America is in a state of decline
Round 1) Acceptance
Round 2) Laying out the argument
Round 3) Rebuttal
Round 4) Conclusion
I will accept this resolution. I may add some arguments as to how American society has bettered, but for the most part, I will retort the assertions that it is declining.
I thank my opponent in advance for accepting the contra position on this important debate. I'm sure and I will concede that many gains in American society have been made especially in technology, civil rights and medicine. However as a culture I would argue and will demonstrate in this debate how American culture has declined. Every era brings perceived improvements and ours naturally does as well. However the fact that people live longer or are more free sexually and politically doesn't mean their lives are fuller or richer. The point is that our country is no longer the America of the past. In the last fifty years we have undergone a transformation that has lead us down the road to ruin. In all change there are un intended consequences and in our society these gains have produced so many that the very fiber of the nation has shifted too far toward liberalism. We live in a society of anything goes, where if it feels good do it. We are all victims who believe we are owed something rather than contribute to the common good. We've even lost the ability to disagree without rancor. It's sad but it's gone and America has changed to what I call Numerica.
No consequences for our actions, expecting equal outcomes instead of equal opportunities. Everybody is part if a minority group instead if being just American we are hyphenated Americans.
It seems with each passing day that the America in which I grew up is disappearing, slipping into the past as an aging man lost in his own remembrance of times gone by. We can yearn with sorrow for what we have lost and we have lost a great deal but we must realize that we have lost it completely. As our nation begins the slow crawl in emerging from another great recession and as we enter an era of austerity unlike any generation has perhaps ever known. America is in a cultural and moral decline in which one can only conclude that she may have achieved perfect decadence. Religious faith has ceased to exist for most people and as it dies so does a culture, civilization and its people.
Religious faith gave birth to Western culture over 1000 years ago and people from Europe spreading West to California. As religious faith fades and the Third World begins to claim the modern landscape we are shown proof that we are certainly in the last phase of a great American civilization. A great poet and philosopher Kahill Gibran once said in his great the garden of the prophet, "we pity the nation divided into fragments, each fragment deeming itself a nation." The American nation is coming apart as new forces have emerged and grown in the past 50 years to preside over what has become a fragmented Numerica.
Some may think that I call the death of America prematurely but I would ask those who do to consider that in the 1970s Americans faced a Soviet Union poised for world domination as they were along with America one of the dominant superpowers of the world. Who would"ve guessed then that the Soviet empire would collapse and that the Soviet Union would in fact disintegrate? Keep in mind that like the Soviet Union America commands an empire of military allies, military bases and soldiers who are engaged seemingly endless wars around the world. Like the Soviet Union America is a land of multicultural, multiracial, multilingual and overstretched. The ethnic nationalism that drove the Soviet Union to separate into regional almost tribal states is now occurring throughout the American nation. As Americans begin to divide themselves by ethnicity, by racial identity or by native birth. People of California who were there before either the Mexicans or the Western whites who want to be called chinos now emerge as another separate group. Or native Hawaiians whose people occupied that land before other Asians or Western peoples also want separate identity and political power. These are actions of Numerica and not America. Now longer are people proud to be American as they continue to segment themselves and Balkanize the country.
It is true that a nation is a group of people who share a history, culture and language who worship the same God, celebrate a common history and are held together as Abraham Lincoln would say by "bonds of affection, mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battlefield, and patriot grave, to every living heart and hearth stone". That was indeed the nation of America and that is the country who is dying because the European and Christian core has been shrinking away. In the next 10 years deaths among white Americans will exceed births, while immigration is altering forever the face of Numerica. There is no doubting the statistical evidence that points to the social disintegration and end of our American culture.
In America people view abortion as the killing of the unborn while those in Numerica regard the right to life movement as repressive ideology. One group of crazy people assassinate abortionists another group of crazies kill antiabortion protesters. Advocates of gay marriage see their adversaries as bigots and opponents of gay marriage see advocates as elevating unnatural acts to the status of sacred matrimony. Where one part of America sees progress the other sees decadence as the struggle between America and Numerica tries to find any common moral ground at all. The divide is so polarizing and generational that in a generation this country will be un recognizable.
