The first ACDU debate is set for Sunday, February 12 at 2pm at Pint’s Pub in Denver.
Resolved: That the American electorate should significantly alter the method for selecting the President of the United States.
Why this subject matters: In the most recent presidential election, Hillary Clinton earned nearly three million more popular votes than Donald Trump. Trump, though, won the election by virtue of the rules of the Electoral College, which assigns a disproportionate share of voting power to less populous states, and which often results in situations where candidates focus a vast majority of their energies on “battleground states” – places like Florida, Pennsylvania and Ohio, which have large numbers of electoral votes and where the electorate is closely divided between Republicans and Democrats.
2016 was the second time this century where the winner of the popular vote lost the election, and criticism of the Electoral College system has intensified as people grow more concerned about the ways in which it disenfranchises voters and fails to reflect the will of the majority.
What can be done? Should anything be done? There have been a number of suggestions as to how America might assure that the candidate with the most votes wins the office, but at the same time many people feel the men who wrote the Constitution were right to mitigate against the excesses of “runaway democracy.”
This debate will examine the issue and open the door to a public discussion about the critical question of how we might best choose our leaders.
Affirming the resolution will be Dr. Frank Venturo, Emeritus Professor of Communication at Western State Colorado University. He posted a 45-year career in education teaching in high school and at the university level. Before joining Western State he was a faculty member at the University of Colorado and Saint Louis University. He also served as Department Chair and Associate V.P. of Academic Affairs at WSCU.
Frank’s academic pursuits centered on public discourse, argumentation, conflict resolution, media studies and organizational communication. He coached competitive speaking/debate at the University of Colorado and WSCU and has always been dedicated to promoting reasoned public discourse as a means of collective decision-making.
His opponent will be me, Sam Smith. I earned my doctorate in Communication from the University of Colorado and taught literature, media culture, cyberculture, writing, business communication and leadership at a variety of schools, including the University of Denver, the University of Colorado and Iowa State University. I won a lot of trophies as a high school debater (although I was too lazy to succeed at the college level) and have been deeply involved in the country’s shifting political foundation for years as a founder and publisher of Scholars & Rogues.
We hope you’ll join us for the American Civic Debate Union’s maiden voyage. We’ll have an intelligent discussion, and we’ll do so at Pint’s Pub, which features the largest selection of quality single malt outside of Scotland, as well as a wonderful array of traditional English craft brews and some very, very good British pub fare.