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The 1998 daughter-of-philochristos commemorative debate

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/9/2015 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 680 times Debate No: 68074
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (9)
Votes (2)




A couple of months ago, i initiated "The Philochristos 1973 commemorative debate". . .

. . . because I was born in 1973 and because I had just reached 1,973 forum posts. UchihaMadara (aka Romanii) suggested I have another commemoriative debate when my number of forum posts reached the year of my daughter's birth. She was born in 1998, and since I just reached 1,998 forum posts, we are having a commemorative debate on her behalf.

Here are the rules:


1. You pick the topic. It can be on almost any subject you want. I only ask you to be considerate. Although I am quite willing to play devil's advocate if I need to, I request that you not have me defend any resolution such as, "Philochristos' mother was a prostitute" or anything that requires me to insult another person (especially if I care about them), including God, or to betray a confidence, or to engage in gossip. Just be reasonable. I also request that you not make any paradoxical resolutions such as, "Everything Pro says is a lie" or "Pro will win this debate," or anything like that.

2. State the resolution clearly in the first round. It must take the form of a coherent sentence, and not just a word or phrase.

3. If there is any ambiguity at all in the resolution, define your terms and explain the meaning of the resolution as clearly as you can in the first round. Any undefined terms will be open for debate.

3. Since you are going to be Con, you must state the resolution in such a way that you are against it. I will be for it.

4. The burden of proof will be shared. That means I must make the case that the resolution is true, and you must make the case that the resolution is false. It is not enough for either of us to simply refute the other person's arguments.

5. It is your choice whether to post your opening statement in the first round or wait until the second round, in which case I'd be posting my opening first.

6. If you post your opening first, you must post, "This space intentionally left blank" in the last round, and nothing more.

7. You must agree not to solicit votes through private messages or through other means (telephone, facebook, google hangouts, etc.). If there are only 48 hours of voting left, and nobody has voted, you may post a link in the "Post unvoted debates here" thread.

No other voting solicitation is allowed. You'll be on your honor.

8. No embedded images/graphics are allowed. All debating must be done with text.

9. All footnotes/endnotes must be placed in the body of your posts.

10. There is a 6000 word limit, and 72 hour limit between posts, and a 10 day voting period.

11. You must not be Phantom.

Whoever you are, this is a great opportunity for you to seize an easy win. All you have to do is pick a topic you know a lot about that I don't. And that shouldn't be too hard to do.

Good luck!


Tried to do this debate before but it didn't work out. I'll be pro in this debate.

The resolution is: Senator Joseph McCarthy is a hero.

Context- The debate is specifically about Senator Joseph McCarthy's action during the 2nd Red scare which took place in the 40s and 50s. Any events not pertaining to The Red Scare or McCarthyism should be excluded from this debate unless they somehow provide proper context.

By hero I mean that McCarthy had the qualities of noble intentions and actions.
Debate Round No. 1


Wylted accidentally made himself "Pro" in the last round in spite of rule #3. We got it straightened out in the comment section. The resolution will be "Senator Joseph McCarthy is not a hero." I will be Pro, and Wylted will be Con. Wylted's definitions and stipulations will apply.

Joseph McCarthy was a republican senator during a time when Americans had a morbid fear of the rise of communism. Communism was spreading in Asia. Whether he himself was caught up in the frenzie of fear and paranoia or whether he was taking advantage of public fears to advance his own political carreer is hard to say, but Mr. McCarthy embarked on a witch hunt to weed out communists and communist sympathizers in the government and military that resulted in thousands of people losing their jobs. [1]

For the following reasons, Mr. McCarthy was not a hero.

1. Political parties and ideologies are not illegal, regardless of how vigoriously one might oppose them. When Congress passed a bill requiring communist sympathizers to submit to government supervision, President Truman vetoed it, saying it would "make a mockery of the Bill of Rights." People in the country have a right to their political ideologies.

2. McCarthy persued people with little to no evidence at all of them being communists.

3. Many considered McCarthy's interrogations to be vulgar, unfair, and a violation of people's civil rights.

4. In spite of there being no proof that anybody was a subversive, 2000 or so government employees lost their jobs because of McCarthy's witch hunt.

Since there was nothing nobel in McCarthy's intentions or actions, McCarthy was not a hero. In fact, he was a villain.





Senator McCarthy though unorthodox was trying to warn the American people that several branches of the United States government including a lot of areas that had access to top secret documents as well as the ability to influence foreign policy had been infiltrated by enemies of the state, spies.

If I prove that McCarthy was right, that spies had infiltrated high levels of government, influential think tanks etc. then certainly he was right to want an investigation into the matters. Certainly being concerned enough about national security to willingly become a laughing stock and ruin your political career in the pursuit of the higher goal of saving your nations sovereignty and security is a good thing.


