The Instigator
Pro (for)
0 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
1 Points

American democracy is a failure.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/26/2015 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 875 times Debate No: 78132
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (4)
Votes (1)




As Abraham Lincoln explains in the Gettysburg Address, democracy is intended to be a "government of the people, by the people, for the people," however, in 2015 we find that modern democracy no longer achieves those goals and has failed the people it was intended to save. American democracy has devolved to such a point that it is no longer for the people nor by the people and fails at its entire purpose.

Throughout the course of this debate, as the affirmative I will be tasked with the burden of proof and must thoroughly prove that American democracy failed at it's goal to be the government form of the people, by the people, for the people and that America is no longer the land of the free.

I welcome anything that you want to bring into this debate, no matter how crazy it is as this debate is already fairly crazy.

For this debate, the most important thing that we consider, in my opinion, (in NSDA Lincoln-Douglas Debate terms, my value for the round) is the value of Duty. In other words, has the government succeeded in its duty to it's constituents. The best weighing mechanism for this value is that of protection of individual freedoms, has the United States protected its constituents individual liberties and welfare?

American Democracy has failed for 3 primary reasons: first, American politics is not concerned with the welfare of the average American, but rather is consumed with partisan bickering and individual power struggles; second, the USA has failed its constituents numerous times by limiting the individuals freedoms, committing perverse human rights violations, and worsening the state of the individual and society; and lastly because democracy is an inherently flawed form of government that allows for immense inefficiency and corruption.

First, American democracy is apathetic to the struggle of the average american. This has been proven time and time again as congress has shut down the government putting many in peril simply due to political bickering. However, the real clinch hitter is the fact that despite continual cries for help from millions of voters, politicians turn a cold shoulder. This is best seen in the Ferguson and Baltimore riots as no long term corrective measures were put in place for police brutality or for the struggling minority populations.

Second, American democracy has been and is responsible for perverse human rights violations. Slavery, Jim Crow, Anti-Women's Rights laws, Anti-Gay Marriage laws, and discriminatory policies throughout the United States which continue into modern day all provide prime examples of when democracy has failed. The symptoms of these atrocities which still reveal themselves in modern times, such as white privilege, racism, sexism, and numerous other freedom inhibiting laws all prove that democracy has not succeeded in helping its constituents and has actually worsened their condition as proven by the fact that nations running on other government models such as the United Kingdom, Canada, Norway, Denmark, and Sweden all have higher living standards and greater freedoms, plus happiness.

Last, democracy is inherently flawed because it allows for slow decision making as partisan lines create tensions. This slow decision making harms constituents, in addition to this it makes decisions ineffective often times. Democracy is insensitive and fails to help it's own people. Other government models such as a parliamentary monarchy or socialist state succeed at these ends where democracy has failed.


I would like to thank Pro for bringing an important subject to the debating floor. I hope this debate will be one of a positive learning experience relative to the title of this debate and Pro's Round 1 setup.

Relative to the title of this debate “America,” I'm assuming the USA, was never a “democracy” it has always been a republic!

Therefore, “American democracy is a failure” is not possible for the USA was never a democracy. If Pro feels the USA is a “democracy,” the Burden of Proof (BoP) rest on Pro to prove the USA is a “democracy.”

Until then, Con will claim American [USA] democracy is NOT a failure, for the USA was never a democracy.

I realized Pro may be a victim of the quality of education found in our government controlled educational system. And in saying that, a good place to start for indoctrination deprograming is viewing the following two presentations:
Debate Round No. 1


Thank you, Con for a compelling argument in the negation.

However, my opponent's rebuttal fails in 2 key places, first my opponent claims that America has never been a democracy. Although technically this is correct, America is not a democracy in the classical sense of the word, America IS a democracy, just not a TRUE democracy. America IS a representative democracy.

Even if you don't buy into that, you have to accept the fact, that the wording of the prompt assumes American Democracy exists, be it functional or not. My opponent instead of engaging in an educational and intriguing debate topic dances around a real debate by attempting an unfair, and noneducational attack on the rhetoric of the prompt.

Aside from this abusive assault on my case that restricts the educational qualities of this debate, my opponent offers no rebuttal to my multiple points as to why American Democracy is a failure. Thus, I should win this debate.

Vote in the Affirmation for these reasons.


Pro took a very important first step, coming to understand “America is not a democracy” and I applaud him for that. And in this light, the proper titled for this debate should be: United States’ Republic is a Failure.

On that note, Pro's Round 1 argument suggests the US constitutional republic is a “failure.” Pro also made the claim that some other form of governance such as a “parliamentary monarchy or socialist” would “succeed.”

Greece is a “parliamentary” form of government and look what is happening in Greece today. Adolf Hitler's Nazi Germany was a “socialist” form of government and millions had died from this incarnation, oh the humanity.

Perhaps, it is not the form of government, but the culture and moral factor of its leaders.

