The Instigator
kasmic
Con (against)
Winning
16 Points
The Contender
Emilirose
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points

President Obama is a Socialist

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
kasmic
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 9/11/2014 Category: Politics
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 814 times Debate No: 61550
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (4)
Votes (3)

 

kasmic

Con

Resolve: President Obama is a socialist

This is the third time I have attempted a debate on this subject. The last two times my opponents have forfeited for one reason or another. I would really like to debate someone who not only believes that President Obama is a socialist, but will actually complete the debate in its entirety.

Clarification: This debate is not about support for or criticism of the President, just as the resolve states this debate is about whether or not President Obama fits the definition of a Socialist.

pro will argue that President Obama is a Socialist
Con will argue that President Obama is not a Socialist.

Definition of terms:

Socialism: "A way of organizing a society in which major industries are owned and controlled by the government rather than by individual people and companies"(1)

Socialist: "A person who believes in socialism"(2)

Format

Round 1: Con: acceptance and definitions Pro: acceptance and opening argument.
Round 2: Pro/Con arguments and rebuttals.
Round 3: Pro/Con arguments and rebuttals.
Round 4: Rebuttals and closing statements, No new arguments.

This does give pro and extra round... good luck to whoever accepts.

(1)http://www.merriam-webster.com...
(2)http://www.merriam-webster.com...
Emilirose

Pro

Accepted.

Opening Argument

One of the finest examples of Barak Obama being a socialist is his previous involvement with it. He was raised as a socialist, and was mentored by Communist Party USA member Frank Marshall Davis. Before he became a member of the democratic party, he worked with ACORN (the Democratic Socialists of America) as a community organizer and was an active member of radical socialist group "The New Party".

Socialist Policies

One such example is Obama's proposal of new taxes on families on more than $ 250,000 per year.

Another major idea included the "Buffet Rule" which would require those with incomes of $1 million or more to pay a 30% tax on their home. Obviously this would include business owners.

In his 2013 budget, Obama proposed raising the dividends tax by 15% to the highest personal income tax rate, 39.6%.

In addition to this Obama has also expressed a strong interest in eliminating tax breaks and increasing taxation on financial and oil companies.

Another stated plan is the increase of public subsidies to small businesses.
All things that coincide with the concept and practice of socialism.
Debate Round No. 1
kasmic

Con

Thank you Emilirose for accepting, I look forward to a spirited debate.

Rebuttals:

1: Pro says of Barack Obama "He was raised as a socialist,"

It would be interesting to see proof that someone could be raised a socialist. For example, both of my parents are staunch Republicans and "raised" me as such, and yet I am no Republican. I invite pro to substantiate this claim with facts and links.

2: Pro says Barack Obama "was mentored by Communist Party USA member Frank Marshall Davis."

Again, association to an individual hardly ties Barack Obama to Socialism. For example, I have many friends that I respect greatly that are Libertarians, Republicans, Democrats, and even Socialist. Yet I am none of these.

This much I can say in regard to the Communist Party USA. John Case, a writer for the CPUSA wrote an article entitled "The Danger of a Romney Election"(1) In this article Case concludes, "Re-electing Obama is not sufficient to bring economic recovery or even relief to our people. Only a different class configuration in political power can do necessary minimum reforms to give us a chance. But re-electing Obama is absolutely essential. Now is not the time for hand washing the complexities and tactics away - or failing to triage the most critical questions from those that are less critical. We cannot win everything at once!"(1)

His statement shows that the CPUSA view is that Re-electing Obama is "not sufficient" to attain their goals. However the "danger" in having Romney elected is enough reason to vote for Obama. Sounds like a classic case of "the lesser of two evils," or even "The enemy of my enemy is my friend." The CPUSA's endorsement of Obama is ideologically weak at best. In fact, the following is taken from an article from CPUSA.org written in 2010. "The CPUSA has pushed the vote for Democratic candidates, not because we have the illusion that they will bring us socialism, nor because we have actually given up on socialism, but because socialism is not an immediately achievable goal and voting for the Democrats is likely to produce a better situation from which to push the struggle forward, eventually putting socialism on the agenda."(2)

The CPUSA just stated that they are not under the delusion that Democrats (like Obama) will bring them socialism. Any endorsement by the CPUSA of President Obama is a "lesser of two evils" endorsement. The CPUSA clearly does not view President Obama as a socialist.

