The Instigator
kasmic
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
Hayd
Con (against)
Winning
7 Points

Resolved: The XXII Amendment of the U.S. Constitution should be repealed.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
Hayd
Voting Style: Open Point System: Select Winner
Started: 6/25/2016 Category: Politics
Updated: 7 months ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 981 times Debate No: 91851
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (26)
Votes (1)

 

kasmic

Pro

Resolved: The XXII amendment of the U.S. Constitution should be repealed.

“No person shall be elected to the office of the President more than twice, and no person who has held the office of President, or acted as President, for more than two years of a term to which some other person was elected President shall be elected to the office of the President more than once. But this article shall not apply to any person holding the office of President when this article was proposed by the Congress, and shall not prevent any person who may be holding the office of President, or acting as President, during the term within which this article becomes operative from holding the office of President or acting as President during the remainder of such term.” (1)

4Rounds/72hrs/6,000

1st round acceptance

No new arguments in last round.

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

Hayd

Con

I accept the debate. I will be arguing that the US ought to keep the term limit of two terms. Let's do this

Peace and love!
Debate Round No. 1
kasmic

Pro

Resolved: The XXII Amendment of the U.S. Constitution should be repealed.

Thank you Hayd for accepting this debate, I am excited at the opportunity to debate you. Good luck!

Pro’s Case


This Democratic Republic was established “of the people, by the people, for the people.”(1)At the time this government was established, it was a radical change from the governments that preceded it. We the people of the U.S. are to have a voice. We are to be able to elect our own representatives. Our Congress and our president are subject to our approval given via voting. Contrary to the tyrannical governments of history, the United States, “we the people,” are intended to have the sovereignty and power to govern ourselves.


As indicated above, one fundamental way that we exercise our sovereignty is through voting. The only way a President is ever re-elected is if he is able to win and maintain the peoples support. This shows definitively that if a President is able to consistently gain the support of the people, resulting in his re-election, then the people through their sovereignty have determined the President should stay in this office. Clearly this would be a demonstration of the desires of the people.

Imagine yourself a hiring manager and you are looking for an employee. In front of you a stack of resumes’. Are you going to look through and remove from consideration any and all candidates that have experience? Of course not!? If anything, experience is a positive impact on who may be chosen. Before even allowing the American people to exercise their sovereignty and consider who the best person for the office might be, the XXII Amendment of the United States Constitution does just that. It removes from consideration those with the most experience. This is not only foolish, but harmful. It seems self-evident that experience is valuable to the office of the president.

James Madison in Federalist paper 53 said "[A] few of the members of Congress will possess superior talents; will by frequent re-elections, become members of long standing; will be thoroughly masters of the public business, and perhaps not unwilling to avail themselves of those advantages. The greater the proportion of new members of Congress, and the less the information of the bulk of the members, the more apt they be to fall into the snares that may be laid before them,"(3) though he was speaking of congress, the same rings true for Presidents. In an office as important as the presidents, experience is more important than fresh perspectives, if only to be able to work effectively.

This amendment sets term limits for the office of the president. Setting a term limit mitigates the natural function of elections. The people should have the power to determine if a politician has served enough terms as President. If the people feel this is the case, they could simply vote that politician out of office. Thus the impact of this amendment is to limit the sovereignty and choice of the people. This is in direct conflict with our founding principles. I contend that the people should retain the sovereignty to decide when a politician is not suitable for the office of the President. This should be done through voting. To undermine this freedom and sovereignty of the people is to allow tyranny. After all, "The people are the best judges who ought to represent them. To dictate and control them, to tell them whom they shall not elect, is to abridge their natural rights.” 2 Elliot's Debates 292-293. (3)

The repeal of the XXII amendment would keep experienced candidates in consideration, allow our Democratic Republic to function as intended via elections, and most importantly, allow Americans to retain freedom and sovereignty by electing whomever they desire.


