A war of words ensued as members of the Randolph-Macon Franklin Debating Society
matched intellect and wit with the world-renowned British Debaters. At issue: Should
the United States negotiate with terrorists?
The debate took place on November 28, 2007 in historic
Washington-Franklin Hall. R-MC debaters Jessica Kuehn ’08 and James Murray ’09 argued
that the U.S. should not negotiate with terrorist organizations or countries after
an attack. They said terrorists would attack just to negotiate and get what they
British debaters Alex Just and Alistair Cormack countered that the U.S. should negotiate
to find out the root cause of terrorist threats. They argued that by choosing not
to negotiate, the U.S. sends the message of exception.
The debaters were both humorous and well- prepared, and they argued through copious
audience heckling and opposition. In the end, the British team won by audience vote.
The British Debate tour is sponsored by the National Communication Association,
and Randolph-Macon College is one of 40 schools that host the team. Last year, the
British team was defeated by both an R-MC student team and an R-MC alumni team,
an unusual coup, since the British team is famous for winning most of the competitions