The Instigator
Con (against)
46 Points
The Contender
Pro (for)
6 Points

Resolved: The United States ought to be considered a 'good' country.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 8 votes the winner is...
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/23/2009 Category: Society
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,815 times Debate No: 9023
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (44)
Votes (8)




In my profile, under the 'BIG Issues', I have marked Con by 'United States'. I have been challenged on my beliefs, and thus, I feel that I might defend my opponency to the United States as a country.

For definitions:

ought - implying a binding obligation

good - We will be referring to 'good' in a very broad sense - satisfactory, of high quality, excellent, reliable, responsible, competent, skillful.

I should clarify before the debate begins; in talking about the United States, I am not referring to the territory extending from Atlantic to Pacific (or Hawaii, Puerto Rico, etc.); I am discussing the United States Government, all citizens of the United States, overall ideology, our involvement in the world, and so on; thus, in this debate, my opponent must prove that the many aspects of the United States ought to be considered 'good'; instead of taking the easy way as Con and playing the United States off as 'neither good nor bad', I will obviously be defending the position that the United States ought not be considered 'good'.

Now, as I am the one who has been challenged, I will allow my opponent to present his views first, and we will go from there. Good luck.


America is the land of the free & the home of the brave.
We have the opportunity to vote for whom we think is right and not forced by anyone else to tell us who to vote for.
Some countries don't have this great opportunity.
A lot of other countries don't have freedom of speech either.
Or freedom of religion, etc...
We have had a number of great Presidents that have made America what it is today, which you don't like!
So here I go, hopefully I change your views.
Let me begin with stating the fact that there are a number of countries that are a democracy like us, such as most countries in Europe and very few in Asia but none compared to the great U.S.
We've never had a bad President up until now... Personally I think your, hatred, if you will, towards America is based on the economic situation.
Most people are upset about this but when you are trying to protect this great Country it requires spending a lot of money.
I'm referring to the War On Terrorism.
We are there for a reason but it has not been totally admitted why we are but thanks to, uhm, Mr. Obama, we are pulling our troops out which is going to cause another terrorist attack on our soil, which will force us to spend more money on repairing the damage.
But I'm falling away from the subject, America is a good, no, GREAT country for the following reasons...
We don't have to worry about a group of p****d off extremists running around shooting innocent people.
Yes, we have gangs but the crime rate is going down and you could always move to a safer area. Such as North/South Dakota, Vermont or Maine.
Anyways, America is the founder of a free Country.
Everyone country aims to have a government like us but certain countries have certain needs, like Iraq for an example was a Communist Nation only because of it's previous dumb a*s leaders. And eventually the people adjusted to it and started developing into Communistic people!
Some even attempt to move here, this is why in areas such as New Hampshire have such heavy Middle Eastern, Jewish percentages of people.
N.H. is a quiet, more remote area and foreign people come here to enjoy it.
My last point is if America was so bad then why is it the Land of Opportunities? Even though economic times are rather worse than they used to be.
Why do SO many people move here?
Why is learning Spanish and French so important in schools if America is as bad as you claim it is?
Even Europeans move here and they have Democratic forms of government in there home countries!
So why do people even come here ILLEGALLY?
I look forward to your response.
Debate Round No. 1


Thanks to my opponent for challenging me and giving me a chance to express my views on the United States.

I apologize if things jump around a bit, but within my opponent's large block of text, it was difficult for me to pick out individual arguments.

1. The United States is a democracy, and we are allowed, without coercion, to choose what we think is best.

a. The Weimar Republic was a democracy before Hitler came to power; The Weimar Republic was Germany, between WWI and WWII; understand that, because of the people's desperation to better their own situation, they were willing to choose anyone who promised change; and, as we see, Hitler was not such a good choice; in the same way, the issues of war and economic crisis prompted many to vote for Barack Obama; and, while Obama certainly hasn't started a 2nd Holocaust, my point is that we pick many people not from ideology, but out of desperation to better our own interests; thus, merely because something appears to be democratic does not make it good.

b. When voting for a president, you don't actually vote for him; you're voting for the electors who will go to the Electoral College, and will cast their vote for the candidate of their choosing; thus, you're actually handing your vote to a person you've never met, to go a place you don't know about, to cast a vote that you will never hear about. That hardly sounds democratic to me.

