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Saturday, May 08, 2021
Poster for a debate between the College Republicans and the College Democrats.

Wisconsin Democrats and GOP Badgers face off in debate

The Wisconsin Democrats and the GOP Badgers held a debate about hot topics that came up during the 2020 Presidential election on Wednesday. 

This debate was in conjunction with a fundraiser for small businesses. Introduced by Rebecca Wentz, and overseen by Professor David Canon of the UW-Madison Political Science Department, the debate went through the topics of universal healthcare, free college education and gun control.

Speakers for the Republicans included AJ Remus, Keeley Collins, Joey Krantz, Justine Hineline and Michael Kroll.

Speakers for the democrats included Emmet Burgers, Kayla Cain, Benjamin Vargas and Ethan Carpenter. 

In the healthcare debate, the Republicans spoke first, arguing that the government should work towards promoting a healthy lifestyle such as healthy eating and exercise instead of free healthcare. They also argued that politicians do not have the public's best interests in mind and prices go up because of insurance policies. 

In the cross examination, the Democrats proposed how free healthcare works in Europe and that spending money on preventative care only works for young, healthy people without pre-existing conditions and still requires government spending. 

In their response speech, the Democrats argued that government intervention in healthcare produced results with the vaccine, with funding for research and distribution covered.

The cross examination included rebuttals about concerns from the Republicans with taxes being raised, and a further speech from the Democrats argued that private healthcare requires people to hold jobs and discriminates against those with pre-existing conditions. 

The second debate between the organizations centered around free education. 

With a starting debate from the Democrats, the student activists argued points including the rising costs of college, how a majority of students cannot afford school without loans or financial aid and how free college improves society.

The Republicans argued that coding bootcamps and other for-profit college options may not be as competitive if free college is instated. 

Further discussions focused on the gap in lower income students’ access to education.

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The next debate discussed gun control. Beginning with a statement from the Republicans, the students argued for gun safety education and that urban cities with stricter gun laws still face problems with violence.

The statement from the Democrats included how gun violence creates lifelong trauma and how laws involving owning and purchasing guns and licensing and registration systems reduce gun violence significantly.

In the cross examination points the teams argued over how guns can lead to the formation of militias and how gun control directly saves lives surfaced. 

The cross examination included discussion of how cultural shifts of violence need to change, not gun owners themselves. Republicans argued that it is the people not the guns that create violence, and the final statement from the democrats reinstated that guns are more lethal than knives, with more guns leaving open the opportunity for more violence.

Despite differing arguments, neither side interrupted a speaker from the opposing side and no one went over their time limit.

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