The Venona papers are now declassified documents that show Senator McCarthy was correct when he stated that the United States government was infected with Soviet spies. [3]

"The Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations has just made public its hitherto sealed closed-door hearings 50 years ago showing widespread Soviet penetration of the U.S. government. Despite the negative media spin, the hearing transcripts show its chairman, Sen. Joseph R. McCarthy, was ahead of his time.

A prime example is the case of the atomic scientist J. Robert Oppenheimer, whose advocacy of sharing nuclear secrets with the Soviet Union helped bolster the war machine of the genocidal Joseph Stalin. This gave the Soviets a leg up in the Cold War that lasted nearly a half century and took millions of innocent lives."[2]

That should be the end of this. McCarthy wasn't on a which hunt, he was right. Communists infiltrated sensitive locations and needed to be removed.


I have in my hand 57 cases of individuals who would appear to be either card carrying members or certainly loyal to the Communist Party, but who nevertheless are still helping to shape our foreign policy."[4]

These names cam from what's known as the Lee list. A list compiled by Robert E. Lee as part of an investigation by the house appropriations committee on security risks.[5]

The senator was actually against naming names. He directly states so.

"[I]t would be improper to make the names public until the appropriate Senate committee can meet in executive session and get them," explained McCarthy. "If we should label one man a Communist when he is not a Communist I think it would be too bad."

McCarthy began to read the cases and just referred to them as numbers. His intention was to protect people from any undue public suspicion. He merely asked for an investigation, but while reading his list senator Scott Lucas interrupts him yelling.

"I want him to name those Communists." "if those people are not Communists the senator will be protected."[6]

McCarthy made an honest attempt to protect these people until his opponents demanded their names and forced him to reveal them publicly. Looking back at history, it's clear why his opposition forced this issue.

McCarthy once again tried to protect the names from being publicly exposed. He merely wanted an investigation but his opposition was trying to force a witch hunt in order to tarnish his name and reputation.

"The Senator from Illinois demanded, loudly, that I furnish all the names. I told him at that time that so far as I was concerned, I thought that would be improper; that I did not have all the information about these individuals ... I have enough to convince me that either they are members of the Communist Party or they have given great aid to the Communists: I may be wrong. That is why I said that unless the Senate demanded that I do so, I would not submit this publicly, but I would submit it to any committee -- and would let the committee go over these in executive session. It is possible that some of these persons will get a clean bill of health...."

In hearings of Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations (PSI here after), 83 individuals plead the 5th amendment and 9 refused to testify.[8] Of the 83 people who pleaded the 5th several were proven later to be spies. some prominent examples are:

1. Mary Jane Keeney, a United Nations employee, and her husband Philip Keeney, who worked in the Office of Strategic Services;[9]

2. Lauchlin Currie, a special assistant to President Roosevelt;[10]

3. Virginius Frank Coe , Director of Division of Monetary Research, U.S. Treasury; Technical Secretary at the Bretton Woods Conference; International Monetary Fund; [11]

4. William Ludwig Ullman, delegate to the United Nations Charter Conference and Bretton Woods Conference;[12]

5. Nathan Gregory Silvermaster, Chief Planning Technician, Procurement Division, United States Department of the Treasury and head of the Silvermaster network of spies;

6. Harold Glasser, U.S. Treasury Representative to the Allied High Commission in Italy;

7. Four staff members of the LaFollette Civil Liberties Committee, a Senate subcommittee on labor rights;

8. Allan Rosenberg, Chief of the Economic Institution Staff, Foreign Economic Administration; Counsel to the National Labor Relations Board;

9. Solomon Adler, U.S. Treasury Dept., went to China and joined government of Mao Zedong;

10. Robert T. Miller, Office of the Coordinator of Inter-American Affairs; Near Eastern Division United States Department of State; also identified in the Gorsky Memo from Soviet Archives; McCarthy's Case #16 and Lee list #12;[14]

11. Franz Leopold Neumann, consultant at Board of Economic Warfare; Deputy Chief of the Central European Section of Office of Strategic Services; First Chief of Research of the Nuremberg War Crimes Tribunal; also identified in the Gorsky Memo from Soviet Archives;

12. Laurence Duggan, head of United States Department of State Division of American Republics;[16]

There are a ton more names I can add to that list but I think, I've made my point. (these descriptions were taken from citation 15)

Debate Round No. 2


In almost any average sized city in the United States, there are at least a handful of drug dealers, and most of these drug dealers will, from time to time, sell illegal drugs to minors. Suppose that in one of these cities, the police decided search the home of every citizen. Each family, even the ones who owned cats, was subjected to a drug sniffing dog going all through their house, overturning mattresses and raiding closets. And suppose that many people were force to submit to interrogations and public humiliation. And suppose that in the course of these searches the police were successful in catching every single drug dealer in that town as well as finding out who their suppliers were. The drug problem is solved.

