Progressives have a significant history of intolerance
Debate Rounds (3)
Progressive- A person who is further to the left than a democrat in U.S. politics.
History- The time period from the progressive movement to modern day politics.
P.S. if you have a better definition put it in your opening argument
I accept this debate.
I would like to add a definition:
Intolerant- lacking respect for practices and beliefs other than one's own .
Also, it should be noted that a while a progressive is further left than a Democrat in U.S. politics, but not as far to the left as a radical. I believe the definition of progressive can be better stated as a person who has the political belief of progresssivism which can be defined as follows:
Progressivism is a general political philosophy advocating or favoring social, political, and economic reform or changes usually in opposition to conservative or reactionary ideologies .
The BoP is on Pro to demonstrate that the majority of progressives have a significant history of intolerence.
I look forward to a good debate.
Let me start with thank you to magicr for accepting this debate
C1: The Progressive Founding Fathers
As we all know the progressive founding fathers are Teddy Roosevelt and later Woodrow Wilson. These people practically shaped and created the progressive movement and these people were some of the most intolerant
Teddy Roosevelt endorsed a book by Madison Grant (The Passing of The Great Race) which talked about eugenics this is some of the context."The laws of nature require the obliteration of the unfit, and human life is valuable only when it is of use to the community or race" (1) That sounds like something that Hitler would have said and he did in fact Hitler said "this is my bible"(2) this shows you how Teddy Roosevelt thought process was and it certainly isn't tolerant.
Next person I would like to capitalize on is Woodrow Wilson, some call him the most intolerant president in American history and they are right, he practically created a fascist state in America. First and foremost he supported segregation of African Americans (3) which certainly isn't tolerant. Second he was intolerant of anybody who disagrees with the government. You can see this by his signing of The Sedition Act of 1918 which made it illegal for anybody to criticize the government and if you did you would be given a prison sentence(3).
C2: Second Generation Progressives
The second generation progressives were of course Herbert Hoover and Franklin Roosevelt. These people followed in the example of there fellow progressives. They were also intolerant.
Herbert Hoover was a white supremacist and was basically a American version of Hitler. He believed that African Americans were inferior and wanted to strip them from political positions of power. He also was intolerant to Mexicans, in facts he deported 2 million people many were American citizens who had a Mexican sounding name. Hoover also defended the Nazis and wanted America to have a long lasting relationship with them (4).
FDR was also a intolerant man just like Hoover. He was intolerant of the Japanese in fact he created Executive Order 9006 and 9102 which created Japanese Interment Camps. Which imprisoned 120,000 Japanese People just because they were Japanese. He also wanted the same fate for Italian and German Americans in fact he publicly said it. He also appointed two segregationist to the Supreme Court.(5)
C3: Modern Day Progressives.
Modern day progressives our Bush 43 and Obama. Bush wasn't intolerant but Obama followed in the foot steps of there progressives and is intolerant.
Obama has lead a attack on religion. He is intolerant of people of faith. You can see this by his contraception mandate in the Affordable Care Act which forces religious institutions to include contraception in there health care plans (6). Also he is intolerant of anybody who disagree with his beliefs much like Wilson. You can see this because of an executive order that would freeze anybody assets that oppose the government in Yemen(7) and the Anti-Protest bill which would make it illegal to protest by government officials, building and presidential candidates (8). That is true intolerance.
There is a significant history because of all the progressives who have held high office have been intolerant. If you calculated it 5/6 of the progressive president were intolerant which is 83% of the leaders. That shows that there is a significant history of intolerance.
(1)- The Passing of the Great Race, book
I thank my opponent for this debate and wish him good luck.
To begin, we must determine what makes someone a progressive. It should be noted that just because someone was a politician during the progressive era (1990s-1920s ) does not make them a progressive. A progressive can be determined by looking at a person's beliefs and actions. Progressivism itself is a philosophy that is rooted in opposition to injustice and inequality . Because of this, the ideas of progressivism are at odds with intolerant behavior. That is not to say that progressives cannot be intolerant, but it does mean that it is not likely that a person with an opposition to inequality will have a significant amount of intolerant actions.
Several of the presidents mentioned in my opponent's argument are certainly not progressives. Additionally, just looking at the presidents who were progressive cannot give us a complete view of progressives as a whole.
