The Instigator
000ike
Con (against)
Winning
18 Points
The Contender
MasterKage
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points

Resolved: President Obama won the election of 2008 primarily because of his race

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 5 votes the winner is...
000ike
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/16/2012 Category: Politics
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,170 times Debate No: 20431
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (4)
Votes (5)

 

000ike

Con

The resolution places emphasis on the term "primarily"....insinuating that Obama would not have won the election, had he been Caucasian.

Round 1: Acceptance
Round 2: Arguments and rebuttals
Round 3: Rebuttals and Conclusion (no new arguments from Pro, as I wound not be able to respond to them. I can however add new arguments since Pro has another round to respond.)

I wish Pro good luck, and hope this can be a brief well-fought debate.
MasterKage

Pro

Accepted.
Debate Round No. 1
000ike

Con

I'd like to thank my opponent for accepting this debate.

Introduction

Let it be clear that my opponent has the burden of proving or at least showing substantial evidence that the results of the election of 2008 were based primarily on race. I have the burden of proving it was not. I will approach this issue by providing more powerful factors to the contrary.

Sarah Palin: A Damaging Vice President

My opponent claims that Obama won primarily because of his race, but McCain was actually leading in the polls until he made a few political blunders! What, did the country not notice Obama was Black until midway through the election?

"In the excitement and decisiveness of Barack Obama's victory, we forget that in the first weeks of September, John McCain was actually ahead....

Palin was a mistake ("near suicidal," I wrote on the day of her selection) because she completely undercut McCain's principal case against Obama: his inexperience and unreadiness to lead. And her nomination not only intellectually undermined the readiness argument. It changed the election dynamic by shifting attention, for days on end, to Palin's preparedness, fitness and experience - and away from Obama's." (1)

McCain had announced His Vice Presidential choice around August - September 2008. If you look at the following graph, we see that McCain sharply falls in the polls right after that.

(2)

Its clear that Palin was damaging to the McCain ticket not only through her inexperience and anonymity, but the media's portrayal of her as a ridiculous politician and a laughing stock. One could surmise that her addition to the race secured Obama the victory. Obviously this had an impact on McCain's chances and transitively Obama's. The election was also relatively close until that August - September period that put an end to the McCain campaign. To blame the resulting victory of Obama on his race ignores this factor that so clearly and suddenly diminished the Republican Party's polling. In short, Sarah Palin had more to do with Obama's election than his race, so the fact that he is Black could not be the primary reason.



Party Shift in Dissatisfaction

It is a well-known occurrence in American democracy that the nation tends to switch parties when a president has become thoroughly unpopular with the public. The sentiment follows that electing a president of the same party would be a continuation of those undesirable policies.

Shifts in history

Union crisis election (1860)

  • James Buchanan had failed to settle the issue of slavery and outright supported the Dred Scott decision (3).
  • his actions and inactions as president lead to the secession of South Carolina and the rest of the South.
  • PARTY SWITCH because of unpopularity of president.

Return to normalcy election (1920)

  • wartime expansion of the government
  • suppression of free speech
  • war fatigue left the U.S in need of greater isolationism. Woodrow was fervently campaigning for the League of Nations which, considering the isolationist sentiment, drove voters away from Wilson and toward Republicans who bitterly opposed the League (4).
  • As such, Harding ran on a "return to normalcy" and secured himself victory.
  • PARTY SWITCH because of unpopularity of president.


Great Depression election (1932)

  • Stock Market Crash of 1929
  • the Banking Crisis -- Herbert Hoover continued to assure the nation that all was well with the economy.
  • By 1933, Unemployment reached over 25% just as FDR entered the White House (5).
  • Prohibition
  • PARTY SWITCH because of unpopularity of president.

Great Recession election (2008)

  • Unemployment at 7.3% (6)
  • Foreclosures, Housing crisis
  • Great Recession
  • George W. Bush approval rating of 22% (7)
  • PARTY SWITCH because of unpopularity of president.

I've proved that switching parties because of a very unpopular president is a recurring pattern in American election cycles, so I see no reason why that would be inapplicable in the election of 2008. It seems rather unlikely that after 8 years of Republican president George Walker Bush and a historically low approval rating of 22% the nation would proceed to vote for ANOTHER Republican president. As a matter of fact, the nation has NEVER voted for the party of an unpopular president in the following election. This fact shows that the failure of Bush had a lot to do with the ensuing election of the Democrat Obama, not his race.


Is Obama the first minority to Run for President?

