The Instigator
debate250
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
Double_R
Pro (for)
Winning
15 Points

Presidents Should be Natural Born Citizens

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 4 votes the winner is...
Double_R
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 9/17/2011 Category: Politics
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 4,547 times Debate No: 18371
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (11)
Votes (4)

 

debate250

Con

Just as a clarification we are not arguing about presidents needing to be citizens. We are arguing about the fact of whether they need to be born in the U.S. I am against them needing to be born in the U.S and my opponent is for the President needing to be born in the U.S.

The main reason it is not necessary for the President to be born in the U.S is because it doesn't mark anything. Someone who was one when they moved to the U.S when theky were one and doesn't even remember the country they came from wouldn't be allowed to be president. They could be equally patriotic though because they wouldn't even remember the country they came from. Even if someone moved to the U.S when they were 20, it still doesn't mark loyalty. Someone who moved to the U.S when they were 20 could be very loyal and love the U.S, but someone who's lived in the U.S all of their life could not be at all patriotic and dislike everything about the U.S. Having been born in the U.S doesn't mark loyalty or inspiration. A President needs to be inspirational and have a lot of political knowledge. They also need to know what's happening in the country. Therefore, the age requirement and needing to have lived here for 14 years makes sense as those are probably necessary to make a good president whereas someone who lived here less than 14 years and was younger than 35 may be inexperienced or not know a lot about the country. However, this is not the case with being born in the U.S. Being born in the U.S doesn't mean knowing a lot about the country or having more political experience. Overall, needing to be born in the U.S is a ridiculous requirement and should be gotten rid of.
Double_R

Pro

Thanks to Debate250 for this challenge.


The Natural-born-citizen clause of the US Constitution states when describing the requirements for president as “no person accept a natural born citizen”. This is generally accepted to include those born on US soil to non-citizen parents as well as those born on foreign soil to US parents. I accept both of those requirements as interpreted, and my opponent obviously does as well. The clause however does not include those born on foreign soil to non-citizen parents(1).


To outline my case I will provide the following syllogism:


1. Changes to Presidential requirements should be made to increase the likelihood of US success


2. Success requires Presidential decisions to be made based solely on US interests.


3. People have a natural loyalty to the land in which they originate.


4. People who have a natural loyalty to a foreign land will be more likely to include foreign interests in their decision making.


5. The proposed changes will not increase the likelihood of US success.


Part 1 is self explanatory and part 5 is the conclusion so this argument boils down to points 2, 3, and 4. A person who is born on a foreign land will be more likely to have a sense of loyalty to that land, particularly if they are raised there. This can be a very problematic scenario when a President is forced to make a tough decision that may involve that nation. Imagine if George W. Bush was born in Afghanistan, or if Obama was born in Haiti. Whether war or foreign aid, a President must make his decisions considering only the viewpoint of the American people. Regardless of what allegiance we pledge to we are all human beings, we can not pledge away our nature.


The President of the United States is the person we look to for leadership. It is their responsibility to make the decisions that will guide this nation. There is no true way to know what direction that President will take us in until they are already elected. Politicians are notorious for making empty promises or changing their positions once they are in office, and are even more notorious for rationalizing irrational decisions. Their motives are impossible to accurately determine so the constitution rightfully takes precautions to guard against one of the most dangerous scenarios this country could possibly face; a leader with compromised motives. Pro is arguing to remove this precaution.


Rebuttal


Pro states that a person who was born in another country could be more patriotic then someone born in the US. This is true, they can be. But the greater question is; will they be more likely to be? This is an obvious no. People born in the US are more likely to be patriotic then someone born on a foreign land.


(1) http://en.wikipedia.org...

Debate Round No. 1
debate250

Con

debate250 forfeited this round.
Double_R

Pro

Apparently my opponent has enough time to post arguments in the comments but not in the debate. Since the comment section doesn’t count I’ll just extend my argument.