Conclusion

I have demonstrated that it is right for the people of the United States to be sovereign. Any other option is tyranny. The XXII Amendment threatens that sovereignty. To add insult to injury, this amendment keeps experience out of office. We clearly see that if this amendment is repealed all issues listed are resolved. If my opponent is unable to refute the significant harm this amendment poses, I will win this debate.

The XXII Amendment is in conflict with core principles and harms our society. Therefore, the XXII Amendment should be repealed.

Sources

(1) http://www.britannica.com...
(2) http://usgovinfo.about.com...
(3) https://www.law.cornell.edu....html

Hayd

Con

I find that allowing a President to serve an indefinite amount of terms creates a multitude of harms that outweigh any potential positives. The first harm I will bring up is making corruption in the office more likely. This is because term limits are an essential check on the President"s power, removing this results in more power for the President, thus more chance for corruption.

To understand the importance of checking the President"s power, you have to understand the extent to which the President possesses power, and thus the chance of corruption. The President, being the commander-in-chief has control over the largest, most powerful, and feared military in the world [1], as well as advanced cyber warfare capable of taking over nuclear facilities with the most lethal malware ever created [2], and drones that can take out any desired target at a moment"s notice. Surveillance has also become an asset marking the post-9/11 era, allowing the President to have access to any citizen"s email, text messages, location, web history, etc. [3] The ability for a President to hold this amount of power over long periods of time, indefinite amounts of time can be dangerous, thus a check on the President"s power, a term limit, is important to prevent corruption.

A past President, Calvin Coolidge testifies, "It is difficult for men in high office to avoid the malady of self-delusion. They are always surrounded by worshippers. They are consistently, and for the most part sincerely assured of their greatness. They live in an artificial atmosphere of adulation and exaltation which sooner or later impairs their judgment."

The entire concept of the role inherently leads to corruption after long lengths of time. The longer a person holds power, the less they are able to understand the perspective of those not in power (citizens) [6], as well as the more opportunities they have for shortcutting the law. And once you cross the line once, the line begins to fade. Abolishing term limits would result in an increased chance of corruption at the presidential level, which extremely dangerous to the welfare of the American people.

Another reason term limits should be retained is to lower entry barriers. If a president serves after a long period of time, the people grow used to obeying the leader, and the leader grows used to commanding. This makes sense if you have the same leader for over a decade or so. As well as because the longer a President serves, the more likely they are to become re-elected again the next term due to, "opportunities to preside over school-opening ceremonies, and meet likely contributors. Their tenure in office also allows them to build support by performing casework for constituents and to put themselves and their positions in the news by giving speeches in Congress, issuing statements, holding press conferences, or appearing on talk radio or television programs." [4] This creates an established incumbent in the nation, which is bad for many reasons. Firstly because it creates a barrier to entry for potentially good candidates. Districts may prefer the new candidate based on policy agreement but did not notice them on the ballot because of the high entry barrier created by an established incumbent. More evidence of this is in empirical research done that shows that an established incumbent holds an advantage of 10 to 12% of the the national vote starting off [4]. Retaining term limits lowers the entry barrier, which results in increased competition in legislative and executive elections. This increased competition broadens and hones the issues debated by candidates to those held by the voters, thus resulting in candidates elected that represent the American people, which wouldn"t necessarily happen with an established incumbent.

The final point I want to bring up, and the most important, is the corruption of the Supreme Court. If a President is able to be in power for three, or four terms, they would be able to appoint many of the judges on the SC; which would tip the balance of ideologies in favor of the President, which is detrimental to the integrity and objectiveness of the court. Having a corrupt SC (one that favors the President) is extremely detrimental because the SC has power over all other branches. A corrupt SC is the worst thing that could possibly happen to our political system. This is why retaining presidential term limits is crucial.

Focusing now on Kasmic"s first point, he argues that a President who has already served two terms in office should be allowed to serve for a third term because he/she is the most experienced candidate. While this makes sense initially, that an experienced candidate would make a good president, it's not necessarily true when we actually analyze it.

