The Instigator
mongeese
Con (against)
Losing
84 Points
The Contender
pcmbrown
Pro (for)
Winning
90 Points

Barack Obama will be a great leader because he gives great speeches and promises hope and change.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/5/2009 Category: Politics
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 6,308 times Debate No: 8532
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (19)
Votes (31)

 

mongeese

Con

Some people claim that the above is true.

I don't get it.

Barack Obama - http://en.wikipedia.org...
great - used as a generalized term of [overall] approval (http://www.merriam-webster.com...)
leader - a person who has commanding authority or influence (http://www.merriam-webster.com...)
speech - a usually public discourse
promise - to pledge to do, bring about, or provide (http://www.merriam-webster.com...[2])
hope - desire accompanied by expectation of or belief in fulfillment (http://www.merriam-webster.com...[2])
change - TRANSFORMATION (http://www.merriam-webster.com...[2])

I don't see the connection. I'll let CON point it out in the first round.
pcmbrown

Pro

Given my opponent's definition of leader, it seems evident that a great leader is one who "commands authority or influence" to a great extent.

Charisma certainly results in a greater command of authority and influence. Obama's speaking ability, as well as his emphasis on hope and change constitute a charismatic approach. Thus, Barack Obama is, and will be, a great leader.
Debate Round No. 1
mongeese

Con

My opponent is using my definition of "leader," but not my definition of "great."

My opponent is using "great" to mean "large."

The resolution uses "great" to mean "a generalized term of [overall] approval."

My opponent has not shown how a greater command of authority and influence gains overall approval.

Now, I am going to show a counterexample.

His name was Adolf Hitler.

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

He gave great speeches.

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

"Hitler gained notoriety outside of the party for his rowdy, polemic speeches against the Treaty of Versailles, rival politicians (including monarchists, nationalists and other non-internationalist socialists) and especially against Marxists and Jews."

http://www.nostradamus101.com...

"From the deepest part of Western Europe
A young child will be born to poor people
Who will by his speech seduce a great multitude..."

Hitler promised hope and change.

http://answers.yahoo.com...

"Homework Help: Did hitler promise germany hope and change before he was elected?"

"Yes, he did. A reason why he came to power was because of his charisma in his speeches, and promises of a better future for Germany since there was an economic crisis that began growing after WW1."

http://blog.indecisionforever.com...

"The nation was in shambles. A previous ruler had led the country into an unnecessary war, the economy was failing, and a sense of depression filled the air. Then, a new leader emerged. He was a powerful speaker, offering hope, change, and a fix to the economy. He wrote two books about his experiences and used his literary work to propel him to success. He was an open Christian with some Muslim friends. He called for unity and considered himself an advocate of peace. Some of his political opponents cast him as naive and inexperienced. He also had a lot of radical ties, but the media, and ultimately the voters, were willing to overlook that."

This one quote could almost describe Obama as well as Hitler.

Hitler was not a great leader.

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

"Hitler, the Nazi Party and the results of Nazism are typically regarded as gravely immoral. Historians, philosophers, and politicians have often applied the word evil in both a secular sense of the word and in a religious sense. Historical and cultural portrayals of Hitler in the west are overwhelmingly condemnatory. The display of swastikas or other Nazi symbols is prohibited in Germany and Austria. Holocaust denial is prohibited in both countries."

Therefore, just because someone gives great speeches and promises hope and change, doesn't mean that they will be a great leader.

The resolution is negated.

Vote CON.

I now await my logical argument to be attacked in some way, shape, or form.

Thanks.
pcmbrown

Pro

My opponent concedes that Obama is charismatic, and that he commands authority and influence. The only remaining burden is to show "how a greater command of authority and influence gains overall approval."

"My opponent has not shown how a greater command of authority and influence gains overall approval." It is undeniable that Obama's charisma has contributed to his voter base, and hence, his approval among the American people.

"Hitler was not a great leader." Hitler was an evil man, and in fact, a fairly poor military strategist. However, given the definitions of "great" and "leader", our only criteria to judge a leader by are their approval, authority, and influence. Hitler commanded all three of these things. In fact, his rise to power was largely caused by promises of hope and change, along with his speaking skills. Therefore, per these definitions, Hitler was a "great leader". The definitions with which this debate is concerned do not address morality.
Debate Round No. 2
mongeese

Con

It doesn't matter that I concede that Obama commands authority and influence.

My opponent has to show how a person will be a great leader only because he gives great speeches and promises hope and change.

The people hoped that Hitler would turn out to be a great leader. He did not fulfill their expectations.

He ended up giving Germany a bad name for their Jewish discrimination, and he lost Germany a costly war, and he eventually committed suicide.

Hitler turned out to be a horrible leader, not a great leader.

Obama could just as easily be the world's next Hitler.

In other words, great speeches and perhaps empty promises do not predict a great leader.
pcmbrown

Pro

My opponent is ignoring the criteria for a "great leader" provided by the definitions of this debate. A leader is any person who has commanding authority or influence, and their greatness is determined by the degree of approval that they command. Fulfilling expectations is not a relevant criterion. I have shown that speaking ability, and promises of hope and change lead to increased approval, a criterion relevant to this round. This point has not been refuted.
Debate Round No. 3
mongeese

Con

My opponent ignores "will be" in the resolution. This isn't about whether or not people think Obama is great now. This is about whether or not we can determine if Obama will be great in the future because of his speeches and promises.

He only talks about the present, which is irrelevant.

Obama generally does more that give great speeches and promise hope and change to gain approval.

If Obama fails to meet present expectations in the future, he will not be a great leader.

