The Instigator
burnbird14
Pro (for)
Losing
7 Points
The Contender
fresnoinvasion
Con (against)
Winning
23 Points

On Reservations,Sovereignty Claims by Indigenous Ppl Ought to be Prioritized Above USFG Power

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 5 votes the winner is...
fresnoinvasion
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/1/2009 Category: Politics
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 3,154 times Debate No: 8848
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (20)
Votes (5)

 

burnbird14

Pro

"Freedom is the right to live as we wish."
-- Epictetus
Epictetus, a Stoic Greek slave-turned philosopher, obviously knew the woes of being oppressed; this is expressed in the aforesaid quote. Because I agree with Epictetus, I stand to affirm the resolution during today's round:
Resolved: On reservations, sovereignty claims by indigenous people ought to be prioritized above the plenary power of the United States federal government.
Before continuing, I will present the following definitions on which to judge today's round, found in the American Heritage dictionary:
•Reservation – a tract of land set apart by the federal government for a special purpose, especially one for a Native American people
•Sovereignty – complete independence and self-government
•Claim – a demand for something as rightful or due
•Indigenous – originating and living or occurring naturally in an area or environment
•Plenary Power – power that is complete, unlimited, and full
The value on which to judge today's round is that of liberty, which is defined by the American Heritage dictionary as: "the right and power to act, believe, and express oneself in a manner of one's own choosing." In this way, liberty may be thought to be the exact same thing as freedom, but in actuality, it is not. Liberty applies to control by foreign powers, as opposed to one's own government, like freedom. Liberty is the proper value for my case and for judging today's round because, on reservations, the intrusion by the supposed "plenary power" of the U.S. federal government limits the liberty of the indigenous people who live there, and therefore it is only right if the aforesaid people are allowed to govern themselves on their own reservations.
The criterion, therefore, that would best achieve my value in the way I have used it is republicanism, defined as "the political value system that has dominated American political thought since the American Revolution. It stresses liberty and rights as central values, makes the people as a whole sovereign, rejects aristocracy and inherited political power, expects citizens to be independent and calls on them to perform civic duties, and is strongly opposed to corruption." If republicanism were exercised in this situation by the reservation-residing indigenous people within the United States, liberty would be achieved; however, this is only possible if the resolution statement is true.
Observation I: The resolution is bound only to power exerted by the US federal government on reservations. The struggle between US plenary power and sovereignty claims by indigenous people outside of reservations is irrelevant in this debate; therefore, it need not be included in the affirmative's burden of proof, nor should it be used by the negative as an argument.
Observation II: The ideas of republicanism and therefore liberty are included and accepted by the United States government. Unless my opponent can show that this statement is false, then their arguments against the affirmative value and value criterion are damaging to their own case, and therefore the affirmative wins today's debate.
Contention I: The American Government Should Not Have Jurisdiction on Native American Reservations
Subpoint A: Native Americans Resided on North America Long Before Europeans
According to the MSN Encarta Online Encyclopedia, depending on which source you ask – archaeologists or the people themselves – people migrated to the Americas ten to fifteen thousand years ago. Here they took root, established societies and religion and a very unique culture that took these people thousands of years to fine-tune and perfect. This land was their home, their temple, and their source of food and protection. Possibly the most important part of this system, though, was the governmental system they established, chieftains and lords that provided stability for the people and the land. They accomplished all of this more than five thousand years before the Old World knew about it.
Subpoint B: The U.S. Government Assumed Power over Native Americans
When Great Britain and Spain and France came to the New World in the name of God, gold,and glory, they enslaved the native peoples, referring to them as savages and pagans, and killing them regularly. They considered these people second-class human beings, with themselves being first, and made sure to remind them of that through the years, with limiting agents such as the Trail of Tears that pushed these people into Oklahoma so that America could pollute more land.
But from this, I see absolutely no consensual agreement between the native people and the American government that said that the government of America extended into the government of the natives. That's because essentially, there never was one. This lording of power by the American government and its cruelty towards these people became a regular thing over the hundreds of years that passed, until the government found it to be appropriate and due. But, if the ideas of liberty and republicanism are used in this situation, then the American government is simply a foreign power, and has no jurisdiction or power over the native people on reservations.
Contention II: The U.S. Government Has Become England to Native Americans
Back in the mid to late 1700's, England and its kings were an oppressive force against the thirteen colonies of the New World. These struggling colonies were taxed to excess, and their colonists were frequently abused, imprisoned, and put to death. Furthermore, they were subject to the far-reaching rule of England's government. It's no wonder, therefore, that they rose up against this rule and established their own independence. However, it seems that America has deemed it necessary to take up the role of eighteenth century England against the indigenous Native Americans. Those who are not students of history are doomed to repeat it, and it seems that America is doing that very thing. Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness: these are the things that our forefathers died to give us, and now our government finds it appropriate to take it from others for its own benefit. However, if the ideals of rights and liberty were upheld, in the way our government should do, then it would not only be right, but our duty to grant these Native Americans sovereignty on their reservations.
Contention III: The U.S. Government is Violating Human Rights
As I stated in my last contention, the US government contradicts its own basis of origin by taking liberty and reducing the quality of life of Native Americans. However, one may make the argument that our government also plainly disobeys another authority: the United Nations Human Rights System, which seeks to preserve three basic human rights: life, liberty, and security. This system is based off of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, or UDHR, and therefore encompasses many other rights as well. What's even more shocking is that the United States is a major, influential member of the UN, yet it blatantly ignores a major creed of the very same organization.
So, in conclusion, judge, I ask that you affirm today's debate, under the resolution:
Resolved: On reservations, sovereignty claims by indigenous people ought to be prioritized above the plenary power of the United States federal government.
The affirmative has presented and supported a value of liberty and a criterion of republicanism, as well as three contentions: the American government should not have jurisdiction on Native American reservations; the US government has become England to Native Americans; and the US government is violating human rights. I now stand open for cross examination and clarification of my main points.
fresnoinvasion