Pro lamented about “human rights ...slavery, Jim Crow, ...Women's Rights ...Gay Marriage ...white privilege, racism, sexism, and numerous other freedom inhibiting laws...

As for “human rights” the US Constitution was the first form of governance to embrace and protect the individual's Unalienable Rights from the crimes of others and from the crimes of government, no more, no less. The State governments did all the rest, compete with each other for the best and brightest. This experiment changed the world like no other social system in recorded history in a short 200 year period, by the fruits of technology, food production, and medicine, the stables of human existence throughout the world today. A compelling example when our Unalienable Rights are free to morally flow forward (Constructal Law) within the awesome machinery of Nature.

The mission to embrace and protect everyone's Unalienable Rights, the US started with a difficult task relative to the cultural reality of the day. Cultural norms do not change overnight, because they are inherently conservative. For example, “slavery” and “woman's” standing in society were deeply rooted in the culture, including the norms of the ruling-class, for they too reflect the culture of the day. Our founding Fathers knew Unalienable Rights will remove cultural ills, as a result, “slavery,” the treatment of “woman,” and today's “Gay Marriage,” etc, in time during the evolution of culture as a function of our Unalienable Rights and the design of Congress, representing the people (the House), the states (the Senate), and the only branch to make law correcting such cultural ills by embracing and protecting the individual's Unalienable Rights.

However, the immoral conduct of our leaders slowly morphed our form of governance into some tyrannical rich ruling-class oligarch, over the last hundred years. Today, we are in a post constitutional era, where the ruling-class no longer follows our Constitutional republic, but emulates some form of Marxism. Pro may be surprised to learn the US follows the 10 Planks of the Communist Manifesto closer than following the US Constitution.

John Adams, one of the Founding Fathers of the United States, gave us a warning:

Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”

As for “racism, sexism, white privilege ...” for the most part, those are businesses or ways to divide and conquer subsets of the populist enhancing political hype and social stress to advance some ruling-class objective. Two quotes by Booker T. Washington (1856-1915) African American political leader, educator and author:

"There is (a) class of colored people who make a business of keeping the troubles, the wrongs, and the hardships of the Negro race before the public. Having learned that they are able to make a living out of their troubles, they have grown into the settled habit of advertising their wrongs -- partly because they want sympathy and partly because it pays. Some of these people do not want the Negro to lose his grievances, because they do not want to lose their jobs. ... "

"There is a certain class of race problem-solvers who don't want the patient to get well, because as long as the disease holds out they have not only an easy means of making a living, but also an easy medium through which to make themselves prominent before the public."

Pro made reference to “Jim Crow,” a classic example of the Supreme Court working outside the US Constitution making law. Only the Congress can make law not the courts, nor a President with his “pen and phone.” Today, everyone is making law and regulations (Congress, the courts, the President, EPA, IRS, NSA, and hundreds of other departments that are not in the Constitution). For example, relative to Pro's observation of those “numerous other freedom inhibiting laws” there are so many laws on the books, on the average we commit 3 felonies a day.

As Lavrenti Beria, chief of Josef Stalin's secret police, once stated, “You bring me the man, I'll find you the crime.

So true is the police state of today's US. The ruling-class decides what laws to enforce or not. Not so much of those “white privilege,” but the “privilege” of the ruling-class who seem to be above the law.

I think I addressed most of Pro's Round 1 arguments.

The United States' Republic is NOT a Failure! Our biggest nemesis is the morality factor of our leaders not following the Constitution. Something to think about during our next election cycle.
Debate Round No. 2


learnyang1812 forfeited this round.


I'm standing by.
Debate Round No. 3


learnyang1812 forfeited this round.


I'm standing by.
Debate Round No. 4


learnyang1812 forfeited this round.


Too bad Pro forfeited this debate. I was hoping to demonstrate to Pro one of the safeguards in the U.S. Constitution, presently under consideration ("Convention of States"), where the State governments could collectively remove power from the Federal government and/or make amendments to the constitution without the consent of the Federal government.

Therefore, the United States' Republic is NOT a Failure!

If the Federal government continues down its current path, we the people could support the “Convention of States” by petitioning our State governments.

When the ruling-class follows the U.S. republic's constitution yields the best form of governance known to mankind.

Failure in any form of governance is a function of the morality factor of the ruling-class.
Debate Round No. 5
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by missmedic 3 years ago
Con you are now arguing for the Pro side?
Posted by missmedic 3 years ago
Youtube is not a credible source for knowledge or proof. Also redefining "American democracy" is a cheep ploy and it detracts from the real argument which you failed to address. This kind of dishonesty serves to undermine honest rational debate.
Posted by learnyang1812 3 years ago
that it failed in its purpose
Posted by Commondebator 3 years ago
What exactly do you mean by "failure"?
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by dsjpk5 3 years ago
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Total points awarded:01 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro ff many times. This is bad conduct.