The Instigator
FormerNavy
Pro (for)
Losing
21 Points
The Contender
the_last_Patriot
Con (against)
Winning
39 Points

Barack Obama is the best major political candidate to lead the United States starting in 2009.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/11/2007 Category: Politics
Updated: 9 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 2,332 times Debate No: 228
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (19)
Votes (20)

 

FormerNavy

Pro

Barack Obama is has the strongest judgment, leadership ability, integrity, and overall character of any major candidate currently being considered for the Presidency in 2008. These qualities make him the candidate Americans should choose to lead our country from January 2009-January 2013.
the_last_Patriot

Con

In reference to the above Argument I have to call into question two main things: First, the statement of Barack Obama's leadership ability. Barack Obama has been in the United States senate for less than 4 years. That is a smaller amount of time than the tenure of a High School SCA president in some Schools. This means that he isn't even the Senior Senator from his own State. The Senate, as I'm sure you're aware, operates under a system of Seniority. The junior senator from each state, in most cases, follows the lead of the Senior Senator. Not a quality I would say is synonymous with leadership ability. Furthermore the very office of Senator is not one of leadership. If the Senate was equated with the old city-state democracy of Ancient Greece, Barack obama would amount to little more than a common voter, hardly a leadership position. The President of the United States in our system of Government acts as an Executive, a function wholly dissimilar from that of a Senator. The type of leadership ability needed to be a successful president is that of a Governor, Mayor, or CEO in a position of Executive authority. To that end the leadership ability that he may have displayed as a senator is largely irrelevant to the type of ability he would need to become president (This is perhaps why there have been more Governors elected to the Presidency than senators in American history) To put it simply, Barack Obama lacks political experience and would, predictably, rely on negotiation rather than executive action to get things done. Negotiation is for congress, we need a strong President who will use all the constitutional authority he has to get things done. Some one like Governor Romney for example. Electing Barack Obama to the Oval office would do nothing more than proverbially adding one more Senator to Congress.
Secondly, I have to call into question his judgment. At an anti-war rally in Chicago in 2002 Barack Obama was quoted as saying the following: "I don't oppose all wars. And I know that in this crowd today, there is no shortage of patriots, or of patriotism. What I am opposed to is a dumb war. What I am opposed to is a rash war." Surely a Harvard educated Man such as himself should have been able to come up with a more fitting and accurate term than "Dumb" to describe the effort our American soldiers are fighting and dying for. He didn't. This in my opinion is definitely poor judgment. Imagine American Troops in Iraq hearing this after being involved in a firefight which almost cost them their lives. I grow tired of hearing the argument that one can support the troops without supporting the war, because if you condemn the war, by extension, you condemn the troops. The American Soldiers in Iraq are following orders from their commanders and their commander in chief, as is their constitutional duty, calling this a dumb war is insulting all of the leaders who have ordered them to do their duty and by extension, condemning the troops for following what some may now consider "dumb" orders. Attacking the war could surely have been done in a more tasteful manner. Barack Obama, the Harvard educated politician, chose to use the word dumb. He showed poor judgment.
Finally when asked about the Nuclear Option in a conflict with Iran, he bumbled a weak, almost incoherent statement in response, and then said "Scratch that, there has been no mention of nuclear use at this time." The President, as I'm sure you know due to your Military experience, has control over the United States' entire nuclear arsenal. When being asked before he was even elected to office about whether or not he would consider using them, he stuttered, bumbled, and retracted his statements. There are plenty in the Joint Chiefs of the armed forces who might suggest nuclear action when it was not warranted. Do we want a president in office who will give unclear answers in this situation? This doesn't seem like strong leadership to me
In conclusion, to assert that Barack Obama is the best leader to elect for the upcoming election is to deny the association between leadership and experience, resolve, and sheer tact. If these are qualities your ideal leader lacks, then I would say that your suggestions of a good leadership are as irrelevant as Barack Obama's Senatorial Experience. Barack Obama's consideration as the single best candidate for president of the United States in 2009 in simply absurd.
Debate Round No. 1
FormerNavy

Pro

Last Patriot--

Thank you for accepting this debate. Judging from your response, however, I am not sure you understood the topic. The topic is not "Barack Obama is a perfect candidate for President of the United States." The topic is "Barack Obama is the BEST candidate for President of the choices likely to be available during the 2008 election cycle." My argument isn't that "Barack Obama has shown PERFECT judgment during each and every moment of his life." My argument is only that he has the BEST judgment of any candidate in the field. This is an important distinction, because the reality is that the President of the United States is a human being with human flaws. So in your next response, I hope to read about why you feel another major contender (Romney, etc) would be a better choice for President than Barack Obama.