Christmas and Easter were once times that united America in great joy, brotherhood and peace. Today we fight over whether Christmas and Easter can even be mentioned in public schools. Part of America regards our history as admirable and part of America sees it as racist. Old heroes such as Christopher Columbus are seen in Numerica as racist relics of a time gone by. Replaced in America by Martin Luther King and Cesar Chavez as the lines become blurred throughout Numerica. Numericans now celebrate Cinco de Mayo and know little or care nothing of the battle of Gettysburg fought on American soil. Cable news has chosen sides in the culture war and our music even seems designed to divide. Within our nation on matters of morality, politics and culture we are driven apart. We have become a nation of cowards as we denounce each other over racial differences. We disagree with our president therefore we are racist seems to be the chant by many in Numerica. When the tea party emerged as a political counterculture in America and crowds turned out to oppose health care reform majority leader Harry Reid and Speaker Nancy Pelosi called them evil and un-American. Yet by the end of 2009 only four months after they begun most Americans had a more favorable view of the tea party then they did either of the two major political parties. Yet in Numerica both the tea party and the Republican Party are despised as bigots.
Racially-based justice is the new reality and his long as justice is dispensed against white males then it is fair in Numerica. The deck is stacked against white males in this new race-based justice. Almost fifty years after Martin Luther King proclaimed the future of his children where they could not be judged by the color of their skin but rather by the content of their character we have now succumbed to the reality of a kind of reversed new Jim Crow era. Tribalism in Hawaii, California or anywhere else in Numerica threatens our very democracy and relegates it to the dustpan of history.
When in America it has become bigoted to consider the rights of fifty million aborted humans it is no longer the country of my birth. When in America it is deemed normal for gay people to marry and thus gain equality with one of our most sacred institutions that it is no longer my America. When we no longer celebrate the brave men who came to a new world and its discovery or celebrate the courage and sacrifice of the millions who died for our freedom and instead rejoice at foreign-born heroes or battles in foreign lands then it is no longer my America. When I am told that Christianity has surrendered its dominance to the religion of democracy then it is no longer my America. When I am told that foreigners need not surrender their ethnic nationalism and learn English as well as meld with other Americans then it is no longer my America. Whenever inequality exists and without knowing all the facts institutional racism is to blame then it is no longer my America. So along with millions of Americans I will fade away in my nostalgia for a great nation and people that will soon be lost to Numerica.
Numerica is a nation that will murder for convenience, where human beings no longer receive their rights from God but rather from a so-called democracy. Numerica is a nation where gay is the new normal and religion is outdated, unnecessary and forgotten. It is a place without a moral compass where doing what feels good is what"s right. In Numerica they celebrate not those fallen heroes of war or of discovery but the new heroes of entertainment and popular culture. Numerica is not a nation of 50 states but rather a nation of 1 million different states of mind that is fragmented beyond rationalization or reasoning. Numerica is a country of victims whose constant injuries require financial assistance and aid from an ever shrinking group of perpetrators.
The tragedy of the story of the death of America is that as a society we were unaware that we were indeed dying. The cultural revolution of the 1960s started America on a course that would become the beginning of the end for America. As Christianity faced a flock that was increasingly skeptical of church doctrine and teaching it began a gradual loss of influence in America. In reality Christianity was losing Europe and the whole Western world as both Catholic and Protestant churches began a slow descent into disintegration. A great example of the church"s loss of influence over its flock is the Catholic Church who proclaims that abortion is murder and that any church members who actively participate are in effect excommunicated. While at the same time about three quarters of its members claim to be pro-abortion. In effect the majority of Catholics in America are in fact no longer Catholic and remain in the church because they consider church doctrine outdated. What they forget is that their religion is not a democracy and their God is not a democracy and their church has not abandoned them but they had abandoned their church.