2. Other countries are 'democratic', like the U.S.

a. That's because democracy essentially originated in Europe, as did the United States; thus, you can expect the governmental structures to be extremely similar.

b. This is merely an ad populum, saying that 'because other countries are like us, we must be good!'

3. Other countries don't have as many freedoms.

a. The problem with freedom is that, you can't maximize freedom, because then people will merely push for more and more freedom with the mindset that they don't have any corresponding responsibilities; the purpose for which government was created was to limit absolute freedom; if we push our society back to this absolute freedom, we're only pushing ourselves to a minarchic, if not anarchic, society; and, assuming that the United States is, as it claims, "a nation of laws", this is the last thing we want, yet we still allow it.

4. We've never had a bad President.

a. Quincy Adams, Taft, and Buchanan are all examples of pretty bad presidents; but of course, that could be subjective, since I only believe so because Quincy Adams was an intellectual elitist, and wasn't in touch with people, Taft came in on Jackson's coattails and was quite ineffective, and Buchanan did absolutely nothing to try and heal the schism with the South; if you want a definitive list of 'bad' presidents, here is US News' Top 10: []

5. The 'Economic Situation'

a. The United States' national debt is higher than it has ever been; so obviously, it's a bit questionable that our government would decide to spend hundreds of billions of dollars to fix our economy; it didn't work with the New Deal, and it's not working now.

b. Thanks to our government's policy of borrowing money, China essentially owns our economy; the only reason we are still afloat is because China continues to lend to us; if they were ever to call back those loans, our country would fall flat on its face due to our government's weak economic planning. []

6. The War on Terror

a. We aren't pulling our troops out; we're merely redeploying them. [] []

b. It's entirely paranoid to say 'if we pull out, they will attack us'. That wasn't true in the Korean War, nor the Vietnam war, and that's certainly not true now. I must ask my opponent, what viable means do they have to get over here? They had to hijack OUR planes to commit the 9/11 terrorist attacks; they don't have fighter jets, or helicopters, or battleships.

7. America has no extremists.

a. I beg to differ. []

b. Two examples: One would obviously be the KKK, who went around terrorizing, brutalizing, often lynching blacks out of a misguided sense of justice - AKA, White Supremacy; second would be right-wing extremists who often go around 'shooting up' abortion clinics, as was the case with Dr. George Tiller in Wichita, Kansas. [] Clearly, my opponent is mistaken in claiming that we have no 'shoot-em-up extremists', to paraphrase.

8. Crime is going down, and you can move to a safer area.

a. We had a similar policy with the Indians; we told them first that we would not cross the Appalachian Mountains; then we told them the Mississippi River; finally, we told them that if they went to Indian Territory (my present-day state of Oklahoma), that they would have that land as theirs forever, and that nothing bad could happen; by analogy here, if we see people migrating to these 'safer' states, obviously there will be overpopulation, but a spike in population will obviously spike the crime rate, as there are not only more possible victims, but more potential criminals.

9. Every country wants to emulate the United States.

a. Sure. Every country definitely wants to be like us; that's why we didn't lose nearly all of our allies in the War on Terror, and our international image DEFINITELY wasn't horribly tarnished after Bush.

10. Communist Iraq.

a. What? There's an Iraqi Communist Party [], but it never really ruled the country; the report there details how it was popular in uprisings and demonstrations, but suffered under the Hussein Regime, opposed the sanctions following the 1991 Kuwait conflict, and, these days, gets little support in Iraq's elections. I'm not sure where your facts are coming from. To be clear, Communism is not a type of government; it is an economic system.

11. The 'Land of Opportunity'

a. This is merely a slogan that people use, like McCain's "Country First!" or Obama's entire "Change" and "Yes We Can" campaign; this doesn't lend any credibility to your argument, especially when opportunities are scarce, as you yourself admit that "economic times are... worse than they used to be."

12. People move here.

a. People move away from America, also; the road goes both ways; I had a friend last year for example that went back to his home country of Iran.

