The Instigator
C-Mach
Con (against)
Winning
75 Points
The Contender
CiRrO
Pro (for)
Losing
22 Points

The United States is a Democracy.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/21/2008 Category: Politics
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 2,660 times Debate No: 4752
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (16)
Votes (24)

 

C-Mach

Con

The United States is not a democracy, as clearly stated in Article IV, Section IV of the Constitution. Also, the words "democratic," "democracy," or any variations are not mentioned in the Constitution.
CiRrO

Pro

I affirm: The US is a democracy.

Topical Affirmation

[Definition - Democracy]

A) the political orientation of those who favor government by the people or by their elected representatives
B) a political system in which the supreme power lies in a body of citizens who can elect people to represent them
C) majority rule: the doctrine that the numerical majority of an organized group can make decisions binding on the whole group
D) Government by the people; a form of government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised by them or their elected agents
E) a form of government in which people hold the power, either by voting for measures directly or by voting for representatives who vote for them

wordnet.princeton.edu

Essentially the definition of democracy is what the US is, thus the US is a democracy.

Rebuttal:

The United States is not a democracy, as clearly stated in Article IV, Section IV of the Constitution. Also, the words "democratic," "democracy," or any variations are not mentioned in the Constitution.

My Response: This means nothing. Just because the word democracy isn't used doesn't mean that's not what it is. Democracy, as the definitions I gave is what the US government is. That makes the US a democracy.
Debate Round No. 1
C-Mach

Con

Correct me if I am not mistaken, but the people who had some involvement with the drafting the Constitution have said:

"Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch."

- Benjamin Franklin

"Democracy... while it lasts is more bloody than either aristocracy or monarchy. Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There is never a democracy that did not commit suicide."

- John Adams

"A democracy is nothing more than mob rule, where fifty-one percent of the people may take away the rights of the other forty-nine."

- Thomas Jefferson

"...Democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention; have ever been found incompatible with personal security, or the rights of property; and have in general been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their deaths."

- James Madison

"It has been observed that a pure democracy, if it were practicable, would be the most perfect government. Experience has proved that no position is more false than this. The ancient democracies, in which the people themselves deliberated, never possessed one feature of good government. Their very character was tyranny: their figure deformity... Real liberty is neither found in despotism or the extremes of democracy, but in moderate government."

- Alexander Hamilton

Now, you can understand what I am talking about. The first time we even considered calling ourselves a democracy was in 1917:

"The world must be made safe for democracy. Its peace must be planted upon the tested foundations of political liberty."

- Woodrow Wilson

However, contrary to President Wilson's quote, many have said that "democracy is tyranny by the majority," and that could be easily illustrated by the quotes I have supplied from Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson. Now, let's see that article that I have talked about in the last argument:

"The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government, and shall protect each of them against Invasion; and on Application of the Legislature, or of the Executive (when the Legislature cannot be convened) against domestic Violence."

- Article IV, Section IV, The United States Constitution.

Your rebuttal, CiRrO?
CiRrO

Pro

Group all my opponent's quotes.

These quotes are misleading, they portray that great American politicians are against democracies. In today's society a democracy is deifned as the same thing as a republic. Today there is no difference, like the difference between Democratic Athens and the Roman Republic. Back in the past, there was a difference. But today, a democracy is the definitions I have given above. These definitions have not been refuted, and thus extend for all remaining rounds. for this reason it is a clear affirmation that the US is indeed a democracy.

"The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government, and shall protect each of them against Invasion; and on Application of the Legislature, or of the Executive (when the Legislature cannot be convened) against domestic Violence."

My Response: He then quotes the article of the constitution. This means nothing, because my argument that a democracy and republic is the same thing. Thus you can drop this argument.
Debate Round No. 2
C-Mach

Con

"He then quotes [an] article of the constitution. This means nothing, because my argument [is] that a democracy and [a] republic [are] the same thing."

1._ You have missed the point. We are talking about whether the United States is a democracy or a republic.

2._ Not exactly: here are three out of the five* definitions on dictionary.com for the word "republic:"

1._ A state in which the supreme power rests in the body of citizens entitled to vote and is exercised by representatives chosen directly or indirectly by them.
2._ Any body of persons viewed as a commonwealth.
3._ A state in which the head of government is not a monarch or other hereditary head of state.

http://dictionary.reference.com...

*I did not use the other two definitions because they refer to the five French republics as well as Plato's work.

Now, let us see the definition of the word "democracy" from the same website:

1._ Government by the people; a form of government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised directly by them or by their elected agents under a free electoral system.
2._ A state having such a form of government.**
3._ A state of society characterized by formal equality of rights and privileges.
4._ Political or social equality; democratic spirit.
5._ The common people of a community as distinguished from any privileged class; the common people with respect to their political power.

http://dictionary.reference.com...

**I did not include the example, which undermines my argument.

You see, the first definitions are similar, but they are not the same.

3._ How is the Constitution not relevant in this argument? It is the document that determines whether this country is a republic or a democracy, and it mentioned that the United States is the former.

Your rebuttal, CiRrO?
CiRrO

Pro

Ok, look at these 2 definitions (both taken from the examples given by opponent):

[Republic]

A state in which the supreme power rests in the body of citizens entitled to vote and is exercised by representatives chosen directly or indirectly by them.

[Democracy]

government by the people; a form of government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised directly by them or by their elected agents under a free electoral system.