Now honestly, would you consider the police to be heroic in that case? Surely not.

Yet that is essentially what Con thinks makes Joseph McCarthy a hero. His argument is essentially that the means, whatever they may be, are justified by the ends. After all, nobody would deny that capturing Russian spies was a good thing, yet even those who approved of the captures condemned McCarthy for the means he used to discover them. The civil rights of innocent people were violated.

That is the major problem with Con's argument--his faulty assumption that the ends justify the means.

The second problem with Con's argument is that he conflates communists with Russian spies. Granted, being a Russian spy is grounds for capture and prosecution. However, being a communist is not a crime at all. In fact, the right to be a communist is protected by the Constitution. Con speaks of "communists" and "Russian spies" as if the two terms were interchangeable. They are not. McCarthy did not just go after Russian spies. He went after any and everybody who was merely suspected of having communists sympathies. And he did so ruthlessly.

McCarthy was no more a hero than the fictional police chief in the scenario I described above. As a senator, he took an oath to defend the Constitution, but in his zeal, he trampled all over it. If we praise people like McCarthy for being heros, then the Constitution cannot protect us because what we are saying, essentially, is that we are willing to give up our basic rights for the sake of rooting out any possible criminal. If we approve of and encourage what McCarthy did, then none of us are safe.

McCarthy was a villain, and we should be thankful that his law-abiding and patriotic public servants condemned him.


Wylted forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3


In conclusion, Joseph McCarthy was not a hero because his witch hunt to root out communists was unjustified. It violated the civil rights of many innocent people and resulted in thousands of innocent people losing their jobs. He trampled on the Constitution he swore to defend.

Con's argument failed because it depended on the fallacious assumption that the means, whatever they might be, are justified by the ends. It also falied because it mistakenly conflated "communist" with "Russian spy."


Wylted forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
9 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 9 records.
Posted by Blade-of-Truth 1 year ago

Conduct - Pro. Con forfeited the last two rounds of this debate.

S&G - Tie. Both had adequate spelling and grammar.

Arguments - Pro. Both presented compelling cases for their respective positions. Pro began with four opening arguments including the legality of political parties/ideologies, McCarthy's methods being vulgar, him lacking evidence, and the unjustified loss of jobs due to his witch hunt. Con responds by claiming that McCarthy was right about soviet spy infiltration and that the accusations of him pursuing a witch hunt are unfounded due to him having the names of people who ended up being guilty. Pro responded to this by showing that Con's arguments are based on the faulty assumption that the ends justify the means. Pro also points out Con's error in conflating communists with Russian spies, he does so by stating that although some of them might have been spies, a majority were just communists and nothing more. Lastly, he states how McCarthy trampled all over the Constitution by acting in the manner he did, which undermines the protection given under the Constitution.

Ultimately, Con really needed to rebut these points, but never did due to the forfeits. As it is now, Pro's arguments are standing unchallenged. Thus he wins arguments.

Sources - Pro. This was weird. It's obvious that Con planned on citing sources because of his given source reference numbers like [3] [11], yet no sources were given. Since Pro actually cited a source, whereas Con didn't, Pro wins sources.
Posted by Wylted 1 year ago
Okay, cool.
Posted by philochristos 1 year ago
No, we can continue. I admit my heart isn't in it, but I did make this debate open to any subject whatsoever. I thought it could be fun to commit to debating something totally out of the norm for me. I have a response to your post in mind, but I'm delaying it because I have my daughter this weekend, and I want to make sure I have time to post my conclusion. I'll post later tonight or in the morning.
Posted by Wylted 1 year ago
I think I chose a topic you could care less about. If the debate isn't enjoyable, I'm happy to call it a tie.

I knew I should have went with a religious topic but my mind drew a blank when thinking of one.

Would you prefer to go on, quit or do something about religion?
Posted by Wylted 1 year ago
Posted by philochristos 1 year ago
I'll clarify in my opening. The resolution will be "Joseph McCarthy is NOT a hero," with me Pro and you Con.
Posted by Wylted 1 year ago
I guess the word not can be inserted before "of a hero" or whatever we/I need to do to remedy this
Posted by Wylted 1 year ago
Dang it I missed the rule where I have to be con. I'll take whatever side of this I need to or if you want we can work something else out.
Posted by Wylted 1 year ago
I like rule number 11
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by Blade-of-Truth 1 year ago
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Total points awarded:60 
Reasons for voting decision: RFD in comments.
Vote Placed by 16kadams 1 year ago
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Total points awarded:10 
Reasons for voting decision: ff