What is an LD Debate Topic?

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An LD debate topic is what they call a Lincoln–Douglas debate topic. The debate is often more along the lines of values than it is on hard evidence or research. This is because some debates cannot be undertaken if a person needs to rely on research, because things such as morals, ethics and feelings are hard to prove. An LD debate will focus more on philosophy, logic and ethics. Many high schools have these types of debates because one cannot demolish an argument based upon someone’s research or education. Some schools have tournaments for such debates, and there are even inter-school tournaments, in the same way that there are inter-school tournaments for spelling.

How to construct your LD debate

Your first goal is to discover how and why you came to the conclusions that lead to your values. If you cannot trace your train of thought behind your values then you may struggle in your Lincoln-Douglas debate. So firstly, you need to find out why you think the way that you do.

Define terms within the debating group

This is very important when it comes to LD debates because things such as ethics and philosophy are largely subjective. Even logic can be hard to nail down, which is why the debating parties need to decide upon definitions before going any further.

Pick your value and make sure it stands up

You need to think hard about the value that you pick and you need to endure an inner dialogue where you question your value. When you debate, your best defense will come through attacking your own value. You need to question the value you decide upon, and think of everything that your opposition may throw at you. If you cannot respond to every attack you can think up, then you will fail during your LD debate.

60 LD Debate Topics:

1. Clean drinking water is a right, not a privilege
2. The death penalty is not a justified penalty and should not be used
3. Convicted felons should retain their voting rights
4. Killing one person to save many is justifiable
5. Socialized healthcare should be implemented
6. The debt burden of developing nations should be wiped
7. Foreign humanitarian aid should be allocated purely in the interests of the recipients
8. Landfill sites are justified
9. There should be a significant increase in government spending for better nuclear waste disposal
10. There should be a completely new policy for nuclear waste disposal
11. More effort should be spent in nuclear technology and infrastructure instead of non-renewables
12. Dictatorships can be a force for good in a nation
13. The US should bypass internet privacy in the interests of national cyber security
14. Unmanned drone technology is justified as a benefit to national security
15. The FDA should not impose restrictions on home foodstuffs and livestock
16. It is the responsibility of all developed nations to environments and ecosystems of global importance overseas
17. Given the expense of care and the difficulty in breeding, the plight of the Panda should be left to nature
18. Human rights should be actively promoted by the West in the Middle East
19. Diplomacy should be used to promote and protect democracy in the Middle East
20. Diplomacy should be used to promote and protect democracy in Africa
21. Water supply regulations and restrictions should be introduced
22. The US should speak out on the political regime of China
23. The US should actively oppose China’s investment in African countries with denounced regimes
24. Abortion is wrong
25. There is not enough being done to reduce poverty in the US
26. The Social Security age should be increased
27. Low income housing should be increased
28. Policies and programs should be implemented to decrease the prison population
29. The Bastoy prison island in Norway is a good idea
30. Better protection should be given for vulnerable prison inmates
31. Prison overcrowding can be reduced by introducing alternative sentencing
32. Nanotechnology research should be regulated by the government
33. The government should reform policies on molecular nanotechnology
34. Reducing environmental destruction should take precedence over the economic interest
35. Without Kyoto participation from China and India, developed nations should not implement Kyoto emissions targets to save money
36. The voting age should be increased
37. Military force is justifiable in preventing non-nuclear states from acquiring nuclear weapons
38. The pharmaceutical patent process should be sidestepped when significant public interest is involved
39. Increasing economic freedom is less important than reducing economic inequality
40. The personal and subjective impact of a crime on a victim should influence criminal sentencing
41. Health in sub-Saharan Africa should be increased much further
42. The US government should take responsibility for education in Africa
43. Airports and ports of international significance should receive higher investment
44. Mental health should be a mandatory part of the curriculum
45. For university entry, socioeconomic disadvantage should be a higher priority than race
46. US trade policies with Latin America should be overhauled
47. Trade restrictions against Cuba should now be lifted
48. Accused terrorists have the right to the same legal process as every other citizen
49. Euthanasia is not justified and should not be implemented
50. Income should not bear influence on legal representation
51. Homeschooling should be discouraged wherever possible
52. Cannabis should be legalized
53. Unhealthy foods should be banned in schools
54. Freedom of speech should never be an absolute freedom
55. Religious studies are an important educational requirement
56. Gay marriage should be made legal
57. Gender-based workplace policies are justified by gender differences
58. The Electoral College is not an adequate method of voting
59. States should have the choice to secede from the Union
60. A secular nation is a better nation

What is an LD Debate Topic?
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