The US is not land of the free
Debate Rounds (3)
this debate is about whether the US is the land of the free or not. No rudeness, trolling, etc. Round 1- accept. Round 2- Make case. Round 3- Rebuttal
In the early 19th century, Francis Scott Key came up with the Star Spangled Banner which said the banner shall wave o'er the land of the free and home of the brave. Land of the Free? There were slaves on US territory being whipped and abused. This is akin to North Korea's Camp 14. Blacks didn't get equal rights till the 1960s! Many other countries gave equal rights to all regardless of race but not land of the free. Also, the land wasn't free for Native Americans. They were being kicked off their OWN land all the way to the west, being killed and raped along the way. And to this very day the natives are treated like crap, still getting walked all over, this time by the mining companies.
Voting is a great freedom relished by millions around the world today. Not in the 19th century however except for the US. Is that so? Only white property owning men could vote. This was 16 percent of the population. Women, Natives, blacks, poor whites could not. Not very representative in my opinion.
Also, even today the citizens of the US are void of freedom. For example, freedom from search as is guaranteed in the 4th amendment. The NSA knows everything about you. If you act against the agendas of the US, the CIA and FBI will be on you. This isn't the only freedom Americans are void of. Gay Americans still can't marry in every state. (this is changing so I do applaud that but Canada legalized it in 05) You can't smoke weed in 43 states. ( The Netherlands has legalized weed for a while now)
While irrelevant to personal rights, states can't secede. Really? This is like not being allowed to divorce. This is a violation of freedom of choice.
These are just a few reasons the US isn't land of the free. I could say a lot more but I think I made my point. The US has many freedoms but not enough to make it special. I don't think any country can call themselves land of the free because they've all done blatant sin. I just don't get the hype about the freedom in the US. You're not that special in that regard or wait, maybe you are. You're one of the biggest hypocrites when it comes to freedom. You once were as bad as Nazi Germany with your assimilation techniques and slavery so just because you helped defeat the Axis in WW2 or saved Kuwait doesn't mean you get the title of land of the free.
Every civilization has growing pains, especially ones that began relatively late. Assuming the native American culture is not considered the first Americans, on average the U.S was created many years behind other modern civilizations. The United States had some very dark decades as has every culture; all cultures have to get dark and dirty in order to reach the light. Slavery, genocide, and other atrocities have been committed by every culture. As such for this debate I believe that whether or not the U.S is the land of the free should be determined upon modern times. Whether or not the acts of the current regime are here to stay, the amnesty of illegals, affordable healthcare act(Obamacare) and increased environmental regulations that America is becoming more free.
I think that no culture in the history of the world has been better off than Americans today and that in many areas the U.S is the prime example of freedom and standard of living. The most prevalent example of this is debate.com and our debate. We have the education, time and freedom to debate about a relatively unimportant philosophical issue without fear of reprisal. No matter what race, culture or ideology we are, we will not be attacked by the government for bashing on it. The importance of this cannot be overstated.
Another point of freedom that we take for granted is the peacekeeping forces of the U.S are not our enemy. In the majority of countries police forces and the military are the enemies of the people and not a source of safety. The fact that our forces are protecting us and not shaking us down is a concept that would be very alien in other nations.
Finally the people of the United States have a sense of freedom unrivaled by any other people. In the U.S we have people who turn themselves into cheetahs, the devil, and other animals. We have people who pull themselves from poverty into billionaires. Most importantly the majority of Americans have dreams, hopes and desires and actively pursue them. No matter how much hatred and contempt the government shows towards gays they keep pushing for reform. Despite the taxes levied against businesses every day, people are creating new businesses. Despite government actions this will never change, and I believe Americans embody true freedom and in that regard I think America can without a doubt in my mind be called the land of the free.
Yes, I know that you said whether a country is free depends on the modern actions of it, not the past. However, this still continues. (Abu Gharib, NSA, Gitmo Bay, Wikileaks) Those are just a few things in the US that contradict the idea of freedom. And the PEOPLE. Not the majority but a decent amount fight against freedom. (Skinheads, parents of transgender girl, etc.) These people are in every country is something I'm cognizant of and every country does something contrary to freedom. Some of the acts of the US today are leaning towards freedom (pot legalization, gay marriage legalization, environmental protection, illegal immigrant amnesty) You know this since you brought some of those up. However, many countries are changing for the better. So the US is not unique in that regard.
The US has a great standard of living and we have it good. (I should know, I'm American) But other countries have it better. They have universal health care, low crime rate, free college. So while the US is good, it isn't the best. Even in voting, you really only have two choices.
And about having this great debate without reprisal and having the time for it, well in other places the same can be done. (Canada, most of Western Europe, Australia, NZ) So again, in this regard, the US is not unique.
We love our military very much and they do deserve love. However, when they do wrong as they did during the Abu Gharib incident, they only got ten years. If a random citizen did what they did, they'd probably get 30 or 40 years. Regardless, the military is not an oppressive force. However, our politicians make it seem like they are by sending them into these wars that have not much to do with defense (It's called the Department of Defense but looking at US policy, you'd think it should rather be Department of Offense) Whenever a crisis occurs, we always want to shoot first, ask questions later. (Syria, Ukraine)
Well now that I covered the military, let's talk about police. Are you sure the police aren't the enemy of the people? The protests in response to Mike Brown, Eric Garner, and many others seem to contradict that. Now this is not about whether the actions of the cops were justified but whether they are a friend of the people. They can't be considered that when you have all these people protesting against them. However, for the most part, the cops are friendly and have good intentions but maybe or maybe not with the persons mentioned above.