The civil rights struggle that began in earnest in the 1960s created a basis for the ending of real racism in America. The problem with the ever expansive government intervention and dictation of their version of morality is the alienation of many toward the plight of African-Americans. The manner in which the heavy hand of government was used to integrate public schools for example was often done poorly and seemingly by force. The never-ending tossing of money at cultural and societal problems in dealing with racism was often done quite poorly. A good example of government failure is the policy of affirmative action which resulted in what amounted to merely reverse discrimination. Now of course even the dreams once dreamed for by civil rights advocates have become a nightmare of government programs substituting for the freedom and liberty sought by all minorities in search of equality. Instead our country has become a nation of victims in a never ending search to punish the have more"s for the benefit of those who have less. As if social justice can be purchased from one class of people in order to benefit another class of people. In doing so the only thing that really gets accomplished is that the poor mistrust the wealthy and the wealthy mistrust the poor. The only thing that is left is a splintered and fragmented society filled with tens of millions of victims who will soon be left with no one but other victims to blame for their circumstance.
A great man speaking of the dangers of the disintegration of our society was Pope John Paul II who said "the great danger for family life, in the midst of any society whose idols our pleasure, comfort and independence, lies in the fact that people close their hearts and become selfish" these words seemed to me quite prolific today as I perform a eulogy for America. John Paul went on to say "as the family goes, so goes the nation and so goes the whole world in which we live" it is prolific that this great man could have foreseen the disintegration of our society.
Rest in peace America and greet the nation we have wrought which I call Numerica.
My argument’s layout will be a rebuttal against my opponent’s case as he has the burden of proof. The crux of my opponent’s case can be reduced to a sentence from his speech: “[America] is dying because the European and Christian core has been shrinking away.” The society’s shift toward liberal stances, according to my opponent, constitutes a decline in American society. However, my opponent doesn’t really have a warrant as to why shifting to liberal stances constitutes any particular decline in American society. He touches on points like gay rights and abortion as evidence that society is declining, yet these points in themselves are debates by their own right as to whether or not they’re beneficial. Henceforth, rather than having an empirical debate objectively and irrevocably proving the decline of American society, my opponent appeals to his own personal socially conservative pathos in order to make his arguments—all of them quite moving in their rhetoric, but none of them ultimately providing much in the way of substance or conclusions. Basically, my opponent has proven that society has changed rather than that society has changed for the worse.
My opponent explains that the decline in religious faith in America is an example of societal decline, but he doesn’t provide any warrants as to why that is. Furthermore, his statement isn’t entirely correct either considering that 77% of Americans identify as Christian. 
My opponent also argues that America is fragmented along racial and ethnic boundaries. This is unfortunately true. However, first and foremost, this is not a new problem in America. Racial and ethnic boundaries have existed in the United States ever since its inception. So, if America really is fragmented today, it’s a condition similar to how America has always been. If anything, this fragmentation has diluted by some degree in comparison to how things were like before, especially with Jim Crow laws being overturned and more African Americans and members of other ethnicities entering into better professions and acquiring education. So, if America is fragmented, it’s at least not as bad as it used to be. However, my opponent’s apparent solution to overcoming this fragmentation is for people of different racial and ethnic distinctions to eschew their cultural roots in favor of some superseding American culture—one which, by the way, is cosmopolitan due to the different ethnic groups that migrated here. For example, American blues as a musical movement had many roots in musical styles co-opted from Africa. My opponent doesn’t consider the alternate solution of trying to make social movements in order to have Americans learn about the different cultures in this country, therefore increasing knowledge about the globe and creating friends of different nationalities, thereby reducing the fragmentation. My opponent seems to ascribe little value to the cultures other than the “European” and suggests superseding them with the European. To think that this is the only solution is not only wrong, but also borderline racist because it implies that European culture is more important or relevant than others. He also doesn't explain why this European culture he argues for is something that requires preservation.
Then, there’s my opponent’s argument about how our society has become hedonistic, substantiated with no evidence to prove this condition nor evidence to prove this condition is any different in previous time periods (especially considering the time period of the 1920s). This leaves, then, his arguments about gay rights and abortion, 2 things which he also doesn’t explain why they’re bad. He talks about how abortion is murder of human beings, but this is a debate in and of itself—one without an objective conclusion. Therefore, you can count his arguments on abortion pathos rather than anything substantial.
The speech was long and convoluted in a sense, so there may have been points I might have missed. I will provide this response and then address any points I’ve missed in the subsequent rounds.