Debate Round No. 2
debate250

Con

My opponent's first point in their outline doesn't make sense as what they seem to be saying is that we should change the requirements, yet they are arguing that we shouldn't. This is contradictory, and therefore, I will not do a rebuttal against it this round. If they clarify in future rounds then I will respond to that point. For the second, third, fourth , and fifth points I would actually argue the opposite. I disagree that all we should do is consider the American needs as when we give foreign aid, we're not doing it to improve America. We're doing it to improve other countries. Therefore, I'd say it's actually a good thing. If a president, were born in another country, and that country did need aid; the president would be more likely to be sympathetic towards that country and put more of an effort towards that aid. With all of the countries out there it is fairly unlikely that this scenario would happen anyway. However, if it did, I'd say it's excellent because if a president was born in a country in need, this connects them more to the people and gives the President an extra desire to help that country. Overall, I'd say a President being born in another country is a good thing as it connects the President more to that country and gives them a further desire to give the foreign aid which is so essential.
Secondly, I'm not arguing to remove this precaution. Someone from the U.S is just as likely to have compromised motives as someone from another country. Politicians make false promises anywhere, and the fact that they're from a different country doesn't make them any more or less likely to fulfil their promises. Having the people needing to be born in the U.S to make them President doesn't remove the threat that someone could become President with false promises. This could happen with any President from the U.S or any other country. Overall, my opponent's argument is false, as whether they were born in this country doesn't affect whether they will make real promises or not, and therefore, allowing people from other countries to be President doesn't remove this precaution at all.
However, the fact that the person is running for President shows patriotism regardless of where they're from. The person probably wouldn't be running for President without being patriotic. The fact that the person is running for President shows that they are patriotic. Therefore, they'll be just as likely to be patriotic as someone born in the U.S. Overall, just the fact that the person is running for President shows that they obviously do love the U.S and are patriotic.
Overall, there were many flaws in my opponent's argument. People from other countries could do just as good a job if not better than people in the U.S. Even if they considered their own country into account when making decisions, that's good because that's the country we're actually helping and doing this for to help improve that country. Also, having a President be born in a different country could add some diversity and different viewpoints which is a good thing for this nation. Overall, allowing people from other countries to be President is a good idea which I think would benefit the U.S greatly.

Once again I am sorry about forfeiting the last round. This is the argument that I would've posted the last round, and I hope we can still have a good debate.
Double_R

Pro

Thanks to my opponent for his response.


Con begins by badly misinterpreting my first point, which is that changes should be made to increase the likelihood of US success. I am not arguing that changes should be made. The negation of the resolution (Cons position) already states that changes should be made, therefore I am showing what the changes under those circumstance should be based on. For Con to refute this first point he must show that “increasing the likelihood of US success” is not how changes to the constitution should be based.


Just in case if it is not clear “US success” is itself very debatable. For this debate I am speaking from a very broad point of view. I would define it as improving the lives of US citizens. While contributing to the rest of the world is a great thing for any country to do, the citizens of any given country should clearly be its first priority.


Lets go back to my points:


2. Success requires Presidential decisions to be made based solely on US interests.


Surprisingly Con actually argues against this point. He states that if a President was born in another country and that country needs aid, then the President would be more sympathetic and therefore more likely to give aid to that country. Con is completely going against my contention that a country should be concerned about its own citizens before the rest of the world.


The point is not about whether we should give foreign aid, but that we should consider our own point of view first. No one donates to charity if they don’t have enough money to pay their rent. According to Cons argument we should have a president who cares more about another country then our own.


3. People have a natural loyalty to the land in which they originate.


Con does not seem to argue against this point and in fact seems to agree with it. This is not surprising because I feel it is pretty straightforward.


4. People who have a natural loyalty to a foreign land will be more likely to include foreign interests in their decision making.


Again Con seems to agree, but doesn’t seem to see anything wrong with this. However in his attempts to show why, he completely disregarded the far more important question I posed; what if Bush was born in Afghanistan? There is nothing more important and more emotionally based then a Presidents decision to go, or not go to war. The very concept of a Commander in chief having to make this decision and leading a nation through it while having been born in the country in question, is a very uncomforting one. A nation needs to be united during a time of war. Any nation would be divided just because of the concept of this question. Regardless of what decisions a President makes he will be treated with intense skepticism that will not in any way be healthy for that nation.