From reading your response, I have the sense that you agree with me that the primary criteria for judging who should be our next President are the following character traits:

1. Judgment
2. Leadership Ability
3. Integrity
4. Overall Character

If I have misunderstood you or you would like to add to or subtract from that list, please make that clear so that we can have a focused, productive discussion going forward.

1. Judgment

Barack Obama is the only frontrunning Presidential candidate who had the judgment to oppose the war in Iraq before it started. At a cost of over 1.2 million lives (according to an Opinion Research Business poll concluded in August of 2007, counting the number of "violent deaths" that have occurred as a result of the Iraq war), the invasion and occupation of Iraq has turned out to be one of, if not the greatest, foreign policy disasters in U.S. history. As a U.S servicemember who left active duty only two years ago (and who completed a deployment to the Middle East), I am somewhat ashamed to have been a part of the mechanism that has wrought such destruction on human civilization. Yet I am proud of my service at the same time, because of those with whom I served.

You say that Barack Obama exercised poor judgment by calling the war in Iraq a "dumb war" in 2002 because of the effect that such a comment would be likely to have those serving in uniform. I am offended by your assertion that servicemembers are so thin-skinned that we would allow a comment by an Illinois Senator to distract us from doing our jobs. We are professionals. Most of my colleagues in uniform are apolitical and don't have any idea what our own Congressman thinks about the Iraq war, let alone a state senator. So your argument that American troops would feel "condemned" upon reading that Senator Obama had warned against an invasion of Iraq tells me that you have either never actually served in uniform or have not served recently enough to know how most American servicemembers really think. The reality is that we are such a large and diverse group with so many ways of looking at the world that no one can claim to speak for "American servicemembers" or offer a legitimate opinion as to how they are likely to be affected by reading that Barack Obama called the Iraq war "dumb" in 2002.

That said, let's not lose sight of the fact that Barack Obama was the only candidate with the courage and character to speak the truth about the Iraq war before it started...and did so at great risk to his own political career. The reality is that the Iraq war IS a dumb war. 3,800 U.S. servicemembers have been killed in this war. And for what? So we can have fewer troops to look for and kill Al-Queda, the group that actually DID attack us on September 11th? When I was commissioned as a military officer, I thought the oath I was taking was to defend America against our actual ENEMIES who actually threatened us, not people who merely annoyed us or had oil we wanted for ourselves. Now I have lost friends in this war. They were great people who would have gone on to have amazing lives and made incredible contributions to our country. But they were killed by roadside bombs or shot down flying helicopters. Why? For what? Because George W. Bush had a beef with Saddam Hussein for making an assassination attempt against his father in 1993? Before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, I think we all had a sense in the back of our minds what was happening. We all kind of knew that something wasn't quite right with this decision to invade a country that had not attacked us first. But no one had the courage to actually stand up and say it, because we were all too scared of being branded "unpatriotic." No one, that is, except for Barack Obama.

Let's look at the full text of the speech you cited in which you say Barack Obama exercised "poor judgment:"

"I stand before you as someone who is not opposed to war in all circumstances. The Civil War was one of the bloodiest in history, and yet it was only through the crucible of the sword, the sacrifice of multitudes, that we could begin to perfect this union and drive the scourge of slavery from our soil.

...I don't oppose all wars. After September 11, after witnessing the carnage and destruction, the dust and the tears, I supported this administration's pledge to hunt down and root out those who would slaughter innocents in the name of intolerance, and I would willingly take up arms myself to prevent such tragedy from happening again.

I don't oppose all wars. What I am opposed to is a dumb war. What I am opposed to is a rash war. What I am opposed to is the cynical attempt by Richard Perle and Paul Wolfowitz and other armchair, weekend warriors in this administration to shove their own ideological agendas down our throats, irrespective of the costs in lives lost and in hardships borne.

What I am opposed to is the attempt by political hacks like Karl Rove to distract us from a rise in the uninsured, a rise in the poverty rate, a drop in the median income, to distract us from corporate scandals and a stock market that has just gone through the worst month since the Great Depression.

