The Instigator
KingYosef
Pro (for)
Losing
3 Points
The Contender
supermoose88
Con (against)
Winning
12 Points

Most people don't know anything about politics, they just think they do. USA politics debate

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/6/2008 Category: Politics
Updated: 9 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 3,045 times Debate No: 2446
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (6)
Votes (5)

 

KingYosef

Pro

I would prefer a Democrat to take this debate, though a republican would be fine as well.

I have been away for awhile, yet upon decoding Machiavelli's "Discourses on Livy", I felt compelled to come back and continue to argue my point that Americans view the world through biased eyes. Feel free to argue that you think that Machiavelli is a cruel man without moral, but only if you have read something other than "The Prince".

For whatever reason our generation thinks we know everything, I have been a victim as well and I am working my hardest to fix that. We base our judgments on what people tell us, regardless of if those people are worthy of opinion. Read my last sentence again, and you can see were I am getting at. We define our country, so let us not define it poorly. Now, for the actual debate...

Though mere months ago I was a Democrat, I have switched to moderate. I have come to learn that though Republicans lack vision for the future which hurts the United States, Democrats overall are too world oriented with less focus on the fatherland which could one day destroy the United States.

- I believe that moral issues and ethics should only be intertwined with politics when they favor the stability and advancement of the United States.

- I believe that religion serves NO NEED WHATSOEVER in politics.

- I believe that every effect has a concrete cause.
Example
- 9/11: We were attacked, so we must have done something to provoke the attack, NOT RELIGION OR IDEALISM. (this has made me some enemies on this site)

- The United States is falling apart from the inside out.

- Much of the chaos surrounding the United States was caused by Karl Rove's inability to understand implication.

- politicians have lost the ability to successfully manipulate the masses for the better of the country in the past 60 years.
supermoose88

Con

Hello Yosef, and thank you for opening up this debate on American politics. First off, I am a registered independent, although I tend to side with the Democratic party on many political issues. Also, I have not read any Machiavelli other than "The Prince", so I won't be incorporating any arguments using his philosophies.

In response to your thesis, I feel that your statement that "Democrats overall are too world oriented with less focus on the fatherland which could one day destroy the United States" is incorrect, especially given that you provide zero support for it anywhere else in your opening statement. I would argue that Democrats are much more focused on domestic issues than Republicans are, and it is typically Democrats who lead calls for the government to focus more on issues such as universal health care, welfare reform, and a withdrawal of troops from abroad. Now, to address your individual points:

1) "I believe that moral issues and ethics should only be intertwined with politics when they favor the stability and advancement of the United States."

There are several problems with this statement, but the most glaring is that it is predicated upon somebody deciding when, exactly, moral and ethical issues favor the stability and advancement of the United States. This fact alone completely eliminates any possibility of an unbiased or ‘objective' determination of what moral issues are relevant to the stability of the United States, since objectivity is something that human beings are simply incapable of. Secondly, it would be impossible to divorce morality and ethics from the political system (I know some of you might laugh at the thought of ethical politicians, but this is serious) because it is impossible to create a human society that is governed by artificial and decidedly non-human rules. For example, from a completely utilitarian standpoint, the long-term stability of the United States would be best achieved if we didn't waste resources on anything that didn't help guarantee that stability. In this case, we'll look at the mentally challenged; one could make the case that the mentally challenged are a drain on our nation's resources and are doing nothing to promote the stability of America. Therefore, we should execute all the mentally challenged people in the country, for the sake of everyone else. While this may be true in the most cold and calculating schools of thought, it is simply abhorrent to most Americans.

2) "I believe that religion serves NO NEED WHATSOEVER in politics."

Aside from the extent to which religion helps shape our individual moral and ethical beliefs, I am inclined to agree with you here.

3) "I believe that every effect has a concrete cause."

