The Instigator
burningpuppies101
Con (against)
Winning
36 Points
The Contender
J-E-N-X2
Pro (for)
Losing
26 Points

Term Limits

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/24/2008 Category: Politics
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 2,011 times Debate No: 5801
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (8)
Votes (9)

 

burningpuppies101

Con

Thanks to my opponent for the debate. This debate shall be about Term Limits in the United States. More specifically, Presidential Term Limits in the United States. I am against them, and my opponent is in favor of them. Restated the topic is this:
Presidential Term Limits in the United States should not be used.

We all know who the President is. We all know what term limits are. They are: 2 terms of 4 years. We all know what the US is.

Some rules:
These rules cannot be broken, or else my opponent forfeits the debate. He is free to suggest some of his own, but they are only in effect after I say ok.

1. No semantics. We all know what we are talking about. No arguing in the words. Just argument vs. argument.

2. We both have burden of proof. You have to prove that we should have term limits. I have to prove that we should not.

3. No arguing in the comments section, during the debate, and after the debate.

4. This round is not to be used for debate. It is to be used to establish the topic and the subject matter, and the rules.

I think thats it, and I await my opponent.
J-E-N-X2

Pro

Thank you to my opponent for the debate. I will be arguing for term Presidential limits which is two terms of four years. Limiting the President to two terms is in the best interest of the US.

I agree to the rules and look forward to the debate.
Debate Round No. 1
burningpuppies101

Con

Thanks to my opponent for accepting the debate. Let the debate begin! NOTE: I messed up the resolution when I said it in the first round. Thankfully, my opponent realized this and is debating the right side. The resolution should be:
Presidential Term Limits in the United States should be used. Sorry for any confusion.

~~~

I'll start with a topic analysis:

This topic asks us the following question: Should United States Presidents not be allowed to have more than 2 terms of office? As the Con to this debate, I must argue that US Presidents should be allowed to have more than 2 terms. My opponent, as the Pro, must argue that they should not.

~~~

Contentions:

1. The Voice of the People.
The United States has a strong tradition of the people giving the government power, not the other way around. Simply put, we are a democracy. If we are truly to represent the voice of the people, and the people want the President to stay in office, then we should respect the people's decision and keep the President in office.

2. Term limits have the potential of decreasing democracy.
If the people want to have the same President 3 or more times, why shouldn't they? The government should not be controlling the people, the people should be controlling the government. If the people want the same guy/gal in office, let it be.

I leave it at that, I have a couple other arguments to write.

Thank you
J-E-N-X2

Pro

Thank you to my opponent for making sure I was on the right side. It is my first debate so I am glad I have gotten it correct so far.

Removing a term limit would hurt democracy. Typically an elected official stays in office until retirement. Having a president in this position can allow him more power as time goes on. You can see this with Hugo Chavez. Also, this can be seen in our own history with Roosevelt (which will also be explained with my next point).

Roosevelt was elected for four terms. He was an old man who was not expected to survive his last term. His party knew this. But he was adored by the people. He brought the country out of the Depression and became a successful wartime president. His popularity was used to secure the next president with Truman being his running mate. President Grant wanted to run a third term. He was not a good president (although his first term went well, he was an alcoholic and his second term did not go as well to say the least). He wanted to run again but was talked out of it. His candidacy would have hurt the country.

As to the point of the Voice of the People, originally there was not a Presidential Election. The president was chosen by the Legislature. It was not until Andrew Jackson that the first public election was held. They believed the people could not be trusted with the vote. And it was customary before the 22nd amendment was set in place that two terms was appropriate (with the exception of Franklin D. Roosevelt). Even Theodore Roosevelt stopped after one elected term (his first he became president after the assassination of McKinley). He did run again but this was due to the disappointment of his former Vice President Taft.

In terms of decreasing democracy my opponent asks "why shouldn't they?" Well typically when a politician holds office, he tends to keep that office. We can see this with senators and congressmen. In my own newly home state of Massachusetts, Kennedy was drunk and killed his girlfriend with his car. He continually got elected. Kerry is up for re-election this month and no one is making an effort to run against him (much like Kennedy's last win which took over 70%).

If all people have is the same people run over and over, the lines become blurred and one group of politicians gain more power. Restricting the President forces a checks and balances. The Legislature can keep running over and over, the Judicial is for life, and the President is limited. Change is needed in government to survive. And sometimes the will of the people can be reluctant for that change.
Debate Round No. 2
burningpuppies101

Con

Thanks for the prompt reply. Here I go.