13. Americans learn other languages.

a. Americans also go to other countries and expect the natives to speak English as a convenience; seems quite arrogant for a country so 'passionately devoted' to learning foreign languages.

14. Illegal immigrants

a. Just because we're a better country than Mexico (as that's where most illegals come from) does not make us a better country; it's like saying that murdering one person is better than two; both situations are still bad, but one is merely more tolerable; it's the same way with the United States; in fact, much of the drug violence, gang wars, and sex trafficking that occurs in Mexico (to use one nation as an example) is spreading across the border along with illegal immigrants; The United States is indeed no good, but is still more tolerable than unstable Mexico.

I've got less than 400 characters at this point; thus, let me conclude: My opponent never proves that America is 'good'; he uses a lot of slogans like "Land of Opportunity" and "Home of the Free"; he makes assertions like "People LOVE America" and "This is a great country"; he asks a lot of questions, even, but no arguments are made; and his evidence, of course, is non-existent.

Obviously, vote CON.


I see you really hate America.
Move out!
You have proved many good points but let me just tell you, the KKK is in the South which is where I live but I'm from Eastern Mass.
And the KKK don't kill anyone anymore anyways.
Not in a long time.
Oh btw, they are against gay's too.
Not just blacks.
The abortion clinic is clearly some whack job that does not like abortion, every country has people like that.
I'm devastated about 9/11 and I have become much more... irritated with Middle Eastern people.
But that's just me.
Debate Round No. 2


Well then, let me cover what I opponent said, cover drops, and then present a little bonus argument.

First of all, I don't really plan on moving out of America; unlike some people, I don't like to run from my problems.

I also live in the South; I live in Oklahoma; granted we also qualify as Midwest, but just go with me on this one.

1. The KKK doesn't kill anymore

a. If you're going to use past examples, such as past Presidents, the founding of America, etc. I should also be able to use a historical example; and, historically, the KKK terrorized and brutalized not only blacks, but as you've kindly pointed out, gays, as well. So, I must thank you for lending even more credibility to my argument.

2. The Abortion Clinic

a. Dr. Tiller was a doctor that performed abortions, and a right-wing extremist group decided to take him out.

b. Your logic tells me that other countries try to emulate us; so, by that logic, other countries have anti-abortion "whack jobs" because people are trying to emulate the US example; but of course, that's if we follow your logic; history shows us that European society progresses far quicker than American society; for example, the liberalization of drugs, alcohol, the EU, the Euro, etc. And, while I don't support some of those things, it simply proves the point that the U.S. usually takes after European countries, not exactly the other way around.

3. 9/11

a. I'm not a fan of the 9/11 attacks either. We can agree there.

b. The fact that you're irritated at all Middle-Eastern people is a bit disturbing. I find that slightly offensive, as I have an Iranian friend. Plus, it wasn't the entire Middle East that committed the attacks on 9/11. To get angry at the entire Middle-Eastern community over the actions of a few radicals is a very racist sort of stereotyping; in fact, that's yet another one of the things that makes America bad, is that we have a very gung-ho, "AMURICA" kind of attitude when it comes to fighting terrorism; we blame the entire Middle East for the actions of a single terrorist group, and people are often quick to ostracize anyone and anything that looks remotely Middle-Eastern. So, thank you again for providing a good example of paranoid American racist stereotyping. I appreciate it.

Now that we've gotten my opponent's most interesting arguments out of the way, allow me to clarify some drops.

Essentially, my opponent has dropped nearly every single argument that I've made during the last round; my opponent even admits that I "have proved many good points". So, rather than reiterating everything, I'll just ask you to flow through my arguments from Round 2, and perhaps go through and read them again; especially note the lack of evidence from PRO, and his tendency to ask questions rather than pose arguments.

Now, I promised you a bonus argument, because it really bugs me that our government actually does this; so, here it is:

1. Profanity

Let me keep this short and simple: The government is guilty on multiple counts of trying to ban profanity, both on television and in public life; part of this was even upheld by the Supreme Court! [] [] I have to ask, what right is there to ban profanity? I understand that one may not want a child to flip on Nickelodeon, only to hear Spongebob utter the f word several times (though there was a funny episode on that), but the decision was being challenged by networks like FOX, CBS, CNN, etc. This is absolutely ridiculous; I agree with one of the articles, in that it is entirely unreasonable to be allowed to hand down up to $325,000 in fines over a fleeting expletive, such as "Oh, sh!t, I just hit my head."