C1: The Progressive Founding Fathers
My opponent writes: "As we all know the progressive founding fathers are Teddy Roosevelt and later Woodrow Wilson." While these two men were leaders of the progressive movement, my opponent presents no evidence to suggest that these men were the "founding fathers" of the progressive movement.
Teddy Roosevelt (T. R.)
Pro continues by saying that T. R. endorsed a book. Again, no evidence is presented that T. R. ever made such an endorsement. While it is true that Hitler said "This is my Bible," it should also be pointed out that my opponent's source says that Hitler was also very fond of such things as Don Quixote, and William Shakespeare's plays .
Beyond the fact that this claims is unevidenced, endorsing one controversial book is not a sign of significant intolerance. In order to prove that T. R. was significantly intolerant, he must present more evidence. We can conclude from the first arguments presented by my opponent that T. R. did not have a significant history of intolerance, if that is the only intolerant action taken.
My opponent makes yet another unevidenced claim: "some call him the most intolerant president in American history and they are right, he practically created a fascist state in America."
I do concede that Wilson did have some racist tendencies, but that does not mean that he created a "fascist state in America."
The next point brought up by my opponent is the Sedition Act of 1918. First, it should be noted that although Wilson did sign the act, it was first a product of Congress. Also, the act should be viewed in proper light: This was during WWI and it was feared that the American war effort could be undermined.
I am not condoning the Act, but I am trying to put in a little bit of context. I would also like to say that not all progressives agree with the act, in fact T. R. voiced opposition to it , so to say that most progressives approved of the measure would be a claim without a foundation. I understand that is not my opponent's argument, I am merely pointing out that the actions of one president are not representative of a whole group of people.
Additionally, if we are to look at the intolerance of a person, we must also take into account their tolerant actions. Although writing negatively about immigrants, later, Wilson tried to get immigrants to integrate into the American way of life. Wilson also appointed the first Jewish justice to the Supreme Court .
We can conclude based on review of my opponent's first arguments that although Wilson had some intolerant tendencies, he alone cannot represent the entire Progressive movement. We can also conclude that my opponent's claim that Wilson created an American fascist state is entirely unfounded.
William H. Taft
It should be noted that William Taft is also considered one the progressive presidents . My opponent has completely skipped Taft, so unless evidence is presented to the contrary, we can conclude that Taft was a tolerant man.
C2: Second Generation Progressives
Yet more unfounded claims. My opponent claims that both Hoover and FDR were progressives, but he provides no reason to believe either of these men were progressives.
Claiming that Hoover was a progressive is absolutely ridiculous and false. My opponent's own source source describes Hoover as a conservative . The definition of progressivism I presented in R1 stated that progressivism is in opposition to conservatism. Hoover was certainly not a progressive, so I do not need to talk about Hoover's actions because they are irrelevant.
Once again, no evidence is presented to warrant the claim that FDR was a progressive, so I do not need to address his actions.
C3: Modern Day Progressives
Once more we find that my opponent has claimed two more presidents have been progressives without any evidence to back this up.
George H. W. Bush
This president was certainly a right-wing centrist, if not a true conservative. Remember, my opponent described a progressive as someone to the left of democrats in the United States. H. W. is not a progressive, therefore, he is irrelevant.
No evidence is presented to suggest that Obama is a progressive. Nevertheless, I will comment on my opponent's claim that "Obama has lead an attack on religion. He is intolerant of people of faith." This claim is false, because Obama himself a person of faith.
Beyond this, the provision in the A. C. A. to which my opponent is referring, does not require religious institutions to give women birth control. What it does is described in my opponent's source: "As of Aug. 1, new or renewing health insurance plans are required to provide birth control to women at no out-of-pocket cost. Houses of worship are exempt and religious nonprofits get a one-year reprieve, as well as the option to pass the cost to the insurance company" .
All health insurance plans are required to make sure women get the proper contraceptive measures. That is all it does. This is not intolerance.
As I have mentioned several times, one presidents opinions do not represent an entire group of people. Additionally, the ideas of progressivism are at odds with intolerance, so it is unlikely for a progressive to be significantly intolerant. My opponent claims that 83% of progressive presidents are intolerant, but taking into consideration the fact that most of the presidents he referenced as progressives were not shown by any evidence to be as such, he cannot really make this claim. As thing stand now:
T. R.- a progressive without a significant history of intolerance.
Wilson- a progressive with some history of intolerance.
Taft- a progressive that was not described as intolerant.
Hoover- definitely not a progressive.
FDR- no evidence to suggest that he was a progressive was presented.
