The Instigator
TheAnonymousOyster
Con (against)
Losing
3 Points
The Contender
Zaradi
Pro (for)
Winning
6 Points

The United States is a Democracy

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
Zaradi
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/16/2015 Category: Society
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 679 times Debate No: 70142
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (6)
Votes (3)

 

TheAnonymousOyster

Con

I will be arguing that the United States of America is not a democracy, rather a representative republic, and was always intended to be.

Round 1: acceptance + definitions
Round 2: main arguments
Round 3: rebuttals

Definitions:

Democracy: Ruled by the omnipotent majority. [1] (laws are voted on and passed directly by the people)

Republic: A constitutionally limited government, of the representative type, created by a written Constitution[1] (laws are voted on and passed by representatives elected by the people)

[1] http://www.diffen.com...
Zaradi

Pro

I accept.
Debate Round No. 1
TheAnonymousOyster

Con

"A Republic, if you can keep it." -- Benjamin Franklin

That is what our government was always intended to be.

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

First argument: The United States was founded as a Republic, not as a Democracy

The first article of the U.S. Constitution clearly defines the Legislative branch as one made up of representatives of each of the states, whether in the House or the Senate. These representatives vote on laws, as opposed to the entire population voting on a law, as is the case in a true democracy. (Source - The United States Constitution)

The very founders of our country had strong feelings about the difference between the two governments:

"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

"Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide." John Adams

How, then, can we say these men instituted a government contrary to their beliefs: a Democracy?

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Second Argument: Enough Said.

(And school work is catching up with me, so this will have to do.)
Zaradi

Pro

I’m advocating that the nature of the creation of this debate serves as a sufficient reason to vote Con down. She created a debate in which definitionally there’s no way to actually argue against her position. This is harmful for debate as a whole, and you should vote her down for doing such a thing.


And, don’t let her argue that this isn’t topical and has nothing to do with the resolution at hand because a) there’s no rules and stipulations put forward that I necessarily have to defend the converse of her position, opening possible cases to include theoretical arguments of this nature, and b) I’m being entirely topical by discussing the arguments she advances. To say that my discussion of her arguments isn’t topical is to concede that her arguments aren’t topical, which negates the entirety of her case as there wouldn’t be a link to the resolution. At this point you presume Pro because I have the higher ELO score, thus am probably the better debater. The role of the ballot is to vote for the better debater, and if it’s impossible to come to that conclusion, ranking systems offer ideas of who the better debater probably is.


A - Interpretation - Resolutions must be crafted as to allow both sides access to substantive argumentative grounds.


B - Violation - Con explicitly creates a resolution that is definitionally slanted entirely in her favor, leaving no substantive ground for her opponent. The US, by definition, is a republic, so to say that it’s anything but a republic is, by default, wrong.


C - Standards


Ground Skew: Making a debate that eliminates possible ground for a side to argue is inherently unfair. It’s not possible for me to defend my position if there isn’t any possible argument or evidence for why my side is correct, which turns the debate from a fair discussion of two opposing viewpoints to a one-sided shouting match.


This also harms the educational value of the debate because it virtually eliminates substantive discussion of the resolution. If there isn’t any way to defend my position with substance, therefore forcing me to take abstract positions such as theory, then there isn’t actually any discussion about the resolution taking place, but rather discussion about the nature of debates in general.


D - Implication – Vote them down.

Fairness is a voter because competitive debate mandates equal burdens. The function of the ballot is to vote for the better debater but that’s fundamentally impossible if one side is skewed.

Education is a voter since it garners out of round benefits that affect our daily lives.

Prefer competing interpretations since a) reasonability has an arbitrary brightline and thus invites arbitrary judge intervention and b) competing interps incentives fairer positions, promoting the integrity of the activity.

Reject the debater to disincentive bad debate, since debaters know they can just kick abusive arguments and exploit the time trade-off.

Even if you reject the argument, I’ve proven that their case doesn’t affirm the resolution, since you reject their advocacy. Any offense is non-unique since they can’t solve without a position, and you vote pro on a risk of offense.
Debate Round No. 2
TheAnonymousOyster

Con

No one ever forces you to accept a debate.

