The Instigator
DiverseSynergy
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
warren42
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points

Do the post-election anti-Trump protestors respect Democracy?

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Post Voting Period
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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/10/2016 Category: Politics
Updated: 4 weeks ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 526 times Debate No: 96905
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (34)
Votes (0)

 

DiverseSynergy

Con

I feel somewhat alone in watching thousands of people protesting against the US President Elect, Donald Trump, and thinking to myself "Why isn't anybody - particularly the media - pointing out how unacceptable this is?"

I consider that the anti-Trump protestors are protesting against Democracy at least as much, if not more-so, than they are protesting against Trump.

Incidentally, I didn't vote for Trump; I'm British, so I'm about 240 years too late to have any say in what America does. Hopefully the fact I am not American might lend itself to being a bit more objective when it come to the whole Republican/Democrat divide. But then again, I think the whole concept of Socialism is fundamentally flawed, so maybe not so much... but that is one for a whole separate debate.

I simply watch on aghast as many thousands of people are effectively protesting against our Western way of life, apparently only because they didn't get their way - much like a petulant child. Maybe it is no coincidence that these protestors tend to be amongst the younger age brackets of society.

If anyone feels that they can adequately defend the actions of the anti-Trump protestors, from the point of view that they can protest in this way and still somehow respect the system of Democracy, then feel free to take the Pro argument.

Incidentally, I'm not arguing that they shouldn't be protesting. That is their right to Freedom of Speech. If they have nothing better to do with their time, this is up to them. I might question why they didn't protest this much against - I dunno - the actions of ISIS? The fact that millions of people are still starving to death in a world of abundant food production? Take your pick of just about any other topic they really ought to be putting more effort into protesting over, rather than against a democratically-elected future leader in a free and open election process...

I could also question why the media mention none of the above salient points in any of their reports about the protests, but I have given up all hope on the media doing their job properly any more. Plus, I would say that the manner in which these people are protesting against Trump in general, in particular the vulgar language and inflammatory/anarchist rhetoric, I simply disagree with as anti-social and uncivilised. But bottom line, they are free to protest (non-violently); that is not the point of my argument.

My argument is merely that by choosing to protest and effectively refusing to unite as part of their nation behind the democratically elected future head of state, they are frankly defecating all over the concept of Democracy. That is a good analogy to draw in fact; they might as well go and do a big poo on the Top Hat of the seated Lincoln in his Memorial statue.

Rules: There are three rounds, say whatever you want, in whatever order. Do ad hominem attacks against me. Postulate straw men arguments. I don't really care. I think anyone bold/foolish enough to take on Pro needs all the help they can get.
warren42

Pro

Clinton won the popular vote. They are supporting democracy.
Debate Round No. 1
DiverseSynergy

Con

Nice try at the short logic angle, but I already considered this line my friend :o)

You have two problems with this approach:

1) The official figures for the final tally of the popular vote are not yet released, nor are they likely to be before the end of this debate. So I'd like to see your citation as to any official evidence for the final numbers that voted for Hillary and Trump respectively. I have seen many projections and forecasts, perhaps these are what you are referring to?

2) Democracy is not a matter of simple majority vote. Otherwise Hillary would be celebrating right now. US democracy as it currently stands in 2016 has been formed by a series of democratic decisions over centuries. First, it started with some decisions reached by a handful of wealthy men, eventually it has expanded to decisions reach to by so-called "universal suffrage" - although in reality, this still does not exist. This series of democratically "evolving" processes, has led to the present democratic system: that of a "first-past-the-post" winner in each state, with the winner of each state taking 100% of the collegiate votes for the state, even if they only win by 1 popular vote in one state, and lose by 3 million popular votes in another. THAT is the democratically derived system currently in place in America. To reject that process, is to reject the series of democratic processes that have led to this current position. And hence to reject democracy, and its legacy.

If the protestors want to change this, then by all means go ahead. Democratically. Then they have a mandate.
warren42

Pro

1. We can assume that whoever leads most of the current tallies will win the popular vote. This is a logical assumption to make. That being said, we can assume Clinton will win the popular vote. [1][2][3][4]

2. This is a key flaw in your argument. Democracy is a matter of simple majority. The resolution specifies democracy; it does not say the protesters are against the American version- a democratic republic with checks on voting.

