The Instigator
ReaganConservative
Pro (for)
Losing
80 Points
The Contender
Danielle
Con (against)
Winning
87 Points

Liberals accusing Republicans of "fear-mongering" is getting annoying.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/19/2008 Category: Politics
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 4,355 times Debate No: 3293
Debate Rounds (2)
Comments (15)
Votes (46)

 

ReaganConservative

Pro

Let me just begin this article with a disclaimer and a definition. First of all, in this piece, I will not spiral down into anti-woman rhetoric, I will not denounce abortion, I will not disparage gays and, regretfully, my subject matter will not lampoon the comical ineffectiveness of affirmative action. So do not call me a sexist, homophobic, fundamentalist bigot. In addition, let me define a term for you: neocon (short for neoconservative). This label refers to a hawkish philosophy with a penchant for big government programs, strong defense and redistribution of income—modern examples of neoconservatives are President Bush, David Horowitz, etc. In contrast to these views, I am a plain old regular conservative. I believe in smaller government, strong defense, and individual entrepreneurship. In short, I believe in the Constitution. How blas´┐Ż. So do not call me a neocon.

Having just deprived liberal readers of every arrow in their quiver, I believe I can now make my point, and leftists will have no ad-hominem slurs with which to counter it. My point regards (insert ominous music here) The War on . . . Terror. (Gasp!) You will see, in my piece, how liberals blatantly attribute any warning of danger to "fear tactics." You will also see that Americans may actually have a reason to be cautious, but never daunted.

ABC News marveled that presidential candidate John McCain "Push[ed] back on any idea he's fear-mongering, [saying] his charge that al Qaeda in Iraq would follow Americans home is based on al Qaeda rhetoric. ‘That's not my idea, that's theirs, if you read what bin Laden, Zawahiri, and all the others are saying,' he said." The ABC reporters were all too eager to heap the infernal charge of "fear-mongering" on McCain when he dared to mention the dire consequences of losing in the most critical theatre of the War on Terror.
Subsequently, in another February 29th article, Michelle Obama stated that her husband's detractors "threw in the obvious, ultimate fear bomb," when they had the gaucherie to mention Barack's middle name: (looks both ways nervously and lowers voice to whisper) Hussein. Also, the AP cited Senator Leahy in his exegesis on President Bush's diabolical motivations for defending Americans. Could it be, Leahy wondered, that "the president once again is misusing his bully pulpit"? "Once again, they show that they are not above fear-mongering if that's what it takes to get their way." And what was that villain Bush "fear-mongering" about? He wanted immunity for telecomm corporations that help us stop terrorists before they attack and kill, say, 3,000 of our fellow citizens. But that threat ended, didn't it? There's no more terrorism! We have nothing to worry about on this banner day of "fear-mongering" headlines. On February 29th, 2008, the threat of terrorism is no more. Right?

Wrong. On that very same day, the AP noted that six people were hospitalized "after the deadly toxin ricin was found in [a] Las Vegas motel room." The FBI is not ready to call this terrorism, but it is certainly a threat, and it has injured our fellow citizens. When will we learn the lessons of 9/11? When will we stand up like men and defend our cities? Well, I guess we probably shouldn't, in retrospect. We probably shouldn't warn of ricin or anthrax attacks (both of which have happened). We probably shouldn't—we might be accused of fear-mongering.

So, go ahead, Democrats. Call me a fear-monger. It's the only attack you have left. And when you're done, try pointing your ire toward the people who actually pose a threat to this country. No, not the neocons. I can already hear your talking points firing. The threat is not George W. Bush. The threat is your own compromising weakness. Ask yourself the same question Ronald Reagan asked of all Americans in 1964. "Do we really want peace? Or do we only wish to be left in peace?" A passive, pacifist attitude can accomplish only one thing: surrender. And when you exchange your freedom for "the chains of slavery," then you will have more than George W. Bush to complain about.
Danielle

Con

Interesting rant... mind if I try?