Great speeches and hopeful promises of change do not make someone a great leader.
pcmbrown

Pro

My opponent concedes my entire case thus far, merely noting that I ignore the "will be" present in the resolution. However, Obama's charisma can be expected to persist through his tenure. This charisma will, no doubt, lead to greater approval ratings. Note that Germany, under Hitler, supported the Third Reich despite its vast moral failings, due to Hitler's incredible charisma.
Debate Round No. 4
mongeese

Con

My opponent has not, however, managed to show why Barack Obama is a great leader because of his speeches and promises. Barack Obama may be a great leader because his policies are widely accepted. Barack Obama may be a great leader because he is of a minority race. There is no reason to make a connection between the great speeches and promises and his approval ratings.

There is no connection. Vote CON.
pcmbrown

Pro

The criterion used to judge a leader in this debate is public approval. Speaking skills, along with promises, contribute to charisma. Charisma generally contributes to public approval. With my opponents example of Hitler, his promises and speaking ability caused Germany to turn a blind eye to his blatant immorality. As Obama is also charismatic, he is likely to enjoy continued public approval, fulfilling the criterion for a "great leader".

Thanks for the debate, thanks for reading. Vote Pro.
Debate Round No. 5
19 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by mongeese 7 years ago
mongeese
But Hitler was white...
Posted by mythbuster 7 years ago
mythbuster
Hitler was a soldier and served time in prison...Obama was a Community Organizer and lawyer who helped poor people do better in life...This is a poor comparison and done to make Obama look bad just because he is not 100% white like the other Presidents...Thanks for the hate boys!
Posted by alto2osu 7 years ago
alto2osu
Again, "will be" makes this a game for fortune tellers. Neither side proved that Obama will be a categorically great or not great leader. The only thing we have to work with is the present, because no one could have predicted Hitler's behavior.

Con would have done better to ax the Hitler example entirely and simply argue that speaking ability has no correlation to morally appropriate behavior. At the same time, con never clearly tied morality to his definitions. A great leader was someone that merely gained "general approval." Since status quo shows general approval, everything beyond what we have experience in can be altered or can surprise us.

Like, you can't overlook that if you are going to focus on semantics...procedurals only work if you run them right.
Posted by Chase_the_Bass 7 years ago
Chase_the_Bass
I felt that the Hitler comparison was appropriate. Consider this same debate were to have taken place by German citizens during Hitlers rise. Pro could use all of the same arguments and could have won the debate but history would write itself and Hitler would prove to be a menace.

Fast forward to today and whether Obama's general approval will change is unknown (I personally believe the seeds have been planted). I believe the Hitler argument still proves that just because Obama gives great speeches and promises hope and change it does not mean that he will continue to be a great leader. A leader no doubt, but not necessarily a great one.
Posted by tribefan011 7 years ago
tribefan011
Con resorted to the Reductio ad Hitlerum. Also, his claim that Hitler was a horrible leader was baseless. By his definitions, Hitler could well be a great leader. Hitler was very well-liked. He greatly expanded Nazi Germany. I don't condone his actions in any way, shape, or form, but you should have worded it better or used different definitions.
Con, try not to use that particular logical fallacy. It makes you look like a complete conservative hack.
Posted by Chase_the_Bass 7 years ago
Chase_the_Bass
"Barack Obama will be a great leader because he gives great speeches and promises hope and change." What I focus on is the word "will". I'm assuming "will" here means "Merriam Webster - Will 3—used to express futurity." I think it was the burden of Pro to prove that if a leader gives great speeches and promises hope and change at the present time, then in the future he will still have a general approval. Saying "his charisma is going to last" doesn't work; Especially when one can look at history and see how often approval has changed for leaders and even more so for US Presidents.
Posted by alto2osu 7 years ago
alto2osu
I vote primarily pro where it counts for several reasons, but this was kind of a bad debate. The semantics issue was way, way, way too much of a focus. Not only that, but con hinges his advocacy on "will be" and "great." He loses the "great" debate right off the bat. Hitler is the worst example of trying to prove a leader not great, because, by con's own definition (which centers on overall approval), Hitler was great. Morality is not inherently tied to that definition. If you wanted it to be, you should have found another word/definition.

"Will be" is what made this debate totally off kilter. You might as well consult a magic 8-ball than debate it, because this is categorical, but neither side argues the certitude of Obama's future actions. Furthermore, it's impossible to do so. Coming out of WWI, Hitler had the same potential to be a morally upstanding leader for Germany. The Versailles treaty conditions and a failing German economy enabled Hitler's rise to power, much like the current situation in the US allowed Obama & left-wing policy to rise to power. None of these circumstances are indicative of future behavior. However, any basic linguist or communication student can tell you that charismatic speaking ability will gain you overall approval, hence make you "great" according to the given definition.

Pro didn't slam dunk this, though. The Hitler thing should have been a blip. Both debaters needed to focus more on the actual topic at hand, and the topic shouldn't have been so categorical.

I end up voting pro on Hitler and the "great" debate.
Posted by pcmbrown 7 years ago
pcmbrown
hence, gaining approval, and being a "great leader"
Posted by mongeese 7 years ago
mongeese
However, he never truly showed that Obama was great.

Through manipulation and laws, one can convince the people to elect for him.
Posted by KiraxxHero 7 years ago
KiraxxHero
The Hitler-Obama analogy was pointless. Hitler gained power through manipulation and laws. Obama actually won an ELECTION, by the PEOPLE. The pro DID use your definition of great (overall approval, am I correct?).
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Vote Placed by tmoney226 7 years ago
tmoney226
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