Democracy: a government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised by them directly or indirectly through a system of representation usually involving periodically held free elections. [5]

Therefore, the electoral college draws a distinction between the true definition of democracy and the "democracy" that has been sold to the American people.

I feel like my simple argument still wins this debate. However, I will go further.

1. They can respect democracy and still be upset with the outcome. Unless a revolution begins they are excercising their rights, as Con stated. This means that they are accepting the result of the election. The "not my president" rhetoric we must understand is hyperbolic. He obviously is their president, they are arguing he does not represent them and that they are not satisfied with the election's results, but are not actively working against this.

[1] http://www.cnn.com...
[2] http://www.realclearpolitics.com...
[3] http://www.politico.com...
[4] http://www.nytimes.com...
[5] http://www.merriam-webster.com...
Debate Round No. 2
DiverseSynergy

Con

1) Ah now, here Pro tries to backtrack. Pro stated confidently that Clinton won the popular vote in Round 1. This is not predicated as an assumption; it is stated as a fact. This statement is simply false - Clinton has not officially won the popular vote, and the final count is not yet known. Pro can probably comfortably assume Clinton will officially win the popular vote based on the weight and volume of the forecasts (many of which Pro was good enough to cite) - but cannot hope to prove it before this debate closes.

2) I don't consider that Pro's citation defining Democracy does anything to highlight a flaw in my argument. If anything it highlights a flaw in Pro's. Pro seems to try to very narrowly define Democracy as a simple majority in point 1. But that is not what Pro's own quoted definition says under point 2. The definition merely states a "system of representation" - which is the type of system under which Trump won the Presidential election. The definition says nothing of a strict simple majority.

3) [Pro numbers it as a second 1, but I will call it 3) for clarity] Yes of course, I agree that the protesters can respect democracy and be upset with the outcome. I have felt that way about many elections myself.

I fail to see how Pro jumps from this assertion, to the next - that the anti-Trump protestors are accepting the result of THIS election? I think that this is a fallacious statement. I think by contrast, it ought to be readily apparent that many of the protestors are very vocally demonstrating that they will NOT accept the result of the election:

" More than 6,000 protesters were seen on the streets of Oakland with an initially peaceful march down a cop-lined street turning nasty after some protesters threw bottles at officers and torched a police car. An office block was also attacked, daubed with 'f*** Trump' and 'kill Trump' graffiti and then set alight.""[a]

" In New York, crowds converged at Trump Tower, on Fifth Avenue at 56th Street in Midtown Manhattan, where the president-elect lives.
They chanted "Not our president" and "New York hates Trump" and carried signs that said, among other things, "Dump Trump." " [b]

" On Facebook, a page titled "Not My President" called for protesters to gather on Inauguration Day, Jan. 20, in the nation"s capital.
"We refuse to recognize Donald Trump as the president of the United States, and refuse to take orders from a government that puts bigots into power," the organizers wrote.
"We have to make it clear to the public that we did not choose this man for office and that we won"t stand for his ideologies." "[c]

Fox News even goes so far as to question whether these protests are truly "spontaneous", or even temporary:

"Others claimed to have found ads posted on CraigsList in which a Seattle-based non-profit was soliciting "Full-Time Activists."
"We are looking for motivated individuals who are seeking Full-Time, Part-Time, and Permanent positions," reads a line from the ad from Washington CAN! posted on Wednesday. "[d]

and goes on to point out some of the darker sides to the protests:

" Some of the most troubling dissent was in the city of New Orleans where protesters wound up defacing the Lee Memorial, spray painting "Die Whites Die" and "F--- Trump" and "F--- White People."
Other messages scrawled on the memorial included "F--- Pence" and "We are ungovernable" next to a symbol of the letter "A" in a circle -- protester shorthand for anarchy. "[e]

These are not statements of groups of people respecting the process of democracy, or even that of basic law and order.

I think in overarching principle, Pro and I can agree that it is possible to disagree with the outcome of an election, and still respect the system of democracy that reached that decision - whether an individual personally agrees with it or not. However, I think Pro still has a long way to go to demonstrate that the types of anti-Trump protests we have seen over the last couple of days comes even close to showing a respect for this democratic process.

I have pointed out two factual misstatements made by Pro thus far, one in Round 1 and one in Round 2. The Round timing makes it impossible for me to refute any of Pro's Round 3 points, and this is Pro's advantage - similar to my advantage in having the first word in the debate. I will not do cheap tricks and try to counter any Round 3 points in the comments section or similar. I gladly give Pro the final word.

