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March 2016

Just like the late night TV hosts, we are sometimes amused when listening to the back and forth between the presidential candidates. Albeit from a different perspective. 

Recently, we followed up on claims about candidates' eligibility based on  Article 2 of the Constitution to help us understand the requirement. Article 2 states, in part, that, " No person except a natural born citizen... shall be eligible to the office of President ." A quick google search returned several articles and analyses tackling the issue through statutes, historical intent and judicial philosophy. It seems the experts firmly and absolutely conclude that.... US presidents must be born on US soil!  ...Or, need not be born on US soil! ...Or, acknowledge that it could actually go either way.
It's an interesting issue and one that prompts interesting questions.

If you know a young debater, take a moment to read that portion of Article 2 out loud and ask them what they think it means. Why should we have this requirement? Why should we not? Ask them to think about potential outcomes of the rule.
  • If a baby is born in a foreign country, adopted by US citizens and returned to the US when she's two days old, should she be permitted to be president?
  • If a citizen of a foreign country gives birth while visiting the US providing citizenship to her baby, but he grows up in that foreign country, should he be allowed to return to the US as an adult and become president?
At DebateAble, we know that there's always more than one way to consider any issue, and we know that kids become stronger debaters and critical thinkers when they are taught to explore different arguments and viewpoints-- whether or not they agree with them!

Fun fact! Martin Van Buren, our country's eighth president, was the very first "natural born" president in every sense of the word: he was born on US soil to two parents who were both US citizens at the time of his birth.

Margot & Elizabeth
Founders, DebateAble

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Debate Skills 101

Be yourself!
Develop your own speaking style.

It might be that the most powerful public speaking tool available is one that you already possess: be yourself!
Are you an animated speaker? Do you like to use your hands for emphasis when talking? Or, do you speak deliberately, slowly, pausing frequently to make points and collect your thoughts? Either one of these styles can be used to engage listeners-- as long as it comes naturally to you.
"Developing" your own style really just means taking advantage of your natural skills by knowing yourself and learning to make the most of what comes naturally. We can all do with reminders to slow down, speak louder, and emphasize important words or points, but how we do that depends on who we are.
Remember, you are at your most persuasive when you bring yourself to the conversation. 

March DEBATE THIS! topic

Not all debates are about serious topics. Some are just for fun! Try this one with your family over dinner tonight.

"Cake is better than Cupcakes"

Can you debate the Affirmative and Negative sides of this topic? Let these arguments get you started ...

"Cake is better than cupcakes because frosting a cupcake is more difficult."


"Cupcakes are better than cake because it is easy to make sure that everyone gets the same portion size."

Every month we will throw out a topic to debate at the dinner table or in the car. Practice the skills your kids learned in debate club. Try taking the side you are least passionate about - it makes it more challenging!

Starting a Debate Club at your school is easy!
We can help - contact us to find out how to make it happen!

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