R: These are the Shortest, Gladdest Years of Life

As another year comes to a close, it's time again to reflect on the time we've spent this year, in the Federalist Party, at Yale, and in the larger world.  Experiences have been shared, lessons learned.  For our seniors, the time has come to take the next great step and enter the wider world.  For our underclassmen, it's time to say goodbye.  As Ms. Rowling once remarked, however, "the ones that love us never really leave us."  

Our annual Senior debate gives the floor to our oldest and most experienced members.  Come hear their wisdom as they reflect on the best of times and the worst of times at Yale as well as in our beloved Federalist Party.

Join us this Wednesday, April 18th at 7:30 pm in the Berkeley Mendenhall Room to discuss all this and more!


R: The Masses Should Be Armed

There is perhaps no greater tragedy than the killing of an innocent child.  Every time we see another horrible school shooting on the news, we must ask ourselves what we can do to prevent future tragedies because one is too many.  Calling someone out for not wanting to protect children is unproductive.  We all want the same thing, safe schools, it's time to have a real discussion about how best to accomplish this goal. 

Is an armed populace a safe populace?  Thomas Jefferson thought so as he once remarked: "For a people who are free, and who mean to remain so, a well organized and armed militia is their best security."  Now, many people are quick and correct to point out the substantial strides in military technology that have taken place in the last 200 years.  This certainly warrants consideration, but critics suggest that banning certain types of weapons is a dangerous road to start down.

While many people argue that the safest thing to have in a crisis is a well-armed trained citizen, others suggest that it's impossible to keep guns in the hands of only the responsible.  If there was an easy answer, we'd have found it already.  We all want the safest nation for our children.  How do we get there?

Join us this Wednesday, April 11th at 7:30 pm in the Berkeley Mendenhall Room to discuss all this and more! 


R: Denuclearize

On the morning of July 16, 1945, a mushroom cloud rose up over the New Mexico Desert.  It was on that day that the first nuclear weapon was successfully detonated by scientists working on the Manhattan Project.  Even among these scientists who had spent the better part of the war working on it, the reactions were mixed.  Robert Oppenheimer famously quoted the Bhagavad Gita, remarking "Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds."  For the first time in human history, man had gained the power to destroy this earthly kingdom.  If he was alive today, Oppenheimer would see that just one American OHIO class sub can carry up to 154 Tomahawk cruise missiles.  In the years following the end of the war, the number of worldwide combat deaths plummeted.  Many people have suggested that this is in no way a coincidence, arguing that without the deterrent of nuclear weapons, a war between the United States and the USSR would have heated up. 

The Manhatten project was started, not out of a desire for worldwide destruction, but out of fear that this power would fall into the hands of evil.  We end up in what seems like a classic prisoner's dilemma, where our enemies having access to nuclear weapons seems to necessitate the existence of our own stockpile.  On the other hand, some choose to argue that in our increasingly globalized world, a denuclearization treaty could be successfully ratified and enforced.  The question becomes whether or not we trust our flawed world.  Is Mutual Agreed Destruction of our stockpiles feasible, or is Mutual Assured Destruction the best we can hope for?

Join us this Saturday, April 7th at 7:30 pm in the Berkeley Mendenhall Room to discuss all this and more!


R: Don't Read the News

We can hardly go a day without the President of the United States taking to Twitter to attack the "Fake News" media.  While an entirely other debate could be held on the validity of his remarks, there's no question that these claims have accompanied, in the last few years, the sensationalization of the national media outlets.  The desire for increased readership/viewership has driven a rise in spectacular headlines that proceed pulpy articles.

While there are still good journalists who craft thoughtful original content, they are becoming fewer and farther between.  With this trend in place, what then becomes of our duty as active participants in our democracy?  Is there value in attempting to stay informed?  If this is true, is there a point beyond which we are experiencing information overload and we begin to do a disservice?  How can we work to sort out what content is worth engaging with, and what should be avoided?  

Join us this Wednesday, March 28th at 7:30 pm in the Berkeley Mendenhall Room to discuss all this and more!


R: Limited Government is a Lie

It would seem that the idea of limited government is inherent in the American project.  Historian Ben Sasse notes that the Consitution of the United States of America was one of the first constitutions to define a government's power through the lens of what it can not do.
230 years and 27 amendments later, the language of limited government still dominates our political dialogue, especially among members of the GOP that look scornfully upon the expansion of our federal government in recent years.  It becomes necessary to ask ourselves not only what a limited government as described by today's Republicans would look like, but to what extent it would even be feasible and inspire virtue in our nation.  While it might be fair to say that our government derives its power from the people and is to some extent beholden to their will, one can argue that this is only because the governmenthas let itself be set up this way and still truly holds the power.  Is a small government a limited government, or simply a government built upon delegation?  The question becomes what it would mean for a people to truly rule and for a government to truly have limited rights before its citizens.              

Join us this Wednesday, February 28th at 7:30 pm in the Berkeley Mendenhall Room to discuss all this and more!