What really pisses me off about these so-called "supporters of the Constitution" is 1) the blatant disregard for the document's flaws - both past and present - and 2) the ultimate hypocrisy and opposition of ideals. Since its inception, the Constitution has been amended a total of 27 times. Why? If it is such a sacred text, shouldn't there be little to no room for mistakes and corrections? Wrong. The fact of the matter is, the Constitution was not written by God himself, or even four blessed evangelists. Instead, it was written by mere mortals with their own (sometimes opposing) beliefs and ideas, as well as their own personal agenda that coinsided with the particular going-ons of the time. Perhaps if Thomas Jefferson had a hand in writing this text two hundred years later, his position on certain issues would most likely have been very different!

My point: Since 1787, the Constitution has been ratified to include limitations on congressional pay wages and presidential terms, impose the prohibition of alcohol (only to repeal it 14 years later), grant voting rights to women, and abolish the ridiculous 3/5 comprimise which reduced African Americans to the equivocal of 3/5 a person in terms of calculating population for voting purposes. It is not a holy document. It is not a sacred text. It is not the be-all and end-all of literary salvation. It is a set of guidelines that our Founding Fathers (white property owners in the 1700s) deemed necessary, and is therefore open to be subjected to scrutiny and change as society propels us to evolve and seek truth and justice over time.

Additionally, for those so interested in small government, i.e. keeping the government out of personal (Hello! ECONOMIC) affairs, it baffles me how they reinforce the government's role in stifling women's rights... for instance, making prositition illegal in 1910 (I won't get into abortion or gay marriage in this debate, since my opponent ever so thoughtfully only mentioned these issues in casual passing), or by infringing upon the right of law abiding citizens to smoke a marijuana cigarette in the privacy of their own homes. The Founding Fathers that you supposedly support would be appalled by these restrictions! They were essentially Christian Libertarians, though not all; some of them even had particularly radical views in terms of religion. However, the difference between the authors of the Constitution and Republicans today is that - face it - Republicans wish to legislate morality based on RELIGION. Ironically, the first amendment to the Constitution addresses this very concern; Thomas Jefferson also insisted upon "building a wall between Church and State" as detailed in his 1802 letter to the Danbury Baptist Association... but I digress, as I have probably spent too much time addressing the first few paragraphs of my opponent's debate, and have therefore neglected the main issue: Fear-Mongering.



In your piece, you have claimed, "liberals blatantly attribute any warning of danger to 'fear tactics.'" I disagree, stating instead that liberals (I assume you are pidgeon-holing anyone who critisizes or questions the Bush Administration as a being a liberal) only label fear-mongering by the government to include blatant, unmitigated, sensationalized attempts at twisting the facts, exaggerating the truth, lying through omission, and promoting false accusations to frighten citizens into supporting their political agenda.

Now, in your argument, you have included some nice tidbits about current media events and even dared to "whisper" Barack Obama's middle name. Good for you. You're so brave. However your "argument" contained extremely little detail to support your position, which unfortunately for you is what debating is all about. So you can throw those 8th grade vocabulary words and not-so-witty sarcasm at me all you want -- that doesn't mean you are going to win this debate.

Let's take a look at your presentation of facts: Oh wait - you don't have any. You did mention your obvious support of immunity for telecom corporations that have violated federal privacy laws... sounds pretty UN-Constitutional to me... but other than that, your argument was lacking. You admitted the discovery of ricin found in a Las Vegas motel room was not being acknowledged by the FBI, the CIA, or any other government agency as being linked to terrorist activity. This is because it probably isn't; I doubt these crazed fundamentalist Muslims would implore an operation to hospitalize one 57 year old at random for staying in a Vegas motel, but nice try. The fact that some even THINK about linking this minor occurence to the War on Terrorism is EXACTLY the result of - you guessed it - FEAR MONGERING!!!