With no arguments as of yet from my opponent, I can only assume that he feels that the country wanted to elect Obama to prove that "we are not racist," or simply because we were immersed by the excitement of a minority president. However, this presumption is inconsistent with the history of our voting from 1960 to 2008.

The following African Americans ran for president and failed (8):

1. Shirley Chisholm (1972)
2. Jesse Jackson (1984 & 1988)
3. Lenora Fulani (1988)
4. Carol Moseley Braun (2004)
5. Alan Keyes (1996 & 2000)
6. Al Sharpton (2004)
7. Barack Obama (2004)

If America was so eager to elect a minority then why did all these African American candidates lose at the nomination level? Obama ran in 2004 and lost to Kerry. Why was this racial favoritism somehow absent? The burden of proof rests at Pro's end.

If my opponent argues that those periods in history did not have the same eagerness for a minority president, then he'd need to explain why Hillary Clinton lost the Democratic nomination of 2008. In-before, we preferred African Americans to Women? My opponent's stance is clearly one on unstable grounds if any at all.


Oration: the moto of Hope and Change

One's ability to inspire and persuade is wholly contingent on his oratory skill. Like Martin Luther King was able to energize the Civil Rights Movement with his historic Marin Luther King speech, Obama was able to sway a considerable amount of voters with his speech.

"Public speaking can be a powerful tool to use for purposes such as motivation, influence, persuasion, informing, translation, or simply entertaining. A confident speaker is more likely to use this as excitement and create effective speech thus increasing their overall ethos." (9)

It is widely acknowledged that Obama spoke with a conviction and oratory power that left thousands spellbound.

"Barack Obama's message of change has been resonating with more and more voters, even converting some Republicans into Obama-cans. His victory speeches after the primaries have been downloaded thousands of times from YouTube. Some say that when it comes to speeches, he ranks right up there with John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King, Jr." (10)

Now, this is just another of the innumerable factors that helped him, but even his oratory skill has more bearing in the election's results than race.


Conclusion

There are a variety of reasons the United States has voted a certain way in certain elections. It ultimately boils down to a balance of crises, message, mood, and options, a complex balance that cannot be easily dichotomized into a charge as simplistic as race. To contend that Obama won PRIMARILY because he was Black tosses ALL these factors I listed as irrelevant. So, I will leave it to you voters to determine how relevant these factors are in comparison to race, and determine how realistic it is to blame the election of 2008 on Obama's ethnicity.

I'll end here for now and await my opponent's response.


Sources

1. http://www.redding.com...
2. http://upload.wikimedia.org...
3. http://simple.wikipedia.org...
4. http://en.wikipedia.org...
5. http://www.encyclopedia.com...
6. http://data.bls.gov...
7. http://www.cbsnews.com...
8. http://www.socialstudiesforkids.com...
9. http://en.wikipedia.org...
10. http://news.newamericamedia.org...
MasterKage

Pro

MasterKage forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
000ike

Con

My opponent forfeited. Vote con
MasterKage

Pro

MasterKage forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by 000ike 5 years ago
000ike
If anyone wants to take on this debate, I'll just send the challenge and copy and paste the arguments.
Posted by MasterKage 5 years ago
MasterKage
*Sigh*

Forgive me for the forfeit. I was writing up a debate case for my debate class and all my attention was focused on that and I had forgotten about this debate. Sadly, life gets in the way.

Care to remake this debate, if you'd like.
Posted by 000ike 5 years ago
000ike
wow...really?
Posted by OberHerr 5 years ago
OberHerr
DEFINITELY one I'm going to follow.
5 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Vote Placed by thett3 5 years ago
thett3
000ikeMasterKageTied
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: F
Vote Placed by Man-is-good 5 years ago
Man-is-good
000ikeMasterKageTied
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Total points awarded:60 
Reasons for voting decision: A lopsided debate with Pro's forfeit turning the tables to Con. Con provided arguments that were convincing when unrefuted--whether of historical patterns of switches to other political parties due to the unpopularity of one president (and his affiliated party) or the fact that John McCain himself was leading the polls until, in Con's own words, Palin damaged his chances for a success "not only through her inexperience and anonymity, but the media's portrayal a ridiculous politician..."
Vote Placed by 16kadams 5 years ago
16kadams
000ikeMasterKageTied
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Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: FF also great arguments bravo
Vote Placed by vmpire321 5 years ago
vmpire321
000ikeMasterKageTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Concessions/FFs
Vote Placed by Ron-Paul 5 years ago
Ron-Paul
000ikeMasterKageTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Forfeit.