The Instigator
jonathonave
Pro (for)
The Contender
pojonroyo
Con (against)

The United States Federal Government ought to begin the process to impeach Donald Trump

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/22/2017 Category: Politics
Updated: 10 months ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 413 times Debate No: 100177
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (3)
Votes (0)

 

jonathonave

Pro

The United States Federal Government ought to begin the process to impeach Donald Trump

Resolutional Analysis: "Ought" implies morality
https://www.merriam-webster.com...
Ought is defined by Merriam Webster as a "moral obligation." Thus my burden in this round is to show that the United States Federal Government has a moral obligation to begin an impeachment process.

Resolutional Analysis: USFG is the actor
The resolution says that "The United States Federal Government ought to begin the process to impeach Donald Trump"
The actor in this resolution is the government itself, thus in order to vote for my side in this round, you should believe that the government itself has an obligation, not just the people.

Contention 1: Impeaching Trump would be beneficial to the U.S. economy
Link: Trump has removed the United States from important free trade agreements, namely the North American Free Trade Agreement and the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
Link: Free Trade is critical to the economic success of society
Economist Adam Smith wrote in The Wealth of Nations, "In general, if any branch of trade , or any division of labor be advantageous to the public, the freer and more general the competition, it will always be more so." In order for the United States to move forward economically, we must be allowed to trade freely in all areas.
Link: Government is responsible for the interests of its people
English Philosopher John Locke wrote in his Second Treatise of Government "Men being by nature free, equal and independent, no one can be put out of this estate and subjected to the political power of another without his own consent." From this we can understand that anytime men join together in society, the it is by their own consent. Because government is established by the consent of the people, that government must respect its people's interests.
Impact: United States Federal Government has a moral obligation to remove Trump
Because the actions that Trump has taken in the area of trade are detrimental to the nation, and because the government has an obligation to always do what is best for the citizens of the nation, we can conclude that that government is obligated to remove Trump for the good of the nation.

Contention 2: Impeaching Trump would uphold U.S. Values
Link: U.S. founded on immigration and acceptance
"Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"
The United States as we now know it was founded on the efforts of immigrants and refugees from all over the world. From rail-rode construction to the gold rush, the westward expansion and economic position of the United States would not be what it is without allowing people to leave their own nation and enter the United States. This has been a longstanding value of our nation.
Link: Trump restricts immigration
From building a wall along our southern border, to preventing refugees from entering the U.S. from Middle-eastern countries, Trump plans and desires to effectively shut down the long-standing U.S. policy of always permitting refugees to find safety in the U.S.
Link: U.S. Government has an obligation to uphold the values of the United States
Along with representing the interests of citizens, the government is also tasked with representing the values of citizens, many of whom were immigrants or refugees only a few hundred years ago.
Impact: U.S. Government has an obligation to impeach Trump
The country has a need for values to be upheld, this the government has an obligation to do so.

In conclusion, this debate comes down to two very simple facts.
1. Trump is detrimental to interests ad values of United States citizens
2. The government has a responsibility to protect and further the interests of United States citizens

From this we can draw the conclusion that the USFG should indeed impeach Donald Trump
pojonroyo

Con

You claim that a man who has been in office for barely one month and has done literally nothing illegal "ought to be impeached" is preposterous. America has only impeached one of it's 45 President's and almost successfully impeached two others. The two others who almost were impeached were Richard Nixon, who ILLEGALLY deleted tapes and Bill Clinton who was being charged of perjury for ILLEGALLY lying under oath about his marital affair. Andrew Johnson, the only U.S. President to ever be impeached, was impeached for ILLEGALLY removing Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton. President Donald Trump has done nothing illegal, at least to our current knowledge, and therefore he is unimpeachable.

