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

Bernie Sanders for U.S. President

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Post Voting Period
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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/30/2015 Category: Politics
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 30,359 times Debate No: 75896
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (52)
Votes (1)




This debate should be impossible to accept!

If you are interested in accepting this debate, please read the following and say so in the comments.

I will be arguing in this debate why Bernie Sanders should be the next United States President.
The Con will argue why Bernie Sanders should not be the next president of the United States.

Debate Itinerary:
Round 1: Acceptance
Round 2: Introduction of arguments
Round 3 & 4: Rebuttals
Round 5: Rebuttals permitted, but conclusions preferred.

Once again, if you are interested in taking this debate, please say so in the comments.

I look forward to a good debate!


Thank you, CentristX , for your offer for a debate. I'm looking forward to it, and appreciate your offer as a very new member of this site.

I will be arguing that Bernie Sanders should not be the next President of the United States (POTUS), and will be using the following definitions:

Should: a normative judgement - in this instance, I will be arguing that "should/should not" represents capacity/qualifications to fill the role of POTUS.

POTUS - I will be relying on the definition of the job description for the President of the United States, not simply using it as a title. Defining this job description will form part of my introductory argument.

To clarify my position, I am arguing that Bernie Sanders is ill-suited to filling the role/doing the job of the President of the United States. I will make no endorsement of an alternative candidate either within the Democratic Party nor within any other political party, and I intend to make no argument regarding his overall electability, as that has nothing to do with "should."

Once again, thank you for the challenge, and I look forward to a good debate with you.
Debate Round No. 1


I want to thank Tucktovich for accepting the debate, and I too look forwards to a good debate.

To start, I want to clarify what I will be arguing this debate. I will be defending the statement,

"Bernie Sanders should be the next President of the United States"

and I will provide reasons that concur with my thesis.

(I also wanted to thank the Con for reecognizing that this is 'for or against' debate, meaning that he will not argue for another candidate)

And so I will immediately go into my reasonings, beginning with:

-Bernie Sanders understands money.

This statement can be interpreted in many ways, and it is my intention that is should be.

In one sense, Bernie Sanders understands the need of financial suppport from experience.

He realizes that a $7.25 minimum wage is not a living wage, despite the fact that in 2012, 1.532 million hourly workers only worked for minimum wage, and nearly 1.8 million more earned less than that. [1]

Bernie Sanders knows that college tuition is rising while the amount of high school graduates that can afford college are getting lower. According to a study done by the ISAC (Illinois Student Assistance Commission), about 76% of students that have prepared for college in high school, eventually don't attend college because they couldn't afford it. [2]

I would go on to say that Sanders also supports a universal healthcare system, however that argument could be seen as partisan and irrelevant.

In another interpretation, Sanders also understands the corruption involved with money.

Not every wealthy can be considered corrupt, and I would not call everyone in the upper class corrupt. However, Sanders recognizes the fact that with money comes the temptation.

Without having an argument about the 1%, let me present more arguments on my part.

It is a well known fact that conservative and right-wing billionaires such as R. Murdoch and the Koch Brothers openly and generously fund politicians that agree with what they believe. These people and their companies use the Constitution's First ammendment to support their funding, claiming that the millions they give are backed by the freedom to express.

Sanders realizes, like we all should, that any person with billions of dollars is completely capable of running the government, because money means power.

Figure 1: Look familiar?

To prevent this, as President, Bernie Sanders would push for a constitutional ammendment that would limit campaign financing from big time companies and interest groups. Matter of fact, he's already proposed the idea in the Senate. [3]

Further on the subject, Sanders also said
“Freedom of speech, in my view, does not mean the freedom to buy the United States government."

Any equality believing American realizes that Bernie Sanders brings the best to the table in terms of financial equality.

-Bernie Sanders has higher approval percentages than most candidates.

As a matter of fact, recent polling shows that Sanders has higher polling numbers than every other Republican running for president, and is closing in on Hillary Clinton. [4]

I apologize for presenting short introductory arguments, because I'm choosing first to avoid using partisan social issues as support and most of my support may very well come from refuting the Con's argument.

However, I want to thank the Con once again for accepting the debate, I hope it continues.

[1] Characteristics of Minimum Wage Workers, 2013. (2014, March 1). Retrieved from
[2] Are Cost Barriers Keeping Qualified Students from College? (2013). Retrieved from,
[3] Campaign Finance. (2014). Retrieved from,
[4] Release Detail. (2015, April 1). Retrieved June 1, 2015,



First, I would like to thank CentristX for his introduction, and for not seeking to debate on contentious social issues, as I have no desire to wade into partisanship in this context.