That's what I'm opposed to. A dumb war. A rash war. A war based not on reason but on passion, not on principle but on politics."

AND HERE'S THE KICKER:

"I know that even a successful war against Iraq will require a U.S. occupation of undetermined length, at undetermined cost, with undetermined consequences.

I know that an invasion of Iraq without a clear rationale and without strong international support will only fan the flames of the Middle East, and encourage the worst, rather than best, impulses of the Arab world, and strengthen the recruitment arm of al-Qaeda."

Hasn't Senator Obama's prediction largely come true? Doesn't the fact that we are in fact now in a war "of undetermined length, at undetermined cost, with undetermined consequences" demonstrate exceptional wisdom and judgment?

Now I would like you to consider the personal risk Senator Obama was taking at the time he spoke these words. It was not fashionable to say such things in 2002. Remember the uncertainty of the times we were in. What if it turned out that Saddam Hussein DID have a few of the types of weapons we were looking for? What then? Obama's career would have been finished after making a speech like this, and he knew it. But he was willing to take a stand for what he believed in. That's integrity. That's what we need in the White House. What we don't need is someone whose "leadership ability" has only been proven inside the Alice-in-Wonderland environment of Washington. I'll get to that later.

PS--to the commenter who felt Senator Obama does not show proper reverence during the anthem to be President, am I correct to assume that you believe George W. Bush should not be the President for the same reason? Please click the link below to see what I'm referring to:

http://img.photobucket.com...

Do you think it is "respectful" to leave your hand between your navel and your crotch?
the_last_Patriot

Con

No problem, I enjoy friendly debate!

Considering that this argument has three rounds, I assumed it made the most sense to address your argument point by point and therefore, express my opinion of Barack Obama before I said why another candidate would be better. In doing this I recognized the logical opportunity in the three part argument. I apologize for any confusion this might have caused.
Having said that I would be glad to contribute my opinion of why Romney is a better candidate then Barack Obama. Without starting a side debate on Conservatism v Liberalism, I would like to first suggest that Conservatism is at the true hearts and minds of the majority of American citizens. Evidence for this lies in the last mid-term election in 2006, in which most of the conservatives that lost there seats ran as liberals and most of the Liberals elected, ran with conservative principles at the heart of their campaign. I don't think either of us needs direct proof to show Obama's extreme lean to the left. Using terms such as Re-deployment instead of retreating, and fair and affordable health care instead of socialized medicine, when describing his policies does not change this fact. In support of Mitt Romney, he holds more formal education than Barack Obama, holding a MBA and a Juris doctorate in law, both from Harvard. Mitt Romney has also held many direct executive offices including Governor of Massachusetts, CEO of Bain & Company, and Co founder of Bain Capital, both very successful firms. He has degrees at the highest level in two fundamental aspects of American politics, Business and Law, and has shown a superior knowledge of both. As Governor of Massachusetts he worked with the state legislature to achieve many great things, an attribute essential for a successful executive. In his tenure as Governor he improved Education so much so that in two major national exams, Massachusetts was ranked number one in education in English and math, the first state in history to do so in both categories. ThIs was done through an incentive system which rewarded teachers for being better assets to the school systems: A conservative Idea. This displays leadership and an ability to work in non-partisan efforts to improve conditions in his state. Barack Obama is by no means a non-partisan individual; I don't think I need to go any further into arguing that fact, anyone that disagrees here obviously hasn't read his policies. As an example of Romney's integrity, when a Man's daughter was lost in New York city after running away, Romney shut down his office and commissioned his employees to break the city into sections and look for the missing girl. By his efforts she was found, when she could have been killed. This sort of "above and beyond" action by Romney shows his personal integrity and sense of moral responsibility. Finally, Romney's tough stance on two main issues affecting the security of America make him not only a far superior choice than Barack Obama, they make him a better choice than any other candidate. Romney recognizes and has a strong interest in resolving the threat Iran poses to international security. If he is elected he will keep pressure on Iran that Barack Obama, or any other liberal for that matter, will not be willing to maintain, which may allow Iran to become even more dangerous and possibly obtain the nuclear devices they desire. The second issue Romney is stronger on than Barack Obama is that of immigration. So long as illegal immigration is allowed and perpetuated in this country we will continue to see an increase in all the problems it causes. Romney's plan will crack down on immigration by hitting it at the source: Employment. Romney's plan is to assign a simple worker identification number to every person legally allowed to work in the United States, who is not a Citizen. If they do not have the card with that number on it, they don't work. And any business who does hire them will suffer harsh penalties up to and including loss of business licenses. A Nation without borders is not a nation. Romney will secure our borders and our future; I do not have the same confidence in Barack Obama.