This all comes before we even get to the question of which country the President would be more likely to be concerned about in that situation. When it comes to the scenario of someone who was born in the country they lead vs. someone who was not, there is a far more greater possibility that they will to some extent betray their nation if the country in question is the one from which they originate. This is hardly a debatable point, it is human nature.


5. The proposed changes will not increase the likelihood of US success.


The bases of my argument is not that Presidents will never have compromised motives if they were born in the US, or that they will have compromised motives if they were not. My argument is a question of the likelihood of each of these scenarios. If there is a greater chance that our commander in chief will have compromised motives because of these changes, then these changes should not be made.


Con’s argument seems to follow the concept that since either scenario is a possibility, they are both equally likely. This is utterly false. The law of probabilities is a real life consideration, which Con must factor in his argument before claiming that changes to the constitution should be made.


Rebuttals


Con states that a President being born in the US will not affect whether they make “real” promises or not. No it doesn’t, nor was that my point. I was not referring to their political tendencies as a policy maker. The original statement was made to demonstrate that there is no way for us to know what we are getting from the person we elect to lead our nation until it is done. This is why rules have to be put in place to ensure the best chances of success. My argument shows how the rule in place does increase the chances of success, Cons argument has failed to negate the argument of probability.


Con states that people born in another country “can do just as good, if not better then people in the US”. Saying that people from other countries can do just as good a job is one thing, and I agree; they can. However, if the argument here is that their abilities are equal, then that is another topic of debate. But more importantly, that does not negate the resolution. If they have just as much ability as we do then the only question is if we would rather be lead by someone who is from the US or someone who is not? As far as Cons statement that they could do better… Con has provided no reason to suggest that people from another nation would do a better job leading the US then someone who was actually born in the US. I am very curious to know how Con would justify this position.


Finally Con states that having a President born in another country adds diversity to our nation. There is a great difference between having our first black or female President, and having our first President who was not born here. Diversity is about adding different cultures and perspectives to our own, not being lead by someone who may be from a different culture or have a different perspective from ours.


Conclusion


Con has failed to answer to my main contentions and relies on an argument that does not affirm his resolution. Yes it is possible that a President born in another nation could be just as good as anyone in the US. But for us to change our laws to allow foreign born Presidential candidates there must be at the very least an equal chance that the changes will lead to a successful term. I have clearly shown that their are dangerous factors to consider which result in the chances not being equal.

Debate Round No. 3
debate250

Con

My opponent's first point is that US success is the most important. While this is true to some extent, it is in a better position than a lot of countries. Even though there are many problems with the US, there are other countries in greater need. Between 2.3 and 3.5 million people are homeless in the US, but in Haiti a million people still remain homeless. While there may be more homeless people in the US, many more people live in the US than Haiti. Sometimes the US needs to look at which country has the greater need. If there is another country which has a greater need than the US then maybe they should be the top priority at least for the first couple of weeks of the problem which that country faces. How changes to the constitution should be made is not only what's best for the US, but it also needs to be based on what's best for the countries that the US helps. The US must take both of those into account when changing the constitution. A President from a different country might help the US to think beyond the US alone and about the other countries as well while making the US a good place because if they're becoming president, they must have a passion for the US. Overall, who gets priority depends on need, and as long as we continue to give foreign aid the constitution needs to bear both in mind.