Next, I will introduce a few definitions and sources. All references are footnoted at the end of this post. If Pro wishes to contest my definitions or my sources, he is welcome to do so.

1) I referred in my acceptance post to the role or responsibility of POTUS. I take my understanding and definition of that role from the oath of office, to "preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States of America."1

2) I will be, over the course of my argument, making reference to the Constitution of the United States of America. For the purposes of this debate, all references to this document shall be sourced from I choose this article because it was the highest-ranked, non-Wikipedia source readily available on Google, and it appears to be complete, and contains all Amendments.

3) "Should" - the word should is key to Pro's contention, and is most appropriately defined per this debate as "must; ought (used to indicate duty, propriety, or expediency). In this instance, I interpret Pro's use of "should" as referring to the most expedient/best option.2 I will be arguing on this premise.

4) All definitions of common vernacular that are quoted, and all definitions used as synonyms are sourced from the website, and in the interests of being fair, I shall be using the definition most favourable to the argument to which it applies.

All numbers appearing randomly inserted within the argument refer to footnotes at the end of the argument. I am not certain how to effectively footnote in RTF.

I will refrain from rebutting Pro's arguments until the next session.

Bernie Sanders is a sitting Senator of the United States, who, upon his election, is sworn to "support and defend the Constitution of the United States of America."3 This is similar in text and meaning to the Presidential Oath of Office. I contend that Bernie Sanders, in proposing the "Democracy is for the People" Constitutional amendment in order to overturn a decision by the United States Supreme Court violated his oath of office.

Per Article III (1) of the Constitution, the judicial power of the United States is vested in one supreme court, and in other inferior courts as Congress chooses to establish. In other words, per the Constitution (that Mr. Sanders, as a sitting United States Senator, had sworn to support and defend), the Supreme Court holds supreme power to interpret the law " including the Constitution itself. Mr. Sanders holds a different viewpoint from the Supreme Court as to the definition of "free speech" - as is his right. However in introducing a Constitutional amendment (Democracy is for People) for the express (and stated) purpose of overturning the Citizens United decision by the Supreme Court,4 Mr. Sanders undermined the very function of the Supreme Court of the United States as defined by the aforementioned section of the Constitution. Mr. Sanders, while a United States Senator, swore an oath to uphold5 the Constitution, and subsequently sought to undermine one of its tenets by seeking to undermine the Constitutionally defined role of the Supreme Court, thus violating his oath of office.

Not only did Mr. Sanders, as a United States Senator, violate his oath to "support and defend" the Constitution of the United States of America, but he did so proudly, and is campaigning to become President in part on the basis of this fact. As such, he cannot be trusted not to violate a similar Oath of Office as President of the United States " to "preserve, protect, and defend" the Constitution of the United States of America. Mr. Sanders, therefore, should NOT be President of the United States.

References as follows:

Debate Round No. 2


To start, I wanted to apologize once again for taking so long to provide my rebuttals for this debate, and I thank the Con for his patience.

I hoped to not have to argue about definitions or partisan subjects, however, I must say that I do not agree with the definition the Con gave for the job description of the President of the United States.

In the United States constitution, Article 2 and all the sections therein establish the executive branch, give the powers of the president, and tell other details associated with the executive branch. Most importantly, in Article 2 of the constitution, we can find the two most important roles of the president: Chief Executive, and Commander in Chief.

These things meaning:

that as Commander in Chief, the president has the authority to send troops into combat, and is the only one who can decide whether to use nuclear weapons;
and, as Chief Executive, he enforces laws, treaties, and court rulings; develops federal policies; prepares the national budget; and appoints federal officials. He also approves or vetoes acts of Congress and grants pardons.

Despite this, it is true, that in the oath sworn by the president at his inauguration in January, the incoming president swears to
"the best of my (his or her) Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

The entire basis of the constitution was based on change and checks and balances. The United States constitution was written after the people living in America declared their independence from Great Britain as individual colonies, and was put together to establish a government for the people living here. The Founding Fathers did the best they could with their combined knowledge and experience to create a long-lasting, functioning system. However, there are things that would change that the framers simply could not predict. That is why they worked together to ammend the constitution as a solid, yet flexible document describing the details of our democratic-republic government.

By swearing to "preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States," Senators, Congressmen/women, and the President all swear by oath to not just do these things for the literal constitution, but also the ideals the constitution was founded on.

My entire counter-argument is based on this:

The Constitution is subject to change for the people who reside under it.

For example, the Third Amendment of the Bil of Rights found in the Constitution states,

"No Solder shall, in time of peace be quatered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law."

I can get two supporting arguments from this single amendment.

