The Instigator
youngpolitic
Pro (for)
Losing
196 Points
The Contender
wpfairbanks
Con (against)
Winning
198 Points

George Bush Was a Good President

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/3/2009 Category: Politics
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 28,668 times Debate No: 7671
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (42)
Votes (67)

 

youngpolitic

Pro

I would like to open up my argument by saying that I believe that President George W. Bush did a great job as president and does not deserve all of the criticism he received when he left office. I will support this statement by using these arguments:

a) Bush reacted to the best of his ability in the 9/11 situation. He worked fast and efficiently under enormous amounts of pressure.

b) He always did what he thought was right. Bush did not cave into the demands of Congress and the people, he did not base his decisions on polls or advisers Bush always did what he thought was right and he should be respected for that.

c) Bush did not cause the "economic crisis" we are in now. Bush had no control over the banks and their loaning habits. Why would that be any concern to the president at all. It was the Clinton administration that allowed banks to push forward into "risky deals". Not Bush.

d) The events that took place during Hurricane Katrina severely hurt Bush's approval rating and I don't understand why. How would the president have supposed to have known about the levee situation in New Orleans. He gave the city the status of "emergency" and opened the emergency funds to the city. That is all the president was entitled to do. The evacuation of the city and obvious building flaws of the levees were the responsibility of the mayor of New Orleans and the Governor of Louisiana.

I am looking forward to a good debate if someone chooses to accept my challenge. Thank you.
wpfairbanks

Con

Alright sir, firstly I must thank you for inviting me to debate a notion that 72% of the country already agrees with me on. I shall wish you the best of luck, and I thank you for a clear and cogent resolution. I do not want to get extremely stipulative in your usage of Bush being a "good" president. I think everyone understands what is meant, and that is that the Presidency of George Bush was overall a positive impact on the United States. So, I hereby contend, George Bush was not a good president.

A.)Bush reacted to the best of his ability in the 9/11 situation. He worked fast and efficiently under enormous amounts of pressure.

Acting to the best of one's ability, doesn't constitute "goodness". If someone of a 75 IQ takes the SAT and scores a 300, that does not mean it was a good test. Even if it was "good" for the test taker, it doesn't mean it is universally good, and we are arguing whether Bush was good in a universal sense. If you consider sitting in a chair for 20 minutes immediately following the message of the greatest foreign attack since Pearl Harbor as "working fast", then you have serious misguidance. And I doubt he was collecting his thoughts. After 9/11, Bush asked Americans to go out and spend money. He then invaded a country on pretenses that have been proved illegitimate, in a war longer than WWII, more expensive than any other war in U.S. history, which is still going on today. Efficiency? No way in hell. And true, the war was responded to quickly, which is not too hard when forging evidence, and calling it an "operation" instead of a war, and thus not getting congressional approval. And enormous amounts of pressure? Must be tough bearing a 90% approval rating. But I digress, none of this makes him even remotely 'good'.

b) He always did what he thought was right. Bush did not cave into the demands of Congress and the people, he did not base his decisions on polls or advisers Bush always did what he thought was right and he should be respected for that.

Why would Bush doing "what he thought was right" make him a good president? If I thought ethnic cleansing was right, would that make it good? Hell no. And my second point is why would you consider not listening to the people to be a virtue in a democracy? Poor representation makes no one a good leader, and I do not care WHO you are. Negligence deserves no respect. And how can you know he did what he 'thought was right'?

c) Bush did not cause the "economic crisis" we are in now. Bush had no control over the banks and their loaning habits. Why would that be any concern to the president at all. It was the Clinton administration that allowed banks to push forward into "risky deals". Not Bush.

"Not causing" a recession does not make Bush a good president. And saying he had no control over the banks is foolish. The Sec. of Treasury, the FDIC, the Federal Reserve, and the Chamber of Commerce all are under the Executive Branch. He did have control over the banks, and for the majority of his tenure, he had a Republican Congress who could have easily regulated the banks, thus controlling them. Which he didn't. As president, Bush had the responsibility to overhaul Clinton's mistakes, and by not doing do, he bears partial blame.

d) The events that took place during Hurricane Katrina severely hurt Bush's approval rating and I don't understand why. How would the president have supposed to have known about the levee situation in New Orleans. He gave the city the status of "emergency" and opened the emergency funds to the city. That is all the president was entitled to do. The evacuation of the city and obvious building flaws of the levees were the responsibility of the mayor of New Orleans and the Governor of Louisiana.