I believe I have addressed the point about foreign aid in my first paragraph. Also, I'd like to mention that I 'm not arguing for a President who cares more about another country than our own. If they're becoming President, they must like the US and have a passion for the US. I'm arguing for a President who cares about both. This also begins to address the third point too. We want a President who cares deeply about both this country and other countries in desperate need. The nation shouldn't be divided because they know that the President will do what's best for the country that they're from. Also, their is bound to be some skepticism anyway. Naturally, before a war there are both people who agree and disagree with the war. Even if some people don't agree, it may be what's morally right which is more important than what people agree with. I do not agree that it is problematic as the President will love the country that they were born in, and they will do what's best to help that country. With regards to my opponent's next paragraph it's better if they were born in that country because they feel the connection to that country which will help them decide on whether or not to go to war. It's actually the opposite situation that could be a problem. What about Presidents born in the US? They'd be likely to not see that country's point of view and not care about that country just to increase US success. That situation is equally bad. Having Presidents being born in another country would make them care about that country as well. I'm not suggesting that we shouldn't have Presidents born in the US. I'm saying that there are advantages and disadvantages to both. A President born in the US could not give enough foreign aid, but a President born from outside could give too much. Both are risks and equally problematic situations. Therefore, there is some risk with both, and because of this we shouldn't make being born in the US a requirement as there are advantages and disadvantages to both. Overall, allowing Presidents to come from different countries would help them make better decisions with foreign aid.

I'd like to ask my opponent why they think that Presidents would be more likely to have compromised motives if they were born in a different country? If they want to be President of the US, I think that shows a passion and love of the US already. The fact that they want to be President shows that they most likely do want to improve the US. The only situation I can think of where there would be much risk is if they wanted to use the US as a resource to help their own country. For example if someone was born in a country that needed aid, and then they wanted to use the US as a tool to help their own country. This is the only situation that I can think of that could have compromised motives, and where being born in a different country could effect decision making? I'd like to ask my opponent what other compromised motives could they possibly have? Even in the situation that I suggested if you look at the chances of that, it's all very unlikely. It's unlikely that someone would become President to try and do that. Then it's even more unlikely that they'd win the election. Then even if they did win there would be enough disagreement for them not to make the decision. Overall, a situation like that just wouldn't happen. I'd like to ask my opponent what other compromised motives they're thinking of? Overall, there aren't really any compromised motives that would be more likely as a result of a President being from another country.

My opponent starts their first rebuttal by contradicting themselves. They start off by saying that it doesn't effect whether they make real promises or not. However, looking further down they say that there is no way for us to know what we're getting into until it's done. This argument is totally contradictory and doesn't make sense. They're saying there's no more risk of them making false promises, and then saying that there's a problem with what we're getting into. If there's no more risk, then why would there be more of a problem with what the US is getting into? Overall, this is a very contradictory and illogical statement. Secondly, if there is enough of a disagreement on a decision, for instance if the President and a few other people are the only people who want something done, then there is enough disagreement for the decision to be changed. Overall, this argument is contradictory, and also, my opponent didn't show how it can increase the chances of success apart from their one argument about foreign aid earlier.

I was never saying that they would necessarily do better. That's why I specifically phrased it as good if not better. I'm saying that someone from the US could do a better job than someone from the US. I'm not saying that they will; I'm just saying there are people from other countries who could do a better job. My argument was never to say that people from other countries will be better at leading this country than people from the US. I'm simply saying that people from other countries can do at least as good a job, and some of them could do better. Overall, I'm not saying that people from other countries will do better; however, they have as much potential and ability as someone from the US.

Here I'd like to ask my opponent what they mean from having a different perspective from ours. My opponent treats the US like it's one person with one opinion. However, even people within the US have a lot of different opinions. There are several different parties. There are many different opinions. It's not as if the US just holds one opinion. Also, there are people in the US who are very different opinions, and they're still allowed to run. Someone could hold the belief that murder is acceptable. If they were born in the US they could run, they'd never get elected though. Someone who's not from the US wouldn't have this opportunity. This is why we have elections. Someone from outside the US should still be able to run and express their opinion even if it is very different. Also, there are people from other countries who have very similar opinions to what most of the population thinks. Overall, even within the US there are many different opinions, and someone from outside the US should still be able to run.

Overall, the only big point my opponent makes as an advantage is foreign aid, and I've shown how that can be good and how allowing someone from outside the US to run could be beneficial.