1) It even says it is subject to change
The section that states, "..but in a manner to be prescribed by law" clearly shows that this amendment is subject to change, by the fact that it is flexible in allowing soldiers to stake out places with a "prescribed law"

2) This is an issue of the past
The frequency of soldiers forcibly staying on the private property of American citizens is hardly at all to never in this day and age, and acts as an example of how the framers did the best they could with a document describing the rules of a government for the future. This is another obvious example that the constitution is flexible to change to better suit the people of the United States.

Now, don't get me wrong. I'm not saying that every instance of the Constitution can or should be changed. For example, the first ammendment is one that will never be suppressed as long as the United States is a country. The entire document is a solid rock that this country rests on, and that rock may have to be chipped in certain places to adequately hold up this nation-- take off or modify too many places on the rock, and the big melting pot will fall over.

Perhaps the above evidence doesn't seem sufficient enough to support my rebuttals. So I present to you my next and last counter-argument:

Amendment XI, from the Bill of Rights, found in the United States Constitution,
which says,
"The Judicial power of the United States shall not be construed to extend to any suit in law or equity, commenced or prosecuted against one of the United States by Citizens of another State, or by Citizens or Subjects or any Foreign State."

Now, the Con, along with many others, may be questioning the relevence of this amendment is my rebuttals.

Therefore, I will explain.

The 11th amendment is the first amendment added to the Constitution that adds on and changes a part of Article 3 (the article on the Judicial branch).

In specific, Article III, Section 2, Clause 1, is the exact proponent that was modified by the 11th amendment added to the Constitution. Due to the fact that I am running out of characters, I will not type it out here, but that evidence can be found here [1].

In conclusion of my rebuttals, I have elaborated upon the duties of the President and Senators and shown the solidness and flexibility of the Consitution. I have giver counter-evidence that Bernie Sanders- with his suggestion for an ammendment that may conflict with the Supreme Court's ruling in Citizens United v. the FEC-- does not go against the constitution. This evidence proving that there is no reaon that Senator Bernie Sanders should not be the next president of the United States.



I too must apologize for the delay in posting my response to Pro's argument. I shall be limiting my response to his introduction, and save responding to his rebuttal until the next round of debate.

My understanding of Pro's main argument is that

Bernie Sanders should be the next President of the United States because he understands money, and because he has a higher approval rating than most candidates. Pro has refined his argument that Bernie Sanders' understanding of money as defined by his understanding of both the need for (presumably financial) support for lower-income Americans, and because he understands the corruption inherent in the existing electoral system.

This series of arguments have a number of problems, and I shall endeavour to address them succinctly.

1) Bernie Sanders should be the next President of the United States because he has high (though not, at the time of argument, the highest) approval ratings. In other words, because he is popular, Bernie Sanders would be the best/most expedient option to become President of the United States. While this sort of appeal to popularity is commonly used " particularly in political matters " this is a logical fallacy. [1] Bernie Sanders' popularity has no bearing on whether or not he is the best choice to be President, merely on whether he is or is not electable. By way of evidence, I point out that James Buchanan, Mohammed Morsi, and Adolf Hitler were all legally and legitimately democratically elected in their times. None of them could be said to have been the best options.

2) Bernie Sanders should be the next President of the United States because he understands the (presumptive) need for financial support to lower-income Americans. This statement is not unique " nor anything even close to it " amongst Americans, or even amongst the American political classes. Martin O'Malley (for an easy example) seems to understand this position, and even agree with it.[2 ]So if this is not a unique position " even amongst confirmed Democratic Presidential candidates, it can hardly be used as a litmus-test to argue that Bernie Sanders is the best option.

I would also contend that his understanding of money (as defined in this part of the argument) is deeply flawed. The understanding of money is driven by a discussion of inequality, but not by the more important discussion " being income mobility (which is a sign of equality of opportunity). As it is, the evidence is strong that the United States has great socio-economic mobility across generations (ie: from parents to children),[3] and that there has been no significant loss in social mobility in the last 40 years or more.[4] These facts suggest that Mr. Sanders has a far poorer understanding of money, at least in this context, than Pro claims.

3) Bernie Sanders should be the next President of the United States because he understands the corruption associated with the huge amounts of money being spent on elections by third parties. To suggest that this understanding is unique is, I think, to misunderstand the nature of politics as they are in the United States. Once again, there is nothing here to prove that Bernie Sanders SHOULD be the President of the United States, because there is nothing here to separate him from any of his fellow candidates.