3: Pro Says "Before he became a member of the democratic party, he worked with ACORN (the Democratic Socialists of America) as a community organizer and was an active member of radical socialist group "The New Party"."

Again I would invite my opponent to substantiate with sources the claims that have been made. This I will say to save my opponent some time. President Obama has never been a member of the Democratic Socialist of America. Such a link cannot be found because it does not exist.

4: My opponent than list so called "socialist policies" pushed by the President. Many of these examples are of progressive taxation. Progressive taxation can hardly be attributed to the ideology of socialism as it has historical roots in ancient Rome.(3) Socialism as an ideology did not exist until the 1700"s.(4)

Surely my opponent is not implying that the idea of taxation is socialist. If so the United States has been a socialist nation ever since the signing of the Constitution. (5) Socialism owns the idea of progressive taxation as much as Christians can claim they are the only ones to believe in a God, which is preposterous.

Perhaps the policy the president is most famous for is the Affordable Care Act or ACA. It has been nicknamed Obamacare. Let"s take a closer look.

The misconception of the Affordable Care Act.

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) is often viewed by some as a socialistic program, but when observed it becomes clear that it is not a socialist program. The ACA includes provisions that "are intended to expand access to insurance, increase consumer protections, emphasize prevention and wellness, improve quality and system performance, expand the health workforce, and curb rising healthcare costs"(6) The ACA does not however promote government ownership of the healthcare industry. In fact the ACA largely supports and relies on private ownership of the healthcare industry.

"The ACA program relies on private health insurance companies to manage health services" Under the ACA, health insurance in America is still being delivered by private practitioners and paid for by private insurers. In fact, the vast majority of Americans who receive their health insurance from employer-paid plans will see no discernible change in their coverage or delivery, and need not access the exchanges."(7)

What do socialist think of the ACA?

Greg Parsons, the national secretary of the Socialist Party USA had this to say: "Obamacare cannot be considered socialist in any way, The ACA program relies on private health insurance companies to manage health services," Parson said. "A socialized system would not include 'health insurance,' but would be an actual national health-care system which would be publicly funded through progressive taxation and controlled by democratically elected assemblies of health-care workers and patients."(8)

Clearly the ACA is not only not a socialist program but relies heavily on private ownership of the healthcare industry.

Concluding Rebuttal

With no sources pro has not substantiated any evidence that the President is a socialist. Association with a member of the Communist Party USA is not membership, in fact the CPUSA is critical of the President because he is not a socialist. The President"s Policies have been the antithesis of socialist as is evident by Obamacare. President Obama is not a socialist.

(1)http://peoplesworld.org...
(2)http://cpusa.org...
(3)http://books.google.com...
(4)http://www.anu.edu.au...
(5)http://www.archives.gov...
(6)http://www.ncsl.org...
(7)http://www.newsday.com...
(8)http://www.huffingtonpost.com...
Emilirose

Pro

You're welcome.

Concerning more links, they're available. So I will include them within this next round. Everything I have mentioned is fact, including reference to Obama's upbringing and his early political career.

(1.) http://www.frontpagemag.com...

(2.) http://www.frontpagemag.com...

The above links are confirmation of Obama's heavy involvement with Socialist projects and alliance with people subscribed to the belief of Socialism. The first link also clearly outlines his involvement with ACORN.

(3.) http://m.thenewamerican.com...

(4.) http://m.nationalreview.com...

(5.) http://freedomoutpost.com...

These links outline that he was in fact associated with the New Party. And also outline that both his parents actively endorsed socialism and communist.

"Both of my parents were staunch republicans and "raised" me as such, and yet I am no republican". The major difference being here that you're also not the leader of the United States. Presumably, you did also not absorb your parents political beliefs on a personal level and then apply them to your career. As I have stated (and supported) Obama has.

"I have many friends that I respect greatly that are Libertarians, Republicans, Democrats, and even Socialist. Yet I am none of these". The key word being here "friends', not people you have been formally mentored by. This what Frank Marshal Davis was to Obama, his teacher.

(6.) http://www.theblaze.com...

"Progressive taxation can hardly be attributed to the ideo socialism as it has historical roots in Rome", its stated origins may be true but historically progressive taxation in fact has been connected to Socialism. An example being in 1848 when Marx and Engles proposed that progressive taxation, be used to "wrest, by degrees, all capital from the bourgeois, to centralize all instruments of production in the hands of the state".

