The Instigator
honeywhat2019
Pro (for)
The Contender
PoliticalMinor
Con (against)

Should America be considered a Republic (pro) or a Union (con) first?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/10/2017 Category: Politics
Updated: 7 months ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 192 times Debate No: 105707
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (3)
Votes (0)

 

honeywhat2019

Pro

Clarification: The question here is whether America should be considered a a collection of states (union) or a collection of people (republic) first. The "pro" position- that America should be a republic first- will be mine.

America should be, first and foremost, a republic. The idea that America is a collection of states is an outdated one. Though I admit it was necessary at the birth of our nation, we must open our minds and change the way we think of one another.

The notion of America as a union perpetuates the mindset that we are not a single nation, but 50 individual communities, with different problems, different cultures, and different needs. By dividing ourselves in this way, we prevent ourselves from ever fully coming together. Thinking in terms of states forces us to divide ourselves into distinct communities worried only about those around us, with little regard to our fellow Americans.

The purpose of the Constitution was to create a stronger nation- and with it, a stronger national identity. But the sectionalism that our founders feared and warned of has become pervasive in our political culture, and has only been stimulated by the notion of statehood. The needs of the people, not the needs of the states, should always come first, and the only way to ensure this is to make sure that we are first and foremost a republic.
PoliticalMinor

Con

The United States of America started and still is using the first past the poll voting system using individual states and not individual citizens of those states. This means that votes are only counted by the majority of the submitted votes which makes the minority of the votes do not get represented. This makes the United States a collection of states and not of the collection of individuals. The government of the United States only takes votes based upon the majority of votes by states for political parties and not counting the individual minority toward an opposing political party. This also proves that the title "The Republic United States of America" is falsifying and denying the true form of these United States "Democratic" elections. Also in the Constitution the usage of the word 'states' is further more used than the word people,individuals, and other single version words. This also reinforces the fact that also the founding fathers thought that the United States it a collection of states and not a collection of individuals.
Debate Round No. 1
honeywhat2019

Pro

I agree with much of your statement. America was founded as a union of states- the government was designed in a way that made this very clear. And, much as you said, the founders intended for the nation to be this way. However, we've come a long way since our founding, and our path towards progress has typically left behind statehood in favor of brotherhood.

It is true that the constitution has many parts that indicate that we are a union of states. The Senate is one of the most shining examples. At the founding of the nation, the Senate was not elected by the people at all. It was elected by the state legislatures, with the intent that they would represent the interest of the states, not the individuals residing in the states. The Electoral College, too, is a well known example, with "electors" being chosen by the state legislature, not by popular election. States rights, too, were considered more important. This was clearly demonstrated in 1833, when the Supreme Court ruled that the federal constitution- including its bill of rights- did not apply to the state governments, in the case of Barron v. Baltimore.

However, things have changed since then. The 19th century saw a push towards universal suffrage, providing for Presidential Electors to be chosen by the people, not the state legislatures. In 1925, the 14th amendment's Due Process clause was used to establish the Incorporation Doctrine, a move that created more uniform rights for all Americans. And in 1992, the 17th amendment guaranteed the right of the people to choose their senators by popular election. Slowly but surely, America has been advancing from a nation of states, and towards a nation of people- whether in the courts, in the constitution, or simply on the corner.

But regardless, whether or not America is legally more state-oriented or people-oriented is not relevant. The the law is a statement of what is- not what should be. The circumstances that this country was founded under required the federal system we operate under. The people of individual states had vastly different interests, economies, and societies. Without states, there was no way that we could've acted as a single unit. But in today's society, Americans are more uniform in their beliefs. Economies of individual states have become more mixed, societal values have become more universal, and interests have become more national. In order to address larger issues, we need to be able to operate as one coherent people. The division into states that creates variations in laws does not allow us to properly address such issues.
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Debate Round No. 2
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Debate Round No. 3
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by NathanGimel 7 months ago
NathanGimel
Yes, a wonderful topic.
Posted by Raumulus 7 months ago
Raumulus
Great question! This is a breath of fresh air among all the absolutely brain-dead debates I've been scrolling through.
Posted by John_C_1812 7 months ago
John_C_1812
Intersecting perspective the Union being based on the States held by Republic. The Union described by a State of the Union is with General Principle and legal precedent held in the word Constitution. A state can be discharged, or relived form a Union based on its merit of forming a Union between two points.
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