For the record all of these accomplishments Romney has achieved took place outside of the "Alice in wonderland" politics of Washington.

Finally, on the issue of the Iraq war. I am actually quite surprised that you are not only a former naval officer, but one that actually believes that our motivation for this war was for oil. I have done extensive research on the Iraqi war and by extension its oil infrastructure. Based on this research allow me to offer you the following model: All information was obtained from the energy information administration.

In the year 2003 the United States imported over eleven million barrels of crude oil per day from countries other than Iraq. Of those eleven million barrels over three million of them were imported from Canada and Mexico alone. Iraq produces 2 million barrels of crude oil a day. This amount is less than the amount of oil the United States can import from countries on its borders, peacefully without utilizing any military resources or fuel for shipping the crude oil across the Atlantic Ocean.
In the year 2003, the United States exported more than one million barrels of oil to other countries every day. That is half of what Iraq produces! If the United States was so concerned about oil that it would go to war for it, why would it be exporting over a million barrels a day to other countries? Furthermore, that same year the United States was importing four-hundred eighty one thousand barrels of oil from Iraq per day. Assuming the United States went to war with Iraq, consumed no fossil fuels while mobilizing, and seized the entire Iraqi Oil infrastructure, we would only gain an additional one and a half million barrels per day in oil resources by controlling Iraq's oil. In a single day the United States consumes over twenty million barrels of oil. Waging a war to obtain one twentieth of our daily consumption is not only improbable, it's absurd.

With that argument refuted I would like to move on your assumptions about my lack of Military association. I live and grew up next to the largest Navy base in the world, Norfolk, Virginia. Most of my friend base consists of Marines and Naval personnel, fighter pilots, Navy Seals, and people from the intelligence community, all of which who are not only offended by men like Barack Obama and their comments on the war, they are disgusted by it. Some of these people served on the GROUND in Iraq and SAW friends blown apart, and even they believe in what they are doing in Iraq to this day! My father worked for almost a decade, directly with the Admiralty in Naval intelligence under SINKLANT jurisdiction, particularly with the Iraq Iran conflict in the 80's. Furthermore I am currently Studying Law at the University of Virginia to prepare for a career as either a Naval Aviator or a JAG corps officer. I assure you my information is good and my association with the Military is strong.

With the common rhetoric on the war refuted and my military association confirmed, we can move on to a few more important points. It doesn't take a political Genius to assume that the liberal electorate voting in the Mid-term elections would be anti-war. Obama's vote against the war did not exemplify any sort of superior judgment, if anything it was good planning for political credibility. These candidates didn't just wake some morning and decide they wanted to run for president. they have been planning these things for years. Obama was running in a largely liberal district which already opposed the war. He knew that a vote in the senate against the war wouldn't change the outcome given the overwhelming majority that supported it. By doing this he could claim a strong stance for the next election, or even the presidential race. Not good judgement, just good politics.
Debate Round No. 2
FormerNavy

Pro

To say that Senator Obama's early opposition to the war was not "good judgment" but was instead merely "good politics" is just plain wrong. If you read his speech you can tell he is genuinely speaking from his heart because he passionately cares about America. He got it right, and no one else did--including Mitt Romney. Senator Obama warned us that invading Iraq would lead to a war "of undetermined length, at undetermined cost, with undetermined consequences." Ted Sorensen (special advisor and speechwriter to John F. Kennedy--he helped advise JFK during the Cuban Missile crisis), one of our country's brightest and most "experienced" minds and a man of unquestionable patriotism, had this to say about Obama's judgment:

The U.S. is at a critical juncture in its history. The subprime mortgage crisis, combined with George Bush's irresponsible fiscal policies, have pushed this country to the brink of an economic recession that, if it materializes, will have global implications. The goodwill that we had from the rest of the world after September 11th has been squandered in Iraq; even our British allies are pulling out. George Bush inherited a budget surplus and managed to take the worst elements of conservatism (tax cuts without spending cuts), combine them with the worst elements of liberalism (the most expensive prescription drug plan in world history), and will leave office with a budget deficit of somewhere between $400 and $600 billion, a dollar whose value lower than that of the Canadian "Looney," and a people badly divided between idealogues on both the right and left.