I do not see how limiting the people's voice helps democracy. That is the premise you argue. I argue that getting rid of term limits will increase the voice of the people, allowing the people to choose who they want to lead them. If they want the same person over and over, there must be a good reason. FDR was elected again because he was well liked by the people, and did a very good job as President. One thing that shows that he did a good job is that he brought us out of the Depression, with the New Deal. The mere fact that he was able to do this shows he was a good President. Also, You say that elected officials stay in office until retirement. However, that will not happen with the President, due to the amount of attention paid to Presidential election. If the President did a bad job, then he/she will not be elected again.


I don't want to paste the entire paragraph, so I'll just put the first sentence up, so you know where I am.
So you argue that it was a bad thing that Roosevelt was elected for 4 terms. Even though you say yourself he did a very good job. You argue that because Roosevelt's 4th term was used to secure Truman's term, it was a bad thing that Roosevelt could get 4 terms. However, there are 2 things wrong with this. 1. The people do not just vote for the President. They also vote for the VP. Therefore, the people will have wanted Truman in some way, or they would not have voted him in. 2. This situation could just as easily apply to a term limit. Example: A President is 70 years old. He is running for his second term. His party knows he will not live through his second term, but he is loved by the people, and is almost guaranteed a spot. The party wants the VP to get in next, so they run the ticket as the old President, and the VP whom the party wants in. Same situation. Therefore, this point is irrelevant.

Also, you talk about Grant running for a third term. You refute yourself in your paragraph. You say it yourself. His candidacy would have hurt the country, so he was talked out of it. The people would not have voted him in, so he didn't bother. People aren't going to vote a bad President back in office, unless there is a very good reason, which then means that the President can't have been too bad.

I don't see the point of this argument. So what if there wasn't an Election to begin with?


However, in todays world, the average citizen is much more informed about his country than before, due to advances in technology. So this point you argue is null.


You argue that because there are no term limits on senators and congressmen, it decreases democracy. There are multiple ways to attack this. 1. These elections are no where near as publicized than Presidential elections, so the average citizen will know much less about their senator than their President. 2. Even if my previous point doesn't stand, this one does. There must be a reason that these people get re-elected. They must be doing a good job, or else they wouldn't get elected back in. Kennedy and Kerry have not done bad jobs. You haven't shown any evidence to say that. 3. Because the Presidential election is much more publicized, this point doesn't matter since the offices you talk about are relatively small and not nearly as publicized than the Presidential election.


Again, there are a few ways to attack this. 1. This shouldn't matter. If this is what the people want, who are we to stop them? 2. What is wrong with the same people in office, if they are doing a good job. If something works, don't fix it.

Ok, so my opponent still hasn't really given any arguments for his side, so I'm done.

Thank you
J-E-N-X2

Pro

First of all, I did prove my points within the examples. I happen to have a degree in history. Your argument is simply if people want it then they should have it. Well people wanted Hitler. People wanted Lenin. People wanted Oliver Cromwell. I could keep going but I think you get the idea.

People being more educated? Are you serious? I have moved around a bit and I dunno... They think Obama is an Arab and Iraq had something to do with the attacks on September 11th. Studies have also shown that people pay less attention to politics now than in the past. Back in that day you speak, politicians were celebrities. People were very aware of their state and federal government elections. Senate and Governor elections get a lot of press. Just because you and the people you surround yourself with are ignorant to state elections does not mean the rest of the people are. And it is insulting to our past citizens of this country to assume they were more ignorant to understand politics than today. Politics held a great deal of meaning because these were the people that were dying in wars in THIS COUNTRY (not overseas) for politics.

We elect a president, not a vice president. Franklin D. Roosevelt was an excellent example in how the party used his popularity and loyalty to secure the next president. I am not denying he was a good president; however, his health was an issue at that point. Truman was not Roosevelt.

And the will of the people is not always about picking the best man for the job. Many times politics and ignorance come into play. From 1860 to 1912 all the presidents were Republican. After the Civil War, people were considered outcasts and traitors to vote Democrat. The man that secured the Republican nomination (with the exception of Hayes whose Presidency was secured in secret trade but not relevent to this debate) would be president.

