The Instigator
Pro (for)
1 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
13 Points

Term Limits Should be abolished

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/19/2009 Category: Politics
Updated: 9 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,917 times Debate No: 8355
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (3)
Votes (2)




First of all, this is my first debate, so when I probably lose, please give me advice.

Well, first off, I would like to cite my main example as to why they should be abolished

First, I would like to cite FDR, who was not restrained by term limits, which allowed him to implement long-term plans to aid America, such as the new deal.

"He was elected President in November 1932, to the first of four terms. By March there were 13,000,000 unemployed, and almost every bank was closed. In his first "hundred days," he proposed, and Congress enacted, a sweeping program to bring recovery to business and agriculture, relief to the unemployed and to those in danger of losing farms and homes, and reform, especially through the establishment of the Tennessee Valley Authority.

By 1935 the Nation had achieved some measure of recovery, but businessmen and bankers were turning more and more against Roosevelt's New Deal program. They feared his experiments, were appalled because he had taken the Nation off the gold standard and allowed deficits in the budget, and disliked the concessions to labor. Roosevelt responded with a new program of reform: Social Security, heavier taxes on the wealthy, new controls over banks and public utilities, and an enormous work relief program for the unemployed.

In 1936 he was re-elected by a top-heavy margin. Feeling he was armed with a popular mandate, he sought legislation to enlarge the Supreme Court, which had been invalidating key New Deal measures. Roosevelt lost the Supreme Court battle, but a revolution in constitutional law took place. Thereafter the Government could legally regulate the economy."(

By allowing president's to not have term limits, they can institute long term plans such as the new deal. This kind of policy-making is effective, and allows plan to be completed, instead of having them disbanded by a new president.


I accept the debate and would like to express my thanks that I get to debate this topic. Now on to the argumentation but first observations:
1) Just to clarify I will be showing that term limits should not be abolished and so will place on myself a similar positive burden of proof my opponent has.
2) The affirmative case seems to utilize a general utilitarian principle, (Greatest Good for the Greatest Amount), and I accept this as a viable general impact calculus for the debate but as my opponent did not give a reason why that is the sole standard accept that we can also impact to more moral or deontological standards.
3) Since there is more literature available to us on a US specific debate I propose we limit ourself to that

In order to negate this resolution I will attack the affirmative case and also TURN IT as such that it provides positive reasons to negate:

On the affirmative case:

FIRSTLY: The affirmative says the harms of term limits are that they disrupt long term planning. However I would say this is simply not true. Because the way the affirmative says I cause this harm is that we can't have the same president pushing these plans however even if the SAME president can't get elected, if he was going to get reelected someone with similar views would get elected. Allow me to further. The affirmative is basically caught in a double bind here:
A) The president would win the election if he could run again. This means that his viewpoint/political party is popular. So someone who would push similar plans would be elected and the affirmative idea of long term policy making is still done in the negative world.
B) The president's ideas/party are not popular enough to get re-elected in which case he probably would not get re-elected either. Remember term limits just means he can run again not that he is president for life. In which case the affirmative offers no advantage.
SECONDLY: TURN the affirmative case against him, FDR became increasingly dictator like because of his long tenure and that was the reason they established term limits in the first place. He became increasingly powerful and overstepped his power many times, a big example is when he ignored congresses power over international affairs and lent out american military machines to the British, and outlined below are many other times he overstepped his powers.

(10) Father Charles Coughlin, Social Justice (9th September, 1940)

"On previous occasions Congressmen have called for the impeachment of the President.

On those occasions most citizens disagreed with the Congressmen.

At length, however, an event has transpired which now marks Franklin D. Roosevelt as a dangerous citizen of the Republic - dangerous insofar as he has transcended the bounds of his Executive position.

In plain language, without the knowledge or consent of Congress, he has denuded this country of thirty-six flying fortresses, either selling or giving them to Great Britain.

By this action Franklin D. Roosevelt had torpedoed our national defense, loving Great Britain more than the United States.

He has consorted with the enemies of civilization - through the continued recognition of Soviet Russia.

He has deceived the citizens of the United States - telling the newspaper reporters, who are the people's eyes and ears at Washington, that he did not know the whereabouts of these flying fortresses.

He has transcended the bounds of his Executive position - spurning the authority of Congress.

He has invited the enmity of powerful foreign nations- on whose natural resources we depend for essential tin and rubber.

Because he has encouraged the British government to reopen the Burma Road, and encouraged Britain to declare war on the German government, when Britain was unable to care for the English people - he stands revealed as the world's chief war-monger.

All these events, culminating with the transfer of these 36 flying fortresses without the consent of Congress, demand that he be impeached."
So you must reject this executive power unlimited tenure creates not only on a moral level but because it allows for an atmosphere of dictatorship, which causes massive harm to individual rights:

The collapse of constitutional balance of power risks tyranny and reckless warmongering
Martin Redish, Professor of Law and Public Policy at Northwestern, and Elizabeth Cisar, Law Clerk at the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, 1991 41 Duke L.J. 449, pp. 472-3
"In any event, the political history of which the Framers were aware tends to confirm that quite often concentration of political power ultimately leads to the loss of liberty… widespread violations of individual rights took place when…Lincoln assumed an inordinate level of power, …Arguably as egregious were the threats to basic freedoms that arose during the Nixon administration,…Although in neither instance did the executive's usurpations of power ultimately degenerate into complete and irreversible tyranny, the reason for that may well have been the resilience of our political traditions, among the most important of which is separation of powers itself. In any event, it would be political folly to be overly smug about the security of either representative government or individual liberty. "
SO each time we give presidents great authority and let them become near dictators we risk all our individual rights and risk our system collapsing into a quasi-monarchy.