The country needs more than change: it needs transformation. Transformation from the partisan bickering and "you-are-either-with-us-or-against-us" swaggering attitude that can be traced back to the 1960's (as Senator Obama brilliantly describes in his book, The Audacity of Hope), but seems to have dramatically intensified under the tenure of our current President. Abraham Lincoln taught us over 160 years ago that "a house divided against itself cannot stand," yet so many Americans today seem to have forgotten that critical lesson. Barack Obama understands the importance of focusing on what unites us as a people instead of the much smaller number of things that divide us...in stark contrast to Mitt Romney, who would rather "double Guantanamo Bay" than bring the world together.

We have to realize that the world is too complex for us to waste time trying to neatly categorize everything into "us" vs. "them," "Liberal" vs. "Conservative," "Good Guy" vs. "Bad Guy," and "American" vs. "Everyone Else." I can understand the temptation to think this way, though. The world's complexity and uncertainty can make it seem scary to some people. So it is natural to want to "pick a side" or worldview that helps us explain what is going on to we can go on to think that it is possible to have some control (and therefore predictability) in our lives.

So let me correct some of the factual errors that seem to be floating around in this debate. Saddam Hussein was not an ally of al-Queda, nor was he complicit on the attacks on America on September 11th. Saddam Hussein did not harbor weapons of mass destruction at the time of the 2003 Iraqi invasion, nor did he directly threaten U.S. lives when George Bush made the decision to start a war that to date has killed 3,800 U.S. servicemembers. Senator Obama called the administration on its dishonesty at a time when few others had the courage to do so. Admittedly, some important gains have happened in Iraq this year, but those gains have happened in spite of the Bush administration, not because of it. In light of the fact that the original justification for the Iraq war (Saddam's possession of WMD) turned out to be a lie, there is no outcome possible in Iraq that could justify the lives and treasure that have been spent.

In a recent talk, Senator Obama inspired us all to imagine what the U.S. could be like after Bush leaves office: "We can tell the world we are back...we want to lead not just with our military, but with our values and ideas."

You say "I don't think either of us needs direct proof to show Obama's extreme lean to the left." I'm sorry, but I do need proof. I had the opportunity to personally meet Senator Obama last month and listened to his views on tax policy. His views on nearly every issue are moderate and progressive. For instance, at the luncheon where I met Senator Obama, a member of the audience asked him whether he realized the importance of business-friendly tax policy on being able to afford his other ideas. I recorded the Senator's response--it is not "extremely" left-leaning at all:

It is fair to assume that if Barack Obama is the Democratic nominee, the Republicans will try to paint him as a "tax and spend liberal," as they have done with every other Democratic presidential candidate since the time of Ronald Reagan. This would be a mistake, because Senator Obama is not a "liberal" at all. He stands for Progressivism: fiscal responsibility, interdependence, strong family values, and efficient government--the very things that have been calling cards for the Republicans for so many years.

You are correct that Mitt Romney has demonstrated strong leadership skills during his career. I regard him and Senator McCain as two of the better Republican candidates. However, you are incorrect that Mr. Romney is better educated than Senator Obama. Both men have law degrees from Harvard, and truthfully are about equally well-educated. Mitt Romney has an MBA, but Senator Obama was the Editor of the Harvard Law Review. Senator Obama also has 10 years of experience teaching Constitutional Law at the University of Chicago, also an extremely noteworthy academic accomplishment.

But Mr. Romney lacks the critical quality Barack Obama has: judgment in foreign affairs. I say this because Mr. Romney is on the record in a June 2007 debate as saying "some people are sayin' we oughtta' close Guantanamo. My view is we oughtta' double Guantanamo." America needs a President that will bring our allies back to our side, not continue to give the middle finger to everyone who disagrees with us. This view isn't being "soft" or conciliatory: it is being smart so we can create a world that works for all human life--including, especially, the lives of Americans. And in the eyes of the rest of the world, Guantanamo Bay and Abu Ghraib are two of the brightest images that prevent the U.S. from leading an effort to bring that sort of world into existence:

http://en.wikipedia.org...