Oh sh!t indeed. This is actually much like the story of a South Carolina woman, who, while out to get gas at around 3 AM, hit her head on the top of her car with a police officer nearby; after uttering an expletive (obviously, "Oh sh!t, I just hit my head"), she was quickly surrounded by four police cars; one officer then proceeded to hand her a ticket for $1,100. Holy God d@mn piece of motherfu
The government should have no right to ban language that does not cause any lasting physical or emotional harm; and obviously, uttering the f word at someone might leave a temporary sting, but it won't cause them to spiral into depression or suicide. Our free speech rights need to be preserved while they're still here (as my opponent does earlier make the claim that free speech is a good thing); and I agree that this right is a good thing, but the government's interference in trying to slim down that right is certainly not.

So, in conclusion, my opponent has all but admitted that America, as it stands, is absolutely no good. With 2 posts left for my opponent, let's hope that he can come back with a real knock-out argument. I wish him the best of luck, and I hope he's enjoying this debate as much as I am; thanks for the challenge, Pro.


Thank you for your response.
Oklahoma is part of the midwest.
The south is Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, Kentucky, etc...
The KKK is fading away and are nothing like they used to be.
The abortion clinic doctor is a bad man, the MAN not GROUP that shot him was doing what God would want him to do, destroy evil.
If you belive in the Bible it says, I can't remember what exactly but in a nutshell it said that homosexuals shall be destroyed!
Abortion is WRONG.
It is totllay immorally incorrect!
How could you take a babies life?
It may not be born completely but it has a beating heart and a brain and could benefit the world when it grows up.
And the profanity, well Idk where that came from but no, everyone will cuss no matter what.
Debate Round No. 3


Let's finish up with Round 4.

1. Oklahoma

a. I'm well aware that Oklahoma is considered a mid-western state; notice how, in my last post, I pointed that out; also, I live here. I consider my state south from the perspective of the entire United States; Oklahoma obviously lies on the southern half of the country. This doesn't at all prove, however, that the United States is 'good', so this argument isn't really relevant, anyway.

2. The KKK

a. Just because they are 'fading away' does not excuse them of past atrocities; as I said before, your use of past presidents and events allows me to also use historical information, such as the KKK; Nazi Germany is obviously gone, but we certainly don't excuse the atrocities committed by the Nazi regime; proof of this would be what we call the Nuernberg Trials [], and the several other trials of Nazi war criminals in the many years after the fall of the Nazi regime; and, by analogy, KKK members also need to be held accountable for past actions; in fact, this is especially true, as many government officials were proven to be members of the KKK []; and, even if we can agree that the KKK is subsiding, the list I have provided clearly shows the NUMEROUS other hate groups in America today.

3. The abortion doctor is bad, and the Bible says he ought to be executed.

a. Jesus himself said in defense of an offender, "let he who is without sin cast the first stone"; obviously this man was trying to disobey God by answering murder with more murder, making a bad situation even worse; plus, I don't see how homosexuality ties in with abortion, so that's a bit irrelevant.

b. Understand that I am also against abortion (anti-choice, not pro-life); however, I still don't find hypocrisy correct; if we don't find murdering a 'baby' to be moral, then how is murdering the doctor any more moral? The answer is that, it isn't; you can claim that abortion is wrong as much as you want, but until you claim that murder is RIGHT, then you have no argument.

c. And, as an addendum, the only time that God would ever allow the killing of another human being is if the authorities that He put into place are the ones that are doing the killing; as God points out in both Romans and Hebrews, one must submit to all authority, as there as no authorities which God did not put into power []. Thus, even if the killing of Dr. Tiller was morally justified, the government would have been the one instructed to do it, not some rogue individual; so, as we can see, even your Biblical argument supports my position, and in this case, we can see that America is clearly not 'good' as far as this rogue citizen is concerned.