(7.) http://www.cato.org...
Debate Round No. 2
kasmic

Con

Rebuttals:

In Pro"s first link it states"

"Is Barack Obama a socialist? Many observers, from points all along the ideological spectrum, have been exceedingly reticent to describe him as such, as though there were insufficient evidence to make the case for a charge so impolite. In February, for instance, a Business Week headline stated bluntly that "it"s dumb to call Obama a socialist." Four months later, the Associated Press published an article depicting the president merely as "a pragmatist within the Democratic Party mainstream," and suggesting that "the persistent claim that Obama is a socialist lacks credence." In July, a New York Times op-ed piece by film director Milos Forman said that Obama is "not even close" to being a socialist. Ezra Klein of the Washington Post casts Obama as no more radical than "a moderate Republican of the early 1990s." Republican strategist Karl Rove cautions, "If you say he"s a socialist, [his supporters] go to defend him." Leftist commentator Alan Colmes impugns those who "mischaracterize what Obama is doing as socialism, when there"s no government takeover" of the private sector. And Fox News" Bill O"Reilly"noting that he has seen "no evidence that the president wants to seize private property, which is what communists do""concludes that Obama "is not a socialist, he"s not a communist, he"s a social-justice anti-capitalist."(1)

I appreciate pro for providing this link because it shows how ludicrous it is to call Obama a socialist. The author of the article concludes"

"A ballot cast for Barack Obama is a ballot cast for a man who is, beyond any shadow of a doubt, a lifelong, committed socialist."(1)

It seems odd that the author disagrees with most experts in the field of political science. The article was published on FrontPage magazine which is "is an online political magazine, edited by David Horowitz."(2) David Horowitz is buried in controversy and criticism. (3) As I am not a fan of attacking sources personally it will suffice me to say that he has a Master"s degree in English literature, but has no expertise in the realm of political science.

Terrance Ball, political science professor at Arizona State University who has a Ph.D. in political science, has this to say on the subject.(4)

""I grow weary of Obama and the Democrats being called socialist," said Ball, who has written about ideologies. "If you talk to any real socialist, they disown them very, very quickly."(5) Empirical evidence was provided to support Terrance Ball"s statement in my last argument under section 2.

Pro addressed my statement "I have many friends that I respect greatly that are Libertarians, Republicans, Democrats, and even Socialist. Yet I am none of these" by saying "The key word being here "friends', not people you have been formally mentored by. This what Frank Marshal Davis was to Obama, his teacher."

Unfortunately for pro my so called "friends" include my formal college professors with whom I consider myself very close. This includes those professors who taught my political science classes. I would openly say that I have been mentored by these great teachers notwithstanding the wide degree of beliefs that they hold.

Pro addressed my statement that "Both of my parents were staunch republicans and "raised" me as such, and yet I am no republican" and in response stated: "The major difference being here that you're also not the leader of the United States. Presumably, you did also not absorb your parents political beliefs on a personal level and then apply them to your career. As I have stated (and supported) Obama has."

I concede that I am not the leader of the United States. ;) However as is empirically evident by the affordable care act, as I presented in the last round, that President Obama has not applied socialist ideals into his policies.

Pro responded to my statement that "Progressive taxation can hardly be attributed to the ideology of socialism as it has historical roots in Rome", and responded that "its stated origins may be true but historically progressive taxation in fact has been connected to Socialism. An example being in 1848 when Marx and Engles proposed that progressive taxation, be used to "wrest, by degrees, all capital from the bourgeois, to centralize all instruments of production in the hands of the state."

I invite pro to show how President Obama has tried "to centralize all instruments of production in the hands of the state."

Looking at the definition of socialism I would invite Pro to point out where it states progressive taxation

Socialism: ": "A way of organizing a society in which major industries are owned and controlled by the government rather than by individual people and companies"(6)

Again I state "Socialism owns the idea of progressive taxation as much as Christians can claim they are the only ones to believe in a God, which is preposterous." Many socialist societies would implement a progressive tax, however as is empirically evident by ancient Rome, and other societies that none socialists also implement progressive taxation. Therefore it is not socialism to present a progressive tax.

