons of mass destruction.
• 2003 – Resolved: That the United States federal government should substantially increase public health services for mental health care in the United States.
• 2004 – Resolved: That the United States federal government should establish an ocean policy substantially increasing protection of marine natural resources.
• 2005 – Resolved: That the United States federal government should establish a foreign policy substantially increasing its support of United Nations peacekeeping operations.
• 2006 – Resolved: The United States federal government should substantially decrease its authority either to detain without charge or to search without probable cause.
# 2007-2008
Resolved: The United States federal government should substantially increase its public health assistance to Sub-Saharan Africa.
# 2008-2009
Resolved: The United States federal government should substantially increase alternative energy incentives in the United States.
# 2009-2010
Resolved: The United States federal government should substantially increase social services for persons living in poverty in the United States.

source: the national forensic league website, http://www.nflonline.org/StudentResources/PastPolicyDebateTopics

art kyriazis, philly,
home of the world champion phillies

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10 Comments

  1. I’m not seeing the proposition I debated – had something to do with Congress establishing guidelines for wiretapping, although I can’t recall the exact wording. Would have been ’67 or ’68, maybe.

    1. Dear Dave;

      1). Was that high school?

      2) was it the National Forensic League national debate league policy debate league with 8 minute constructives, 3 minute cross ex & 4 minute rebuttal, 2 people to a side, with States & Nationals sponsored by the NFL & Catholic Forensic League?
      3) because a lot of prep schools & local schools did their own local speech & debate leagues with their own topics & rules pre-internet without ever travelling.

      These were the NATIONAL topics for debaters that travelled nationally to compete.

      I spent every weekend on a train bus or car travelling to universities & high schools to compete from 9th grade (1972 on) and 99% of my competitors ended up at Harvard Yale Princeton or Penn. We like all knew each other better than we knew our own classmates in high school.

    2. Alternatively, it could have been an Extemp or Speech or Parli topic.

      Perhaps it was Speech and not Policy Debate?

      Or College and not HS?

      In 1968-69, there would have been Parli Debate and NDT Policy Debate.

      You also might have been in a one-off special topic debate weekend, or in Model UN, Model Congress, etc.

      There are so many speech & debate activities. Unfortunately, the records of the NFL, which has rebranded under a new name, dont reach back that far on the web. Its now the National Speech & Debate Assn. You might want to become an alum member and write them & do research in their archives.

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