Key note: Both are governments that the power rests in the people, and is dictated by elected officials. Therefore, the US is both a democracy and a republic. I.e. a democratic republic.

*My opponent has essentially affirmed the resolution right here.

"How is the Constitution not relevant in this argument? It is the document that determines whether this country is a republic or a democracy, and it mentioned that the United States is the former."

My Response: I'm not saying that it is irrelevant. I'm saying that it is a living document. Times change. Back then a republic was different then a democracy. Today they are the same. Thus, the constitution should be updated. The constitution isn't infallible. At one time, women and blacks couldn't vote, but that changed, it was amended.

Voting Issue:

1) A republic and democracy is the same, thus the US is a democracy.

For this reason I urge an affirmation
Debate Round No. 3
16 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by yarnedia 8 years ago
yarnedia
Hamilton was a great political and financial mind. A comparison to Mitt Romney is ridiculous. It is true that Hamilton argued for a strong executive branch, as did Washington, Adams, and many others. Without their push, our country would have likely died before it got started.

It is also true that some Founders such as Jefferson and Madison despised Hamilton and his "financial scheme" as they called it. stand4something seems to fit in their camp. They very much apposed a strong federal government and favored a weak executive.

As it turned out the Federalists (Hamilton, Washington) had it right. More importantly, the drastically different views of both camps, brought together at the founding, forced compromise and some ambiguity that led to the forming of the most successful government in known history. It was the genius of both camps that made everything work. To dismiss one or the other is silly.

As this pertains to Democracy, regardless of which founders were pro and which were con, and to what extent doesn't change the fact that this country IS a Representative Democracy. Not to be confused with a pure democracy (popular vote on laws, etc.), it was the definition of a Pure Democracy that was attributed to the word at the time of founding.
Posted by AEQUITAS 8 years ago
AEQUITAS
Hamilton was possibly the greatest mind ever in politics. Anybody who has actually done serious research on his life and works would understand what he was fighting for. Hamilton was a person who suffered great loss at the hands of the government that was run by the majority. Because of these events he understood that the majority of people could take away the rights of the minority just as easily as a dictator could. Soviet Russia is a good example. The majority of people ushered it in and as it was consolidating power the government slaughtered twenty million people who wouldn't give up their land. How about Nazi Germany? I guess it was completely fair to kill all those jews because that's what the majority wanted right? Hamilton was fought his whole life to defend America from mob rule. Its people who can't even think through an easy matter like this logically that are causing his work to fall apart today, and destroying the freedoms of hard working Americans, stand4something. So I have two questions for you. One, did you actually research Hamilton, or did you just rely on hearsay and bias? Two, could you explain that "Hamilton and Mitt Romney thing"? Cause I'm not really seeing the connection. Or was that just something you said without really thinking it through also?
Posted by yarnedia 8 years ago
yarnedia
Republic and democracy are not mutually exclusive terms. They refer to different things but can both pertain to one entity. In other words, a republic can be administered by democracy. Also, there are multiple forms of democracy, the United States uses a form of representative democracy.
Posted by stand4something 8 years ago
stand4something
Hey Auqe....you should be carefull about quoting Hamilton....he was a total fascist duech bag. He basically represented the interest of european financial institutions and wanted to consolidate as much power into the presedency as possible...he was the 18th century equivilant of Mitt Romney....not cool...
Posted by A-ThiestSocialist 8 years ago
A-ThiestSocialist
There is a difference between democracy and a republic, you fail to see it CiRrO.
Posted by Cg09 8 years ago
Cg09
The problem with democracy is the same problem with all other forms of government, they are never fully achieved and can never be by humans simply because man is egotistical and likes power, and we're simply imperfect. True Communism is a great theory in that it promotes global unity and balance, but we know it can never be achieved by man.
Same thing with democracy like the Con mentioned:1._ Government by the people; a form of government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised directly by them or by their elected agents under a free electoral system.
Um...when have we ever been a government thats directly run by the people? When was the last time we were ever able to directly elect a president? Con wins
Posted by AEQUITAS 8 years ago
AEQUITAS
Bottom line is that Hamilton had it right. Out modern day government is far from what it was meant to be. Though it was originally meant to be a Republic it has turned into a democracy. Hamilton said that the government was fundementally flawed because it was democracy checked by more democracy. They should have listened to him. "The evils we face flow from the excesses of democracy." Democracy does not protect the rights of the people. It only protects the rights of the majority.
Posted by Killer542 8 years ago
Killer542
Weather the U.S. is a democracy depends on weather you consider an indirect democracy to be the same thing as a republic. if you consider them to be separate and distinct then it is an indirect democracy, if not than it's a republic
Posted by Xera 8 years ago
Xera
I got my pros and cons mixed up there, sorry, I voted PRO for that reason, and Con did not dispute. I should not attempt to type while half asleep.
Posted by Xera 8 years ago
Xera
because we are ruled more by the interpretations of the Supreme Court (they actually make more laws than congress) and since we have no say in who is appointed to the SC and no way to remove someone from the SC, we are neither a Republc nor a Democracy. We are a dictatorship that has yet to realize such.

That said I voted CON since the two portions of our government that were discussed during this debate fall under this definition of democracy:

1._ Government by the people; a form of government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised directly by them or by their elected agents under a free electoral system.

We have a government by the people, which is exercised by the elected agents under a free electoral system. Since PRO did not dispute this definition I have to go by it, though it is a flawed definition.
24 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Vote Placed by C-Mach 8 years ago
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