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College Republicans Debate Young Americans for Liberty on the Role of Government


The GW chapter of College Republicans debated the GW chapter of Young Americans for Liberty on the role of the government Tuesday night. Three issue areas were covered by three separate sets of debaters: The government’s role in the War in Afghanistan, what the government should do about immigration, and the government’s role in the War on Drugs.

Young Americans for Liberty (YAL), an ideologically libertarian organization, stands for reducing government spending, even in areas pertaining to foreign policy. College Republicans (CRs) tried to counter YAL’s more ideological stance on government spending by drawing from arguments that added nuance to ideology. CRs tended to focus on what the government should be doing in the present with the present-day situation at hand, whereas YAL focused more on the principles involved with seemingly effective courses of action.

The issues that raised the largest division between the two organizations were whether or not drones are a humane weapon to use in war, and whether or not amnesty should be granted to those who immigrated here illegally but are already in the country. Representatives from CRs said that drones are a much more humane solution than risking the lives of Americans overseas. YAL’s debaters said that drones have a bad reputation in the media nowadays due to their lack of accuracy, and that this new technological development in some ways is a loophole to traditional American processes pertaining to the declaration of war.

In a separate portion of the debate, CRs and YAL were divided over the process of granting amnesty for illegal immigrants. CRs decidedly were against granting amnesty because it would simply undermine efforts to reduce illegal immigration and promote the legal immigration process. They also said that it would be unfair to all those who have been going through the legal process for years if those who have not made that effort were allowed to “cut the line.” On the other hand, YAL was in favor of amnesty for illegal immigrants because of the tax revenue new citizens would generate.

Both sides were in favor of President Trump’s proposal to extend the border wall, and both sides were in favor of treating drug addictions as a medical issue instead of a criminal issue.

This debate was hosted and recorded by GWTV, and was held in the Marvin Center. As of publishing, there are no plans for a follow-up debate.