I would like to take this opportunity to correct your misrepresentation of facts (how Republican of you):

"Seven people, including the man who found the ricin, the manager, two other motel employees and three police officers, were decontaminated at the scene and taken to hospitals for examination, but NONE have shown any signs of being affected by ricin . . . 'There is no information to lead us to believe that this is the result of any terrorist activity or related to any possible terrorist activity,' Suey said. 'We don't have any reason to believe any of it left the property.'" - MSNBC

Additionally, "Anthrax often lives in persons who are not made sick by the germ. These are the people in the news who have 'tested positive' for Anthrax but are not ill. This disease cannot be transmitted between people. Antibiotics are used to prevent any types of Anthrax infection after exposure. While NOT YET LINKED TO TERRORISM, there are two types of infection caused by Anthrax that are currently being investigated: pulmonary and cutaneous (skin)." (Source: http://www.lanecounty.org...)

So again, I dare to pose the question: Why would these so-called incredibly dangerous terrorists... who pose SUCH a threat that we had to go to war with three countries (against the United Nations), kill thousands of innocent people (including our own soldiers), allienate our allies (adding to the notion that we are an Evil Empire), and accumulate an insurmountable amount of debt (putting us in an incredibly vulnerable position in terms of world politics, not to mention burdening American families with the reality of an impending recession) choose a "war tactic" such as... Anthrax?! It's BARELY FATAL! Alas, this is the success of - ahh, here are those words again - FEAR MONGERING. The fact that you, an arguably intelligent human being, have been reduced to actually mentioning a tiny amount of ricin found on a Vegas motel as possibly being linked to terrorist activity in this debate proves that it WORKS.

Thus, I will conclude this portion of the debate. I chose to argue this round with 2 goals:

1) To vent unnecessarilly the way you did, just for my own personal satisfaction :P

2) To demonstrate how fear mongering does exist and lead to complete irrationality, though your argument didn't need any help from me to prove that point

In the next and final round, I will address many of my main points, including but not limited to: the emergence of a culture based on fear, political incentives to implement fear tactics, economic incentives (for a select few, obviously) for fear mongering, the exaggeration of an obvious threat to gain political support, the racism and harassment that fear mongering promotes, social discrimination of Arabs that infringes upon civil rights thanks to fear tactics, and more. I will also adress your comment, "The threat is not George W. Bush. The threat is your own compromising weakness" which I found to be comically false.

I don't care of this (unusual... for me, anyway) debate approach results in a loss for me; I took on this debate to shed some light, not to up my win percentage.
Debate Round No. 1
ReaganConservative

Pro

"abolish the ridiculous 3/5 comprimise which reduced African Americans to the equivocal of 3/5 a person in terms of calculating population for voting purposes."
--You do realize that if the 3/5 compromise was never enforced, the South would have had more power and more voice in Congress, giving them an opportunity to expand the institution of slavery.

"It is not a sacred text. It is not the be-all and end-all of literary salvation."
--No, but it's a document that has enabled our country to become the worldwide superpower and global economic leader.

"Republicans wish to legislate morality based on RELIGION."
--No, we just adhere to the Judeo-Christian principles this nation was founded on.

"Thomas Jefferson also insisted upon "building a wall between Church and State""
--Absolutely WRONG. The complete discussions of the Founding Fathers vis-a-vis the First Amendment is contained in the Congressional Records from June 7 to September 25, 1789. Nowhere in these documents is the term "separation of church and state" ever mentioned. The term "separation of church and state" originated primarily from two different sources--the Danbury Letter and the Supreme Court case of Everson v. Board of Education. The Danbury Letter is a private letter Thomas Jefferson wrote to the Association of Danbury Baptists, eleven years after the ratification of the First Amendment. He used the term "a wall of separation between church and state" to assure the Baptists the federal government would not establish a federally recognized "state" greligion.

"blatant, unmitigated, sensationalized attempts at twisting the facts, exaggerating the truth, lying through omission, and promoting false accusations to frighten citizens into supporting their political agenda."
--So it's just politics? There's no REAL terrorist threat? Tell that to the families of the 3,000 fellow countrymen who were slaughtered on September 11th. Tell that to the family of Nick Berg who had his head sawed off as he screamed through his gargled, slashed throat. That's not fear-mongering, that's stating reality. Liberals are dis-associated with reality, though. They'd rather live in their own socialist utopia.