I don't see how President Donald Trump has been negative to the U.S. economy thus far as the DOW, NASDAQ, and S&P 500 all are at record highs due to him and his policies. Also, according to Gallup, since Trump's election faith in the U.S. economy among Americans has gone up 21 points. The economy is currently thriving under President Trump. You can not impeach someone for something you think will happen in the future, which is what you were referencing in your first claim. According to the U.S. Constitution, in order for a President to be impeached, they must have committed "high crimes or misdemeanors." Trump, as stated previously, has committed none of these. He may have different political or economic policies than yours but that is a much more different than high crimes and misdemeanors.

Your second claim is partially correct. LEGAL immigrants from all over the world founded and developed our nation, and they still do to this day. However, legal immigrants are very different from illegal immigrants. Illegal immigrants cross our southern border in large masses. According to Pew Research, about 60% of the over 11 million illegal immigrants in America are from Mexico. This is why the construction of a border wall is necessary, and this is also why 48% of Americans support the implementation of a border wall, as oppose to the 46% of Americans who oppose the implementation of one (Rasmussen Poll). Illegal Immigrants may help in some instances but that doesn't change the fact that they broke the law. If we made exemptions to the law just because they affected families, no laws would remain implemented. In reference to the travel ban, President Trump had the absolute right to implement it. According to 8 U.S. Code 1182, "Whenever the President finds that the entry of any aliens or of any class of aliens into the United States would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, he may by proclamation, and for such period as he shall deem necessary, suspend the entry of all aliens or any class of aliens as immigrants or non-immigrants, or impose on the entry of aliens any restrictions he may deem to be appropriate."

The government does indeed have a responsibility to protect the interest of it's citizens, and I don't think you or I or anyone for that matter could name an instance where this hasn't happened under President Trump. Of coarse, no matter what, there is going to be an opposition to any statement or policy and it is impossible to make everyone happy. No President has ever had a 100% approval rating but the President will preserve and protect the Constitution at all times. This has occurred thus far through President Trump's administration.

In conclusion, President Donald Trump absolutely should not be impeached because...
1. You can't impeach someone because you think they will do something in the future.
2. President Donald Trump has done nothing illegal.
3. A president must commit "high crimes or misdemeanors" to be impeached, something that President Trump has not done.
4. The U.S. is currently prospering under President Trump.
5. You have not yet named a fact that could legally result in the impeachment of President Trump, you only listed opinions of yourself, an economist, and a philosopher.
Debate Round No. 1
jonathonave

Pro

Contention 3: Trump has broken U.S. laws

Link: Conflict of interests
Trump can be clearly seen, while in office, to have conflict of interests between his work and responsibilities as president, and his independent business interests. This can be seen two ways

A: The Travel Ban
Trump instituted, through executive order, a ban on travel from select Middle-eastern countries. This may not have been a big deal. After all, President Obama instituted a similar ban that lasted for six months... and no one had an issue with it. The difference of Trump's travel ban is that it excluded specific countries with which Trump had business dealings. Trump clearly used his power as president to show favoritism to countries with which he had business connections.

B: Vladimir Putin
Throughout the election cycle and even in actions taken during his presidency, Trump has shown favoritism towards Vladimir Putin. Trump supported Putin's actions even when it was shown that Russia had interfered to some extent in the U.S. presidential elections. The only plausible reason for Trump to do this would be to maintain relations with Russia. Trump has a personal interest in maintaining relations with Russia, because he has extensive business dealings there. Thus Trump is clearly showing favoritism to a country that should have been penalized, but was rather given grace for the sake of Trump's personal interests.

Link: Personal Conflicts are prohibited by U.S. law
18 U.S. Code " 208 - Acts affecting a personal financial interest
"Whoever, being an officer or employee of the executive branch of the United States Government, or of any independent agency of the United States, a Federal Reserve bank director, officer, or employee, or an officer or employee of the District of Columbia, including a special Government employee, participates personally and substantially as a Government officer or employee, through decision, approval, disapproval, recommendation, the rendering of advice, investigation, or otherwise, in a judicial or other proceeding, application, request for a ruling or other determination, contract, claim, controversy, charge, accusation, arrest, or other particular matter in which, to his knowledge, he, his spouse, minor child, general partner, organization in which he is serving as officer, director, trustee, general partner or employee, or any person or organization with whom he is negotiating or has any arrangement concerning prospective employment, has a financial interest"Shall be subject to the penalties set forth in section 216 of this title"

If a member of the executive branch of government is found to take actions that were personally motivated, they are to be penalized. In other words, personal motivation in executive action is illegal. Permit me to provide the legislation for the mentioned penalties.