H. W. Bush- not a progressive.
Obama- no evidence that he is a progressive, but even if he is, I have refuted the ACA point.
Most progressives- no evidence to suggest that they are intolerant.
As can probably be seen, unless it can be shown that there is something in the progressive ideology that makes progressives intolerant, there is not a way for my opponent to prove that most progressives are significantly intolerant. The resolution is negated.
R1: The Progressive Founding Fathers
I use the term founding fathers in a way to signify they were the most prominent leaders of the Progressives.
Teddy Roosevelt indeed did endorse the book (1). My opponent ask me to give more examples of the intolerance of Teddy Roosevelt, I will honor your request and give you some more examples.
Teddy Roosevelt supported the mass slaughter and removal of Native Americans (2) which shows he was intolerant of Native Americans. He also was extremely racist against blacks in fact he even refused to reward the black troops who fought in the Battle of San Juan Hill (3). He also belied that blacks were inferior to whites (3). That is intolerance.
My opponent states that we cant conclude that progressives support the bill, but we also can prove they didn't support the act so we must use a different measure. That closet measure was a presidential ranking poll that was conducted in 1982 by Murray-Blessing Survey which divided up historians by political ideology and the liberals ranked Woodrow Wilson as the top 6th president (4). With this information we can assume that the left approves of Woodrow Wilson's performance as president. Another thing my opponent says is that we must look at a persons tolerant actions to determine the person intolerance I find that irrelevant and ignorant it doesn't matter if that person was tolerant to other groups, that doesn't make that person any less intolerance
William Howard Taft
My opponent brings up William H Taft which was a progressive in name only so I don't consider him a progressive. In fact when the GOP split in 1912 Taft joined the conservatives and in fact sided with the conservatives constantly in policy issues (5).
R2: Second Generation Progressives
You are completely wrong Herbert Hoover was objected to conservatism and even described himself as a conservative (6). I don't need to explain his actions because first we all know what they were and second there similar to FDR.
Ok let me start off with this saying FDR isn't a progressive is like saying Ronald Reagan wasn't a conservative. A progressive website even said that FDR's policies is what TR and Wilson advocated (7). Need I say more.
R3: Modern Day Progressives
George H.W. Bush
When someone says Bush 43 they mean George W Bush not H.W. Bush
Obama said himself that he was a progressive (8). Also my opponent says that since Obama is a person of faith he cant be intolerant of people of faith this is irrelevant once again and doesn't make him any less intolerant. Also it is intolerance because he has ignored the church, its against there religious teachings and if Obama doesn't care that makes him intolerant to religion.
C1: Most Progressives
Again there is no measure of all progressive intolerance therefore to judge the progressive ideology we must judge there representatives and organizations.
As we know Planned Parenthood is a prominent progressive organization and the founder was a progressive (9). This organization was founded on racial grounds Margaret Sanger's say Birth Control as a way as limiting minorities from reproducing (10). This shows she is intolerant and this represents progressives because it is a prominent progressive organization and they continue to represent her values in fact they call her a hero (11).
Maxine Waters is one of the more modern leaders of the progressives today. I don't need to say much about her we already know who she is. One of her intolerant actions is telling the tea party to go to hell (12). This shows she is intolerant towards conservatives. She represents progressive because this is who the progressives elected to represent them in congress.
Boy Scouts of America
In more modern history the Boy Scouts were attacked from not letting a homosexuals join the Boy Scouts the decision went to the Supreme Court and the Supreme Court ruled saying that the Boy Scouts have the right to not let homosexuals join the boy scouts. But Democrats in congress weren't happy and decided to make a bill that would repeal the federal charter given to the Boy Scouts in 1916. The only people to co-sponsor the bill were part of the Progressive Congressional Cactus. (13). That is another example of intolerance
As it stands 83% of Progressive Presidents have been intolerant and I have proved that most progressives can be labeled as intolerant because of the people who represented them and the organizations affiliated with them.
Taft- Not a progressive
George W Bush- Tolerant
Most Progressives- Intolerant
Progressive Founding Fathers
These men were leaders in the progressive movement, but they were not the only leaders of the progressive movement.
Pro claims that TR did endorse the book, yet his link does not work, so it cannot be concluded that he did so from the evidence presented by my opponent.
