The Instigator
HandsOff
Pro (for)
Winning
41 Points
The Contender
Advidoct
Con (against)
Losing
39 Points

If here today, our Founding Fathers would call themselves Libertarians and vote accordingly.

Do you like this debate?NoYes+0
Add this debate to Google Add this debate to Delicious Add this debate to FaceBook Add this debate to Digg  
Vote Here
Pro Tied Con
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?
Reasons for your voting decision
1,000 Characters Remaining
The voting period for this debate does not end.
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/8/2008 Category: Politics
Updated: 9 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 3,583 times Debate No: 2498
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (8)
Votes (22)

 

HandsOff

Pro

The Libertarian philosophy espouses getting government out of your wallet, out of you personal affairs, and out of your way. The founding fathers believed in minimal government involvement in our personal live, minimal taxation, and self reliance. The architects of our constitution had the chance to write govenerment-sponsored healthcare into the constitution, but did not. Though they had the chance to impose a federal income tax, but did not. Though they had the change to create a government that offered handouts to it's subjects, but did not. Though they had a chance to impose gun control, but did not. Though they had the opportunity to outlaw certain sexual behavior, but did not.

I don't like liberals because they want to uphold only the social freedoms guaranteed by our constitution. I don't like the right-wing conservatives because they want to uphold only the economic freedoms guaranteed by our constitution. Only the Libertarians value the consitution as a whole and as it was written. We will not allow our religious beliefs or our own personal economic situations to cause us to want to rewrite it for our benefit. I think our founding fathers would agree.
Advidoct

Con

There is no way you could say our founding fathers would be libertarian. To assume that they would all subscribe to that political preference shows a poor understanding of history.
First, the founding fathers were no difference than modern politicians. They disagreed on almost everything. THomas Jefferson was a raving liberal. He lived for the small man, trying to find every way to help the poor. George Washington was a moderate conservative. He favored a larger, more controlling and more executive government (though he never verbally subscribed to any political preference). John Adams makes Fred Thompson look like Hillary Clinton. He was all for complete government control. In fact, it was his administration that saw the passing of the Alien and Sedition Acts, laws that denied anyone from speaking poorly about government officials. The laws were taken off of the books in 1801 when Thomas Jefferson was inaugerated.
Our founding fathers were also the founders of our first poltical parties, the Democratic-Republicans and the Federalists. I gauruntee you that Alexander Hamilton, John Adams, George Washington (three who largely supported federalist ideas) make conservatives today look like radical leftists. These three would have never adopted the libertarion train of thought. Those who supported the Democratic Republicans such as Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, lived for the backwoods farmer. They would give them government assistance whenever they could. They could never be a libertarian because they would never be able to keep their hands off...

Also, you cited some ideas in your first paragraph I definatly need to argue.

You said,
"The architects of our constitution had the chance to write govenerment-sponsored healthcare into the constitution, but did not. Though they had the chance to impose a federal income tax, but did not. Though they had the change to create a government that offered handouts to it's subjects, but did not. Though they had a chance to impose gun control, but did not. Though they had the opportunity to outlaw certain sexual behavior, but did not."

Dude get real. Do you honestly expect the founding fathers to pencil in government healthcare when they lived in a century when healthcare was not only not a crisis, but barely of importance. There were no hospitals, there was no in health insurance, and there was no healthcare industry...They didnt leave government sponsored healthcare out because they didnt believe in it, they left it out because the idea didnt even exist yet.
They didnt enact a federal income tax because many people didnt have a stable income. Instead they taxed things such as luxury goods, imports, and whiskey. In fact, until Thomas Jefferson was President, peasants were constantly revolting over the high tax rates levied by there founding fathers. The Whiskey rebellion, the worst of these, was raised when the government placed a high tax on alcohol.
Gun control was something that could never have been used in the 18th century. In fact, placed in the right era, the second amendment is kind of a Duh! statement. People needed to people able to hunt meat. Businesses relied on free gun use to hunt furs. Settlers relied on free gun use to protect themselves from natives. The founding fathers could never have passed gun control laws.

