The Prosper High School Debate Team hosted a mock election debate, survey and fundraiser on Oct. 18 at the high school. Debate team members Morgan Kee, Hunter Jordan and Mark Werner assumed the identities and viewpoints of presidential candidates Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton and Jill Stein respectively. In the mock election survey, 55.3 percent of participating students voted for Trump. Clinton trailed behind with 28.9 percent of the vote.
Topics discussed during the hour-long debate included fracking, United States military involvement with other countries, alternate energy sources including wind and solar energy and climate change. Werner, a University Interscholastic League state champion in persuasive speaking, discussed the negative effects of military funding to governments like Saudi Arabia.
“Too often the U.S. has gotten involved in wars that have gone on for years with no end in sight and with no real potential to resolve the conflict,” Werner said. “Instead what we need to do is to engage these countries on other levels. We need to increase diplomatic and economic assistance to these countries so we can increase development there. We need to stop funding arms to governments like Saudi Arabia that continually bomb civilians. ”
Kee was asked to discuss climate change and Trump’s Twitter post from 2012 that alleged global warming is a Chinese hoax.
“First of all, I never said it was a hoax,” Kee said. “What I said — see the media is always twisting my words — but what I said was that climate change needs to be addressed. That’s what I said.”
The debate functioned as a fundraiser to help fund the team’s tournaments, which happen almost every weekend, said Debate Boosters Board Member Kristy Antonakakis. Event attendees could buy snacks and concessions to contribute to the fundraiser.
“Our students are always up to date on current events in the news,” Antonakakis said. “They prepared for about a week for the election.”
The team visited all three of the political offices in Collin County to get bumper stickers, pamphlets and pins to represent the three political parties for the debate.