"The fact that you, an arguably intelligent human being, have been reduced to actually mentioning a tiny amount of ricin found on a Vegas motel as possibly being linked to terrorist activity in this debate proves that it WORKS."
--So, if it were up to you, we would ignore it, right?

So, according to liberals, there is no terrorist threat and we don't have an enemy across the Atlantic Ocean that views us as the "Great Satan" and wishes to end our existence. According to liberals, when President Bush informs the American people about the terrorist threat that is alive and well, he is only doing it for political gain. Wow, it must be working. I can see his approval rating skyrocketing. Is it going to take another 9/11 for liberals to open their eyes? How many more American casualties is it going to take for liberals to realize that there IS a terrorist threat? Oh I'm sorry, am I fear-mongering? I'll stop then.
Danielle

Con

I won't waste too much time with the back-and-forth debating over whether or not the Constitution is amazing. For instance my opponent has stated, "it's a document that has enabled our country to become the worldwide superpower and global economic leader." True, but it's also a document that has limited and imposed upon the rights of individuals for centuries. I also disagree that the Judeo-Christian principles of our founding fathers should be the basis of contemporary politics, but I digress. Instead I would like to concentrate my final round on the topic of debate at hand: fear-mongering.

My opponent has skillfully used a blatant form of rhetoric to detail unfortunate circumstances regarding the tragic deaths of American citizens. For example, "Tell that to the family of Nick Berg who had his head sawed off as he screamed through his gargled, slashed throat. That's not fear-mongering, that's stating reality." Yes, Nick Berg's death was a heart breaking reality. But using his death in vain to promote an unjust political agenda is wrong. And it's fear-mongering. Notice my opponent failed to mention in his argument the hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqi civilians, who have also unfairly endured a bloody, violent and gruesome death. Actually, some sources claim that Iraqi casualties have surpassed 1 million -- either way, there have been far too many.

It seems to me that Pro is dead-set on demonstrating his (Conservative) macho military prowess by belittling the "liberal" idea of finding the truth amongst the lies and exagerations, by calling it "weakness" and threatening that our quest for answers will only lead to destruction and death. That is so ignorant, and such a blatant display of fear-mongering, it's almost criminal. Fear is a paralyzing emotion that cripples our ability to see logic and reason in a truthful light, thus making it easier for politicians to mobilize the public on behalf of their own agenda. In my argument, I will discuss the facts regarding fear, fear-mongering, and its damaging effects on our society.

First, what is terrorism? "The phrase itself is meaningless. It defines neither a geographic context nor our presumed enemies. Terrorism is not an enemy but a technique of warfare - political intimidation through the killing of unarmed non-combatants." -- Zbigniew Brzezinski. The strategic wording choice of "War on Terror" is effective; surely all Americans want to diminish the chances of this kind of warfare being used on American soil as demonstrated on 9/11. However rather than find ways to actually prevent terrorism (i.e. peace talks, increased emphasis on safety measures at home, etc), the government has used the attacks on 9/11 in vain to gain support for a pointless war in Iraq. Proof:

"The report released by the Joint Forces Command five years after the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq said it found no 'smoking gun' after reviewing about 600,000 Iraqi documents captured in the invasion, and looking at interviews of key Iraqi leadership held by the United States, Pentagon officials said. 'The assessment of the al Qaeda connection and the insistence that Hussein had WMDs were two primary elements in the Bush administration's arguments in favor of going to war with Iraq. The Pentagon's report also contradicts then-Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, who said in September 2002 that the CIA provided 'bulletproof' evidence demonstrating 'that there are, in fact, al Qaeda in Iraq.'" (Source: CNN.com)

This official report, released by the Pentagon itself, proves that the Bush adminstration blatantly LIED or provided misinformation to the American public in order to gain support for the war. My opponent's view of politics is clearly misconstrued. He sarcastically noted that this fear-mongering tactic obviously wasn't helping, because Bush approval ratings have only decreased in recent years. However that doesn't negate the fact that Bush has used scare tactics to trick people (like RC himself) into supporting this dangerous, expensive and illegal war.