Sources

http://goo.gl...
http://goo.gl...
Double_R

Pro

Pro has made what I consider to be some pretty wild statements in this past round. Many of which I can not adequately refute because they seem to be assertions with no logical basis. I will highlight the statements that I feel best represent Pros argument as I interpret it, and provide my comments. The first statement is for clarification:


“Here I'd like to ask my opponent what they mean from having a different perspective from ours. My opponent treats the US like it's one person with one opinion.”


I do not refer to the US like its one person, I refer to it like it is one nation, which it is. By “our perspective” I am referring to a general perspective, representative of the general consensus of the US. It is the role of the US government to determine that consensus by not only listening to the people but also understanding the position our country is in. People have many different opinions, but those opinions generally differ in approach rather then the desired results.


Foreign Aid


Even though there are many problems with the US, there are other countries in greater need… Sometimes the US needs to look at which country has the greater need. If there is another country which has a greater need than the US then maybe they should be the top priority at least for the first couple of weeks of the problem which that country faces.”


Question for Pro: Do you believe the decisions made by the US should be based on its own self interests before the interests of the rest of the world?


By his statement I can only conclude the answer to this question is “no”. Pro seems to think other countries should be our first priority. This point comes down to a simple question: Do you want a President making decisions about what to do with your tax dollars based on your needs, or other countries needs?


“How changes to the constitution should be made is not only what's best for the US, but it also needs to be based on what's best for the countries that the US helps.”


Question for Pro: Since the US apparently should partly base its Constitution on what’s best for other countries, how many other countries in the world base their laws on what’s best for us?


Since the obvious answer to this question is “zero”, there is no logical reason for this conclusion whatsoever. People have a responsibility to take care of themselves first, a nation is no different.


“Overall, who gets priority depends on need, and as long as we continue to give foreign aid the constitution needs to bear both in mind.”


Who gets priority depends on who the US decides to prioritize. This is the US’s dollars and resources that we are talking about. The US has a right to its own money.


War Argument


With regards to my opponent's next paragraph it's better if they were born in that country because they feel the connection to that country which will help them decide on whether or not to go to war.”


So Pro is saying that anytime the US goes to war it is better if we are lead by a President who was born in the country we are at war with. Please provide some logical explanation for this statement.


What about Presidents born in the US? They'd be likely to not see that country's point of view and not care about that country just to increase US success.”


I am not quite sure what idea Pro has of US Presidents or of people in general. Our government is one of the most sophisticated organizations in the world. Pro is suggesting that we somehow do not understand the other countries point of view and choose war because we do not care about other nations. War is far more complicated then I can possibly explain here, nor should I have to as this is common knowledge. Once again I would ask Pro to provide a logical explanation for this conclusion.


“I'd like to ask my opponent why they think that Presidents would be more likely to have compromised motives if they were born in a different country?”


Their motives would be compromised if their decisions would not be entirely based on what is best for the US. This is more likely if they were not born in the US. Pro however seems to believe that US interests should not be the US’s first concern.


“This is the only situation that I can think of that could have compromised motives, and where being born in a different country could effect decision making? I'd like to ask my opponent what other compromised motives could they possibly have?”


Decision making is what I have been arguing since round 1. Foreign aid (in relation to disaster relief as my example clearly showed) and war were just two examples of decisions that a President could be faced with having to make. War is by far the greatest concern. Any other tough decision that involves the welfare of another nation would qualify.


“Even in the situation that I suggested if you look at the chances of that, it's all very unlikely. It's unlikely that someone would become President to try and do that. Then it's even more unlikely that they'd win the election. Then even if they did win there would be enough disagreement for them not to make the decision.”


This statement demonstrates how my opponent has completely failed to understand let alone refute my argument. The concept of a President having compromised motives does not mean that they would run for office with an agenda to hurt the US. It means that if they were faced with a difficult decision, their decision making may not be based on what is best for the US.


