The Instigator
Dr_Harvey
Pro (for)
Losing
21 Points
The Contender
LR4N6FTW4EVA
Con (against)
Winning
39 Points

Barack Obama embarrassed America during his speech in Berlin

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/29/2008 Category: Politics
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 1,776 times Debate No: 4823
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (8)
Votes (20)

 

Dr_Harvey

Pro

Anyone who goes to a foreign country and talks about the United States like we are the source of most of the problems in the world is an embarrassment to America. Granted, our country has problems, but you don't go to the neighbors house and talk about the family business. Obama made America look weak and he had no right to go oversees and act like he was the president speaking about foreign policy. He said in fact, "In Europe, the view that America is part of what has gone wrong in our world, rather than a force to help make it right, has become all too common. In America, there are voices that deride and deny the importance of Europe's role in our security and our future." First of all, when did the United States become accountable to other countries for what we do in regards to our national security. We ought to try and keep good relations with foreign countries, but only to the degree that suits us. That is what national sovereignty is. We protect our country first. Really, we don't need Europe. By making us sound dependent on Europe and wrong in the way we have acted towards their socialist lunacy, Obama embarassed our country and made the US seem weak.
LR4N6FTW4EVA

Con

Although I am by no means a fan of Obama (see my avatar), I do think that you are more or less completely wrong.

I will make three points, then refute yours.

Contention 1: Whether his statement was correct or not, in order for it to embarrass America, America had to feel embarrassed. For example, if my parents showed their friends baby pictures of me, yet I never found out, I would not be embarrassed, even though my parents acted in a potentially embarrassing way. The same goes for Obama, even if his statements were potentially embarrassing, the majority of Americans never heard them, and so they cannot be embarrassed. America as a whole was never really embarrassed.

Contention 2: Obama was talking about America's government, not America. America shouldn't be embarrassed by what others say about our government, although our government should.

Contention 3: Obama helped America's image. He was showing that we can take responsibility for our problems, and that we are an open nation. The quote you put in is very true, America's image in Europe is not very good, and Obama was recognizing that, and trying to improve our image. That's beneficial, not embarrassing.

Rebuttal:"Granted, our country has problems, but you don't go to the neighbors house and talk about the family business"

This is different, our relationships with our neighbors is very important, especially with our European neigbors, who are supposed to be our allies. Although we are powerful, we cannot stand alone, and we must improve our relationships worldwide.

"Obama made America look weak and he had no right to go oversees and act like he was the president speaking about foreign policy."

He's running for president, so he has to show the world that he is at least somewhat competent in foreign relations. He is telling the world what he'll be like if he becomes our leader (God forbid).

"First of all, when did the United States become accountable to other countries for what we do in regards to our national security. We ought to try and keep good relations with foreign countries, but only to the degree that suits us."

I think not becoming a world pariah suits us. And when our attempts at national security infringe on the rights of other nations, we do need to be accountable.

"That is what national sovereignty is. We protect our country first. Really, we don't need Europe. By making us sound dependent on Europe and wrong in the way we have acted towards their socialist lunacy, Obama embarrassed our country and made the US seem weak."

We actually do, as they are really the only powerful ally that we have. If you feel that we can stand alone, than you aren't a socialist lunatic, you are a nationalist lunatic.
Debate Round No. 1
Dr_Harvey

Pro

Essentially, what you are arguing in your first contention is that somehow ignorance of an insult changes whether or not it is an insult. I work in an office and if the secretary began speaking negative things about me behind my back and I wasn't aware of it, the damage it could do to my image still exists. Whether or not I know it, I have been embarrassed. Just because many Americans are either ignorant or feeding off of the commentary of political pundits on CNN doesn't change the fact that the Character and integrity of this country was challenge in a negative way by one of our own representatives speaking in a foreign country.

Secondly, America's government isn't some secondary establishment that operates apart from the people. We have a representative government. The founders of this great nation said this government would be "of the people, by the people, and for the people." Our government is made up of citizens who represent the people. So when people talk about our government in a negative light and in general our country (Obama made no distinguishment between our government and our people, read the transcript from the speech) they are speaking about Americans. In my travels to foreign countries the attitudes exhibited by citizens of other nations is reflectant of their view of our government. Obama, being the grandson of a Kenyan goat herder out to know that. The only contact some foreigners will ever have with America is a soldier, an extension of our executive branch.