I won't take up too much time with this one. It is after all not my fault that you "don't understand why". A little light reading my fair you well. So here:

http://www.washingtonmonthly.com...

Now for why Bush wasn't only not a good president, but a pretty bad one (even though I do not need to prove this, for my opponent has the burden of proof, I'll do so anyway)

-invaded Iraq on false pretenses
-did not catch Bin Laden, something he considered vital
-created the greatest deficit in U.S. history
-Left U.S. with a clear recession
-horrendous on environmental concerns, by not signing KYOTO Protocol, and drilling for Uranium 20 miles from Grand Canyon
-'involved' in making a CIA operatives identity public
-outsourced American Jobs by renewing NAFTA and CAFTA
-decreased American respect in world
-4263 American soldiers tragically lost for lie
-90,000 Iraqis dead for 'freedom'

Sources:

http://www.antiwar.com...
http://www.iraqbodycount.org...
http://www.washingtonmonthly.com...
http://www.historycommons.org...
http://en.wikipedia.org...
more sources, cannot fi
Debate Round No. 1
youngpolitic

Pro

A) I do not understand what Bush did wrong in the 9/11 situation. The United States was attacked by a foreign group and 2,000 lives were lost in the process. What was he supposed to do? Also the President did not "forge evidence" as you have pointed out. Hussein used chemical weapons to gas his own people. Nerve gas and other chemical weapons fall under the category of weapons of mass destruction, so there was evidence supporting that theory. Iraq had also openly declared a hatred of America and other western nations. This made them a suspect to the 9/11 terror attacks. So Bush responded on proved evidence based on past events and attacked the most country most responsible for the attacks.

B) He was always honest and had the country's best interest at heart. He openly declared himself an avid Christian and he loved this country so I, like many other people, trusted that he had the best interest of the country at heart. He did not do anything morally wrong like you have compared my argument to. And if you looked up our government we have a REPBULIC not a democracy. While a republic is a form of democracy the president and other elected officials do not have to listen to the people. We elect them to make decisions for us, they do not have to take our full consent on every decision they make. As we have seen lately the American people have been stupid and greedy regarding the war and the economy. I wouldn't listen to them all the time either.

C) I agree Bush did nothing to stop or change Clinton's mistakes and he does deserve partial blame but just barely. I do not think that the government has any business regulating any business at all. The government is there to make sure companies are not selling illegal or dangerous products. After that is done they have no right to regulate companies, functional companies or not. If a bank is making bad loans and collecting toxic assets that's their own fault and if people continue to do business with a company like that then the bank deserves to go bad. Regulating banks in a free market economy goes against many of the economic freedoms Americans are entitled to. Bush respected these freedoms and let the economy go its own course as it should be.

I will now respond to your last few points made.

1) How can you blame the President for not catching Bin Laden? and how does that make him a bad president. Try catching the most powerful man in al-Quida in a region where he has lots of friends and many places to hide. While Bush did not catch Bin Laden he caught many other high ranking terror figures.

2) As for creating the largest deficit in US history I think that is about to change with Obama's spending. (Give him a few more months and Bush's spending will look like nothing.)

3) You say "4263 American soldiers tragically lost for lie". 4263 soldiers is a tragedy but it could have been a lot worse. In Vietnam we lost 58,209 soldiers and 153,303 more were wounded. This war doesn't even compare to other conflicts we've been in. Also we have made a lot of progress for so few deaths. Iraq is almost a stable democratic nation. The terrorist networks have been pushed all the way to Pakistan and no more attacks on US soil have happened in almost 8 years. I say we are doing a great job over in the Middle East and we are lucky that it has only been 4263 lives lost, not 40,000.
wpfairbanks

Con

Once again, I would like to remind that I do not have to prove that Bush was a bad president, but rather he wasn't good for the reasons you put. So once again, I will systematically examine your arguments.