Second the question of how likely it is, is barely relevant since my argument is simply saying that if it is more likely that a foreign born President would have compromised motives then a natural born citizen, then Pros changes should not be made. A point Pro still has not addressed.


Lastly, the level of disagreement and the decision in the end, are not valid rebuttals because a Presidents job is to lead. He (or she) can not lead if his decisions are being overturned because of his compromised position.


Conclusion


My opponent has failed to provide a logical basis for nearly all of his round 4 arguments leaving me very little to refute. Pro has challenged my position that a President having compromised motives is bad for the US, and that the US constitution should be based on what’s best for the US. I see very little else that needs to be said.

Debate Round No. 4
debate250

Con

debate250 forfeited this round.
Double_R

Pro

I was hoping to get a better understanding of my opponent's last round. Maybe another time.
Debate Round No. 5
11 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by F-16_Fighting_Falcon 3 years ago
F-16_Fighting_Falcon
Sure, I'll send you a challenge soon!
Posted by Double_R 3 years ago
Double_R
I'd accept the challenge.
Posted by F-16_Fighting_Falcon 3 years ago
F-16_Fighting_Falcon
This has nothing to do with the voting but if I were Con, I would say that likelihood of a non-US born citizen who is running for president to be fully assimilated into US culture is high. Also we shouldn't forget that the people elect the president and it is they who should be the choice to choose.

What does it matter if the likelihood is there that a president might be loyal to a foreign land? If the American people aren't convinced that he finds US interests a priority, they won't vote for him. He should certainly be eligible to apply however.

I wouldn't mind debating Pro on this topic if he is interested. Con forfeited 2 rounds and didn't really give much of an argument at all.
Posted by Double_R 3 years ago
Double_R
It happens.
Posted by debate250 3 years ago
debate250
Sorry for forfeiting again. I've been busy lately, and I didn't know the time was running out. You can either make a closing statement or not say anything for the last round. I'd like to have this debate again with you when I have more time.
Posted by Double_R 3 years ago
Double_R
That's fine. Anytime someone forfeits there is a good chance they won't come back. I'm glad you did because I feel this is an interesting topic. I do have one piece of advice though, I suggest that you shorten your paragraphs and space them out so that your contentions are easier to separate. I think it will make it easier for the voters to understand your argument, and give your rounds a more appealing visual.
Posted by debate250 3 years ago
debate250
Actually I just like responding to the comments in general as people make interesting points in the comments box. Comments are faster to respond to then the debates, so sometimes I will have time to respond to a comment but not a debate. I'm sorry about forfeiting; I've been fairly busy and was most of the way through a debate argument when time ran out. I look forward to debating the next round though.
Posted by Double_R 3 years ago
Double_R
That is what the debate rounds are for.
Posted by debate250 3 years ago
debate250
However, the fact that the person is from the U.S doesn't mean that they believe in a democracy. Someone from another country could believe much more in a democracy.
Posted by Macroscope 3 years ago
Macroscope
I dont have any faith in politics, but i at least have a little faith in nationalism. If the guy isnt even from the country, that this goes out the window, and all your left with is globalise = political dictatorship over EVERY nation.

I mean; democracy doesnt work on the small scale, why would it work on the international scale?
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by kkjnay 3 years ago
kkjnay
debate250Double_RTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro's position was risky. I'm actually surprised he was able to win this. Nonetheless, a better debate by Pro.
Vote Placed by F-16_Fighting_Falcon 3 years ago
F-16_Fighting_Falcon
debate250Double_RTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Con makes a huge mistake in choosing the direction for this debate arguing that the interests of other countries may have to come before the US. Pro adequately refutes and shows that US taxpayers need to worry about US interests first. Con also doesn't refute Pro's contention of likelihood of the president being loyal to the US well enough.
Vote Placed by jm_notguilty 3 years ago
jm_notguilty
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Reasons for voting decision: ff
Vote Placed by dappleshade 3 years ago
dappleshade
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Total points awarded:07 
Reasons for voting decision: Unfortunate forfeiting.