Again, I find myself in agreement with you here. However, I feel that you might need to explain this a bit further, since it is not a controversial statement. In your opening argument, you point out that 9/11 was a direct result of something that we did to provoke the attack. Again, this doesn't seem to present any sort of controversy or avenue for disagreement. Of course we provoked the attack; if you present your view of what exactly we did to provoke it, I will be able to respond accordingly.

4) "The United States is falling apart from the inside out."

This is a rather broad statement, but I will try and refute it as best as I can. First, I think the United States has some serious domestic issues that our leaders need to address. However, I think that the major reason for this misconception is the national media's affinity for disaster. Unfortunately, news outlets have learned that, like sex, disaster sells. Therefore, the majority of what one knows about other parts of the United States is shaped by whatever disaster or crime wave or other unfortunate human interest story happens to be affecting that area. Read over your own statement; "for whatever reason, our generation thinks we know everything". What reasons do you have for saying that the U.S. is falling apart? I know our public education system needs work, but our standard of living is very high and Americans, as a whole, are still living a very privileged lifestyle relative to most of the world. Another aspect of this misconception is that the rest of the world is catching up to or surpassing us in terms of scientific advancements and other great achievements. This does not mean that the U.S. is falling apart, but rather that there is no longer a significant gap between our advancement and the rest of the world.

5) "Politicians have lost the ability to successfully manipulate the masses for the better of the country in the past 60 years"

Again, I have several points to make regarding this statement. First, politics is not about manipulation as much as it is about cooperation. If Americans have lost their ability to make a little sacrifice for the better of the nation, is that the fault of politicians or of a culture that has grown increasingly individualistic? I think one of the problems with the current state of political affairs is that politicians believe that they are, for some reason or another, superior to the average American and feel that manipulation is the only way to drum up support for their cause. If there were more honesty and transparency in government, I feel that people would be much more willing to support government efforts. For example, I know many people who have said that they would support higher taxes if they felt that their tax dollars were being used productively. However, once again, the culture of individualism in America has overridden political efforts to build consensus for national programs.

That's all I have time for at the moment, but I look forward to the next several rounds of this debate. Oh, and I realize that I failed to address the comment about Karl Rove, but I feel that it is unfair to blame the "chaos surrounding the United States" on one man whose influence extends back less than 15 years (although I do have a tremendous dislike for Karl Rove).
Debate Round No. 1
KingYosef

Pro

First, thank you for taking this debate.

"we'll look at the mentally challenged; one could make the case that the mentally challenged are a drain on our nation's resources and are doing nothing to promote the stability of America."

It is necessary to dig deeper to understand my statement. The execution of all mentally retarded people in the United States and/or the suppression of resources for them would hurt the stability of the United States. The people would be in outrage, they would view the government as cruel and heartless. It would not be in the best interests of the country or the government. Without the citizens of the country, the country doesn't exist and the government is completely unnecessary.

On every effect has a concrete cause…

9/11 happened because the United States manipulated Osama Bin Laden on several occasions in a 15 year period spanning from the 1980s to around 1995 for U.S. benefit. It is not a war of religion, yet religion was used to gain support and create nationalism among a culturally jointed people.

On the U.S. falling apart…

First and foremost, the growing division between Democrats and Republicans, if continues, could cut the country in half, yet that could change. Secondly, the mass immigration of Hispanics combined with the wealth of the American people. Though it is not an imminent threat, an entire culture of motivated individuals exists in the U.S. today, with most of them being illegal. This separates them from American citizens, further unifying them as a unique culture of Illegal Hispanic Americans. They fear our government, yet at this moment they are weak and dispersed as a people. Americans on the other hand are much wealthier than these people, hence less motivated. So illegal immigrants have taken jobs that Americans don't want to do, and have essentially become a backbone to our economy. It is scary to think that a culturally united group of people who are not Americans and have no say in our government already have control of part of our economy. I don't think I know everything, with the current state of the United States we are safe. Yet, I do believe that a if a civil conflict erupted between Americans sometime after 2015 (if things keep going the way they are), They could create a foundation much as the Kurds have been doing over the past 20 years in Iraq.