18 U.S. Code " 216 - Penalties and injunctions
(1) Whoever engages in the conduct constituting the offense shall be imprisoned for not more than one year or fined in the amount set forth in this title, or both.
(2) Whoever willfully engages in the conduct constituting the offense shall be imprisoned for not more than five years or fined in the amount set forth in this title, or both.

If an individual is found to have a personal conflict that motivated an action, they are subject to prison time. Now as you know, the president is exempt from these penalties. Due to the nature of his position, the only way to penalize the president is to impeach him.

This established, I will turn to the arguments presented by my opponent. I have two responses.

1. We are debating what should be, not what can legally be.
As I mentioned in my resolutional analysis on morality, we are talking about what should be. Legality is irrelevant.

2. Congress has a moral obligation to impeach Trump. We have agreed that Congress has an obligation to represent the people. Thus Congress has a moral obligation, regardless of legality, and the resolution is affirmed.
pojonroyo

Con

Firstly, If you are trying to debate on laws you think should change then it sounds like a website is a bad place for you as no matter what happens here, nothing will happen. Congress is not reading our comments. Legality is not irrelevant in this case as it is essential to impeachment. You must have illegally done something to be impeached. Congress's only obligation isn't to represent the people, they also must uphold the Constitution. Even if everyone in the U.S.A. wanted President Trump to be impeached, that doesn't mean he will/should be. That is up to Congress to determine and the guideline they use is the Constitution and the law. Therefore, legality is very relevant in this case.

In reference to the Travel Ban, as I stated previously, he had the absolute right to do it. President Trump also excluded certain countries in which he does not have business dealings. Trump's Travel Ban had nothing to do with business and everything to do with the safety and security of our nation as a whole. President Obama not only did a similar action but he is the one who created this list. His administration created this list of 7 nations that they claimed were "nations of concern". This is evidence that it had nothing to do with business.

In reference to your claims on Vladimir Putin, they are wrong. trump has absolutely ZERO business dealings/ties with Russia. He has ties with 25 other nations, none of which are Russia (http://www.cnn.com...) President Trump has nothing personal to gain from improving relations with Russia. The only gain there is with better relations with Russia is safety. If we get along with them, it would be much more beneficial for our nation as well as the world. Trump did not support Russia's actions in the U.S. Presidential Election. Instead, at one point in time, he simply stated a fact that no evidence has been provided to him yet to prove that it was Russia, or anyone for that matter, that hacked the DNC. This however isn't hacking the U.S. election, it is hacking the DNC and leaking actual emails that existed and proved corruption among the Democrats. After Trump received a briefing on Russia's actions, he did in fact say he believed that it was Russia who hacked the DNC. This isn't siding with Russia or supporting them at all. President Trump also deployed 1,000 troops into Poland, a nation who's borders are next to Russia, after it was discovered there was a Russian spy ship of the east coast. This is yet another action President Trump has done that proves he absolutely does not have conflicts of interest with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Yes, it is true that conflicts of interest are illegal and one who has committed them shall serve jail time but President Trump has had no conflicts of interests. You correctly stated a law regarding conflicts of interest but you incorrectly stated that President Trump has conflicts of Interest. I disproved those claims with accurate and factual evidence. Your arguments were ignorant and wrong, and now you have one more chance to attempt to tell me and the voters why the current U.S. President should be impeached when he has not broken any current U.S. law, something he must do if Congress is to even consider impeaching President Trump.
Debate Round No. 2
jonathonave

Pro

My opponent has attempted to dismiss the entirety of this debate with a simple argument that laws cannot be affected by this round. In my original argumentation I established that this is a debate about what should be, not what can be or what is. The resolution states "The United States Federal Government ought to begin the process to impeach Donald Trump." In my definition and analysis of the word "ought," we learned that ought implies moral obligation. This was not contested by my opponent. Moral obligation is not confined to or conformed by the laws of a nation. Thus this debate round should be about what actions Congress ought to take - regardless of the legality of their doing so.