Concluding rebuttal

After reviewing Pro"s sources it becomes evident that those who claim the president is a Socialist, belong to fringe groups that contain little to no expertise in the fields in which they write. Association with socialist does not make one a socialist. Progressive taxation is not exclusively socialist.

New Arguments:

1: Do Socialists think Obama is a socialist?

Billy Wharton the Co-Chairperson of the Socialist Party USA had this to say. "The funny thing is, of course, that socialists know that Barack Obama is not one of us. Not only is he not a socialist, he may in fact not even be a liberal. Socialists understand him more as a hedge-fund Democrat -- one of a generation of neoliberal politicians firmly committed to free-market policies."(7)

2: From the mouth of the President

President Obama once said "People call me a socialist sometimes. But no, you've got to meet real socialists. (Laughter.) You'll have a sense of what a socialist is. (Laughter.) I'm talking about lowering the corporate tax rate. My health care reform is based on the private marketplace. The stock market is looking pretty good last time I checked."(8)

Concluding round 3

Political science experts say President Obama is not a socialist. Socialist"s say that the President is not a socialist. President Obama says he is not socialist. His policies are empirical evidence that he is not a socialist. President Obama is not a socialist.

(1)http://www.frontpagemag.com...
(2)http://en.wikipedia.org...
(3)http://en.wikipedia.org...
(4)https://webapp4.asu.edu...
(5)http://www.huffingtonpost.com...
(6)http://www.merriam-webster.com...
(7)http://www.washingtonpost.com...
(8)http://socialistworker.org...
Emilirose

Pro

Emilirose forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
kasmic

Con

Unfortunately Pro, like my last two contenders on this topic, has forfeited a round. This is especially surprising as Emilirose has forfeited a round despite currently being online and participating in and commenting on other debates.

Closing statement:

Typically, those who claim the president is a Socialist, belong to fringe groups that contain little to no expertise in the fields in which they write.

Association with socialist does not make one a socialist.

Progressive taxation is not exclusively socialist.

As I concluded in round 3, "Political science experts say President Obama is not a socialist. Socialist's say that the President is not a socialist. President Obama says he is not socialist. His policies are empirical evidence that he is not a socialist. President Obama is not a socialist."

Thanks for taking the time to read and vote.
Emilirose

Pro

Emilirose forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by kasmic 2 years ago
kasmic
@Cheyennebodie The definition provided is not my definition it is the dictionaries... the following are links to other dictionaries that have similar definitions of socialism.
http://dictionary.cambridge.org...
http://www.britannica.com...
http://dictionary.reference.com...
It would seem to me that you misunderstand what socialism is.
Posted by Boesball 2 years ago
Boesball
Pro already lost. He gave statistics without links. Con has this in the bag.
Posted by cheyennebodie 2 years ago
cheyennebodie
Your definition of socialism is actually communism. Socialism is simply the redistribution of wealth by government force( law) from a citizen who earned it and give it to one who did not.
Posted by cheyennebodie 2 years ago
cheyennebodie
That is an easy one. He pushes socialism. Thus he is by definition a socialist. Just like all democrats since 1900.Socialism is thievery by law.Any one who receives freebies from government is guilty of receiving stolen property.And the nicest thing you can say about them is they are freeloaders.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by Jellon 2 years ago
Jellon
kasmicEmiliroseTied
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Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro FF. Con did a better job of addressing the arguments and rebuttals of pro. I'm tempted to give sources points con too, but I'll refrain. Pro should give supporting sources in the round where the argument is presented. I didn't need con to point out the lack of credibility of front page to realize that it was an unreliable source of information.
Vote Placed by lannan13 2 years ago
lannan13
kasmicEmiliroseTied
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Total points awarded:60 
Reasons for voting decision: Forfeiture
Vote Placed by bladerunner060 2 years ago
bladerunner060
kasmicEmiliroseTied
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Total points awarded:60 
Reasons for voting decision: How unfortunate that Pro chose to waste Con's time with those forfeits at the end. I am forced to wonder if it was because Pro saw that they had no compelling case to make. Pro never supported direction the notion of Obama as a socialist--instead relying on the weakest of circumstantial evidence, and on sources to make their argument for them (sources which Con noted actually included enough information to see that the claim lacks merit). A clear and clean win for Con here. Arguments because Pro failed to make a solid case at all. Conduct, obviously, for the forfeits. And Sources because Con had both more, and more reliable sources that supported his points. As always, happy to clarify this RFD.