A) I do not understand what Bush did wrong in the 9/11 situation. The United States was attacked by a foreign group and 2,000 lives were lost in the process. What was he supposed to do? Also the President did not "forge evidence" as you have pointed out. Hussein used chemical weapons to gas his own people. Nerve gas and other chemical weapons fall under the category of weapons of mass destruction, so there was evidence supporting that theory. Iraq had also openly declared a hatred of America and other western nations. This made them a suspect to the 9/11 terror attacks. So Bush responded on proved evidence based on past events and attacked the most country most responsible for the attacks.

First off, it was 3,000 Americans, and you should know that. The 9/11 commission determined that 15 of the 19 attackers were from Saudi Arabia, and the other four were either from Afghanistan or Pakistan.
From Newser.com:
The Bush administration forged a letter linking Saddam Hussein to the 9/11 attacks, author Ron Suskind alleges in his new book. In December 2003, a letter surfaced from Saddam's intelligence chief, describing a meeting between Saddam and one 9/11 hijacker. The letter was actually drafted by the White House, Suskind's sources say. The intelligence chief, then in CIA custody, was then paid $5 million to handwrite and backdate it, he claims.

The letter also claimed that Iraq was importing nuclear material; neither claim proved true. Suskind says the CIA planted the letter in Baghdad and ensured that it was leaked to the media. Then-CIA director George Tenet last night called the allegations "ridiculous," because the CIA "resisted efforts on the part of some in the administration to paint a picture of Iraqi-al-Qaeda connections that went beyond the evidence."

This is now been investigated, and it is deemed true, and even admited to by Administration officials. Oh, and Bush proposed flying a plane painted in U.S. Colors over Iraq to get it shot down and thus permit an invasion. You stated that the Chemical Weapons were weapons of mass destruction, and this is not true. During Powell's address to the UN in 2003, he specifically stated the weapons we were after were specifically nuclear, and Iraq was importing Yellow Cake Uranium from Niger, now deemed a lie. And what does Iraq hating us have to do with anything? We knew before the Iraqi invasion that not one of the highjackers was from Iraq. This is a fact.

B) I am runing out of room, so instead of copying and pasting, I will just put the letter cooresponding with your argument.

Look, you cannot prove he was honest or had the countries interest at heart. YOU CANNOT. So do not make these claims. They cannot be proved and cannot make him a good president. Just because he was a Christian doesnt make him a good president either! Every presdient in history was a christian, and it doesnt mean every president was good.

This isn't a republic, it's actually a constitutionally limited democratic-republic. I am saying that George Bush didn't HAVE to represent the people, but not representing them makes him a bad president, not a good one.

C. I wont get into the economy thing, because YOU HAVE TO PROVE THAT BUSH WAS A GOOD PRESIDENT, and by saying that he did not crash the economy, you are not affirming that he was not a bad president, but neither a bad one.

Now I'll respond to your 1,2,3:

1. Bush said his goal was to catch Bin Laden, and he did not. 0/1. He was unsucessful, and that is a bad virtue.

2. Obama's spending is only 8% more than Bush's, and Obama is including the wars, so if you add the wars, Bush actually was spending more a year than Obama!!! Bush spent more than any president in history, a GREAT conservative i would say....

3. So because more people didn't die, Bush was a good president?? Please. We have spent 3 Trillion dollars in the Middle east, and all we have is an 'almost stable' country. And the fact that terrorists have fled to Pakistan is not a good one! This just means we have not eliminated them, and that they are regrouping.
Debate Round No. 2
youngpolitic

Pro

A) The invasion of Iraq might not have been completely justified by 9/11 but why does that make Bush a bad president? He freed a nation from an oppressive dictator who caused problems for the U.S. in the first Gulf War. Bush spread freedom to the Middle East and created American allies in an area that desperately needed stability. That is the mark of a good president. He created a free nation, that is what being American is about, Freedom. Spreading freedom, defending freedom and uniting peoples. That is what we have stood for since July 4th, 1776. If you are opposing the spread of freedom then you are opposing American ideas which in turn opposes America. If you ever watch the news you would also know that we have troops and/or operations in Afghanistan and Pakistan, both of which you named as being responsible for 9/11. And in the case of Saudi-Arabia just because someone is from Saudi-Arabia does not mean the country should be held responsible for the actions of individual citizens. If I were to go and bomb some country in the name of my religion the fact that I was America should have not put entire countries to blame. We used Iraq as a beachhead to fight terrorism in the Middle East. It was never about getting the people responsible it has always been a War on Terror, terrorism not parties involved in 9/11.