This established, let us turn to the refutation that my opponent has offered in this round.

In response to Contention 1, my opponent argued that removal from free trade agreements cannot have hurt the U.S. economy because of the current state of Wall Street. I have a number of responses.
1. No time for economic repercussions to manifest themselves
Trump became president just over one month ago. In that time he has withdrawn from these trade deals, but we have not allowed enough time for the inevitable consequences of his actions to become apparent.
2. Wall Street cannot yet reflect economic impact
Because the repercussions of Trump's withdrawal from these free trade agreements has not yet become evident, the DOW, NASDAQ and other measurements mentioned by my opponent cannot be considered a reliable method of determining whether Trump will have a negative economic impact.
3. Small boons do not outweigh great losses
My opponent has not adequately refuted my contention that loss of free trade agreements will lead to drastic economic losses. Whatever small changes Trump's presidency, (not his actions), have brought to the economy, they are sure to be wiped away by the repercussions of our withdrawal from the TPP and the NAFTA.

In response to Contention 2, my opponent argued that the president is fully within his power to prevent dangerous individuals from entering the United States. I have two responses.
1. No proof that these individuals are dangerous
Trump has often asserted from the start of his campaign that immigrants are "dangerous," but this has not been verified by any reliable source.
2. Travel ban and wall affects innocents
While it is certainly the prerogative of the president to restrict dangerous individuals from entering the United States, these measures taken by Trump are affecting absolutely everyone. In the case of the travel ban, U.S. citizens who happen to be out of the United States are affected.

Regarding Contention 3, my opponent argued that the Travel Ban was instituted on the same countries as Obama's, and secondly that Trump has no relations to Russia. Neither of these claims are true.
1. Trump's travel ban differs drastically from Obama's 2011 policy. http://www.nydailynews.com...
Obama's policy was not a ban, and applied differently to different countries. Trump has taken this list of Obama's and used it to make a policy change that benefits countries in which he has business dealings. This constitutes letting personal interest interfere with the presidency
2. Trump has claimed that he has had no business dealings in Russia. This claim was proved wrong. Please view the following article from CNN. http://www.cnn.com...

In conclusion, I would urge you as the judge to remember the framework I offered for this round. We are debating what should be done. My opponent agreed that government has a duty to represent the interests and needs of its citizens. Trump has not done that, this I would submit to you that Trump should be impeached, regardless of what can legally be done under existing laws. Obviously this will never happen unless Trump takes further actions. But that does not mean they shouldn't.
This round has not been posted yet.
Debate Round No. 3
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by Lookingatissues 10 months ago
Lookingatissues
Donald trump is a Republican President has taken on the job of correcting all the legislation and executive orders of a leftist Community organizer, Muslim president.
Barack H. Obama has deliberately pursued policies that undermined the country for all of the 8 years that he occupied the oval office.
Barack Obama's radical pastor, the Reverent J. Wright expressed Barack Obama's sentiments quite accurately when he said, No, No, Not God Bless America, but God Damn America..
For 20 years Obama sat in the pews of that radical's church and obviously agreed with the radial pastor that he once referred to as like a Uncle to him. Donald Trump in the short time that he has been in office has managed to disrupt the leftists agenda of bringing America Down, as George Soros once said needed to be done and is attempting to restore the citizens pride in their country . If impeachment was ever proper for a sitting president, it was certainly called for when Barack H. Obama was in office.
Posted by dsjpk5 10 months ago
dsjpk5
The Constitution only allows impeachment if the President commits "high crimes and misdemeanors". Any other effort would be unconstitutional.
Posted by Iacov 10 months ago
Iacov
May I ask what school you go to?
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