I commend you for your desire to serve in the military, and wish you luck. The U.S. military is a wonderful organization with some of America's best and brightest. But once you do start serving I think you will realize that the world isn't as black-and-white as it seems you would like to believe, and that not everyone in the service thinks the same way you and your friends do. If your military friends were "disgusted" by Barack Obama's denunciation of the Iraq war before it started and think he should have kept his mouth shut, they should take a closer look at the 1st Amendment of the Constitution they swore to defend. It takes courage to stand up and say what you believe when it isn't popular or might one day end your political career. Barack Obama did that, and in the process demonstrated that he has the integrity to be our next President. I am afraid that you do not know how "servicemembers feel" about things as well as you think you do--as evidenced by this video of another servicemember who is also taking a stand for Barack Obama:

http://video.google.com...

Veterans support Obama.
the_last_Patriot

Con

I find it interesting that what you call words of superior judgment also came from the mouth of another important person, President George W. Bush. It doesn't take much judgment to asses this war as being one of undetermined cost and undetermined length, when the very chief executive who initiated it said the same thing. President Bush warned the American people that this was not going to be a quick and easy war. What Bush and other republicans were saying mirrors what Barack and other Democrats were saying with the exception of the suggestion that it was necessary. Republicans supporters of the war felt that liberating the Iraqi people from the oppressive forces that have dominated them for several thousand years was worth the effort regardless of the cost. We put Saddam Hussein in power and it was our responsibility to remove him.
In reference to your comment about Mitt Romney, I suggest the following. His suggestion that he would rather double Guantanamo bay, was in reference to the amount of potential terrorists confined there, receiving a quality of living at least equal if not superior to what they had before they were captured by American forces. He was suggesting that imprisoning more potential terrorists and using them to procure information on possible attacks on American soil might provide a useful resource for preventing future attacks. Logically speaking, it is ineffective to address an aggressive action with diplomacy and negotiation. The terrorists who ally themselves with al queda and other radical Islamic fundamentalist groups are not willing to negotiate, they are not willing to submit to badgering, they are not willing to settle for anything other than their own death fighting the west and it's so called "immoral ways", or the destruction of the west and its way of life. This is not a tactic you can meet with traditional diplomacy. So long as our enemies are beheading American troops and civilians working in Iraq, we cannot attempt to use reason and diplomacy. It simply won't work. Governor Romney will address this national security issue aggressively, and appropriately.
In reference to Barack Obama's liberalism I say the following: In his speech about reconciling faith with religion, he suggests that he could have taken the response that "every other liberal" would have taken against Allan Keys and his attacks on him. I would say he has clearly admitted his liberal stance. In his speech titled: Taking back our Government, he spent the first 4 minutes discussing his favoring stance on the redistribution of wealth in this country and calling the early American business innovators and entrepreneurs just a bunch of "Robber barons Rail road tycoons, and Oil Moguls" robbing the wealth from the American people. I would say that is a pretty far left leaning statement. I think I can say, without assuming too much, that the liberal party tends to favor idealism suggesting solutions can be found regardless of cost, to all problems no matter how large. His entire speech centered around his declared war against the establishment of big money and its lobbyist practices in Washington, and how he intends to clean it up. While some of the plans he cited for the employment eligibility of his own administration seem to be plausible and ethical, his suggested improvements for congress are idealistic and would be an overstepping of his constitutional power as President. The congressional reforms he suggests are more appropriate for a career in congress, not in the white house.
In reference to Mitt Romney's equal education level, I don't think noteworthy academic achievement in the same area as ones degree, such as your mention of Barack's leadership of the Harvard Law review, is quite the same as Mitt Romney's holding of another post-graduate degree in an unrelated field. Yes, both men did go to Harvard and both have Law degrees, but Mitt Romney also has a Masters in Business Administration, one of the hardest and most competitive master's level programs in the American post-secondary educational system. Both men are brilliant and well educated, I was simply suggesting that Mitt has a degrees in two important aspects of American politics where as Obama only has one.
For my next argument, let me discuss what you call "factual errors" that seem to be floating around in this debate. Saddam Hussein may not have been a direct ally of al queda; I do agree that the association of Iraq with the happenings on 911 was a botched political move by President Bush to draw up support for the war. That is a deception the American people have dealt with accordingly. However, unless you were at least a Full bird 06 ( Naval Captain for readers who are not familiar with that term) in Naval intelligence I would suggest that your certainty of his lack of Weapons of Mass destruction is as much of an educated guess as mine, and not as educated as those Naval intelligence. Furthermore, we know he had weapons of mass destruction at one point because we are the ones that supplied them to him during the Iraq Iran war in the 1980's. Before we deployed our forces to Iraq, while we were still bickering with the international community and domestic dissenters in congress, if you remember correctly, there was a huge convoy of Trucks that headed out of Iraq and into Syria that was large enough to be carrying everything we thought he had. Moreover were talking about a desert country the size of California, we found Saddam himself hiding in a hole. How is it so absurd to suggest that what we were looking for could have been buried along with him, in the sands of Iraq? It was not a lie that Saddam had weapons of Mass destruction, he had them, we just didn't find them. That does not make it a lie.
In closing I would like to offer the following statement to the readers of this argument who will soon be voting to decide the victor. When reading this debate I urge you to take into account the following: I am arguing against the fact that Obama is the best candidate for America in the coming election. Any references to any other topic were prompted by my opponent and not meant as side arguments of the justification of the Iraqi war or the righteousness of either party. So before you side with whichever candidate supports your views, please read the whole debate and consider its merit on which candidate you felt presented the strongest case, not which one you agree with. Barack Obama has shown leadership qualities in his career thus far. While that may make him a good candidate he is certainly not the best candidate for the Oval Office. Under our system, the Presidency requires skillful management of Executive authority. The President must realize the constitutional limitations of his office and the duties he must fulfill as an executive. Barack Obama is a Senator, a legislator, not an executive. Mitt Romney was a Governor, a CEO, and a founder of a successful company. He has displayed executive authority in these roles, Barack Obama has not. Mitt Romney has worked and succeeded in roles in which he had the constitutional and policy limitations of an executive as governor and chief executive officer, Barack Obama has not. Barack Obama has pledged himself to launch a campaign to clean up congress which he may not have the constitutional authority as President to carry out. His lack of previous executive responsibility leaves the American public to speculate on his performance as an executive. Mitt Romney has already shown executive leadership. So long as there is one candidate who has proven himself a safer vote, I think it is unreasonable to present Barack Obama as the strongest Candidate for President in the 2008 election.
I would like to thank formernavy for holding this debate and maintaining a respectable amount of decorum and displaying formidable logical ability. I would also like to thank everyone for listening.
Debate Round No. 3
19 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by FormerNavy 9 years ago
FormerNavy
Formernavalofficer,