It seems apparent we think of freedom more than others but the question of whether we have those freedoms and whether that's our mentality, freedom is very questionable. For example, Californians voted AGAINST gay marriage in 08. Yes, voted against something that'd have no effect on their lives if gays did that. Why would you vote against something like that? Why would you deny liberty to others?
This will be about your final paragraph of how Americans have dreams and keep pushing despite the odds. This isn't exclusive to the US. In many countries this is done. For example, John Lennon of the great band the Beatles. He was expelled from college and still made something of himself. Or what about JK Rowling, author of Harry Potter? She was once a single mom on welfare and now is living the good life. And people keep on pushing in other countries too. For example, the Arab Spring. Those people wanted freedom and most of them got it. Syria didn't, not yet but it after 4 years, is still fighting. Or what about when the Soviets fell? What about in South Africa with the great Nelson Mandela and Co. who pushed to end apartheid even with the US government labeling Mandela a terrorist? These stories prove that despite the odds, people in other countries keep pushing.
Just because you push for freedoms doesn't make you land of the free. For example, what if we called Syria the land of the free because the people there are fighting for freedom? Or should we call Egypt the land of the free because they protest against their tyrannical governments?
I believe the US has many freedoms, just not enough for it to get the title of land of the free. It has freedoms but you can't call yourself the best without truly being the best. That would be like Argentina calling itself the best and everyone agreeing. No other country has this label for itself, even the ones with more freedoms. Also, in your final statement, you said the US was THE land of the free. That's not true at all let alone land of the free. I disagree with you when you say that will of the people make it land of the free. Refer to above for reasons. Those changes have to actually happen before you can call yourself land of the free. People in every country strive for freedom but they don't say they're land of the free.
Thank you for participating in this debate and may the best man win
In any conflict there will be people on both sides. What is important is who won and who had the most support. In the case of American slavery "freedom" has prevailed and had the most support. While this may not seem entirely "right" under the circumstances I do not believe that any more could have been asked of the Americans at that period. Large labor forces were the hinge of the American economy at that time. Labor was needed for agriculture, lumber, mining and even auxiliary infantry. Slavery was a very big part of the American culture, yet we still abolished it and in a rather short time period. Slavery was common for thousands of years in the majority of "ancient" civilizations and common for hundreds of years in many others. In reality Britain had slavery for roughly 700 years and China had slavery for thousands of years (and still has some cases of it). The fact that the U.S got rid of slavery so relatively early in its history and with slavery being so important is nothing short of heroic which heavily suggests that the U.S is a very free land.
The tricky thing about standard of living is it varies greatly between the classes and regions. For example I live in Colorado Springs, Colorado. C.Springs has been given many awards and is one of the best places to live in the world. I truly believe that no other country is all around better for the average citizen then the U.S. Link 1 is a list of awards C.Springs has received. As you can see it is very highly rated yet universal healthcare is almost a curse word, last year we had numerous shootings and other crimes, there has never been an elected democrat in office, and college is very much not free. Yet C.Springs is still one of the best cities in the world. I find it very hard to believe that any country (or city) is better situated for the average citizen.
Western Europe, Australia and NZ make up 4.1% of the world. In terms of population that represents 6.5% of the world. By your argument only 6.5% of the world has the option to voice their opinions without reprisal let alone has the ability to. I think that makes it pretty rare. I challenge you to go find more of those nationalities then Americans expressing themselves in similar ways as this. If you do then I will concede this point.
"We are the most powerful military force in the history of man. Every fight is our fight, because what happens over here matters over there. We don't get to sit one out. Learning to use the tools of modern warfare is the difference between the prospering of your people, and utter destruction. We can't give you freedom. But we can give you the know-how to acquire it. And that, my friends, is worth more than a whole army base of steel. Sure it matters who's got the biggest stick, but it matters a helluva lot more who's swinging it. This is a time for heroes. A time for legends. History is written by the victors. Let's get to work."
" Shepherd discussing the military might of the United States, during the briefing of Team Player(source 1)
For every enemy our troops have to kill we save ten civilians. For every terrorist we interrogate we prevent a hundred people being tormented by their cell. As Shepherd said the free world is depending on our military to save them. It"s a unfair task to give but we have to do it anyways, and in the preservation of global peace the law and morality will be bent. Abu Gharib prison was a regretful isolated incident and the people responsible were punished. I do not think that the U.S would have authorized this unless it was necessary. The U.S is beginning to refrain from conflicts however. In Syria and Ukraine the U.S has only acted in order to preserve life and liberty. In the future I believe the U.S will reduce its involvement even more.
Californians voted for what they believed was best. The burden of public service is that no matter what you do you are going to piss some people off. 80% of the population may agree with something so you pass it. A perfectly logical decision, now the 20% hate you and in the U.S that is 63.1 million people. However much it may seem wrong or hurt it is the freedom and duty of Americans to vote for what they believe is best and that is what happened. To force prop 8 on the people would have been far more tyrannical.
I think you have a very good point and I agree. I think Egypt and Syria are beginning to earn the title of "Land of the Free" just like the U.S. They are standing up for their rights and I think that is the beginning. The United States was born from the drunk minds of some terrorists and see how far we have progressed, I feel hopeful for the people who are following in their footsteps.
I believe for the reason stated that America is unequivocally the freest nation that has ever existed. The U.S has unparalleled individual rights and liberties for all of her citizens. The U.S has the highest standard of living for the average citizen in regards to population and average income. The people of the United States are without a doubt the freest people on Earth.
Link 1: http://www.visitcos.com...
You the real MVP Instigator
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by TheJuniorVarsityNovice 2 years ago
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