The Instigator
Statesman
Pro (for)
Losing
15 Points
The Contender
zakkuchan
Con (against)
Winning
30 Points

Mike Huckabee is not a true conservative. He is the worst choice for the Republican nomination.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/2/2008 Category: Politics
Updated: 9 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 1,474 times Debate No: 1287
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (7)
Votes (15)

 

Statesman

Pro

There are two big reasons Mike Huckabee has so much support right now.
1)He is very personable.
2)He is running as an evangelical.
I understand that personality plays a big part in modern politics but it shouldn't. How funny or likable someone is should not overshadow their platform or their record. Governor Huckabee's record is anything but conservative. Pardoning criminals, expanding government, and raising taxes 92 times are not conservative ideals. This brings me to my second point. You may ask why, if his record is this bad, don't more people see through the lies he tells about being a conservative? The answer: because he's running as an evangelical. Now, I'm an evangelical christian also, but the vast majority of evangelical christians now in days hear that he's running as an evangelical and they're on the bandwagon! Huckabee's the best! They never even stop to question his authenticity as a conservative. Listen, despite what liberals like to believe the Constitution was written on christian ideas. So if you're an evangelical support the candidate that supports the constitution and thus supports christian ideas. If your not a christian but a conservative support a candidate who has a consistent conservative record and not someone who's record is full of things you would expect to see from one of the Clintons.
zakkuchan

Con

I will split this case into two parts, to address the two main claims of the resolution:

1. On the contention that "Mike Huckabee is not a true conservative.":

Words are in constant flux in any living language, including the English language. What a word means today does not necessarily reflect what that word meant 50 years ago, or what it will mean 50 years in the future. This is especially true in political terminology. For a long time in America, the words "conservative" and "liberal" have been used to describe the basic perceived separation between the two sides in the political arena. And often we see, such as in this resolution, a claim that someone who professes to be one of these things does not, in fact, fit into that category. And by the definition of "conservative" that existed 50 or even 30 years ago, the claim made in this resolution would be true. "Conservative" was a term that primarily described a person who was for small government, low taxes, and non-intervention in foreign affairs; and, as the Pro side pointed out, Huckabee has not shown a very strong record in this regard.

But we must take into account what the word "conservative" means *now* above what it meant *in the past*. Since about the 1970s, the socially and religiously conservative elements of conservatism and the Republican party have essentially taken them over. The Bush administration, and the Republican Congress that we had from 1994 to 2006, are not traditional conservatives whatsoever. What they are is a bunch of social and religious conservatives running around calling opposition to abortion and stem-cell research and gay marriage "conservative", while completely abandoning and even contradicting what "conservative" values originally were (small government, low taxes, non-intervention). Our government is bigger than it has ever been, and this growth has taken place under a "conservative" administration and a "conservative" Congress. Unfortunately, the long and well-established habit of associating social conservatives with the Republican party and conservatives in general has completely changed what it means to be "conservative". The modern definition of what it means to be a "true conservative", as this resolution says, is being socially and religiously conservative, and professing belief in the ideals of old conservatives while, in truth, completely abandoning them. And I'm sure my opponent would agree that that is exactly what Mike Huckabee is and has done.

In short, though he may not fit what it used to mean to be conservative, Mike Huckabee is a perfect example of the modern definition of conservatives, and thus the first part of this resolution falls.

2. On the contention that "He is the worst choice for the Republican nomination.":

In order for a candidate to be a good choice for a party, I would say that that candidate ought to exemplify where that party currently stands on the political spectrum, and agree with a majority of the opinions of the party. In order for a candidate to not only be bad but in fact be "the worst" candidate, he or she would have to do worse than ANY other candidate in the race in being a "good" candidate for the party.

Now let's examine Mike Huckabee in light of some of the major stances of the current Republican party (views taken straight off of Huckabee's website):

-Is he for the War in Iraq? YES
-Does he believe the War on Terror is necessary, and ought to continue? YES
-Does he believe the Mexican border ought to be secured? YES
-Is he against universal health care? YES
-Does he support a person's right to freely bear arms? YES
-Does he have strong moral convictions, in line with conservative Christianity? YES
-Is he pro-life? YES
-Is he against gay marriage? YES

Let's compare this to the views of another Republican candidate, Rudy Giuliani:

-Is he for the War in Iraq? YES
-Does he believe the War on Terror is necessary, and ought to continue? YES
-Does he believe the Mexican border ought to be secured? YES
-Is he against universal health care? YES
-Does he support a person's right to freely bear arms? YES
-Does he have strong moral convictions, in line with conservative Christianity? KINDA SORTA
-Is he pro-life? PERHAPS
-Is he against gay marriage? ANSWER UNCERTAIN; ASK LATER

So it is rather clear here that there is at least one other candidate in the race for the Republican nomination that fares worse than Huckabee does in the litmus test of Republicanism. Therefore, he cannot be said to be "the worst candidate", and the second part of the resolution falls along with the first.
Debate Round No. 1
Statesman

Pro

Well I have to say that I agree completely with the first part of your argument. I went after one nominee and recieved a reply that exposed the flaws of the entire modern conservative movement. The second part however I disagreed with. Rudy is not pro-life and he is for gay-marriage. However, as much as I disagree with him personally on these issues, Rudy is a strict constructionist on the constitution. Which means he's States rights which is exactly what the United States needs to get back to. We need to stop being the United States(singular) and start being the United States(plural). Every document in American history before the Civil War read "The United States are." Every document after the Civil War read "The United States is." The last thing we need is someone to increase the Federal Government's power. However, if Huckabee gets the nomination I would still vote for him just to help stop the Democrats.
zakkuchan

Con

You seem to have ignored the critical point I was getting at throughout the first part of my case (as I summarized it, "though he may not fit what it used to mean to be conservative, Mike Huckabee is a perfect example of the modern definition of conservative, and thus the first part of this resolution falls.") What I'm saying here is that although you are understandably concerned about the direction conservatism and the Republican party have gone, the simple fact of the matter is that they *have gone* in that direction. And through going in that direction, they have re-defined what it is to be conservative, and Mike Huckabee is exemplary of that new definition.