Con

Because my opposition set his value to be "liberty", and I agree with that value, the overall value for today's round will be liberty.

The way he sets up his criterion is somewhat confusing, but will ultimately mean nothing in this debate.

Let's skip down to his 2nd observation, which states, "The ideas of republicanism and therefore liberty are included and accepted by the United States government". This observation will prove damning to my opponent.

Included in my opponents case is the assumption that liberty is included and accepted by the US government. Therefore, because of my opponents own observation, it can be assumed that the United States federal government upholds liberty on its homeland. Although this point may be arguable by some, my opponent has made this concession as of his first argument and must stand as truth in todays round. This fact will prove detrimental to my opponent.

Contention 1: Native American liberty does not outweigh our liberty

As of Jul 2008, the U.S. Census Bureau, Population Division said the population of the United States was 304,059,724 -(http://www.google.com...) and the US Department of Commerce said (although in 1990, im sure the population hasn't risen too much) the population of Native Americans (on reservations and in America) was 1,878,285 in 1990. When comparing the numbers, the amount of Native people is minuscule compared to Americans.

The pro provides no unique reason as to why we must hold the value of a native American's life at a higher level than an ordinary American citizen. Although he may try and say that "we stole the land from them" this argument will not prove adequate for many reasons. First of which being, the damage dealt to Native Americans was not done in our generation, or even the generation prior. I, you, my mom, your grandpa, my great grandpa had nothing to do with the Native American's hardships and should not be punished for an act committed by our ancestors long before us. Even if the pro can prove that Americans of the status quo have committed some sort of moral trespass against the Native American people, he must prove that this moral trespass is going to outweigh any risk of an impact brought on by the implementation of the resolution.

Contention 2: Detaching ourselves from Native American politics will cause a risk of an impact that outweighs any moral trespass that may or may not be proven in todays round.

When we allow Native Americans to decide what is to be done on their land without any US intervention we risk disaster. Whether these policies are implemented domestically only on their land or in such a way that it draws in an outside power, we risk a negative impact to America; which, by my opponents 2nd observation, protects liberty to it's citizens.