I want to thank Pro for a civil debate so far, and in that I have learned from hearing Pro's position - though I do not agree with it on this specific issue, it is always good to listen to different opinions and consider them against ones own.

-------

Citations:

[a] http://www.dailymail.co.uk...

[b] http://www.nytimes.com...

[c] ibid.

[d] http://www.foxnews.com...

[e] ibid.
warren42

Pro

Just as Con refused to do cheap tricks, so too will I. I will not bring up any new offensive arguments, any new ones will be refutation of Con's R3 points. I apologize for doing a second "1" in my R2, this hopefully wasn't much cause for confusion. The first two points were defense of Con's attack on my arguments, while the second "1" was an attack on Con's.

I'll start by defending my case.
1. It's true, I can not definitively prove Hillary won the popular vote or that she will. However, as Con conceded, it can be concluded that she will, so for the purposes of this debate we can and have agreed that she won the popular vote. Therefore, the protestors are, justifiably, protesting a corrupted outcome (note: I am not using corrupted to imply any sort of foul play, but rather an outcome that has been distorted from what it should have been). This alone should win the debate for Pro, as Con has conceded that we can assume Clinton to have won the popular vote, therefore in a truly pure democracy this would have been the outcome.

2. Here is where Con is wrong. The "system of representation" refers to electing Trump or Clinton. A direct democracy is where the citizens would literally vote directly on matters (legislation, law interpretation, etc.) while the democracy America adopted is a representitive democracy. The 'free' part is where the electoral college comes into play. In practice, only once has a voter of the electoral college not cast a vote for the winner of the college. However, in theory, the electoral college could easily elect Gary Johnson, or Bernie Sanders, or Elizabeth Warren in this coming vote. This is not a 'free' election. Therefore, protests, whether because of Trump, because of the college, or both, do not disrespect democracy, as they are protesting a system that is not 'free' which is necessary for democracy to exist.

3. As far as this goes, Con is cherry-picking data. Con admits that there are tens of thousands of these protesters nationwide. Most of them are on college campuses and smaller cities. The violence of a small number of the protestors in the big cities is not representitive of the wider range of protestors. Furthermore, Con ignores my argument that most protestors saying "not my president" are being hyperbolic. Sure, some probably legitimately think they can avoid accepting orders from Trump's office, but as I stated earlier, unless an actual revolution occurs, this is not the case, he is their president.

I have proven that the protesters are fighting against a system that is not real democracy. A system that, in this century, has reversed the decision of the people 40% of the time. These protesters respect democracy. Therefore, my case stands. Vote Pro.

Thank you!

Good debate to Con!
Debate Round No. 3
34 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Hammerli 3 weeks ago
Hammerli
DiverseSynergy: I'll be straight with you, I have not researched Hillary's honesty, but when I see people chanting "lock her up" and I'm fairly certain that most of them haven't researched her honesty either, it drives me to the other side. Then there's the fact that she has endured endless investigations, many presided over by sworn enemies, and no one has been able to pin anything substantial on her: I call that beyond reasonable doubt.
Back in May conservative author P.J. O'Rourke made this declaration, "I am endorsing Hillary, and all her lies and all her empty promises, It's the second-worst thing that can happen to this country, but she's way behind in second place. She's wrong about absolutely everything, but she's wrong within normal parameters." Implying, of course, that Mr. Trump is off-the-scale wrong.
The demonstrators want to let others know how they feel and they don't expect their actions will overturn the result. They respect democracy to the extent that they will accept the result, but for the time being that's probably as far as the respect goes.
Posted by DiverseSynergy 3 weeks ago
DiverseSynergy
alecburn: Forgive me, but you seem to think that my argument goes something like, "Hey look at these examples of violence and racism in this minority of people. That means ALL anti-Trump protestors are like that. QED." But that is not at all what I am arguing.

My main argument applies to the majority of the protestors who are "Average Joes" and who are simply being recalcitrantly disrespectful of the democratic process. They are not burning down public buildings; they are not trashing police cars; they are not daubing racist comments on monuments. You will notice that most of my citations in my final round [3 out of 5] do not talk about violence and racism. They merely focus on the mainstream protestors who say things like "I refuse to accept the results of this election" and take to the streets with placards. These people are clearly not violent racists. But they are showing a huge disrespect to the concept of democracy by stubbornly refusing to accept a result obtained through a democratically-derived system of election.