Although I didn't have to do much work in this debate to win (the Pentagon did it for me and proved that fear-mongering was evident and apparent), I had mentioned in my previous argument that I wanted to address several key things in terms of the damaging effects of the fear tactics implemented by the Bush Administration. Plus, my position in this debate calls for me to prove why calling Conservatives out on fear-mongering isn't annoying. I argue that it isn't annoying because it's true and needs to be heard/learned.

I would like to address a point that my opponent brought up: Bush's declining approval rating. First of all, there was controversy regarding whether or not he was elected in the first place. But people have to wonder, with as many people who do not support Bush and his policies, how he was elected for another term back in 2004. The reason behind that is simple. "Support for President Bush in the 2004 elections was also mobilized in part by the notion that 'a nation at war' does not change its commander in chief in midstream. The sense of a pervasive but otherwise imprecise danger was thus channeled in a politically expedient direction by the mobilizing appeal of being 'at war.'" (Source: WashingtonPost.com).

Another annoying tactic implemented by the Bush Administration was comparing terrorist groups to Nazis in order to promote fear. However the B.A. ignored the fact that Nazi Germany was a first rate military power, unlike al-Qaeda who does not and can not achieve that same status.

"We are now divided, uncertain and potentially very susceptible to panic in the event of another terrorist act in the United States itself. That is the result of five years of almost continuous national brainwashing on the subject of terror." (http://www.washingtonpost.com...)

Some more facts: In 2003 Congress identified 160 sites as potentially targets for would-be terrorists. Within months the list had grown to 1,849. A year later the number had grown to 8,360. By 2005, it had increased yet again to 77,769. The national database of possible targets now has some 300,000 items in it, including the Sears Tower in Chicago and an Illinois Apple and Pork Festival. We are made to believe that just about every landmark in the U.S. is a potential terrorist threat. Howcome these places weren't threats before? Terrorists and terrorism have always existed. It is only now, while we continue to engage in unnecessary and unsupported warfare, that we are supposedly so at risk. Yet this risk is supposedly the reasoning behind the war... Something doesn't add up.

Consider the electronic billboards over interstate highways urging motorists to "Report Suspicious Activity" to local government officials. What does this mean? Drivers in turbans? I argue that promoting Islamophobia is more annoying than pointing out the obvious fact that Republicans are fear-mongering.

It doesn't end there. Some House Republicans recently described CAIR members as "terrorist apologists" who should not be allowed to use a Capitol meeting room for a panel discussion. There is also social discrimination amongst Muslim air travelers and other Arab-looking citizens merely trying to live their lives. This is unfair and "annoying."

Back when America was struck not by a minority terrorist group, but by a rich and powerful enemy nation (Pearl Harbor), our President said "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself." Today we are reminded on a daily basis that we are in danger from a far smaller and much more limited fanatical group across the ocean... with no WMDs. Now is terrorism still a threat? Obviously. But blaming every minor occurence in the U.S. (i.e. the tiny bit of ricin found in a Vegas motel - GIVE ME A BREAK) on this "War on Terror" is ludicrous. Perhaps instead we should engage in a "War on Manipulation."
Debate Round No. 2
15 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by sadolite 8 years ago
sadolite
Double, My first statement was made a while ago, My view of the world has taken an abrupt change sence then. All comments after the first one are now my view point about the rest of the world. As far as the world not being ungrateful, they will have no reason to think anything about the U.S. if we just butt out and let the other countries slaughter each other. It' would be unwise to stop it as history has clearly proven. Let them starve and rot and dont blame the U.S. anymore.
Posted by DoubleXMinus 8 years ago
DoubleXMinus
Lol so hold on, is the first statement you made -- the first statement that was posted in this comments section -- completely void now?

It's hard to pin down where you stand, Sadolite... contradictory person, you are. How are you supposed to debate anything when you change your mind more often than a woman going through menopause? =P

The world isn't ungrateful toward us, they don't like us because all through history we've done unwise things very selfishly and all the while we're trying to tell our victims it's actually for their own good.