4. Profanity

a. My opponent never directly answered the argument; what I'm saying is that, the US Government is trying to put a ban on swearing, imposing hefty fines and excessive jail time for offenses against such a law; as our 1st Amendment rights give us the ability to swear (as the f word, for example, causes no physical damage, and little more than an emotional sting), we can see that America is clearly in the wrong by trying to impose such a ban.

I have proven through many arguments that America is not only 'not good', but is outright 'bad'; while I have given multiple pieces of evidence, smooth logic, and coherent arguments, my opponent has simply not done the same; he has abandoned many of his arguments, which I pointed out in Round 3, he is making assertions based on Biblical evidence that my opponent even admits he "can't remember... exactly", and has simply tossed me a flawed position based on sloppy logic; as we can clearly see, there's no other way to vote than all 7 points CON.

And remember, kids: F*ck America!


Past atrocities are out of control in America.
Do you see any groups or organizations for whites?
No, every f*****g race except whites get benefits or have some form of group/society.
The whole Nazi thing is old and the Jew's that were affected by WWII are dead.
So let's forget about that and not make it a big ball game.
Do you see white people b******g about the Black Panther's?
And murdering the doctor is moral cuz it's a just cause by destroying an evil so that he can't kill anymore babies.
The profanity all has to do with religion, personally, I think they shouldn't ban it but A LOT of others do.
That's why it is a Democracy, the majority of the pop. wins.
And your last remark, is well, weak.
I hope we have a draft and you get drafted.
Miliatry, they die/died for us.
Debate Round No. 4
44 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Cody_Franklin 6 years ago
I appreciate that.
Posted by PsyPhiGuy 6 years ago
Cody_Franklin gave a masterful performance.

Hands down the winner is C_F, in my opinion.
Posted by SirAntonyP 7 years ago
Im sure the american people are good.

The government isnt, it spends more on new ways to kill people than to heal.
Posted by Xer 7 years ago
This debate had the potential to be really good... but, Pro is not a very worthy opponent.
Posted by RoyLatham 7 years ago
Sorry, I confused Pro/Con in my remarks. Boy do I not like debates instigated as Con. Pro argued poorly.
Posted by Cody_Franklin 7 years ago
Well, I did what I could with what my opponent gave me, which wasn't much.
Posted by Logical-Master 7 years ago
Having glanced over the debate just now though, it would seem that PRO didn't take the opportunity to exploit the inherent weakness in CON's position. I'd have to read for comprehension, but if I were to vote now, it'd be for CON.
Posted by Logical-Master 7 years ago
For instance, I believe I'm a "good" Marvel vs Capcom 2 player. It doesn't mean I have won every match I've ever played or don't lack in some of the areas of the skills needed to play the game
Posted by Logical-Master 7 years ago
Easy debate to win. Good doesn't equal flawless or nigh flawless. ;)
Posted by RoyLatham 7 years ago
It is dopey to propose such a topic without ever defining what "good" means, especially when he specifically rules out the possibility that a country cannot be neither good nor bad. It is a dopey debater's argument that democracy is not a good thing, based solely upon an example where democracy was quickly overthrown and the dopey notion that voting for electors rather than directly is not democracy. It is incredibly dopey to argue that freedom is not a good thing, on the grounds that all freedoms cannot be maximized. No one in his right mind believes that countries that have few freedoms are as good as countries that have more freedoms. It's dopey to argue that having three bad presidents out of 43, with the last a hundred years ago, makes the country a bad country. In fact, if true, that is an argument for it being a good country ... no bad presidents in a hundred years. He picked poor choices for the one to tag as bad. China doesn't control the US economy, that's absurd; Japan holds way more US debt than China and nobody thinks Japan is running the US economy.

It goes on like that, with one dopey argument after another. Con argued weakly, but that does made the dopey arguments any more sound. The starting point for Con should be to take advantage of Pro's failure to define "good," and to make a definition that compares the US to other countries on various important issues like economic well-being and freedoms. Then Pro would have to defend his ad hoc nonsense about havng three bad presidents proving the country is bad. Since Pro has the burden of proof and gave scant evidence that any of his assertions were true, little more need be done than to assert them untrue.
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