Thirdly, Obama did absolutely nothing to help America's image. You know what helps Americas image is doing, not talking about, the right thing. Taking responsibility for our problems has so much more to do with what we act on, a decision that Barack Obama at this point and time, has no say over aside of his senatorial position. Who decided that Barack Obama should be the spokes person for the great US public relations campaign anyway? He is campaigning for president but last time I checked people in Germany don't vote in the United States. So really their opinion about whether or not Barack Obama should be president matter about as much as whether or not I like the president of Germany or the prime minister of Britain.

If you were to read up on the politics of France, Germany, the Netherlands, and even Great Britain you would see that European politics are undergoing a shift to more conservative values. It seems like an odd time for this to happen, but when you consider the security concerns that have surface in the last 7 years it makes sense. Barack Obama, like many liberal democrats, is out of touch with the fact that the people are not looking for a more globalized world (which Obama was promoting and criticizing the US for not embracing) people want to know that the borders, language and culture of their country is protected.

While Obama is running for president, he is not president. While foreign policy is something that should be communicated to other nations, it is for those who have been put in the place of communicating that to say. Barack Obama has the right to say whatever he wants to say but I have the right to say what he said was wrong and offensive.

Consider this quote from the Global Herald, the global edition of the New York Times, There will be no German soldiers in Iraq," a German government spokesman, Thomas Steg, said, "The position of the German government as far as Iraq is concerned is clear - it will not be changed, It will remain in the future what it was in the past - there will be no German soldiers in Iraq." Yeah this sounds like one of our strongest allies, I want to stand with Germany on the battlefield especially in light of the fact that it was only recently in History that Germany was allowed to have an Army due to WWII.

But what about France, the Netherlands, Spain, oh thats right, none of them have contributed a whole lot to the war effort either. It seems to me that if we are going to be seeking approval from countries like great Britain, Poland, South Korea, who represent the majority of allied forces other than the United States in Iraq and Afghanistan. In fact, none of the major European countries aside of the UK is represented in Iraq. Thank you Barack Obama for crawling to the other nations who have not helped us, who have not acted like allies, and telling them we were wrong. This is an embarrassment to the soldiers who needed the help but never got it, and to the pride of the United States which remains only in the hearts of a few. Now do you have any facts to support that Obama's speech helped improve people's view of America, or was that just speculation?
LR4N6FTW4EVA

Con

"Pro ~ Essentially, what you are arguing in your first contention is that somehow ignorance of an insult changes whether or not it is an insult. I work in an office and if the secretary began speaking negative things about me behind my back and I wasn't aware of it, the damage it could do to my image still exists. Whether or not I know it, I have been embarrassed. Just because many Americans are either ignorant or feeding off of the commentary of political pundits on CNN doesn't change the fact that the Character and integrity of this country was challenge in a negative way by one of our own representatives speaking in a foreign country."

Even if said insult is an insult, it is not an embarrassment. Embarrass is defined by the good men at Merriam-Webster as "to place in doubt, perplexity, or difficulties." Obama's statements did not place me or the majority of Americans in doubt, perplexity, or difficulties. Therefore, he didn't embarrass us.

"Secondly, America's government isn't some secondary establishment that operates apart from the people. We have a representative government. The founders of this great nation said this government would be "of the people, by the people, and for the people." Our government is made up of citizens who represent the people. So when people talk about our government in a negative light and in general our country (Obama made no distinguishment between our government and our people, read the transcript from the speech) they are speaking about Americans. In my travels to foreign countries the attitudes exhibited by citizens of other nations is reflectant of their view of our government. Obama, being the grandson of a Kenyan goat herder out to know that. The only contact some foreigners will ever have with America is a soldier, an extension of our executive branch."

Few accuracy checks, it was Lincoln, not our founding fathers that said that the government is "of the people, by the people, and for the people." (Gettysburg Address) and Obama's grandfather happened to be a mission cook, not a goat herder. And anyways, why should Obama have anything to do with a country he never lived in? Obama implied that it was the government, therefore he was not blaming the people of America. Even al-Qaida has said that it hates the government, not necessarily the people.

"Thirdly, Obama did absolutely nothing to help America's image. You know what helps Americas image is doing, not talking about, the right thing. Taking responsibility for our problems has so much more to do with what we act on, a decision that Barack Obama at this point and time, has no say over aside of his senatorial position. Who decided that Barack Obama should be the spokes person for the great US public relations campaign anyway? He is campaigning for president but last time I checked people in Germany don't vote in the United States. So really their opinion about whether or not Barack Obama should be president matter about as much as whether or not I like the president of Germany or the prime minister of Britain."

