09/24/2009 – The Honduran Coup

Thursday saw the year’s first debate spiced with international flavor as we discussed “Resolved: The Coup in Honduras was Justified.”  The topic referred to the regime shifts in Honduras this summer, which resulted in former President Manuel Zalaya leaving the country at the force of his own military.  Starting off the night, Drew Peterson described the events of the summer, peppering his story with the political philosophy of John Locke.  Mr. Peterson emphasized Mr. Zalaya’s flagrant flouting of a Supreme Court ruling, arguing that restorers of law, not tyrants, are justified.  Brandon Butterworth countered with a defense of Mr. Zalaya’s actions, which were in defense of the poor and designed to institute reform.  Mr. Butterworth noted the marked decrease in democracy since Mr. Zalaya was deposed, and argued that the plot-planners were corrupt military, businessmen and political opponents who violated the rule of law.  Next up, the Society got a treat as Bibiana Pesant took the dais for her induction key note.  Miss Pesant drew a parallel between Honduras and Venezuela, arguing that Mr. Zalaya’s path has been forged before by corrupt leaders in Latin America and throughout history.  Following was Scott Olmstead, another superb speaker giving his induction keynote.  Mr. Olmstead showed that Mr. Zalaya’s actions were a selflessly-motivated appeal to the people, and he eloquently cited the words of Edmund Burke.

The floor speeches of the night were fabulous, with much talk of tyranny and tradition.  After an excellent debate and several inspiring closing speeches by the keynoters, the topic was affirmed, 30-18-2.  Afterwards, Miss Pesant and Mr. Olmstead were inducted into the Society to the joy of all members present.

The Society was also excited to welcome  Mr. Jordon Nardino (Class of ’99) back to the Philodemic Room this Thursday.  Moreover, we are looking forward immensely to welcoming back many ranks of alumni on Saturday, September 26 for the Hamilton debate.  Please join us for “Resolved: America’s Greatest Days are Ahead of Us.”


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