John Tures investigated the issue, and when he ranked all of the past US presidents in order from most experienced to least experienced, and then compared it to the Political Science Quarterly ranking of most effective presidents; he found that there was no correlation between experience and effectiveness. Actually, the presidents with the least amount of experience were significantly more effective than those with substantial experience [7]. What we can draw from this is that the idea that an experienced candidate makes a good President is not necessarily true. Thus, the idea that there is a negative impact from barring a president from seeking a third term based on experience is unfounded.

The second point Kasmic brings up is that the people"s sovereignty is violated when they are not allowed to re-elect a President for a third term. Yet this creates a paradox; if the argument is that the people"s sovereignty is violated by being unable to re-elect a past president, their sovereignty would be violated even further by repealing the 22nd Amendment, as 81% of Americans support the amendment [8].

Sources in comments
Debate Round No. 2
kasmic

Pro

My opponent makes three arguments against the resolution. I will address each in turn.

Con claims that term limits act as a “check” on a Presidents power. Furthermore, he claims that removing this restriction increases the chances of corruption. As laid out in the U.S. Constitution there are many checks and balances in place to “counter-balance” the power of the President. (1) Additionally, it is harder than ever for those in position of power to hide abuses in our day. Virtually every person has a video/voice recording device. A politician running for office can hardly have a private conversation without being recorded let alone abuse power. (2)

Thus, con’s argument can be summed up as if a President chooses to run a third term (which only happened once in 175 years before term limits), and if said person decides to attempt to abuse power, and if they successfully get re-elected, then corruption might be a potential problem. I don’t know about you but that is a lot of if’s. This argument is buried in assumptions making the supposed harm highly unlikely.

Hayd’s second contention argued incumbency advantages. Again, even if there are some incumbency advantages the impact is tied to the assumption that Presidential Incumbents will continue to run for office. (Only happened once in our history.)

Con’s final contention revolves around the corruption of the Supreme Court. This is really a continuation of his previous corruption argument. This contention also naively misunderstands the structure and function of the Supreme Court. Con complains that “If a President is able to be in power for three, or four terms, they would be able to appoint many of the judges on the SC.” First, there is already a check on this “power.” Congress has to approve all appointees to the bench, and second there is no limit to the number of justices that can be on the bench. What this means is despite only having had nine for a good amount of U.S. history any president could decide to nominate 15 more. Presidents do not have to wait for a vacancy on the bench to add justices. Thus, the length of time a President is in office has little to no impact on the abuse of power that could be played out on the Supreme Court.

We see that all three of con’s contentions are either buried in assumptions making the impacts highly unlikely, or not directly influenced by the amount of time a President is in office. Hayd does take the opportunity to address a few of my points. I will now provide a defense of my position.

Con slightly strawman’s my position when he states that I argued “that a President who has already served two terms in office should be allowed to serve for a third term because he/she is the most experienced candidate.” I am not saying that those who have had experience should be de facto allowed to serve another turn. What I argued is that the people ought to retain the sovereignty to elect whomever they desire. Furthermore I argued that eliminating options simply because they have experience is foolish. The difference here is I am focusing on people’s right to elect who they so choose, experienced or not. This is important as con’s conclusion to this contention is that an experienced candidate does not necessarily make them a good President. I have not argued that it does. I have argued that it should be up to the people to decide for themselves.

This brings us to perhaps the most fascinating part of this debate. I have argued that the peoples sovereignty ought to be respected. Con contend, if that is the case, what about the 81% of Americans that support the XXII Amendment? Would it not be a violation of their sovereignty to remove this amendment. This is a very subtle non-sequitur. A majority can in fact vote for and establish what is called the tyranny of the majority. This too is a violation of the people’s sovereignty. So my response is this; The people’s sovereignty ought to be respected, like the checks placed on the branches of government there exists checks on the power of the majority over the minority. The majority, being 81% ought not be able to decide who the 19% can or can’t vote for. From a pragmatic point of view, this undermines con’s contentions. If 81% decide not to vote for someone because they have already served two terms, then the incumbency at that point becomes a disadvantage. Likewise, it demonstrates how unlikely the harms con listed have of actually happening.