On political manipulation…

Once again, cause and effect. Americans are more individualistic because Americans and America is rich.

"is that the fault of politicians or of a culture that has grown increasingly individualistic?"

Simply put, yes. The government job is to oversee the people who live in the country, give them freedom and most importantly ensure the longevity of this country so future generations can continue to enjoy America and what it has to offer. Our government partially defines our culture, and if that is what our culture has come too, then the government is not doing their job as well as it should. It is important to implicate strong laws and laws that are effective in today's society.
supermoose88

Con

supermoose88 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
KingYosef

Pro

KingYosef forfeited this round.
supermoose88

Con

supermoose88 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
KingYosef

Pro

KingYosef forfeited this round.
supermoose88

Con

supermoose88 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
6 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Posted by Patrick_Henry 9 years ago
Patrick_Henry
Sure. But, you're going to have to be pro fixing America because I'm a secessionist. Things have been messed up so bad, some states should just leave while the leaving is good.
Posted by KingYosef 9 years ago
KingYosef
Patrick Henry, I agree with you. And the purpose of this debate is see someone else's opinion on that matter and argue it. I have found that the greatest tool that this website offers is an understanding of different perspectives. I would love to debate you on the topic of "fixing America".
Posted by Morty 9 years ago
Morty
Is the debate on if Americans are ignorant or on the points you made at the end? I don't disagree with the former question, but I do disagree with four of the six propositions you make at the end.
I'm not a Democrat or a Republican, though, if you are looking for one of those. And my readings of Machiavelli are sadly limited to The Prince.
Posted by Patrick_Henry 9 years ago
Patrick_Henry
I can one-up you. Not only have I read Machiavelli's discourses on Livy, I've read Titus Livy's history of Rome. I've also read a great deal of other classical history, and while Machiavelli's just trying to lift examples out of the text, like any good teacher, he neglects to encourage thinking.

That's the secret, you've got to think. You've made plenty of observations, so of them I agree with. I actually agree with the basis of your argument, that the American people are ignorant. The difficulty is, I can't even see a constructive point to denying it. But, most of your argument is simply stating the fact that our nation is destroying itself in many ways. That has nothing to do with people thinking that they know enough about politics. In fact, its our education system that tries to teach that their political opinions are just as valuable as another's.

I mean, is there even any value in you switching parties?

The ironic thing is that every democracy that has ever existed has failed because it is a democracy. It used to be a dirty word, until the Enlightenment came a long and created a mystical religious view of some sort of common good, and some sort of divine creation of the general will.

So. Yeah. Or nation is on the rocks, and things are going to get worse. But, what's your point? Our electorate is ignorant. Heck, our education system has made them ignorant. While you're point out the obvious, I'd be more interested in hearing if you have any solution to it other than changing parties to discover, oh my goodness, that well meaning popular lawyers that get elected might not be the best and most capable statesmen.

So, what do you plan to do about it? Besides hoping to find some idealistic person who believes in the Enlightenment, and Democracy?
Posted by happypancakeeater 9 years ago
happypancakeeater
It is naive to believe that any nation sees through unbiased eyes.
Posted by wingnut2280 9 years ago
wingnut2280
So your argument is....? And, by the way, Carter made America a target for radical islam years ago and Carl Rove wasn't as much of a figure as people think. He gets a bad rep for not doing a whole lot.
5 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Vote Placed by LakevilleNorthJT 9 years ago
LakevilleNorthJT
KingYosefsupermoose88Tied
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Vote Placed by KingYosef 9 years ago
KingYosef
KingYosefsupermoose88Tied
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Vote Placed by blond_guy 9 years ago
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Vote Placed by mmadderom 9 years ago
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Vote Placed by Araj 9 years ago
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