The Instigator
Pro (for)
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The Contender
Con (against)
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Bernie Sanders for U.S. President

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Voting Style: Open Point System: Select Winner
Started: 2/1/2016 Category: Politics
Updated: 8 months ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 490 times Debate No: 85869
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (2)
Votes (1)




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,


piyush123 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2


janakkanani forfeited this round.


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. 3


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.



piyush123 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4


janakkanani forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 5
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by whiteflame 8 months ago
>Reported vote: BrendanD19// Mod action: Removed<

7 points to Pro. Reasons for voting decision: Very limited debate, but Pro did a better job of explaining why

[*Reason for removal*] Not an RFD. The voter doesn't explain why they think Pro did a better job.
Posted by dsjpk5 8 months ago
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by dsjpk5 8 months ago
Who won the debate:--
Reasons for voting decision: I truly can't decide.