The long and short is this.
-The founding fathers chose not to pass government healthcare because the industry of healthcare didnt even exist yet, not because they were agaisnt it.
-The founding fathers didnt pass income taxes because everyone was a farmer whose income was too unstable to tax. Instead they passed high taxes on goods. They didnt leave out income taxes because they didnt like them.

-The founding fathers didnt pass gun control because people lives Depended on guns. They needed them for protection, for their businesses, and for their food. In the 18th century, passing gun control laws would have been like passing taxes on water...

The point is, our founding fathers were not simply Libertarian, they were as politically diverse as we are today. They would have been republicans, democrats, libertarians, and even socialists. Your argument is too broad of characterization for such a large and politically diverse group of men.
Debate Round No. 1
HandsOff

Pro

I was not speaking of our founding fathers as individuals, but as a group. The constitution is a product of their cooperative intent. Don't try to tell me there was no healthcare industry back then, or that people only needed guns for hunting rather than protection, or that they decided against income tax because they felt sorry for unstable farmers. That's bull!!!

There were doctors back then that charged for their services.There were criminals back then, just as dangerous as our modern-day gangbangers. People worked just as hard for their money and wanted to keep it. And there were a lot of poor people (even before laziness was sanctioned) that would have loved a welfare state. If any of the founding fathers wanted to argue in favor of gun control, welfare, free healthcare or high taxes, they would have found supporters.

I'm guessing you're a liberal: or a person who supports ideals which the founding fathers (as a whole) did not. You probably believe that government is here to create equal outcome, not equal opportunity; to sieze property, not protect it; and to stifle personal freedoms rather than defend them. The founding fathers would turn in their graves if they knew how the constitution (a purely libertarian ducument ratified by the entire group) has been virtually wacked. If here today, I believe they would do their best to restore it to its original purpose, and would take a Libertarian stance on almost all issues. The constitution was not the framework for a socialist state or a right-wing puritanical empire. If you want evidence of what our founding father agreed on, you have it. It's called the constitution. In your argument, you mentioned that many of our founding fathers were not libertarians. I recommend you check the bottom of the constitution (the touchstone of libertarian thought) to see if they might have signed on.
Advidoct

Con

"I was not speaking of our founding fathers as individuals, but as a group. The constitution is a product of their cooperative intent."

You cant classify them as a group though! They are waaay too diverse. To try and classify such a mismatched group of men all into one category is simply impossible. And though the constitution is a product of their cooperative intent, all that proves to me is that you think the Constitution is libertarian, which you would obviously think considering you're a libertarian.

"There were doctors back then that charged for their services.There were criminals back then, just as dangerous as our modern-day gangbangers. People worked just as hard for their money and wanted to keep it. And there were a lot of poor people (even before laziness was sanctioned) that would have loved a welfare state."

Sure there were doctors, but it wasn't an industry, it was a series of private practices. The prices werent too high and the care was easily obtained. The founding fathers would NEVER have considered that an issue, so to do what you are trying to do which is to guess where they would stand would be impossible seeing as they never dealt with the problem.
Also, sure there were bad guys, but that doesnt void my point. You couldnt control guns because it would have been unthinkable. They were FAR too necessary. Im never said there werent bad guys. I simply said that guns were too much of a necessity to control them, so again, its another issue they never needed to deal with.
Lastly, I dont see any point proven with your last two sentences. Of course people would have loved welfare. Of course they wanted to keep there money. Who doesnt? I never even addressed the welfarism, and from a taxes point of view, people in the 18th century were STILL taxed just as much as we are, just in different forms.