I will proceed by refuting Pro's arguments one by one, in the order they come.

Pro: "I have a higher ELO score, thus am probably the better debater. The role of the ballot is to vote for the better debater"
Con: I would have to disagree. The role of the ballot is to vote for whoever supported their position the most successfully, and who refuted his/her opponent's arguments. Whether or not you are ranked higher by a single website should hold no weight in how a voter decides.

Pro: "Resolutions must be crafted as to allow both sides access to substantive argumentative grounds."
Con: As I said before, this debate was not mandatory. I defined my terms at the beginning, and I sincerely apologize if the definitions were unclear. However, if Pro saw such flaws in the setup of this debate to begin with, then why did he accept? Was it to use the argument he used in round 2? Most likely.

Pro: "The US, by definition, is a republic, so to say that it"s anything but a republic is, by default, wrong."
Con: Pro, there are people who do not believe that. It was my hope that one of them would accept this debate. You are absolutely correct, but it does nothing for you but strengthen my side.

Pro: "If there isn"t any way to defend my position with substance, therefore forcing me to take abstract positions such as theory, then there isn"t actually any discussion about the resolution taking place, but rather discussion about the nature of debates in general."
Con: I never intended for this debate to turn into something so technical, and I do believe it is counterproductive to argue about the "nature of debates", but to be fair (becasue Pro is very concerned with fairness), I did discuss the resolution, and Pro had ample opportunity to refute my arguments, but took that time instead to discuss the "nature of debate".

Pro: Reject the debater to disincentive bad debate, since debaters know they can just kick abusive arguments and exploit the time trade-off.
Con: Disincentive? This debate isn't mandatory to accept, but in no way am I intentionally deterring people from accepting this debate. It is in my best interest for someone to accept it, not because it gives me opportunity to "kick abusive arguments" around, but to have a constructive debate with someone who honestly believes the U.S. is a democracy.

Once again, I sincerely apologize if the setup of this debate was unclear, or if my arguments came across as abusive and an attempt to exploit the system. It was not my intention.
Zaradi

Pro

So my opponent's only real reply to the theory shell that I ran was that I didn't have to accept the debate, so he shouldn't have his abuse held against him.

But first, that doesn't actually mean that, had I not accepted, the abuse wouldn't have been present. Regardless of who accepted, the debate would still be a truism, so he still bites into my theory shell and still bites into the harms.

Secondly, the only way that this abuse would've been checked is if I had accepted, as there aren't many debaters on the site well read enough in debate to understand how to respond to abusive arguments such as this one, and out of those there are almost none who would've taken the time to do this debate. This essentially places an obligation on me to take the debate and check the abuse.

Outside of that, there really isn't any other kind of response to my theory shell, so extend out the interpretation and how he violates the interpretation. Extend out my standard of ground skew as to why violating the interpretation is bad for debate.

Then extend out the voters of fairness and education and why they're vitally important to debate. Making this debate with the argument he used violates both of those, and thus you should vote him down for it.


So to summarize the round:


Her argument is that definitionally the United States is a republic, which negates the resolution that it's a democracy.

My argument is that this type of argument is bad for debate because it doesn't leave any kind of counter-ground available for the opposition: she created the debate in this type of manner to use this specific argument that doesn't leave any room for me to debate it.

Her only response is that I didn't have to accept the debate, which I've thuroughly refuted.

As such, you vote her down off of the implications of my argument.
Debate Round No. 3
6 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Posted by BLAHthedebator 1 year ago
BLAHthedebator
Isn't it both?
Posted by F-16_Fighting_Falcon 1 year ago
F-16_Fighting_Falcon
To put it succintly, Zaradi's last round advocated using ballots on this debate as a tool to see a greater outcome that he wanted to see on the site.
Posted by F-16_Fighting_Falcon 1 year ago
F-16_Fighting_Falcon
I'm puzzled by bluesteel's voting criteria.

>>> Pro responds that the abuse from the truism would have been worse if he didn't accept because it would be an auto-loss for an unsuspecting debater <<<

The harms that come out of someone accepting the debate shouldn't factor into the decision of who won this debate.