Thank you for your critique...sorry to have disappointed you. I thought I did address the point you made regarding servicemembers not having the same views in Round 2, though:

"So your argument that American troops would feel "condemned" upon reading that Senator Obama had warned against an invasion of Iraq tells me that you have either never actually served in uniform or have not served recently enough to know how most American servicemembers really think. The reality is that we are such a large and diverse group with so many ways of looking at the world that no one can claim to speak for "American servicemembers" or offer a legitimate opinion as to how they are likely to be affected by reading that Barack Obama called the Iraq war "dumb" in 2002."

The diversity of political viewpoints in the service wasn't a major issue in our debate, so I tried to avoid using too much space on it.

In any event, I'd be interested in hearing your own views on the ideas that were discussed here, or on what we specifically could have done to argue our points more effectively.

In the meantime, I hope everyone will enjoy this video: it really captures the spirit of what I was saying in this debate:

http://www.dipdive.com...
Posted by formernavalofficer 9 years ago
formernavalofficer
Hello, I believe that both debaters did well in posing their views, however, I'm a little disappointed in formernavy's responses, especially being a veteran.

Formernavy:
I assume that you're a Naval Academy Alumni based on your picture. You should have learned there, or if not there, then at least while you served, that not all service members and veterans have the same views. Some, veterans support Senator Obama. Some, service-members do think the way "the last patriot" thinks. I think that your structure, examples, and views were very well thought out, but not enough to make your "instigation" strong enough to win. Thank you for your service to our country.

The Last Patriot:
You could do a better job in structuring your views. I enjoyed your closing remarks. Thank you for your desire to
serve, good luck in the fleet.
Posted by gack1224 9 years ago
gack1224
Define success. Define when we have enough success.

You're proving my point:
It's sickening to think patriotism is a justification for attacking people at home and abroad.

By attacking Obama you associate him with Muslims and almost a negative view. You are ignorant and prejudiced for doing so.