Barack Obama IS helping our image, as he is bringing light to issues that need talking about, such as our image abroad. I don't want to live in a country that is internationally despised, and Obama is helping us be less despised. Obama will likely be our next president (unfortunately) and he does need to win support from the international community if he is to be successful in foreign policy. In fact most president's do this, although they usually wait untilafter election day.

"If you were to read up on the politics of France, Germany, the Netherlands, and even Great Britain you would see that European politics are undergoing a shift to more conservative values. It seems like an odd time for this to happen, but when you consider the security concerns that have surface in the last 7 years it makes sense. Barack Obama, like many liberal democrats, is out of touch with the fact that the people are not looking for a more globalized world (which Obama was promoting and criticizing the US for not embracing) people want to know that the borders, language and culture of their country is protected."

I disagree with your analysis. Barack Obama seems to be very in touch with the political environment of today, that's why he's 3% more popular than McCain. Europe is very favorable to globalization, they started the EU, and are leading many other globalization efforts.

"Barack Obama has the right to say whatever he wants to say but I have the right to say what he said was wrong and offensive."

I believe though that you are a minority there.

"But what about France, the Netherlands, Spain, oh thats right, none of them have contributed a whole lot to the war effort either. It seems to me that if we are going to be seeking approval from countries like great Britain, Poland, South Korea, who represent the majority of allied forces other than the United States in Iraq and Afghanistan. In fact, none of the major European countries aside of the UK is represented in Iraq. Thank you Barack Obama for crawling to the other nations who have not helped us, who have not acted like allies, and telling them we were wrong. This is an embarrassment to the soldiers who needed the help but never got it, and to the pride of the United States which remains only in the hearts of a few. Now do you have any facts to support that Obama's speech helped improve people's view of America, or was that just speculation?"

And why should they care, Iraq was not a threat to the US, or Europe, they had no reason to help us out. However, they did help out in Afghanistan, excluding France, and that just shows that if the US is ever REALLY in dire need of assistance, we will get it, assuming we don't alienate the world first.

And you asked me for facts that he improved the world's view of the US, and while I cannot present them, I would like to point out that you are speculating just as much as I am, so if you want everything to be supported by facts you lose, because you won't find any facts supporting that.
Debate Round No. 2
Dr_Harvey

Pro

Dr_Harvey forfeited this round.
LR4N6FTW4EVA

Con

I gues I win then. 100 characters. 100 characters. 100 characters. 100 characters. 100 characters. 1
Debate Round No. 3
8 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 8 records.
Posted by Xera 8 years ago
Xera
"If we did not have countries such as Europe"

I"m sorry 4L, but someone needed to point this one out. :D

I have to agree that just because something is embarassing, unless actual embarassment is FELT it does not exist. Embarassment is an emotion, like love. Just because puppies are lovable, does not extend to the idea that puppies are loved. Had the resolution said that the remarks were embarassing, then Pro would have won, because then even one person finding them to be so would make the resolution true.
Posted by Mogget 8 years ago
Mogget
I'm going to have to agree with Rezz on this one, lolz!
Posted by gahbage 8 years ago
gahbage
Wow, how did he get 2 votes?
Posted by LearnLoveLiveLife 8 years ago
LearnLoveLiveLife
Our country is weak, it IS a cause of many of the problems in the world, and Obama knows this. If we did not have countries such as Europe, China, Japan, etc to invest in us and save us from our $9,540,742,334,651 debt... we would fail as a country.
Posted by Sweatingjojo 8 years ago
Sweatingjojo
There was an ink blotch on the Constitutional amendment granting Germany electoral votes. We know for sure that it's a number in the low- to mid twenties, but that's it. What they do to solve this problem is spin Dick Cheney around and then make him shoot at 'a bird'. Depending on how many actual humans get shot in the process is how they figure out the second numeral for Deutchesland's electoral votes. This year he killed one man, and severed off two legs from different people, so Germany gets 23 EV's.
Posted by LR4N6FTW4EVA 8 years ago
LR4N6FTW4EVA
I thought it was 24, or maybe 25...
Posted by Sweatingjojo 8 years ago
Sweatingjojo
Actually Germany is worth 23 Electoral Votes, so it was smart for Obama to court their vote.
Posted by Rezzealaux 8 years ago
Rezzealaux
I would say something, but I'm laughing too hard.
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