"[America] is dying because the European and Christian core has been shrinking away." Im not saying that a European and Christian world is better at all, its just that America was founded as " one nation under god" by Christian people. I say this not be racist or bigoted in anyway but rather as a fact of life and history. The Protestant work ethic (or the Puritan work ethic is a concept in theology, sociology, economics and history which emphasizes hard work, frugality and diligence as a constant display of a person's salvation in the Christian faith, in contrast to the focus upon religious attendance, confession, and ceremonial sacrament in the Catholic tradition.
The phrase was initially coined in 1904 by Max Weber in his book The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism.
My opponent says that I don't "really have a warrant as to why shifting to liberal stances constitutes any particular decline in American society. " I thought I was very clear that America is in the state of decline on almost every front. We were a country where people didn't lock their doors and whose children were safe in their own neighborhoods. Now we must fear to let our children out of our own yards and have locks and security systems to boot. According to statistics the incarceration rate in the United States is the highest in the world. As of 2011, the incarceration rate was 743 per 100,000 of national population. In comparison, Rwanda had the second highest, at 595 per 100,000, Canada was 123rd in the world at 117 per 100,000, and China had 122 per 100,000. While the United States represents about 5 percent of the world's population, it houses around 25 percent of the world's prisoners. Imprisonment of America's 2.3 million prisoners, costing $24,000 per inmate per year, and $5.1 billion in new prison construction, consumes $60.3 billion in budget expenditures. Our prisons are filled with drug users and dealers on a scale never before seen.
AIDs has spread widely in our modern society due to homosexual activity and ultimately through unsafe sex practices by heterosexuals. CDC estimates that 1.1 million people in the United States are living with HIV "" and nearly one in six of those are not aware that they are infected.1 Approximately 50,000 people become newly infected each year. A range of social factors in modern society places some Americans at increased risk for HIV infection. Prevention efforts have helped keep the rate of new infections stable in recent years, but continued growth in the number of people living with HIV ultimately may lead to more new infections if prevention, care, and treatment efforts are not targeted to those at greatest risk.
Its clear that legalized abortion is evidence itself that society is declining. Over 50 million aborted children are proof of a decline in morality and in valuing human life. When abortion is used as birth control I believe that demonstrates a woeful lack of morals. Half of pregnancies among American women are unintended; about 4 in 10 of these are terminated by abortion. Twenty-one percent of all U.S. pregnancies (excluding miscarriages) end in abortion. In 2011, approximately 1.06 million abortions took place in the U.S., down from an estimated 1.21 million abortions in 2008, 1.29 million in 2002, 1.31 million in 2000 and 1.36 million in 1996. From 1973 through 2011, nearly 53 million legal abortions have occurred in the U.S. In this day and age of widely available birth control the reasons for abortion should be less than it is. Today more and more women use abortion as a form of birth control and that is sickening and an abomination.
My opponent talks about African Americans who get a better education today than they used to. Yet in black communities around the country the urban drop out rate is at all time highs. It is no surprise that more students drop out of high school in big cities than elsewhere. However, a nationwide study shows the average high school graduation rate in the nation"s largest cities was 53 percent, compared with 71 percent in the suburbs. But that urban-suburban gap, which in part is due to hundreds of failing city schools that some researchers call dropout factories, was far wider in some areas. While we are on education it has become cost prohibitive to many in the middle class. In 1974 a person could work over the summer and while in school while in 2014 that same year of college is paid for mostly through student loans. Today's college graduates face poor job prospects and huge loan debt to start their lives in a hole. In recent years, a number of international surveys have raised alarms that the United States is falling behind other countries in terms of educational achievement. Now there is another one, and its findings represent a serious threat to the country"s future prosperity. In basic literacy, mathematics and problem-solving skills, the new study shows, younger Americans are at or near the bottom of the standings among advanced countries. The survey was carried out by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, a Paris-based forum and research group, which counts thirty-three high- and middle-income countries among its members.