My opponent argues that since we cannot judge whether the bill was supported by progressives, we must see who progressives feel about Wilson's presidency as a whole. In doing so, he commits the logical fallacy of division . This fallacy is when a person draws a conclusion about something as a whole, and then tries to say that the parts of the whole also bear that quality.
Just because liberals (which are not necessarily the same as progressives I might add) like a president as a whole, does not mean they approve of every action he took. I can use personal experience to verify this, as I myself am a liberal. I do like some of the actions taken by Wilson, such as his 14 points plan. Nevertheless, I do not approve of the Sedition Act. I believe most progressives would agree with me on this point.
You cannot draw conclusions about the individual parts from looking at the hole the way that my opponent has done, because that is a logical fallacy.
While it is true that Taft did join the Republicans over the Bull Moose Party, my opponent's source says that Taft did consider himself a progressive .
My opponent's defense of Hoover makes no sense. He says "Hoover was objected to conservatism and even described himself as a conservative." First, just because a person calls themselves something, does not make them that. I am sure that we are all familiar with so-called conservatives, Republicans, and Democrats in name only. Someone labeling themselves something does not make them that thing. My opponent continues by saying that he does not need to talk about Hoover's actions as they were similar to FDR's, but I am afraid it would have been greatly helpful for his case to elaborate on that point. His vagueness can only lead us to say that based on what has been presented on his part, Hoover cannot be considered a progressive.
The trend of vagueness continues. My opponent makes an analogy between FDR and Reagan without explaining it in the least: there is no reason presented to believe that FDR being a progressive is like Reagan being a conservative. He then says that a progressive website calls FDR's policies what TR and Wilson wanted. This one website, without any substantiation on what is meant by this on his part, is not enough for us to conclude that FDR was a progressive.
A tale of two Bushes
My mistake. Pro was referring to the latter Bush, but my objection still stands. We still have no reason to consider either Bush a progressive, therefore both are irrelevant.
Pro claims that it is possible for a person to be intolerant of themselves. While this may be true, it is clear that Obama is tolerant of people of faith: He has enough trust in people of faith that he supports one as President of the United States. He also is married to a person of faith and is likely raising his children to have faith. If he was so intolerant of people of faith, he would not have done these things. My opponent says that Obama has ignored the Catholic Church, however the U. S. is a secular country, so giving special exceptions to a religious institution would be a violation of the First Amendment's Establishment Clause . Obama is clearly a tolerant person.
While it is true that the Planned Parenthood founder considered light-skinned races to be above dark skin races, she was not intolerant of dark skin races as described on Wikipedia: "Sanger believed that lighter-skinned races were superior to darker-skinned races, but would not tolerate bigotry among her staff, nor any refusal to work within interracial projects" . She may have held racist beliefs, but she was not intolerant. My opponent also claims that Planned Parenthood continues to represent her values. While it is true that they do represent some of her values such as reducing the need for abortions, saving women and children's lives, and strengthening the family , no evidence is presented leading to the conclusion that the organization still agrees with their founder's values concerning eugenics.
My opponent is taking Water's quote partially out of context. The full quote is "I'm not afraid of anybody. This is a tough game. You can't be intimidated. You can't be frightened. And as far as I'm concerned, the 'tea party' can go straight to hell" . Based on the full context of the quote, it can be inferred that she is not being intolerant of conservatives, but rather intolerant of intolerant actions by the tea party. Intolerance of intolerance equals tolerance.
Boy Scouts of America
The BSA is not a tolerant organization because of their discrimination against gays. The progressives in Congress were being intolerant towards intolerance, which equal tolerance.
None of the presidents mentioned by my opponent, except for Wilson, were shown through solid evidence and reasoning to be both progressives and intolerant. Even if he had been able to show that all of them were both of these things, he could still not make the claim that most progressives are intolerant. I was able to demonstrate that the modern progressives he mentioned were not intolerant.
Finally, in R2 I explained why being intolerant is at odds with the ideas of progressivism, therefore it does not make sense for most progressives to be intolerant. This point was never refuted.
It is clear that my opponent has not met his BOP to show a significant history of intolerance among progressives.
I thank my opponent for this debate.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by RoyLatham 4 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro's R2 is wildly overstated and full of unsubstantiated claims. He calmed and did better in later rounds. Pro didn't have to prove that all or even most progressives were intolerant, only that the history is "significant." That's a low bar, but Pro did well enough to carry the resolution. Still, Pro left claims unsubstantiated, so it was not a clean win. I'm giving sources con to balance the score with respect to proof.
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