B) Okay so I cannot use hard evidence to prove that he had the country's best interest at heart but you cannot disagree that his moral values were good. He was trying to protect this nation from terrorism. Not just this nation he was trying to rid the world of terrorism. A noble goal if you ask me.

C) He was a good President in the economy situation because he respected peoples' rights involving a free market economy. He did not encroach on their rights by changing peoples companies and businesses. He protected the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

1. So just because someone fails to meet a difficult goal they are a bad person? So if I set my goal to win this debate and I lose I am suddenly a terrible person and a bad debater? No, failure does not mean a person is a bad person, failure just means they did not complete their goals. That means that everyone has this bad virtue, everyone fails no one can complete every challenge they meet, that does not make them bad people.

2. Obama has only been in office for 3 months and he is already spending more. Also Bush spent more than any president in history due to inflation. The previous wars costs were in the millions but now days the war costs are in the billions due to inflation. Also the fighting has died down considerably since Obama took office. Bush had to fund a war that was at its peak. Also it takes billions of dollars to fund the military everyday, wartime or not. Every president has to pay that, not just Bush and not just Obama.

You say - 3. So because more people didn't die, Bush was a good president?? Please. We have spent 3 Trillion dollars in the Middle east, and all we have is an 'almost stable' country. And the fact that terrorists have fled to Pakistan is not a good one! This just means we have not eliminated them, and that they are regrouping.

3. No but it shows that Bush had the right people in charge and the war was executed correctly. It was the sign of a good leader. If you win a battle with minimum loses then you are considered a good general and the President is Commander in Chief of all American forces. The fact that the terrorists are moving to neighboring countries IS a good sign it means that we have pushed them out of the areas of American occupation. We will never be able to destroy the whole terrorist movement but we can force it out of the places we don't want it to be. We are winning despite what the liberal media decides to tell people. He set up a war that we are winning. That is the sign of a good leader.
wpfairbanks

Con

First off, thanks for a good argument, it has been fun.

a.) First off, to say that spreading freedom is a virtue that America has stood for since the declaration of independence, is straight fallacious. When the French asked George Washington for support in the French Revolution (a revolution devout to the principals of freedom, liberty, and justice), Washington said that America IDEOLOGICALLY supports the quest for freedom, but will not physically get involved in international affairs. We saw our great founding fathers continue this ideology in their presidencies: Adams not going to war with England, Jefferson with the Embargo act of 1807, Madison with the refusal of entering Napoleonic Wars, etc. Not until the imperial age in the late 1800's did we see "spreading freedom", and many would argue that this virtue is indeed "unamerican". So to accuse me of opposing "American ideals" is the mark of an ignorant fool. You are speaking from speculation with little to no historical knowledge. Freeing Iraq from Hessian was fine, but you cannot argue that Iraq was less stable under him, and to fight terror in Iraq was illogical, for Al Qaeda did not exist in Iraq before we did.

b.) I CAN disagree that his moral values were not good!!! War, cowboy diplomacy, ignorance, murder, and demagoguery are not moral values that I and 72% of Americans find to be good! And paying terrorist groups to kill other terrorist groups (Sunni militias were paid to kill Shi'a forces) is not "trying to rid the world of terrorism", its just trying the rid the world of the terrorist YOU don't like.

c.) I already told you, I am not going to argue the economics because it is obvious that his economic policies were not good, as the recession had indicated. Now, you said that he protected the Constitution and Declaration of Independence. Now obviously, one cannot protect the Declaration. It is a historical document with no current legal importance. He DID NOT PROTECT THE CONSTITUTION. By signing the patriot act, he violated the 1st and 4th Amendments. Guantanimo Bay violated the 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th Amendments, and giving money to Israel, who gave money to religious groups, one could argue that he violated the separation of Church and State, but this is a whole other argument.