My opponent is incredulous saying that: "the decline in religious faith in America is an example of societal decline, but he doesn"t provide any warrants as to why that is." The decline in religious faith is quite obvious since many Christians feel there exists a war on religion. Our nation is so hung up on keeping religion out of the public square that being Christian is seen as anti social. I'm not suggesting that Christianity is better than Judaism, Islam or any other belief. What I'm saying is that people of all faiths have drifted from their faith in droves. The percentage of Americans who declared "no religious preference" on the 2012 General Social Survey, a large-scale national survey, was more than twice the percentage of Americans who declared no religion in 1990, and four times higher than the percentage in 1972, the first year the survey was taken. A full 20 percent of Americans declared no religious preference. "This continues a trend of Americans disavowing a specific religious affiliation that has accelerated greatly since 1990," Mike Hout, lead author of the study and a professor at Berkeley. Forty percent of self-declared liberals said they didn't have a religious preference, compared to 9 percent of conservatives. A third of 18-24-year-olds claimed no religion, compared to just 7 percent of people 75 and older.
My opponent agrees that "America is fragmented along racial and ethnic boundaries." My opponent continues to miss the point of the fragmenting of our nation. People used to come here to be free, to work hard and to give their families a better life while becoming a real American. Taking pride in their accomplishments and melding into our nation of immigrants. Today immigrants come here to be free, to collect government provided benefits, give their family a better life and keep their language and culture, not melding into the fabric of our society. My opponent is also unduly hung up on racial issues, the point I'm making is we have now an almost reverse discrimination.
He states: "my opponent"s apparent solution to overcoming this fragmentation is for people of different racial and ethnic distinctions to eschew their cultural roots in favor of some superseding American culture." In this comment my opponent is accurate. Thirty to fifty years ago people came to America to be an American and to have a better life, proud to be Americans. Today in America immigrants in growing numbers want the benefits of living here without any strong commitment to becoming an American. My opponent states that I seem to "ascribe little value to the cultures other than the "European" and suggests superseding them with the European. " that is ridiculous, I merely point out facts that our country was built with a strong European influence. I don't think it was necessarily better, it's just different. I'm not saying that a European influenced culture is innately better than what we have. What I'm saying is that immigrants that used to come here generally had greater religious convictions than people coming here today. I'm not arguing for a European influenced country, but it's a fact that we were a nation with a strong European or Puritan work ethic and we should be proud. Again I'm stating a fact that in the past we had a steady stream of Europeans looking to become Americans.
One of the few things that my opponent got right was when he stated "there may have been points I might have missed." All I can say is YES he missed a lot of points. The leaders of our country used to stand for something and hold genuine beliefs and principals. Whether it was John Kennedy, Barry Goldwater, Lyndon Johnson or Ronald Reagan, they were men of ideas and principals. In the past quarter century presidents and I think all politicians have given way to getting re elected over all else and by any means. From Clinton to Bush to Obama we have elected the best that money could buy and nothing more. This is largely because in Numerica, the monied interests have bought both parties leadership and have hijacked our republic. We are no longer a democracy but an oligarchy run by whoever donates the most money and buys their devotion. In this Numerica, "Truth is treason in the empire of lies." It's gone now because the final analysis is that we will always and forever have leaders that are bought and paid for on the backs of our children and the coming generations to be smothered in debt. For all of these reasons I again state that America is indeed in a state of decline.
A huge storm in my area last night knocked down my power and Internet, so I wasn’t able to post a response yet. I will make my final responses in the final round.
Americans spend more money on Botox, face lifts, and tummy tucks than on the age-old scourges of polio, smallpox, and malaria. By any historical marker, the future of Americans has never been brighter.
Yet we're not confident about capitalizing and expanding on our natural and inherited wealth. Instead, we bicker over entitlement spoils as the nation continues to pile up trillion-dollar deficits. Enforced equality, rather than liberty, is the new national creed. The medicine of cutting back on government goodies seems far worse than the disease of borrowing trillions from the unborn to pay for them.
At the end of World War II Hiroshima was in shambles, while Detroit was among the most innovative and wealthiest cities in the world. Now Hiroshima resembles a prosperous Detroit of 1945; parts of Detroit look like they were bombed decades ago. It's apparent that the United States is in decline and that there is no turning back. We have become a nation of sheep herded by a government of wolves. The voters have figured out they could vote themselves money from the treasury by electing people who promised to give them money from the treasury in exchange for electing them. So gone is my America of old and welcome to Numerica.
TheSilentHorseman forfeited this round.
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