"I'm guessing you're a liberal: or a person who supports ideals which the founding fathers (as a whole) did not. You probably believe that government is here to create equal outcome, not equal opportunity; to sieze property, not protect it; and to stifle personal freedoms rather than defend them. The founding fathers would turn in their graves if they knew how the constitution (a purely libertarian ducument ratified by the entire group) has been virtually wacked. If here today, I believe they would do their best to restore it to its original purpose, and would take a Libertarian stance on almost all issues. The constitution was not the framework for a socialist state or a right-wing puritanical empire. If you want evidence of what our founding father agreed on, you have it. It's called the constitution. In your argument, you mentioned that many of our founding fathers were not libertarians. I recommend you check the bottom of the constitution (the touchstone of libertarian thought) to see if they might have signed on."

-Hahaha dude im a conservative. The idea of a welfare state makes be sick. Gun control is dangerous to law-abiding citizens, taxes are too high, and government is too involved. I was never trying to argue liberal ideas. I was only trying to prove a point.
That being aside, your attempt to somehow discredit me by calling me a liberal is simply stupid and largely intolerant.

Lastly, seriously, stop trying to prove that the Constitution is libertarian and try to prove the point you started with.
Debate Round No. 2
HandsOff

Pro

Let me get back on track with my "conservative" friend. The constitution was approved by a group of people we call our founding fathers. The constitution was meant to LIMIT governement as much as possible, keep religion OUT of politics, PROTECT individual property rights, and provide equal OPPORTUNITY for all. That is is a far cry from the liberal agenda which proposes national healthcare and the republican ideas that want to legislate morality. These are libertarian ideas. I think if most conservatives could drop their bibles, they'd be libertarians. It's very difficult to find a libertarian who disagrees with the constitution. So my won't appologize for calling it a document that is libertarian in spirit. Those who ratified it obviously agreed with it, so I don't think I'm out of line calling them libertarians (as a group). Regardless of all their differences, when the smoke cleared they ratified that document. Many people in the Republican party disagree with oneanother, but they still call themselves republicans. Look at John McCain. That's my argument in a nutshell.

Reread your first argument, and tell me if you sound like a whining liberal or a self-reliant conservative. You implied we need national healthcare because healthcare is an "industry"-- as if that makes any difference whatsoever. If prostitution were and industry (and I think it is), that would be no excuse for government-run whore houses. Then you implied the need for income tax grew out of the fact that it was now plausible since we weren't all farmers anymore with unstable incomes. That's ridiculous as well. The goverment takes no prisoners when it comes to taxes. In today's emconomy, people with seasonal or unstable incomes still have to pay taxes. You get my point.

You say you are a conservative (very hard to believe, but maybe if the lighting is just right). If so, hopefull you're a conservative of reason and only in the fiscal sense. If you're one of those religious conservatives we have much more to discuss. True conservatism is right up my alley. I see little differnce between libertarians and true conservatives of the non-bible-thumping type. Both are fighting for a restoration of a government that operates within the ideals set forth in the constitution.
Advidoct

Con

"The constitution was approved by a group of people we call our founding fathers. The constitution was meant to LIMIT governement as much as possible, keep religion OUT of politics, PROTECT individual property rights, and provide equal OPPORTUNITY for all. That is is a far cry from the liberal agenda which proposes national healthcare and the republican ideas that want to legislate morality. These are libertarian ideas."

-According to your logic, the founding fathers are all libertarian because they all signed a document you consider to be libertarian based on its purposes which you say are to Limit government, Protect Individual Rights, to Keep Religion out of politics, and to provide equal oppurtunity. The single major flaw in this argument is that not everyone agrees that those are , in fact, the purposes of the constitution. Different people interpret the constitution differently. For example, a democrat would argue that limited government is not necessarily a goal of the constitution, and that a more important goal of the constitution would be to promote general welfare to an extent of providing for the those without necessities. A conservative might say the constitution was never intended to keep religion out of politics. They would argue that it only condemns the declaration of a national or state religion. They would also argue that the constitution was created to protect certain america values they feel are diminishing. The interpretation is all in the eye of the beholder.