The resolution/topic says nothing about the Constitution, and does not ask who is and isn't a "strict constructionist". You seem to think that those concepts are imbedded in the term "conservative"; but you are working off of the old definition, which has been invalidated, justly or not, by the modern conservative sect.

You furthermore fail to address the central point of the second part of my case - that Mike Huckabee fits a reasonable definition of a "good candidate" (he is well-aligned on the political spectrum with his party, and agrees with the party on most issues), and that there are other candidates in the race who do not fit that definition of a "good candidate" as well as he does, and that therefore he is not the "worst" candidate for the Republicans.
Debate Round No. 2
Statesman

Pro

Welcome to your first debate on debate.org! This is only my third. Your argument about this being the way conservatism has gone and therefore Huckabee is a good candidate for the party is not correct. It would be correct if there were not strict constructionist and "old fashioned" conservatives on the stage. So what we're debating is not if he fits alot of modern day conservative principles it's which way should the party go? Old fashioned conservativism or modern conservatism. Now we're debating right and wrong, good policy v. bad policy. There are several reasons why modern conservatism is not the right choice. How about higher taxes for a start? Huckabee did it 92 times in Arkansas. How about going soft on crime? Huckabee pardoned many murderers and rapists. How about expanding government? He did that too. On the other side of the spectrum we have Ron Paul and Rudy. Both have lowered taxes, are still tough on crime, immigration and terrorism, and both defend the constitution and States rights. States rights I might remind you is the biggest check and balance on the Federal Government we have.
zakkuchan

Con

Since we have both pretty much used the words "conservative" and "Republican" interchangeably throughout this debate, I'm going to assume that we're in agreement that the Republican party represents the primary "conservative" interests in the United States. That said, the only real way we can judge what it means to be "conservative" *today* is by analyzing the Republican party *today*. It doesn't matter that 50 years ago, "conservative" implied small government, low taxes, and non-interventionist foreign policy; the fact of the matter is that *today* "conservative" means the sort of thing we see in the modern Republican party. And, as I have already established very well, without any direct refutation from my opponent, Mike Huckabee fits into the current model of the Republican party and conservatism *very well*. When most people think of the word "conservative" today, they imagine someone pretty much just like Huckabee; the sort of values that used to be important to conservatives, and that my opponent is promoting, now pretty much only exist under the term "libertarian".

Even if you think this first part of my line of reasoning is flawed, or hinged too much on semantics, the second part of my attack on the resolution/topic is more than enough to prove that it is not true. Mike Huckabee fits very well into what the Republican party represents today, and what Republican voters are looking for (consider his now *national* lead in the polls). And as I have established, without any real direct refutation from my opponent, there are candidates in the race for the Republican nomination who do not fit into the Republican mold as well as Huckabee does. So the concept that he is "the worst choice for the Republican nomination" clearly falls; and in most debate rules, if the Con side can successfully refute any part of the resolution/topic, they have thus successfully refuted the *entire* resolution/topic.
Debate Round No. 3
7 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Posted by Gao 9 years ago
Gao
zakkuchan you Rock bro. really know what your doing Our teach wants to know if you're looking for a speech class heh heh!
Statesman you rocked too! i love how the two of you had really done your homework hope you're blessed by your God
~Out
Posted by DaltonDem 9 years ago
DaltonDem
Oooooh, I disagree with BOTH of you. Feel free to debate me. And Huckabee is running on a social conservative platform, not necessarily a fiscal one as much.
Posted by Statesman 9 years ago
Statesman
I agree completely. It was great debating with you.
Posted by zakkuchan 9 years ago
zakkuchan
For the record, I personally hope Ron Paul gets the Republican nomination. :P I think it would be great if the Republican party could get back to that.
Posted by Statesman 9 years ago
Statesman
I said that how funny or likaeble someone is shouldn't overshadow their platform or record. Those are the things people should watch. The candidate's strength of conviction should keep them true to their platform. In short, honesty should be the biggest trait a contestant must possess. Sorry about the confusion. Congrats to my opponent, he did a great job.
Posted by EngineerT 9 years ago
EngineerT
Statesman, While i do enjoy reading your debates, it seems to me that you don't really understand the topic on which you are debating on. You wrote and i quote from round 1 of the debate, "I understand that personality plays a big part in modern politics but it shouldn't"
You never explained why personality shouldn't play a part in mordern politics. If personality shouldn't play a part, then what should be the biggest trait a contestant must possess in politics; Modern or achaic.

Zakkuchan, kudos to you!!
Posted by zakkuchan 9 years ago
zakkuchan
Well that's frustrating. I told the spell-checker to replace all instances of "conservativism" with "conservatism", and it replaced most of them with "conservatives". Alas, and I was trying to have perfect spelling and grammar in my first case on this site. :P
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