Like Iraq for example, we've murdered so many innocent civilians and yet at the same time we're trying to tell the ones who remain that it's all actually in the name of liberating them... Lol sheesh man, that's not why we're there and it was never, "For the greater good of the people..." that we wanted to invade. We're so damn self-righteous and it's all bullshit, the world knows that.
Posted by sadolite 8 years ago
sadolite
Double I didn't use to think that but now I do. I am sick and tired of my country being blamed for every thing that is wrong in this world. Let the rest of the world blame some other country for all the problems in the world from now on. Let them burn some other countries flag, let them go beg from some other country when some disaster strikes their country. We need to take care of our own from now on. If the U.S butts out, all the problems will disappear as far as we are concerned. I am dead serious and not being sarcastic. I have had it up to here, so to speak, with my country being raked over the coals by the rest of the world. Screw them, let them all rot and starve. At least they wont be able to blame the U.S.
Posted by DoubleXMinus 8 years ago
DoubleXMinus
That would've been a good one. Sorry about that, I was detecting sarcasm where there was none... which brings me to another question... do you really see the world as some ungrateful mass of anti-American countries who can just go ahead and die because what do we care by now?
Posted by DoubleXMinus 8 years ago
DoubleXMinus
The more I think on this, the more I'm wanting to specify Iraq.

Will you accept a challenge on the ideology that the horrible display of human indecency before we went into Iraq is justification enough for us invading?
Posted by sadolite 8 years ago
sadolite
No thanks, I don't want to try and justify rape, murder, torture and genocide as reasons for invading another country. It's a big loser and it has already been rejected by the world as reasons to invade another country. I think the U.S. should mind it's own business and let what happens to people in other countries happen regardless of how heinous it may be. The U.S. is the cause of all the worlds problems. Let the rest of the world work it out for them selves. It is clear that the U.S. is the most despised country in the world because of our constant interference in the rest of the world. It is time for us to but out and worry about ourselves.
Posted by DoubleXMinus 8 years ago
DoubleXMinus
Would you accept a debate on this?

Something like... "Rape, Murder, Torture and Genocide Constitutes Invasion."

Me con, you pro and we'll elaborate?
Posted by sadolite 8 years ago
sadolite
Well lets see, I should probably ask you first because I suspect that rape, murder, torture and genocide are no longer reason enough to help people in other countries. And if we do invade it can take no longer than a couple of weeks or we as a country loose the stomach for it and also if anyone is killed during the invasion then that is the end of it. It is time to pull out. So I guess the answer is none if those are the criteria for an invasion. Screw the rest of the world, let them starve and be tortured. I have since changed my opinion about the world and the people who live in it. The U.S is unwelcome to the rest of the world. Let all the people in Dar fur and Indonesia starve to death. I don't care about them any more. And I don't care about any other country that is lead by a brutal dictator either the murders and tortures it's own people for having an opinion about their own Govt. Let them rot. As long as I have my freedom and I have enough to eat why the hell should I care about anyone else, makes sense to me now.
Posted by DoubleXMinus 8 years ago
DoubleXMinus
Sadolite, are you saying we were justified in going into Iraq because its people were being mistreated?

Wow, what country should we invade next?
Posted by shwayze 8 years ago
shwayze
how many more 9/11's is it going to take for you liberals to get the picture?
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Vote Placed by headphonegut 2 years ago
headphonegut
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Reasons for voting decision: rfd: con was successful in all their assertions with clear concise arguments that were well sourced and wasn't confrontational. Pros ideas were scattered and random with no sources.
Vote Placed by TheNamesFizzy 2 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro and con used both convincing rebuttals and arguments. However, con seemed to deny reality and use her opinion, rather than fact.
Vote Placed by tmar19652 4 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro at once denounces the very concept (or perhaps existence) of fear-mongering and uses it as the sole basis of his argument against an only vaguely identified opponent. His conduct was confrontational, he presented no sources, his arguments read like random scribbling, and his arguments were unformed. Pro shouldn't have any points, let alone be winning here.
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Reasons for voting decision: Countering Danielle's votebomb for herself. Pro did not vote for himself, so the votebomb was unfair.
Vote Placed by Danielle 7 years ago
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