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The affirmative





On the affirmative, the tips above are very similar but with a few adjustments. When you are affirming, you can make your links to the status quo. This means you can criticize the status quo for causing the problems in your criticism. However, do not take this as an invitation to be too generic. Make sure your discussion of the status quo includes the topic. If we are sticking to the topic above, make sure that your discussion of the status quo is about labor conditions. For example, if you are reading a Feminism K, make sure that your link is about how the lack of striking ability has harmed women in the workplace for centuries. This is always a much better way to set up the story of your position. It invites the judge in, and it uses the resolution as a comfortable launching point before you move on to your impact and alternative. When you are running a kritikal affirmative, your alternative is just your advocacy! Similarly to how you would read a plan or say “thus I affirm” on a policy or stock affirmative, your alternative operates the same way. You are proposing an alternative to the status quo that can better resolve the harms you outlined in your case.

The biggest struggle for kritikal affirmatives is time. You have 6 minutes, 4 minutes, and 3 minutes to change how a judge thinks about the world—at least enough to vote for you. As a result, most of the things in your 1AC should be able to do many things for you and give you flexibility in the 1AR and 2AR. For example, include a card in your affirmative that not only explains your criticism but also explains why analyzing security, for example, is a necessary first step before policy making. This can be useful against an opponent who says we should focus on actual policy making and avoiding tangible threats like extinction. These are called preempts. Preempts are useful because they allow you to have carded evidence for your rebuttals without having to waste time in the 1AR reading a whole new card. Present your arguments and always think about how they can become a weapon in the rebuttal speeches.

Otherwise, make sure you take head of everything mentioned about extensions and overviews in Lesson 2 of this chapter.