Just as quick outline of how you would vote from here look to the fact that I have taken out the affirmative case by showing how his logic in solving for the harms he presents contradict and then look to the fact that I have a viable "turn" on the affirmative case showing how his own points gives you a reason to vote for the negative.
And so I urge a vote for the negative and will be glad to feild any questions my opponent has in his next speech if he should be willing to return the courtesy.
Debate Round No. 1


Ok, I would like to thank my opponent for giving me advice and for responding

First off, I would like to begin with the FDR case example

FIRST, I would like to return to first two refutations my opponent made

A) while a new president with views that are a lot alike can be elected, it would still be easier for a veteran and someone who's been working with something for eight years to continue a plan, for evidence we can look at 42nd and 43rd president. if we look specifically at the budget, we can see that whenever a presidency changes, new presidents often have a mass budget failure their first years (
B) usually, it is easier for an incumbent to become re-elected, rather than the party putting up a new candidate, and as long as their are elections, we can remove an incumbent if his ideas and plans are failing ( Final Paragraph

Second, On the case study of FDR impact on America is well viewed even to today, in a poll taken on July 5, 2007 by Rasmussen, his presidency's approval was at 81% (

Continuing with Charles Coughlin, it is almost impossible for all of a president's decisions to be liked, and their is conflict. While you have sourced a critic, FDR's approval to today shows that he was popular. So even if it did become a quasi-monarchy, it was a quasi-monarchy that during every election could have been ended and this "quasi-monarchy" was well liked.

THIRD, I would like to point out that my opponent can take items from Roosevelt's critics, but as history shows we see Roosevelt as a very successful president. (again, and that his long term reign allows him to become one of the top ten best presidents (

So, I would like people to vote, we see a president who has great success through the ability to reap long term benefits, and because he is unhindered by term limits, he has great success. I would like to thank my opponent for giving me a mentally stimulating debate and I would be glad to respond to his refutations.


So for simplicities sake and for the judges sake I'm gonna just go in the same order.

A) This point still stands because my opponents offense merely proves that it would be harder not that it wouldn't get done. And his evidence merely shows that we've had a general failure overtime that chart doesn't seem to indicate any special drop for new presidents. Also; it makes me respect Bill Clinton again. Oh and also I see no reason why the earlier president would be a "veteran" the new president could be someone with 50 years of intensive government experience, I.E. VP, Congress, State Governor.
B) Even if we allow many terms I would say the support for that candidates ideas would have to be pretty strong to fly in the face of hundreds of years of fear of presidents with too much power. So there is an extremely good chance this party/someone with similar ideas would do it again.

So let me just explain how this argument functions in the round and why it's a reason to reject my opponent.
Basically it's trapping him between 2 choices,
A) People like the presidents ideas so his party and someone like him gets elected and at least some comparable version of the plan the first president wanted is carried out and so at the very least minimizing affirmative strength of impact.
B) The president is not popular so he just plain wouldn't get elected again so nothing he says matters.
Either way the affirmative has close to no impacts as I have shown. At the very least it's enough for my impacts to outweigh his on probability.

Now onto the FDR debate.

1) Group all his polls, and throw each and every one of them out. Because:
1)It's easy to praise someone when you didn't know them. Honestly can most of you say you can make an extremely informed decision on FDR's decisions? I am the only one offering a primary source during the times so only they can know what it was actually like.
2)And also a (alleged) majority of the people voted for George Bush, (no offense to all y'all republicans I just seize each chance to attempt to be witty) and in any case public polls are not responsive to my points.
3) The whole point of the bill of rights and the constitution is that there are some things that public opinion should not be able to change, and this is specifically a reason I'm winning the constitutionality abuse portion of this debate also.
Onto the Charles Coughlin debate. My opponent says that it's impossible for presidents decision to be liked, everyone likes him, he could of been removed during an election etc. But first off these points DO NOT deny the fact that he IGNORED the constitution, that he violated the rights of congress! In addition he was flat out lying to the people and pretending he was not violating congresses rights be feigning ignorance meaning that the American voters back then couldn't make an informed decision. But on the more important point he ignored all checks and balances within the system, he still took American Military property and gave it away like it was his personal property where it was constitutionally the Senates right.

So you can look to the un-responded too logic that it turns the president into a virtual dictator, my opponent basically flat out admitted it. As the quote from Martin Redish described, having this level of power in one man strips us of our individual freedoms. Each time a president gets so much power the person rights of American comes under fire. We risk the very fabric of our society and our future as a democracy when we allow for this unchecked power in one man. How many terms can a man serve before he has enough power to end elections?
And So I urge a negative vote based off the contradiction inherent to the affirmative position, because of the blatant constitutional violations unlimited terms encourages, and to protect Americans from having their rights to privacy, habeus corpus, and all that other good stuff in the bill of rights protected.
Debate Round No. 2


Whitesamari forfeited this round.


sup y'all?
Debate Round No. 3
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by Lexicaholic 9 years ago
The problem with your debate points, Pro, was that you did not correlate your statements with their relevance to your position. Just because something is easier does not make it better, but, had you argued the case that something that is better is able to accomplish more when things are easier, you would have had a valid point.

So the argument for a veteran president should be: if we have a leader, and he is good, much better than any other candidate, we should want him in office because of his superiority. If, on the other hand, there is a person just as good who could be president, we should still want the one already in office to be president, because his familiarity with the system will make it easier for him to employ the system for his purposes. As a consequence, he would be able to do more good than the inexperienced candidate, even if they both endeavored for the same ends.
Posted by Kefka 9 years ago
So Whitesamari, are you for this so that Mr. Obama can stay in forever, as the ultimate demagogue? I hope not =)
Posted by falafel 9 years ago
yeah so if you post your response soon I will probably post mine tomorrow-ish, just letting you know
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Vote Placed by falafel 9 years ago
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