The Philodemic convened on September 8th in the Philodemic Room to address the question, Resolved: the Tea Party is Bad for the United States. The Society mingled and welcomed many new non-members before the debate began.
Ms. Green delivered the affirmative keynote address, noting that the debate should focus on the financial aspects of the Tea Party’s platform. She went on to discuss the movement’s grassroots spirit, or rather, its “Astroturf” nature. She then argued that the Tea Party does not want to help the average American, and that the Party is defined by divisiveness and is against compromise.
Mr. Arber, speaking on the negation, informed the Society that the “Big Bad Tea Party is coming to blow down your house of liberalism.” Although he pointed out that the Tea Party has no formal leaders, he noted that its members share one common ideal, namely, that “the government should be shrunk at all costs.” He also addressed the role of populism in the movement.
Floor speeches from members and non-members focused on the role of the Tea Party in U.S. politics. Compromise was a common theme of the evening. In response to the argument that the Tea Party does not reflect the demographic makeup of the United States, Mr. Medina noted that “our civilization comes from old rich white people in Greece,” and Ms. Heather Regen (SFS ’14) informed the Society that her own grandmother was an active, albeit non-believing, member of the Party.
Amongst other arguments, ranging from specific policy questions to broad philosophic dilemmas, Mr. Bade did not fail to inform the Society that, “Ms. Green looks dashing. That’s all I’ve noticed this entire debate.”
After President Iacono closed the floor, Mr. Arber noted that this was an “invigorating topic.” He proceeded to wow the Society with his slant rhymes and rapping.
In her closing remarks, Ms. Green referenced the famed tea parties of Alice and Wonderland, invoked the hallowed name of Mrs. Nancy Reagan, and gave the Society a full rendition of a West Wing script.
The Society affirmed the resolution 60-29.
Peter A. Prindiville