I have demonstrated that it is right for the people of the United States to be sovereign. Any other option is tyranny. The XXII Amendment threatens that sovereignty. To add insult to injury, this amendment keeps experience out of office. We clearly see that if this amendment is repealed all issues listed are resolved. If my opponent is unable to refute the significant harm this amendment poses, I will win this debate.

(1) https://en.wikipedia.org...
(2) http://www.motherjones.com...

Hayd

Con

Kasmic addressed my argument that term limits open up a greater chance of corruption to the President of the United States (POTUS henceforth) by conceding that it is possible, but arguing that it is very unlikely. He argues this because (a) there are already checks and balances put forth to prevent corruption. He doesn"t tell us what these are, and how they prevent the POTUS from becoming corrupt, so I can only assume what he meant by the given link.

The given link describes how the other branches check the power of the POTUS. Kasmic posits that interbranch checks are adequate enough to stop corruption of a long-serving President. Yet the effects of a long-serving POTUS inherently makes their checking ability less effective. For example, a long-serving POTUS would appoint many of the members of the Supreme Court. Thus their ability to check the President as an individual branch is negated because the court will inherently vote in the POTUS"s favor (the POTUS will nominate judges who will vote in his/her favor.) The the Supreme Court also has the ability to rule any of Congress"s laws unconstitutional. Thus a President in control of the Supreme Court would have control of Congress as well. Having worked with Congress for longer lengths of time results in the President being able to have stronger connections with Congressmen, and thus a greater ability to influence their vote into his/her favor. Thus hindering the Congress"s ability to act on its checks to the POTUS. So as we can see, the effects of a long-serving President inherently negate the effectiveness of a checks and balances system, thus increasing chances of corruption.

Kasmic furthermore argues that (b) a POTUS cannot abuse power because it is virtually impossible for them to have a private conversation due to recording devices. This doesn"t make sense, as there is technology that detects if there are any recording devices, or bugs in the room you are in. Which you can browse here [1]. If these devices are available to the public, you can be sure that the Secret Service has them, and even better versions that they use to make sure rooms aren"t bugged. Regardless, the POTUS has high level security that would eliminate anything entering the rooms, thus not allowing concealed recording devices to even enter. Even if it does, they can detect it easily through bug detecting devices. The evidence Kasmic brings up is based on Mitt Romney at a dinner table. Kasmic has no evidence that a President, in the modern age, has been bugged in a top-secret discussion, thus his assertion is unwarranted, as well as debunked.

As I said earlier, the crux of Kasmic"s rebuttal to the argument is trying to prove that corruption is unlikely to happen. He does this by arguing that (a) it is unlikely that a President would want to seek a third term. This isn"t true, as Bill Clinton [2], Eisenhower [3], Reagan [4], Grant [5], Cleveland [6], and Wilson [7] all *wanted* to run for third terms. He also argues that (b) it is unlikely for the POTUS would attempt to abuse power. I extend all of my argumentation from R2 regarding how the position of POTUS inherently leads to corruption, which Kasmic completely dropped, to negate this point (the research on power over time, a POTUS testifying, and more opportunities for shortcuts.) Kasmic also argues that " it isn't likely that a President would be re-elected. I extend over all of my argumentation from R2 to negate this point; regarding how a sitting POTUS is significantly more likely to get re-elected.

So, in conclusion, abolishing term limits makes corruption in the office of the POTUS substantially more likely. Given how much damage a corrupt President could do (see R2 regarding how much power the POTUS has), especially given how abolishing term limits not only eliminates the vital check it individually provides, but it also inherently hinders the effectiveness of the other checks. Thus, the retainment of term limits is paramount.