Say, for example, a Native American tribe were to allow another country to position troops on Native American land where they can deal devastating damage to our homeland. Or worse, what if this country were to position nuclear missles or something of the sort on Native American land? Perhaps the Native American government will decide all drugs are legal to grow/produce on native land and Americans are free to produce there for a small price. Although most of these things sound absurd, we cannot risk a native american government that is completely free of American influence.

Risking the possibility of another power influencing the United States negatively, so close to our homeland that it is literally on it is not what needs to be done to reverse some type of moral trespass our ancestors so long ago committed.

My argument will not just contain these points, but this is the beginning.
Debate Round No. 1
burnbird14

Pro

burnbird14 forfeited this round.
fresnoinvasion

Con

I don't have time to post mine, so just post your argument that you wrote in the comments as your next argument and Ill rebut on my next thing. Sorry about that
Debate Round No. 2
burnbird14

Pro

First off, my opponent has dropped my criterion, and has agreed with my value. Furthermore, he has no counter definitions, so we can assume he agrees with mine.

Next, he drops my first observation, so he agrees we ARE, in fact, just talking about sovereignty on reservations.
Now for his first actual argument, against my second observation. I put this in my case to show America's hypocrisy: it says that it values liberty and republicanism, but rejects any claim by Native Americans to these rights. This is all discussed in my contentions, I guess he didn't catch them.

Moving on, I would say that my opponent also dropped my contentions and said nothing against them. He did say that he had other arguments, though, so I'll not complain any more about drops. ^_^

His first contention is completely false, because I never stated anywhere that the liberty of american citizens and the liberty of native americans had to conflict. In fact, they don't at all. My opponent may try and give you the numbers argument: does that in any way have ANY impact on whether or not Native Americans should have their rights? I think not. Furthermore, I never blamed the American people for stealing the land: I blame the American GOVERNMENT for not giving them what they rightfully deserve, just like we rightfully deserved exactly 233 years ago: freedom and liberty.

In my opponent's second contention, he blatantly segregates the Native American people, accusing them of atrocities they MIGHT commit. Let me ask this, however: would England not have had similar concerns regarding America when she was still simple colonies, that she might unite with a more powerful nation and bring them down? However, when we took our OWN independence from England, we did none of that. Personally, I believe that, no matter what my opponent may try and wrongfully suggest these people might do, that they are any less deserving of what they deserve: liberty.

It is now my opponent's turn to rebut. Good round! ^__^

Due to my opponent's idea, I would suggest further that we continue on this debate after this third round, so that we may conclude properly. ^_^ Thank you all, for your comments and for just reading.
fresnoinvasion

Con

The fact of the matter is that allowing Native Americans complete and total freedom in their decisions will risk a negative impact to Americans. They have many freedoms now, we just protect ourselves by not giving them complete and total control over their politics. There is no reason provided by the affirmative proving that the moral dilemma we find with the natives is going to outweigh the risk to our citizens.
Debate Round No. 3
20 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by brian_eggleston 7 years ago
brian_eggleston
Added!
Posted by burnbird14 7 years ago
burnbird14
Good idea! ^__^ Perhaps I might be permitted to add you as a friend?
Posted by brian_eggleston 7 years ago
brian_eggleston
Fair point, the history taught in Britain might be just as biased as in America. For the real truth, perhaps we should ask a Canadian, but not one from Quebec, they really do hate the English!
Posted by burnbird14 7 years ago
burnbird14
Furthermore, Brian, I would like to point out that, when British soldiers imprisoned Colonists for various affairs, such as treason or simple things like petty thievery, they were sent off on a ship to England's courts to be tried, where absolutely no representatives directly from the colonies sat. They were tried outside of their peers, unfairly, and were either executed or sat in prison for the rest of their miserable lives.
I think you're giving your country just a touch too much courtesy, there.
Posted by burnbird14 7 years ago
burnbird14
Brian, I see that you are native to England. I am not attempting, in any way, to insult your country. The facts you gave may be true for you, but I personally thoroughly disagree with them, because let's face it: countries change the facts all the time so they don't look bad. Like how the Vietnam War became the "Vietnam Conflict" so that Nixon didn't look as stupid. You're simply missing the point. The 13 colonies felt oppressed, therefore they revolted. I am simply cross applying that the way the 13 colonies felt towards England is the same that native americans feel towards America. Or, at least, as far as the resolution goes. ^_^
Posted by brian_eggleston 7 years ago
brian_eggleston
As far as putting colonists to death is concerned, I suspect burnbird14 is referring to the 'Boston Massacre' where, according to the nationalist propaganda published in American textbooks, British soldiers were supposed to have indiscriminately shot a crowd of peacefully protesting colonists in broad daylight. The truth is, as everybody that has not been indoctrinated by the American education system will know, very different.