1.) I never said that not catching Bin Laden made him a 'bad person'. Please don't be such a fool.

2.) Your statement was misguided. Obama has not spent more than Bush so far. Presidents propose a set budget, and like I said, including the wars, Bush's proposed budgets were actually more than Obamas. Oh, and the fact that Bush has left the largest deficit in history IS CALCULATING THE INFLATION OF EVERY OTHER ADMINISTRATION. And it does not cost Billions to fund the Military everyday, and it is considerably less not during war time. I have allowed you to argue your points, but nothing you have said is rooted in fact.

3.) How can you prove that we have lost minimal casualties, for I can assure you that the ZERO soldiers we would have lost had we not gone to war, is more minimal.

I hereby affirm, George Bush was not a good president. He left us the greatest debt of any administration in history, he left us two wars, he decreased international support, he help create the worst economy since the Great Depression, he broke the U.S. Constitution, and gave new meaning to the term 'moron'.

Thank you
Debate Round No. 3
42 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by morgan2252 1 year ago
morgan2252
"He set up a war that we are winning. That is the sign of a good leader."

Food for thought: Adolf Hitler helped set up World War II. And before the United States of America got into the war, the Nazis were winning... by a long shot. Does this mean Hitler was a good leader, too? Seriously, think!!!
Posted by alex0828 2 years ago
alex0828
The one flaw in this debate is the setup. I agree with youngpolitic, but since I dont have to give a comment as to why i vote the way i do, i could just give him all the points with no explanation. Im sure that most of the votes where one person was given all the checks were just biased without even reading the debate. They should need an explanation.
Posted by wpfairbanks 3 years ago
wpfairbanks
I was surprised too! I think it's because, although there are more so-called "liberals" on the internet, the right-wingers are a little bit more zealous in their beliefs. But yeah, look around. There are about 2,700 registered conservatives and libs, and about 2,500 registered liberals, socialists, and progressives. You may find yourself in the majority here, my friend.
Posted by Dr.Conservative 3 years ago
Dr.Conservative
Well that's good. It's good to have balance and I'm surprised both right-wingers (libertarians and conservatives) and left-wingers (liberals and progressives) are pretty evenly balanced.
Posted by wpfairbanks 3 years ago
wpfairbanks
I think you'll find on here that being a conservative, even one for Bush is not so hard. Debate.org people are very ideological, and about 50% of them fall into the conservative/libertarian tradition. Even as a democratic-socialist, I find that extremely pleasing, because it allows for such intense debates. Let the close contest of this debate be a testament to that!
Posted by Dr.Conservative 3 years ago
Dr.Conservative
I never said nor thought you were a liberal loud-mouth. I also dont favor Bush or Obama. All I'm saying is I respect the pro for even arguing this case which is a very difficult argument to win.
Posted by wpfairbanks 3 years ago
wpfairbanks
Thanks for joining this site, and I am glad that you are passionate, but don't come on here spewing talking points in a year old debate. The comments should be to discuss the merits of the debate, not who you favor, Bush or Obama. I am not a liberal loud-mouth trying to shout you down. All I ask is you show some respect.
Posted by Dr.Conservative 3 years ago
Dr.Conservative
Probably shouldn't even mention Bush on the internet b/c you'll be confronted by loud-mouthed liberal bloggers screaming at you. I commend pro for defending Bush on the internet, somewhere he is absolutely hated. A poll that came out a week or so ago said if a presidential race between Bush and obama occured. The results in ohio would be Bush 50 to Obama 46. Bush's favorability rating is now higher than Obama's approval rating. And Obama has tripled to increase of debt by year. Bush's 2008 budget had a balanced budget by 2012. Now we will have an 750 billion dollar deficit in 2012 and deficits expected to continue to increase after 2013.
Posted by Dr.Conservative 3 years ago
Dr.Conservative
Everyone who paid attention should know that it was Bill Clinton who called for regime change in 1998. It was only a matter of time. It was obvious Clinton would've gone in if he had a year or two more and Congressional support.
Posted by thekoolest 4 years ago
thekoolest
what did he do wrong
http://en.wikipedia.org...
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