You also have the influence of propaganda. For instance, McKinley was not a good president at all (although I have a neat original poster of him on my wall... he is my fav). He started a war using yellow journalism declaring Spain attacked the US by blowing up the USS Maine which we know now did not happen (actually it was just plain stupidity lol). Yet the "will of the people" bought into this and he was re-elected. Grant was not a good second term president. He did not get his party's nomination, yet he was willing to run again. He was talked out of this and government was worried because of his popularity as a general. And if you would like something a little bit more current since we seem to know better lol, Reagan secured his presidency by making a secret deal with Iran not to release the hostages until after the election and would get arms (and later the trading would continue in the Iran Contra Scandal which btw I did an awesome term paper and presentation on hehe). The people didn't know this when electing him. In fact, a lot of dealings are not known until after a president has left office (and will continue this point in a later paragraph). I could keep going with examples of the "will of the people" but again... you think people should just vote and get what they get, whether they are wrong or not. That is irresponsible.

The 22nd amendment was created to limit the power of the Presidency. Limiting the power has gone on throughout American history. It happened to Johnson (that would be the first one) by limiting his power with the military. It happened after Roosevelt to make sure that a president didn't stay in office too long that he would gain too much power and strength (perfect example is Hugo Chavez but you can even look at countries in Africa, Middle East, Nazi Germany, Soviet Union, North Korea, etc for evidence of this). And it happened after the Vietnam War where the US got involved with a war that was never declared by congress yet was the product of the Presidency. The will of the people does not always serve their best interest.

There is also accountability. It is not appropriate to bust a sitting president. Why? It would show bad leadership to the world. We do not want to appear weak by holding a current president responsible for crimes and accusations unless it is unavoidable (ie: Nixon who was forced into resigning).

The majority of Americans vote with their party, not for who will be the better candidate. They do not care who is running on the other side. In an election, there are the key states that candidates focus on. This is because the mix of the two parties is about even (IA, FL, WI, PA, OH, etc...). The candidates are not looking to gain support from their fellow party supporters but to win over independents that make up the ruling factor in that state.

This is where change matters. This is where limits matter. Propaganda, accountablity, secrets, etc. are not always known. And even though we have more ways to get out info than say 1908 or 1878 or 1848, etc... politics (state and federal) have always been important. The only difference now is that we discuss a potential VP's wardrobe and watch comedian make jokes. And I think if you ask our first publicly elected president Jackson, he didn't appreciate the public thinking his wife was well... lets just say a not so nice term to call a woman due to propaganda hehe.

So I am done with this unless you can prove to me that the "will of the people" is always right 100% of the time. Limits were not set because they were afraid of the "will of the people" but more of "the will of the people" being taken away. I don't think anyone in this country wants an elected dictatorship.

And yes my response before was late. I had been pretty ill over the weekend. I apologize for that.
Debate Round No. 3
burningpuppies101

Con

Ok, so I'm just going to refute all my opponents points with one thing. This one thing applies to all of the points presented to my opponent.

All of the points you suggest can be applied even with a term limit. All the examples you suggest can be applied, even with a term limit. So you defeat yourself. So you have only proved having term limits to be equal to not having term limits, so you fail to uphold your burden. Your job was to show why we should have term limits, and all the points you brought up can be applied to your case. Therefore, because you have not upheld your burden, I win.

Also, I don't have to prove that the will of the people is always right. No government is perfect. No system of government is perfect. I just have to show that we should not have term limits. My reasons are as follow:
Even without them, no president had more than 2 terms, before the 22nd Amendment. This shows that even with the ability to have more terms, most don't get it. Therefore, we shouldn't retrict the people's voice. Bad presidents will not get re-elected because they were bad. A good president will, and if the people want that President again, why should we stop them? If we are truly to be a true democracy, we have to listen to the voice of the people.

Thank you
J-E-N-X2

Pro

Ayn Rand said "...so the notion that "Anything society does is right because society chose to do it," is not a moral principle, but a negation of moral principles and the banishment of morality from social issues."

Now to point out the absurd statements my opposition made:

"Also, I don't have to prove that the will of the people is always right."

Well your argument is based on the will of the people know what is best for them always. And you have shown no examples to prove this. However, I have shown plenty of examples where the will of the people was wrong.

"I just have to show that we should not have term limits"

I am still waiting. You have given no fact but an opinion that people should because they are the will. Did I miss something? Oh yes there was this rule YOU put in:

"2. We both have burden of proof. You have to prove that we should have term limits. I have to prove that we should not."