All three of these arguments, however, have one thing in common: not one of them addresses the job of President of the United States. Pro has offered an alternative definition of the job of President, and I shall argue to that " higher " standard. The job of POTUS is to serve as CINC of the United States Armed Forces, and to serve as the Chief Executive of the United States, with those roles regulated by the requirement that the President "preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution." Not one of those arguments address Bernie Sanders' qualifications to DO the job of being President, as defined in the Constitution (Art. 2).[5] In reality, assuming that we accept that these arguments are evidence of qualification for anything, it is that Mr. Sanders should continue his work in the legislative branch of the United States Government, and not endeavour to move into the executive branch.

Debate Round No. 3


Note: There has been a rule change.
I have spoken with the Con, and come to an agreement to shorten the debate to just 4 rounds.
Voters should disregard Round 5.

Because of the rule change, I will in this round give my counter-arguments to the Con's counter-arguments, while also giving my conclusion.

To start, I will start with my opponents first "counter-contention", so to say.

In this contention, the Con goes on to say that Sanders should not be president just because he is popular-- and I couldn't agree more. However, there was a reason I left this argument for the very end of my introductory arguments. This being because that statement was meant to back up the prior contentions, never giving the sense of fallacy.

Popular people should not be leaders unless they have something to back them up; which I have not failed to show for Bernie Sanders in Round 1.

There's the old saying, in the Bible, from Matthew 7:16,
'By their fruit you will recognize them...'

And although not every person on this planet believes in the Bible, this short scripture applies universally. Fruits mean true beliefs put into action, not facades put up as a front. Infamous dictators from all over history bore "bad fruits", which should have shown they would have been bad leaders.

Adolf Hitler was only elected because of the conspiracy he brought against the Communists in Germany at the time, swaying the people to the Nazi party. Josef Stalin only came to power in the Soviet Union mostly because he murdered the competition. (Technically he did murder some of the competition, but also led a conspiracy against the rest.)

It is true, that the people in these times just simply were not capable of knowing these things or seeing the "fruits" that these would be dictators had bore. However, in the 21st century, (while secrets still exist) it is almost impossible for something to occur in a person's life that the media won't find out about and cover.

Some people like to express their frustration over how partisan this country is, and how the two party system just stalls us from doing anything. Yet, the two party system is actually working for us. Like so: Democrats and Republicans believe strongly that the other party is wrong in what they believe, and sometimes even do cutthroat things to ensure that other party won't hold federal offices of any kind-- and in this way, they keep each other in check. Say, if there is a skeleton a Democrat is hiding in his closet, it won't be long before a Republican would find it and expose it to try to keep that person out of office.

There have been plenty of examples of this happening, and most of them being fairly recently. People like Mark Foley were caught in scandals incumbently, and delt with appropriately. [1] Even in the past month, with the accusations against Josh Duggar from his past and the criticism of the way his family dealt with it.

My argument being that when I said Bernie should be president because he had the popular vote, it wasn't just because of that.

Also, a majority of infamous dictators through out history weren't even popular or brought up by the people. As a matter of fact, I'll say more were just there, rather than put there by the people. A few include, of course, Stalin, Vlad the Impaler, Kim Jong-Il, and Kim Jong-Un, amongst many others.

For the rest of my oppenents rebuttals, I respond by recognizing that it was a partisan issue entirely. Please don't assume that I am not able to respond, it's just that as I said in the beginning of the debate, I don't wish to wade into partisan social issues-- which I have involuntarily done. Income equality and the need for finincial assistance are just issues that I believe are important that Sanders shares with myself; it is not a viable bipartisan argument, and I apologize for it.

As I conclude, after responding to the Con's arguments these few rounds, my contention still stands. Bernie Sanders should be the next President of the United States for multiple reasons, but one of the reasons stand out among the others. Sanders has a history of doing a good job representing the people of Vermont as a US Senator, and has experience, along with the people of Vermont to back that up. Sanders hasn't been involved with any scandals of any kind, that we know of- and it is assumed that there aren't any to start with.
This is in comparison to the other options for the people to vote for to be the next POTUS. People like Rick Perry have inarguably not done very well jobs in presiding over or representing their states or districts. (Don't forget O'Malley, while presiding over Baltimore lately). Others like Trump , Fiorina, and Carson have no poltical experience at all. The rest, for example, Christie and Clinton have been involved in scandals that show "bad fruits," and should be taken into consideration.

Bernie Sanders on the other hand, remains the best option for the job. I argue that Bernie Sanders should be the next president of the United States, and I rest my case.

I apologize to the Con for brief arguments and contentions, and long waiting times for those rebuttals. I also thank the Con for the debate, and would like to let him know he has done a great job and had obviously been a challenge for me.

