High School Debate Teams Stop Debating to Support This Presidential Candidate In Solidarity


Students on high school debate teams hold strong and diverse opinions, which they excel at arguing, but debaters nationwide are ceasing disagreements to support Senator Bernie Sanders for president.

The Dowling Catholic Paradigm is an annual speech and debate tournament which draws brilliant students from across the nation to Iowa to compete each December. This year, the tournament took place from December 11-13, and notably present were a whole lot of stickers on laptops showing their support for the Vermont senator’s presidential bid.

“The Paradigm is one of the most geographically diverse tournaments I’ve had the privilege of competing in. In addition to the differing backgrounds, debate kids have an innate need to disagree and argue about anything one can possibly argue about. However, I noticed the vast majority of people I came across had one thing in common: devoted support for Bernie Sanders,” high school student, and debater Anna Senneff, wrote for the Des Moines Register.

Senneff explained that it is incredibly rare to find things that politically-minded debate kids can universally agree on, unless “it’s that tournament concessions are disgusting and that NFL sounds much cooler than NSDA,” but Sanders appears to be one of them.

As the student noted however, it isn’t just debate teams who are drawn to Sanders far-left politics, it is younger voters in general. As the Democratic Party and establishment politicians like Hillary Clinton continue to move to the right, the public appears to be moving to the left.

The younger generation witnessed their parents struggle with the recession and now are about to take on massive amounts of debt to gain their college degrees. Sanders promises to fight for their futures, from raising the minimum wage, getting rid of student loan debt, to paid family time — his appeal is not difficult to understand.

He is also consistent, you can hop on YouTube and watch him speaking 30 years ago and hear the same message you will hear today, bringing a level of trust that seems to be absent when it comes to establishment politicians. Many millennials have been expressing their fear of a “family dynasty” style Clinton candidacy, and lack of enthusiasm to actually go out and vote for her, if it comes down to it.

Young voters are notoriously difficult to get out to the polls, yet Sanders seems to have created a level of excitement comparable — or possibly even greater — than what we saw in 2008 with Obama’s message of “hope” and “change.”

With social media, access to information has never been easier — for those who have been raised on it especially. They can see the media blackout despite the huge excitement for Sanders, the ridiculous debate schedule seemingly rigged to prevent voters from learning about other candidates besides Clinton, and hear straight from him what his policies will be.

“I can’t say I’m getting on the Sanders bandwagon anytime soon; my views are just a little too conservative for that. But my peers are, and I can see why. He expresses passion toward issues that directly affect young people in particular, and many of them identify pretty closely with his views. Sanders has some big plans for America, and from what I’ve seen, my generation is getting on board,” Senneff concluded.

Lets hope they get out and vote this primary season.

Featured image via Flickr