I have shown my proof. I ask you where is yours? You have said nothing but what you think should be with a simplistic opinion and nothing backing it up. However I have used many examples showing the importance of term limits.

"Even without them, no president had more than 2 terms, before the 22nd Amendment."

FDR must have been a figment of my imagination then. He was elected four times.

"Bad presidents will not get re-elected because they were bad. A good president will, and if the people want that President again, why should we stop them?"

Ahem... I guess you didn't read my past arguments or you wouldn't have made such a simplistic statement. Bad presidents... Here are a few bad ones that somehow got re-elected... Oh My! McKinley, Truman, Nixon, George W. Bush (yes in a historical context he is gonna be a bad one, sorry guys; there are bad republicans just as there are good ones). And good ones get re-elected hmm... I am sure Theodore Roosevelt and Taft would argue differently. Oh wait... those are examples. Do you understand what they are pointing out? I can explain... See examples help in proving a point by showing it in context. Where are yours? Oh right, you don't have any.

"and if the people want that President again, why should we stop them?"

See my other rounds. But you were supposed to prove we shouldn't See we do have limits. Therefore my side is reality. Your side is just an unjustified opinion.

"If we are truly to be a true democracy, we have to listen to the voice of the people."

Who said we live in a true democracy? There are all different types. And we don't listen to the voice of the people. If we did our government wouldn't do a lot of what it does. And government is always changing with the world. But I guess it is nice that some people like you apply your imagination to politics. It does provide some entertainment.

In conclusion, my opponent just gave an opinion. He believes that if the people want it, then they should get it. It is overly simplistic and juvenile. I have shown through points and examples the many reasons that term limits are good for the United States. He has not argued with any point that I made. His burden of proof was to show term limits are wrong which the US government has set in place. He has done nothing in proving his point and has broken his own rule. Therefore I have won this debate.

Thank You
Debate Round No. 4
8 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 8 records.
Posted by TheSkeptic 8 years ago
TheSkeptic
Conduct - CON: Pro became a little sarcastic towards the end of the debate

Spelling and Grammar - TIE: I saw some errors in PRO, but since he had a much longer argument in that round, I was lenient.

Convincing Argument - PRO: CON had the upper hand since he stated that America was democratic, and thus the people's voice should have priority. However, towards the end, CON resorted to one argument, which was that all of PRO's point were problems for term limits or for no term limits, and this in fact helped PRO.

Sources - PRO: Though no sources were used, CON made a false historical statement concerning the 22nd Amendment.
Posted by JBlake 8 years ago
JBlake
In the convincing argument section it should read "In doing so he IGNORED the very potent point..." and not argued. Apologies.
Posted by JBlake 8 years ago
JBlake
Before announcing my vote, I would like to congratulate both debators on a very interesting topic and progression of argument. Good job.

Conduct: Con
- Con was courteous throughout the debate. Pro became a little sarcastic in the final round.

Spelling/Grammar: Con
- Pro had many run-on sentences and a few noticeable grammatical mistakes. Con had few mistakes.

Convincing Argument: Pro
- This was a very difficult decision. Con held the advantage through most of the debate. Unfortunately, in the final round he rested his case on the claim that all of Pro's points were problems that existed with and without term limits. In doing so he argued the very potent point made by Pro that term limits were developed to limit the power of the presidency and secure the balance of powers originally intended by the contitution.

Sources: Pro
- No sources were actually cited. However, the point goes to Pro because Con made the false statement that no president had ever been elected to more than two terms prior to the 22nd ammendment.

Pro - 5, Con - 2
Posted by elgeibo 8 years ago
elgeibo
Good topic!
Posted by JBlake 8 years ago
JBlake
Pro has already made a huge mistake...

He did not add the rule that no puppies could be harmed during this debate. Now there is no telling what the carnage will be.
Posted by constitutionfirst 8 years ago
constitutionfirst
I was thinking that....they still have elections though which is why i was confused
Posted by brian_eggleston 8 years ago
brian_eggleston
Mugabwe has defacto declared himself president for life...
Posted by constitutionfirst 8 years ago
constitutionfirst
I may take on this debate topic - just a clarification are we talking about term limits in the since that a president can be reelected multiple times like in the case with Zimbabwe, or that he will just declare himself president for life like in with Rome's Julius Caesar?
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