Vote Pro!



I have agreed with Pro regarding the rule change, and accordingly, I shall use this round to give my counter-argument to Pro's initial rebuttal, and to provide a concluding summary of my argument.

Pro has rebutted my argument with the contention that the Constitution is subject to change, and has provided evidence that it has changed both as a result of changes in society (citing the 3rd Amendment), and that Article 3 (covering the roles/responsibilities of the Judicial Branch) is also subject to change (citing the 11th Amendment). While these arguments are all true, they also miss the context of the argument that they are intended to refute.

The Constitution can certainly be changed, and there are a multitude of amendments to the United States Constitution which prove this point " however there is a difference between the context of these changes to the Constitution, and the context of the amendment proposed in the Senate by Mr. Sanders. Notably, only Mr. Sanders' amendment, to the best of my knowledge, was introduced for the purpose of counter-manding an existing Constitutional ruling by the Supreme Court. In other words, it isn't the content of Mr. Sanders' proposed amendment to which I object, but the context. The content is the subject for a different debate, however the context " a direct attempt to undo a Constitutional ruling by the Supreme Court " is not to change the role of the Judiciary, but to undermine it " in direct contravention of Article 3, and in direct violation of his Oath of Office.

In conclusion, I argue that the Presidency is a job which the most qualified person SHOULD hold. That role " in a definition agreed to by both sides " is: the Commander in Chief of the United States Armed Forces, and the Chief Executive of the United States government, restricted/regulated by his oath of office (to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution). Is Mr. Sanders well qualified to be the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces? His lack of military service says no. Is Mr. Sanders well qualified to be the Chief Executive of the United States government? Pro has not given an argument that he is. Can Mr. Sanders be trusted to act within the bounds set by his oath of office? His previous record tells us he cannot. As such, not only should [Not-Bernie Sanders] be the next President of the United States, but Bernie Sanders should not be the next President of the United States.

I would like to thank Pro for the debate, and for offering me my first real debate on this site. You've done an excellent job as well, and it's been a real pleasure locking wits with you. I look forward to our next contest.

Vote Con!
Debate Round No. 4


Due to a rule change,
please disregard this round.

Thank you.


Due to the rule change
please disregard this round.

Thank you.
Debate Round No. 5
52 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by will2will 2 years ago
"The Judicial power of the United States shall not be construed to extend to any suit in LAW or equity"
Banning political donations from corporations is a matter of LAW.
Posted by queencoop 2 years ago
Is anyone gonna mention that raising minimum wage to $15 is only going to decrease the value of money. Minimum wage goes up, all other prices go up. Lets think logically people
Posted by jromano 2 years ago
Bernie Sanders is a Socialest and doesn't have what it takes to be the presedent.
Posted by Jevinigh 2 years ago
This argument was absurd, Con actually had the balls to suggest that proposing an amendment to the constitution is a violation of the oath of office.
Posted by Citizen_of_the_Web 2 years ago
Bernie Sanders ideas aren't necessary bad, but are not feasible in practice.
Posted by davidthedestroyer 2 years ago
Do you really want a socialist for president? Jeez guys
Posted by FillShed 2 years ago
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thank`s and good luck ;)
Posted by CentristX 2 years ago

There are times where radical change is necessary, and at this point, a somewhat moderate radical change is needed in America in restructuring how our economy works and who exactly capitalism serves best. What you are suggesting is way left compared to all other ideas, and although you may be right on some of your beliefs, I think a majority of people will agree with me that we have no immediate need to intensely reform the US dollar.
Posted by CentristX 2 years ago
I couldn't agree more @Nickisabi
Posted by Banks_Own_America 2 years ago
All these politicians are bought off. Bernie Sanders isn't any different. He can preach all he wants, he's part of a corporate owned country. I will not vote for any of the presidential candidates until I see a president that is willing to do a major reform to our monetary system. We have a private corporation, which is The federal reserve, that controls the volume and printing of our money, which is not beneficial for the people.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by TheHitchslap 3 years ago
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: S&G to Con, Pro makes several errors (Bil of Rights for instance, or punctuation problems) I don't really see any in con? Conduct tie, source ties. Arguments: Going con even though my own personal bias makes me favor Pro. Con has a good point that the problem is Pro's argument rests on favorable policies he happens to agree with. But that does not necessarily mean Bernie Sanders can defend the US or the Constitution, as is the job of the President. Couple this with the fact that Pro needed to define in round 1 the job of the president, and con did because Pro didn't, it kinda mean't that con was going to have this all along. Consider this a learning lesson. Definitions need to be made in round 1, not round 3 and up for contest. Good debate guys.