Maybe they don't agree with the Electoral College. This might surprise you, but I don't either! But then change the collegiate system using a democratic mandate and proposing a bill in Congress or similar. That would be a way to protest at the system DEMOCRATICALLY.

Then there is a side argument going on in the comments board, where I point out that my impression of the "Average Joe" protestors is that they seem very quick to claim that they fear Trump because they interpret some comments as MAYBE being racist, and MAYBE bad things might happen when he is the leader. Yet, they seem completely oblivious to the examples of ACTUAL full-on racism being carried out on the public streets by people who claim to be on the same political side as the protestors. My side argument here is that the "Average Joes" are fundamentally blinkered to what constitutes real racism; not that all of the "Average Joes" are a bunch of violent racists too.
Posted by alecburn 4 weeks ago
alecburn
I'll denounce it: the actions of an individual do not reflect the thoughts of those with a similar viewpoint. Even MLK jr denounced the black panthers. Also if you want to argue that look at democratic leaning things and look at all the hatred against black people, Mexicans, and Muslims do they reflect you and every other trump supporter?
Posted by DiverseSynergy 4 weeks ago
DiverseSynergy
Just curious, is anyone from the other side of the political spectrum going to denounce the daubing of "Die Whites Die" and "F--- White People" on the Lee Memorial? I have given plenty of chances asking people to do this. Anyone? Anyone? [Ben Stein - legend. He's Conservative as well by the way!]

In case I don't make it clear enough in my nuances in previous posts, DiverseSynergy strenuously denounces those comments as Racist. As in real genuine Racism. You know, ACTUAL Racism. Not the type of "racism" as tends to be defined as the Left as any comment they can twist and interpret in such a way that might slightly hurt someone's feelings.

Pre-empting my opponents saying "oh but DS doesn't denounce what Trump says". Well, no you're right - I don't particularly. I think he was unwise to say some of his more inflammatory comments; but I'm not convinced what he said was racist. Did he say "Die Mexicans Die"? Or "F--- Native Americans"? Or "I hate black people because they are black"? I must have missed it if he did.

Oh, and here's the irony for you snowflakes that might have missed it. You say you hate and fear Trump because you worry what MIGHT happen when he is leader because of three or four unwise comments out of hours and hours of his speeches on economic policy etc. What you think MIGHT happen!? Look at what is ACTUALLY happening, by some of the protestors! ACTUALLY happening! Racism, Anti-Police, Social Unrest. That is what people on YOUR side of the political spectrum are ACTUALLY doing.

And yes, of course it is the minority - it always is. But you worry what the minority of Trump followers MIGHT do vs minority of Anti-Trump ACTUAL actions!

If anyone genuinely believes Trump is racist, and at the say time can sit there and say nothing about comments such as "Die Whites Die", then you need to sit down with a piece of paper and do a great deal of introspection as to how you define Racism. Because it certainly doesn't seem to follow any logic..
Posted by DiverseSynergy 4 weeks ago
DiverseSynergy
Hammerli: Seeing as the website doesn't allow newcomers to vote (something I think is ridiculous for a free and open online debating site - and I have complained to them about before) I will happily cast my vote on your behalf to redress this idiotic policy of debate.org

Please choose "Con, Tied or Pro" from the following questions:

Who did you agree with before the debate?
Who did you agree with after the debate?
Who had better conduct?
Who had better spelling and grammar?
Who made more convincing arguments?
Who used the most reliable sources?

I will copy paste your reasons from your previous comment.

Your friend, in freedom of speech (if probably not politically!)
Posted by DiverseSynergy 4 weeks ago
DiverseSynergy
Hammerli: If you think that Trump was nasty, and Hillary was a Saint, then you are (at best) a brainwashed pawn of the media.

I don't much care for either of the candidates, if you must know. On balance I rather that Trump had won, not for his policies or that I think he can "save" America (the problems are much too engrained for that), but simply that he was self-financed and was not beholden to the media and the political lobbies. This ought to be apparent to anyone with an ounce of critical reasoning, in that the media have been against him from the outset - which I believe is for nothing more than the fact they can't control him.

The reason that you have heard barely anything negative in the press about the Clintons is not because they are saints, but because the media are not doing their job properly. They are supposed to be there to report objectively on the facts and leave the public to make up their own minds. They are simply not doing this, and haven't done for some time. So you think Trump is the devil, and Clinton is an angel - based on nothing other than media spin. Then everyone is like: "wow, how did this happen!?" It happened because the majority of people blindly follow the media machine and lack the capacity for critical thinking and research things themselves.