Pro also posted this in the last round and I don't buy that the resolution is abusive in a way that it could be an "autoloss" for "unsuspecting" debaters because the definitions were clearly laid out in R1.

The only way a debater would have an autoloss is if they didn't actually read R1 in which case, their loss.

All of this was there in R1:

>>> I will be arguing that the United States of America is not a democracy, rather a representative republic, and was always intended to be.

Democracy: Ruled by the omnipotent majority. [1] (laws are voted on and passed directly by the people)

Republic: A constitutionally limited government, of the representative type, created by a written Constitution[1] (laws are voted on and passed by representatives elected by the people) <<<

So, if they read this, in what way can they be "unsuspectingly taken advantage of?"

There is no loophole in which to trick people at all.
Posted by F-16_Fighting_Falcon 1 year ago
F-16_Fighting_Falcon
Con did delineate the definitions quite clearly in round 1 and it didn't seem like an abuse of semantics. Such examples would be if Con claimed that the US isn't a democracy and once Pro argued why it was, counter with a smartass "It isn't a democracy, it is a representative republic!!! haha." That would have been abuse. Anyways, that is not a factor in my voting decision but straight off the bat, I'm not seeing any default abuse by Con so Pro will have to sell me on it.

Pro's ELO argument was weak and Con correctly refutes this by pointing out that debate is a measure of skill displayed in the debate and not the rank of a debater.

Pro's definitional slant argument is addressed by Con saying that "there are people who do not believe that." I found it a valid response. I've seen debates saying that the moon landing wasn't a hoax and that 9/11 wasn't a coverup. Con claiming that she has seen people who believe that the US is a democracy and not a republic gave her a valid reason to start the debate.

Con also correctly addresses the "reject the debater" argument by pointing out that the debate wasn't mandatory to accept. I didn't feel that Pro's response in the last round adequately addressed this. Since Con couldn't respond, I have to step in as a judge to see if it was a valid counter-argument to Con's R3. Pro talks about how unfair resolutions needed to be punished but that's entirely outside the scope of the debate and I find it unfair to base voting decisions on individual debates based on overall effect over the debate itself.

With the theory shell not holding up, I'm voting Con off of her Round 2.

Vote: Con

This wasn't a factor but bottomline: the definitions were clearly listed in R1. Pro could easily have posted in the comments to point out that the definitions were unfair and ask for them to be changed. Failing that, he could have simply not taken the debate due to it being unfair. Pro's motivation seems to be purely to abuse and destroy a
Posted by bluesteel 1 year ago
bluesteel
== RFD ==

Con drops a lot of the reasons why truisms are bad for debate: they do not allow the better debater to win, they give no ground to one side, they harm education because no real substantive discussion can be had.

Con responds to theory by arguing that Pro did not have to accept the debate. However, Pro responds that the abuse from the truism would have been worse if he didn't accept because it would be an auto-loss for an unsuspecting debater. This argument is quite persuasive.

Con should have tried to turn education, by arguing that if someone who actually believed the U.S. was a democracy had accepted the debate, that person might have been education by automatically losing. However, without this argument being made, I'm given *only* reasons why Con's truism is unfair and it would have been just as bad or worse if someone else had accepted. Therefore, I vote Pro because it seems like a better rule for debate that debaters should not use truisms.
Posted by Jonnykelly 1 year ago
Jonnykelly
This is hardly an argument, this is more just a statement of facts. The United states IS a republic, a close cousin of democracy.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by F-16_Fighting_Falcon 1 year ago
F-16_Fighting_Falcon
TheAnonymousOysterZaradiTied
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: See comments.
Vote Placed by whiteflame 1 year ago
whiteflame
TheAnonymousOysterZaradiTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Well, Pro beat Con with the theory stick. Basically, I'm just not seeing a response to Pro's shell, and in particular, I'm left with Con dropping Pro's violation, standards and voters, leaving me with no choice but to vote Pro. Con, if you'd like some idea of how to handle this, I could give you some ideas, though Pro engaged in some deep-ish debate theory that you probably won't see again.
Vote Placed by bluesteel 1 year ago
bluesteel
TheAnonymousOysterZaradiTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: RFD in comments