What actually happened in Boston occurred at night when a large group of drunken revellers repeatedly taunted, jostled and stoned a small number of British redcoats who opened fire on the mob in self defence, killing five of the thugs in the process. The soldiers involved in the incident were put on trial with John Adams defending the troops, securing the acquittal of all but two who were found guilty and had their thumbs branded as a punishment.

For further information please refer to independent sources of information such as The Oxford History of the American People, Samuel Elliot Morison and Made in America, Bill Bryson.
Posted by brian_eggleston 7 years ago
brian_eggleston
Back in the mid to late 1700's, England and its kings were an oppressive force against the thirteen colonies of the New World. These struggling colonies were taxed to excess, and their colonists were frequently abused, imprisoned, and put to death."

The above represents a complete misrepresentation of the truth. For those who have never studied the history of the United States, here are some facts:

1 - In 1776, the colonists were observed to be "the freest people in the world"
2 - The colonists at that time were able to elect their own local representatives and had a free press.
3 - The colonists enjoyed more social and economic mobility than their counterparts back home in Britain, where, incidentally, most people did not enjoy the right to vote.
4 - Taxes were levied in order to fund the protection of the colonists, which is not unreasonable and, furthermore, they were not "excessive". In 1760 the average colonist paid sixpence a year in tax while the average British citizen paid twenty five shillings, in other words 50 times more.
5 - The infamous 'stamp duties' were never actually collected.
6 - The phrase "Taxation without representation is tyranny" was not ascribed to James Otis until 1820, 40 years after he was supposed to have uttered those words, and there is no evidence that he actually did.
Posted by burnbird14 7 years ago
burnbird14
I'm sorry about that, but I couldn't do anything about it. Forgive me, I'll be more punctual next time. In the meantime, feel free to read my rebut below.
Posted by burnbird14 7 years ago
burnbird14
First off, my opponent has dropped my criterion, and has agreed with my value. Furthermore, he has no counter definitions, so we can assume he agrees with mine.
Next, he drops my first observation, so he agrees we ARE, in fact, just talking about sovereignty on reservations.
Now for his first actual argument, against my second observation. I put this in my case to show America's hypocrisy: it says that it values liberty and republicanism, but rejects any claim by Native Americans to these rights. This is all discussed in my contentions, I guess he didn't catch them.
Moving on, I would say that my opponent also dropped my contentions and said nothing against them. He did say that he had other arguments, though, so I'll not complain any more about drops. ^_^
His first contention is completely false, because I never stated anywhere that the liberty of american citizens and the liberty of native americans had to conflict. In fact, they don't at all. My opponent may try and give you the numbers argument: does that in any way have ANY impact on whether or not Native Americans should have their rights? I think not. Furthermore, I never blamed the American people for stealing the land: I blame the American GOVERNMENT for not giving them what they rightfully deserve, just like we rightfully deserved exactly 233 years ago: freedom and liberty.
In my opponent's second contention, he blatantly segregates the Native American people, accusing them of atrocities they MIGHT commit. Let me ask this, however: would England not have had similar concerns regarding America when she was still simple colonies, that she might unite with a more powerful nation and bring them down? However, when we took our OWN independence from England, we did none of that. Personally, I believe that, no matter what my opponent may try and wrongfully suggest these people might do, that they are any less deserving of what they deserve: liberty.

It is now my opponent's turn to rebut. Good round! ^__^
Posted by wjmelements 7 years ago
wjmelements
What a disappointing forfeit!
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Vote Placed by Xer 7 years ago
Xer
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burnbird14
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fresnoinvasion
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