2. October 2019 Extemp Topics

By NFHS on October 02, 2020 resources Print


October 2019



1. Is Joe Biden’s candidacy harming the Democratic Party?

2. Should Democrats nominate a centrist to challenge Donald Trump in 2020?

3. Should the federal courts rule that Donald Trump’s tax returns should be made public?

4. Is there a legal basis for the impeachment of Justice Brett Kavanaugh?

5. Should the United States release oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve?

6. Should Felicity Huffman’s sentence for her role in the college admissions scandal have been more severe?

7. Can Purdue Pharma survive its opioid settlement and bankruptcy declaration?

8. Is it time to close the prison at Guantanamo Bay?

9. Does organized labor negatively impacting the competitiveness of the U.S. auto industry?

10. Is the Working Families Party growing in political influence?

11. Are voters benefiting from the current format of Democratic presidential debates?

12. Should resident aliens serving in the U.S. military be granted automatic American citizenship?



1. What will be the consequences for the U.S. economy of President Trump’s recent rollbacks of various environmental protection regulations?

2. What are the consequences for the Supreme Court of the continued cloud over Justice Kavanaugh?

3. What can the United States do to better prepare for asteroid impacts on the earth?

4. How will Beto O’Rourke’s call for the buy-back of assault weapons impact the Democratic Party’s image with gun owners?

5. How can the United States Border Patrol combat its employee morale problem?

6. How will the departure of key leaders from the board that organized the annual Women’s March impact the organization as it goes into the 2020 election year?

7. What further steps can the federal government take to combat the health threat posed by “vaping.”

8. What steps should the United States government take to protect the salmon population?

9. What must Donald Trump do to make inroads with America’s African American voters?

10. What must the Democratic leadership do to bring Donald Trump to the table on gun control?

11. How will Americans benefit from drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge?

12. How can health care providers improve conditions in long term care facilities?

13. How are electoral politics in Israel influencing the politics of the United States?




1. Is an armed conflict between Iran and Saudi Arabia inevitable?

2. Should Afghanistan conclude a separate peace with the Taliban without including the United States?

3. Are Boris Johnson’s days as UK Prime Minister numbered?

4. Will the Chinese government intervene to quell protests in Hong Kong?

5. Is Democracy succeeding in Tunisia?

6. Is the Arab vote a significant force in Israeli politics?

7. Has the world community taken sufficient steps to help the Bahamas in the wake of Hurricane Dorian?

8. Should Northern Ireland consider merging with the Republic of Ireland?

9. Is the trade war with the United States good for the Chinese Communist Party?

10. Will Colombia return to civil war?

11. Could Hong Kong’s unrest spread to Macau?

12. Will Sudan’s power sharing arrangement bring about the restoration of political stability?

13. Would Yemen be better off as two separate nations?



1. How will the outcome of Israel’s parliamentary elections impact the future status of a Palestinian State?

2. How will Spain’s refusal to extradite Venezuela’s former sky chief impact U.S.-Spanish relations?

3. How will the decision by the Solomon Islands to switch its diplomatic recognition from Taiwan to the People’s Republic of China impact Taiwan’s global standing?

4. What steps can Iraq’s government take to combat the spread of crystal meth?

5. What steps can Nigeria take to combat the activities of a resurgent Boko Haram?

6. What can the Australian government do to address the aspirations of indigenous people for autonomy?

7. What steps can Venezuela’s neighbors take to cope with the influx of Venezuelan refugees?

8. What steps can Brazil’s government take to slow the pace of deforestation in the Amazon Rainforest?

9. How would the return of the Rajapaksa family to power in Sri Lanka impact the country’s stability?

10. What must Algeria’s military leaders do to accelerate the restoration of democracy there?

11. What explains Lebanon’s growing anti-refugee sentiments?

12. What steps must Russia and Ukraine take to bring about peaceful relations?


At four points during the year, the monthly extemporaneous speaking questions will include a section on a variation of question formats.  These questions are designed to provoke thought about alternative methods of formatting questions for variety and to improve accessibility to a broader range of students.

Experimental – Hypotheticals

1. A federal judge in New York orders President Trump to release the last eight years of his tax returns. Does the President defy the order?

2. Iran offers to abandon its nuclear program if the United States withdraws from the Persian Gulf. Does President Trump agree?

3. In a sudden about-face, President Trump recommits the United States to the Paris Climate Accord. Does the shift improve the world’s prospects for reversing the effects of global warming?

4. Hillary Clinton makes a late entry into the Democratic presidential primary field. Does she succeed in securing the 2020 nomination?

5. Queen Elizabeth II bucks with tradition and removes Boris Johnson as Prime Minister. How do Britain’s courts react?

6. The government of Zimbabwe decides to erect a statue of Robert Mugabe in front of the capital building. How do the Zimbabwean people react?

7. China revokes the autonomy of Hong Kong in defiance of its agreement with the United Kingdom. How does the West respond?

8. Democrats regain control of Congress and the presidency in 2021. Do they succeed in passing an assault weapons ban?

9. Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies before the 2020 presidential election. What kind of replacement does President Trump nominate?

10. India launches a full-scale war with Pakistan. How does the United States respond?

11. Donald Trump decides to replace Mike Pence on the 2020 ticket. Who does he pick as his new running mate?

12. Elizabeth Warren captures the Democratic Party’s 2020 nomination. Who does she pick as her running mate?