R: Rap is poetry

Thursday, February 1st beginning at 7:30 pm

Rap music is a polarizing but popular genre in America.  Indeed, the comparison has been made that rappers are the new rock stars.  Yet, rap music has been an ever-changing form of music with each decade presenting a new sound and influence: from the story-telling ganster rap of the nineties to the radio-friendly "fashion rap" of the past decade, the genre has never been afraid to change its style.  But is rap much more than just rhymes spoken to synthetic instrumentals?  Can rap be considered poetry or does a clear distinction exist?  Whether you abhor the genre or are a passionate defender, or even if you wish to argue the merits of your own choice in music, join us as we try to distinguish between Shakespeare and Jay-Z.


R: It's the Truman Show

Thursday, January 26th beginning at 7:30 pm

What's the difference between truth and our conception of reality?  In The Truman Show, titular character Truman Burbank lives what he views to be a perfect and ordered life.  However, he experiences a persistent lack of connection with other individuals in his town and has a consistent yearning to seek that which he cannot find.  When he learns the truth, the result is a earth-shattering revelation.  From Plato to Wittgenstein, philosophers have struggled to make the distinction between thought and reality.  Join us as we question reality in hopes of finding truth.


R: Defend the Roberts Court

Thursday, January 19th beginning at 7:30 pm

During his 2005 Senate confirmation hearings, John Roberts famously declared that "judges are like umpires. Umpires don't make the rules; they apply them… it is a limited role. Nobody ever went to a ball game to see the umpire." Now seven years later (and several changes to the Court later), the United States finds itself host to what the New York Times has concluded to be the "most conservative in decades," issuing controversial decisions in domains that have included abortion and the First, Second, and Eighth Amendments. Even more than the decisions themselves, what has most prompted the ire of the Roberts Courts' critics is the argument that the Court has acted in a highly activist manner to reach its decisions, undermining precedent and their stated commitment to judicial restraint. This Thursday, the Federalist Party will weigh this criticism and issue a judgment of our own on whether the Roberts Court has overstepped its proper role. Is the Roberts Court truly one in which conservatives should be proud? 


R: Dr. Santorum or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Mitt Romney

Thursday, January 12th beginning at 7:30 pm

We will be meeting in the Berkeley Mendenhall Room on Thursday at 7:30 in the evening for our weekly debate.  As citizens we continually face a daunting task each election season.  When searching for the proper candidate we strive for a balance between maintaining ideological consistency with our conservative values and choosing the "most electable" candidate for our party.  More often than not, we can relate to Will Rogers' belief that, "We always want the best man to win the election... unfortunately he never runs."  Realists, however, have to remove the rose-colored glasses and look at the merits of the current candidates.  We must question if it is ever prudent to sacrifice our values in order to win an election.  Even if that candidate wins, is that victory really a success if it fails to yield a presidency that can restore conservative values?  With this week's debate, we pause to discuss the merits of two of the Republican candidacy frontrunners: Rick Santorum and Mitt Romney.  Many disillusioned Republicans seem to have simply resigned to supporting Romney while others frantically test the alternatives to find a candidate who they think can defeat Obama in an election.  However, others have begun casting support not for the most viable candidate, but rather for those who best represent their concept of conservatism.  Within this context we will try to determine which candidate is most worthy of our vote.


R: Marriage is broken

Thursday, December 1st beginning at 7:30 pm

In our final debate of the semester, we will consider the state of marriage in the United States and how it is evolving. Are the divergence in marriage outcomes by class yet another manifestation of rising inequality in this country? What truly matters when choosing a spouse? How are interracial and, increasingly, international marriages changing our society and understanding of marriage? Join us for what promises to be a fascinating debate.