Here's a challenge for you: Search "Hillary Clinton scandals not reported" or similar. Then the same for Bill Clinton. Pick a range of websites, including left and right, mainstream and blogs. Compare them.

And as for Infowars, do you mean the people who believe in Chemtrails and that Queen Elizabeth is a thousand-year old lizard? Yeah, I'm sure my arguments are so rickety and full of holes that you draw a fair parallel there...

However, I would caution you, the fact you say you would just walk away from someone with a different view (even if they are a "bat-crazy" conspiracy theorist) then the loser is yourself. You only learn by listening to other views and debating them.
Posted by Hammerli 4 weeks ago
Hammerli
Sorry I am unable to vote, being a newcomer. I wanted to vote Pro and here's why: -

The post election protests may have been unprecedented, but so was the campaign conducted by the "winner". Con sank his own boat in round 1 by not acknowledging the particularly nasty nature of Mr Trump's campaign; something that I am confident will become a historical fact. Mr. Trumps campaign was an assault on the democratic norm, the protests are a reaction to that.

Regardless: well argued by both Pro & Con.
Posted by Hammerli 4 weeks ago
Hammerli
DiverseSynergy wrote: "And Hillary was entirely honest throughout her campaign of course?"

Please tell me that your opinions do not align with those championed by infowars.com, and the like, by more than (say) 25%. Because if they do we can just agree to differ and go our separate ways.
Posted by alecburn 4 weeks ago
alecburn
I see where you're coming from but i think "you made your now bed lie in it" is the wrong mentality when it comes to improvement. The human condition is self serving and without forethought to fix this situation when it should have been fixed would have meant fixing it when people were optimistic that their candidate would win. It's nice to think that we as humans would put aside some time and effort to change things but we don't we would rather chase pleasure instead of struggle to compensate for pain in the future. Look at depression, people who are depressed often either don't know they are or if it's necessary to change their mentality it until they realize it's taking pleasurable from them.

From what i'm getting is that even if the majority is unhappy you want them punished for their actions/ negligence. And i don't see why, if there was a way to make things better for the majority would you not want to perpetuate the acceptance? Of course with the exception of course of infringing on human rights because making things better for the majority at the cost of others is seen in the years of slavery and Nazi Germany.

And i think your idea of just humans means that there's no moral objectivity is true but there still are at the very least relative morals that can act like objectivity. Morals that could act as universal law if they're agreed upon by use of majority and logic, simple maxim like no killing or treat others with respect. Like you said before this leads into difficult grounds like euthanasia but the downsides of this would be minute compared to the befits.
Posted by DiverseSynergy 4 weeks ago
DiverseSynergy
Hammerli: And Hillary was entirely honest throughout her campaign of course?

I don't say Trump is perfect; I'm not sure I would even have voted for him had I been eligible. This is not the point. I think it is a bit of a stretch to compare him to Idi Amin! When it comes down to it, Trump is a Capitalist, and ejecting a substantial proportion of your manual labour force from the country (as Amin did) is a sure-fire way to destroy your own economy very quickly (as happened in Uganda under Amin).

The point is, the anti-Trump protestors are acting far out of line. And it speaks volumes to me that people like yourself and alecburn cannot even bring yourselves to publicly denounce the more awful things they are doing - such as burning police cars and publicly buildings, and daubing comments like "Die Whites Die" on public murals. You literally say nothing about it. Just "oh well, you can see why they are frustrated with the system."

Do you have any idea what the public outcry would be like if they were saying "Die [insert any race except whites] die"? The hypocrisy is astounding, yet no-one points it out.

Alecburn: That's good, you say majority decides the rule of law at a given time and place. I don't agree with that position, but I can respect that you have a logically-derived reason for your own position.

This is kind of my point though. If you say that democracy sets the rules, then a series of democratic decisions has led to the current election process in the US, then the protestors are not respecting that system.

I tend to agree with you about your comments on existentialism, and as I tend to do I went far off on a tangent there! I was just explaining my position. If there is a higher power to humanity, there is a yardstick for good and evil. If there is just humanity, then there is no good or evil - just different opinions on what represents the best "wellbeing" for humans. And very different opinions they are too!
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