Who are you going to vote for in November? Who do you want to send to the White House?
These are the questions on all of our minds, and the Columbia Basin Badger Club thought it would be fun to hold a presidential debate as Election Day draws nearer.
But this will be no ordinary debate. First of all, we couldn’t get Hillary or Donald to show up. Second of all, we couldn’t get one of their representatives from the state level to participate.
So we came up with an idea that not only fulfills our organization’s purpose to educate the public in a civil way, but also to include our community’s next generation of leaders.
We are going to put on a presidential debate with members of Southridge High School’s award-winning debate team.
Did you know Southridge High School in Kennewick has a debate team? It won the state championship last year, defeating Providence High School in Kirkland for the title. This is the second time Southridge’s debate team has brought home the state title, winning its first championship in 2002.
The team is led by debate coach Chuck Hamaker-Teals, and he was more than happy to have his high school debaters take on the challenge of presenting a presidential debate for the Badger Club and its guests.
Here are our debate club members who will be providing the various points of view on the two main-party candidates:
▪ Timmy Pham is in the class of 2018 and is a Running Start student at Columbia Basin College. He plans to attend the University of Washington to study computer engineering.
▪ Andrew Dooley, a junior, joined the debate club because of an interest in politics. He might even pursue that as a career, as he plans to major in political science in college.
▪ Emily McLaughlin joined the debate team her freshman year because of the challenge of learning all sides of an issue. After graduation, she plans to attend Western Washington University to study environmental science.
▪ Amanda Brunson, a senior, has been an active debate club member for four years and has placed well at all levels in more than a half-dozen tournaments. She plans to attend Brigham Young University and pursue a degree in history then attend law school.
This forum will be conducted just as any high school debate would be, right down to a flip of the coin deciding which team will argue on behalf of which candidate.
If you’ve never observed a high school debate, it’s quite fascinating because the debate team members must study all sides of an issue and be prepared to argue any angle at any time. As such, debate is a great way for students to become intimately familiar with any particular topic that they might be called upon to argue for or against.
As a result, it should be particularly fascinating to see how these young people prepare to argue and persuade others to vote for the candidate — Clinton or Trump — that is chosen for them.
This should prove to be a popular forum for Badger Club members. If so, we will consider doing this again on other topics. We hope you will come join us for this special forum.
Andy Perdue is the program committee chairman for the Columbia Basin Badger Club. He lives in Richland.
If you go
What: Badger Club presidential debate with Southridge High debate team.
Date: 11:30 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 28.
Where: Shilo Inn, 50 Comstock St., Richland.
Cost: $20 for members and $25 for others (price includes lunch).
RSVP: Call 509-628-6011 or email rsvp@columbia basinbadgers.com.