Also, the signing of a document doesnt commit someone to any set of political ideologies. All of the founding fathers compromised and agreed to sign. That doesnt mean they are all libertarian. Today lawmakers compromise and sign bills that are traditionally against there political affiliation to make progress. If a republican votes against tax cuts, that doesnt make him a democrat. If democrat votes against government sponsored healthcare, that doesnt make him a republican. By the same rules, the founding fathers are not libertarian simply because they "voted" for the constitution.

Lastly, your attempt to slash down and alienate those who subscribe to to a certain political preference such as religious conservatism or liberalism is not only rude and ignorant, but it is a HUGE slap in the face of the constitution and your "libertarian" founding fathers.
Debate Round No. 3
8 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 8 records.
Posted by HandsOff 9 years ago
HandsOff
Sorry Rob1billion. I didn't see that original your comment was directed at "anonymous."
Posted by acas 9 years ago
acas
blah blah blah blah blah shoot me already
Posted by Rob1Billion 9 years ago
Rob1Billion
we will see if you can back that statement up handsoff.
Posted by HandsOff 9 years ago
HandsOff
One and the same: The purpose of a debate IS to get people to agree with your position.
Posted by Rob1Billion 9 years ago
Rob1Billion
anonymous, maybe you should try reading the debate. The idea of this site is to vote on debating ability, not just on who you agree with.
Posted by HandsOff 9 years ago
HandsOff
Advidoct,
According to you, the constitution is meaningless, because it can be interpreted to serve anyone's purpose. That's why I recommend we look back to the days shortly after it was adopted, so we can get an idea of the role government played back then. I beleive it was closer to what libertarians (not dems or repubs) would have considered ideal. Not trying to "slash down" other ideologies. I just want to make clear that most modern political ideologies are a dramatic departure from the one the founding father's (as a group) signed on to.

If you want to get closer what the fathers meant in the constitution, stop trying to "interpret" the consitution. You have historical evidence of what the founding fathers considered the proper role of government. It looks nothing like the government of our day. And there's only one party that I know of that would like to put government back in its place.
Posted by Anonymous 9 years ago
Anonymous
Wow, I would like to see if anyone accepts this challenge. I don't even need to see the other side to vote pro.
Posted by C-Mach 9 years ago
C-Mach
No crap. Is this 25 characters yet?
22 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Vote Placed by Wylted 1 year ago
Wylted
HandsOffAdvidoctTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:30 
Vote Placed by 1gambittheman1 7 years ago
1gambittheman1
HandsOffAdvidoctTied
Agreed with before the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Agreed with after the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Who had better conduct:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:Vote Checkmark--2 points
Total points awarded:70 
Vote Placed by JBlake 8 years ago
JBlake
HandsOffAdvidoctTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:-Vote Checkmark-2 points
Total points awarded:05 
Vote Placed by Mangani 8 years ago
Mangani
HandsOffAdvidoctTied
Agreed with before the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Agreed with after the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Who had better conduct:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:-Vote Checkmark-2 points
Total points awarded:07 
Vote Placed by HandsOff 8 years ago
HandsOff
HandsOffAdvidoctTied
Agreed with before the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Agreed with after the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Who had better conduct:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:Vote Checkmark--2 points
Total points awarded:70 
Vote Placed by Jamcke 8 years ago
Jamcke
HandsOffAdvidoctTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:03 
Vote Placed by Oolon_Colluphid 8 years ago
Oolon_Colluphid
HandsOffAdvidoctTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:03 
Vote Placed by Handout 8 years ago
Handout
HandsOffAdvidoctTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:30 
Vote Placed by zander 8 years ago
zander
HandsOffAdvidoctTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:03 
Vote Placed by vinavinx 9 years ago
vinavinx
HandsOffAdvidoctTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:03