Few of our soldiers may be dying, but many more civilians are too (about 100,000) which shows you probably care less about them. That, I think, is sickening.
Posted by RepublicanView333 9 years ago
RepublicanView333
I don't see how its sickining if we attack a country full of terrorists successfully and take down Saddam owho other than Obama Bin Laden...oh oh sorry Osama Bin Laden was our biggest threat. Compared to other wars in the first 4 years We have the least amount of people who died.
Posted by gack1224 9 years ago
gack1224
It's sickening to think patriotism is a justification for not attacking people at home and abroad.

should be

It's sickening to think patriotism is a justification for attacking people at home and abroad.
Posted by gack1224 9 years ago
gack1224
Being patriotic doesn't mean you have to support war, or support the President's decisions, or sing the anthem at the top of your lungs, or praise a flag. It simply means you love and want the best out of the country you live in. I don't have to support decisions I think are wrong ... in my eyes, or support a war that I think is ... a disaster or follow traditions of patriotism. I'm interested in making this country the best it can be and Obama and others are not only pointing out that things are wrong about this country but that there are clear solutions for the problems we face. I am not necessarily supporting the plans they've put forward but that it is patriotic to think your country can be better. The traditions mentioned are just that, traditions. Putting my hand on my heart when the anthem is sung is a personal choice and that's what I think is best about this country, the amount of choice we are given to do what we think is right. I think the current President is wrong about a lot of things but I find it ludicrous to think that he is somehow admirable to stick to his rhetoric. He is supposed to reflect the attitude of America, he is supposed to support our country, and he is supposed to reconsider his actions and ideas if they are inconsistent with public opinion. I'm not saying that public opinion is always true, but that he should be at least trying to reform his ways to assure the American people rather than look like he's doing the patriotic thing to send our troops into Middle East when it just worsens things abroad and at home in general. The fact that they can't find WMDs and that the war is costing billions outweighs any possibility of mitigating a terrorist threat. If you are really scared of terrorists, why don't you nuke them? Go on, people really don't seem to care about the US military interventionism when they're from the US. It's sickening to think patriotism is a justification for not attacking people at home and abroad.
Posted by kels1123 9 years ago
kels1123
Im not talking about just looking Patriotic ... Im talking about a man wanting to be President of our country , and he can't even follow American traditions of Patriotism. He is not Patriotic when he speaks ... in my eyes. He just wants to go on and on about how we shouldn't be at war and lets pull the military out ..which will be a disaster. Yes you should act Patriotic not just look the part , but as a politician you should do both. he is in the public eye ... I don't think it is too much to ask that he show proper respect for our anthem and flag ...
Posted by FormerNavy 9 years ago
FormerNavy
"Patriotism" is defined by Webster's dictionary (10th Edition) as "Love or devotion to one's country." When I read Barack Obama's books or listen to his speeches, although I don't always agree with him, it is clear to me that he truly loves America, and that the words he speaks and actions he takes are born out of that love and devotion. So yes, I believe Barack Obama is a true patriot.

This should be contrasted with people who merely make symbolic gestures at Patriotism, but don't generate actions that prove they love their country. Wearing American flags on our lapels or putting our hand in any particular position during the playing of the American flag cannot make us patriotic. For example, the U.S. Servicemembers pictures in the link below might be wearing American flags with their uniforms (and undoubtedly stand at attention for the anthem), but they are definitely not BEING patriotic:

http://en.wikipedia.org...
Posted by the_last_Patriot 9 years ago
the_last_Patriot
I think that it is an interesting definition you have provided for patriotism. I have to ask, are you arguing that going back to help the underprivledged neiborhood you once lived in is somehow, a patriotic, and not humanitarian effort. Are you saying that anything that is done to help a community is automatically patriotic? I know certain criminal organizations that help out thier community. I wouldn't exaclty call that patriotic. While I am not in a position to question his patriotism based solely on an alledged recording or photo, I would have to say that supporting the proliferation of the Freedom and the American way throughout the world is a demonstration of patriotism. Not some humanitarian effort that could be construed as an effort to gain approval ratings in the future presidential election. President Bush and his supporters in congress knew what they were doing might cause them to lose their seats yet they did it anyhow, why? because they believed in it. They believed in the responsibility of the greatest country on the planet to share the wealth and libery we hold dear regardless of personal consequences they might face. That is true leadership, that is Patriotism.
Posted by FormerNavy 9 years ago
FormerNavy
Kels,

All I can say is that I hope one day you discover that there is a big difference between looking patriotic and BEING patriotic.
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