Moving on to my other contentions, my response to Kasmic"s rebuttal of my second contention is simple, as his rebuttal is merely that Presidents are unlikely to run for a third term. Thus I extend my evidence of many Presidents wanting to run for a third term, as well as the fact that being allowed to seek a third term would incentivize Presidents to take it.

Kasmic attacks my final contention, that a long-serving President would be able to appoint the majority of judges on the Supreme Court, thus corrupting the Judicial branch, by arguing that Congress is already able to check this power by having the ability to approve or block nominees. Yet, this is unlikely to happen given the amount public disapproval associated with blocking nominations [8]. Furthermore, as I argued earlier, the longer the POTUS serves, the more connections and influence he gets with Congress, thus making a vote in his favor more likely. (Kasmic"s second point is wrong because it's not logical to believe that any POTUS could appoint 15 judges and not have approval ratings plummet, as well as everyone thinking he"s an absolute dumba$$.)

Regardless, I'll move on to Kasmic"s last contention, sovereignty. This argument is negated right officials he bat by weighing analysis, the amount of impact this argument has is little because the people still have sovereignty, they are still able to elect who represents them. The impact of abolishing term limits ultimately outweighs this slightly increased sovereignty, that the majority of people don't even want in the first place.

Peace and love

Sources in comments
Debate Round No. 3
kasmic

Pro

kasmic forfeited this round.
Hayd

Con

Extend I guess...
Debate Round No. 4
26 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by kasmic 7 months ago
kasmic
Thanks for voting tej.
Posted by tejretics 7 months ago
tejretics
Pro's forfeit basically allowed Con to extend their arguments and respond to Pro's arguments without facing proper response, which leaves a clear win for Con. Pro fails to address that a position of power inherently causes corruption (which is really a weak point, but is sufficiently justified by Con in that the longer a person is in power, the less they are able to understand those they have power over). Pro doesn't articulate sufficiently what checks and balances exist to prevent "corruption" (which is really a loosely defined term, and Pro could have easily rebutted that point), so Con's argument that the system could be exploited by the president is sufficiently -but only barely so- compelling to vote Con. Con also rebuts Pro's point that very few presidents would run for a third term, with multiple examples of former presidents who *would* have, lacking term limits. Con shows that, due to influence, an incumbent is more likely to get elected, allowing for such impacts, which outweigh Pro's own arguments from "sovereignty" of the people, and "integrity" of the democratic process (which lack any actual impact when weighed against Con's arguments).

In conclusion, Con is able to demonstrate that (1) an incumbent is more likely to get elected despite other candidates being actually more popular; and (2) constant re-election allowing for more corruption in the Supreme Court, etc. None of these were particularly strong arguments, but they are *sufficient* to win due to Pro's forfeit. I think, without the forfeit, the debate would have been much closer. Regardless, Con wins.
Posted by whiteflame 7 months ago
whiteflame
*******************************************************************
>Reported vote: migmag// Mod action: Removed<

7 points to Pro. Reasons for voting decision: well argued kasmic

[*Reason for removal*] Not an RFD.
************************************************************************
Posted by fire_wings 7 months ago
fire_wings
Kasmic, at least I didn't vote...
Posted by ThinkBig 7 months ago
ThinkBig
Someone please remind me to vote on this so I can cast a proper RFD
Posted by kasmic 7 months ago
kasmic
Well, Fire, your feedback is about as valuable as migmags at this point as you have also provided no reasoning....
Posted by fire_wings 7 months ago
fire_wings
I read the debate, and I have a winner in mind, but I can't really express the vote... I would have voted Hayd, it is hard to actually judge this, though it was a full hayd win
Posted by fire_wings 7 months ago
fire_wings
what the *** migmag?
Posted by kasmic 7 months ago
kasmic
Um, no rfd?
Posted by tejretics 7 months ago
tejretics
I've read the debate and decided on a winner. I'll try to vote. We'll see.

But I doubt my RFD will exceed 1,000 characters.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by tejretics 7 months ago
tejretics
kasmicHayd
Who won the debate:-Vote Checkmark
Reasons for voting decision: RFD in comments