The Instigator
andrewkletzien
Pro (for)
Winning
12 Points
The Contender
RationalMadman
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

The politicization of a tragedy is appropriate and necessary immediately after a tragedy.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
andrewkletzien
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/21/2012 Category: Politics
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,895 times Debate No: 28506
Debate Rounds (2)
Comments (18)
Votes (3)

 

andrewkletzien

Pro

Being a liberal who is quite weary of loose gun control legislation, I did not hesitate a moment to speak out publicly on the need for gun control reform immediately after the Connecticut shooting. I was confronted on numerous occasions that such politicization was "inappropriate" and "disrespectful." The charge was made that we must wait a period of time (unspecified by most and variable amongst distinct individuals) before talking about the political impacts and ramifications of this tragedy. The widespread nature of this debate over appropriate timing was seen in Slate's article from December 14th:

(http://www.slate.com...)

What this debate is:
While I am a liberal, this debate is in defense of anyone who sees politicization as a necessary and proper thing, regardless of time past. I am arguing for even a conservative's proper right and necessity of speaking about the implications of such a tragedy. Simply put, I argue that this seemingly undefined "waiting period" to which vocal individuals are said to have inappropriately broken serves no purpose, and is in many cases detrimental to society as a whole as well as a true injustice to the victims and their families.

Appropriate "Waiting Periods" are Political in and of Themselves
I argue here that those who make the charge of indecency against vocal individuals are themselves politicizing the very same tragedy, but in different ways. Dictionary.com provides "conservative" with the following definition: "disposed to preserve existing conditions, institutions, etc." Liberal, on the other hand, is defined as "favorable to progress or reform." I propose here that this charge of indecency for failure to "wait" an unspecified amount of time is just as much a politicization, but a conservative one. This is not to say that anyone who espouses either opinion in this debate is categorically "conservative" or "liberal," but the definitions provide a rough look into the fact that these charges are just as much a political move.

This declaration of insult and offense on behalf of the victims and their families is just as much political. If the charge of indecency is to be permitted (which I don't grant that it should necessarily be), that charge must come initially and directly from those who have reason to be offended or disrespected (the families of the victims). Since the casualties are incapable of expressing, much less feeling, offense, the only people that should be allowed to make such a charge are those who have reason to be insulted or offended. Those who take it upon themselves to feel offense or disrespect on behalf of the families that were effected are, as noted previously, politicizing to the exact same degree as the liberal response. If this response were to be taken on in the legislature, they would be exercising a gross form of paternalism (if any form of paternalism can be labeled "not gross") in which disrespect is assumed by the families that have thus far not expressed said disrespect to any significant degree. I would further argue that if insult is to be assumed (which it initially should not be, but regrettably already has) for the victims, it would be much less offensive to hear the liberal response of gun control reform that the typical conservative response (which, as I noted, they are perfectly entitled to make) of saying that the death of their children is simply a "necessary evil" in protecting the liberties of the murderer of their kin.

On Disrespect for the Dead
If it is to be argued that politicization in and of itself is disrespectful to the dead (put in other words by claiming the use of "victims" for the advancement of a particular platform), I would have to point out that the dead are neither capable of feeling nor expressing disrespect. If this position (which admittedly is not dependent on any "time table" of appropriateness) were to be universally accepted, then one must also speak out against any discussion of the evils of Nazism and it's consequences. This argument is even worse than one which arbitrarily grants appropriateness to politicization after an unspecified amount of time, for it fails to take into consideration that those 6 million individuals who died in the Holocaust are no more or less dead than the individuals who died in Connecticut. Further, those individuals who died in Connecticut are no more or less dead than after a week or a few hours after the tragedy. Disrespect must only be made from and for the individuals who remain alive.

"Waiting Period" for the Sake of Grief
Those who claim that a "waiting period" is appropriate to allow time for the family and the nation to grieve seem to be under the impression that critical, prescient, and political thought cannot be engaged in while grieving and mourning the loss of these children. There is absolutely no reason that we as a species, capable of incredible amounts of multi-tasking and synthesis, cannot engage in mournful reflection while simultaneously engaging in the political implications of such a tragedy.

It is also important to note the very real possibility of yet another tragedy occurring within this unspecified amount of time set aside solely for grief, at which point we will hear cries for "waiting periods" yet again, so discussion of the political impact is pushed further and further back, allowing for more and more apathy and inaction.

On the Distinction Between the Two Sides
I think I have made it clear that this debate does not depend solely on liberal vs. conservative responses to such tragedies. I am simply arguing that liberal and conservative politicizations of such tragedies are entirely proper, appropriate, and even necessary. It is important to note, however, that the various philosophies espoused by conservatives and liberals paint a good portrait of why this question of "waiting periods" has become so volatile in the past weeks.

I think it can be reasonable assumed that, in general, liberals will espouse an attitude open to gun reform and heavier restrictions, while conservatives will fight back by pointing out that "guns don't kill people, people kill people," or that if an adult in the school had a gun, the murderer could have been stopped. As much as I disagree with such interpretations of the incident, that is not the debate at hand.

I think it is reasonable, then, to assume that liberals, by the very definition of their ideology as one supportive of change and reform, will not grant the arbitrary "appropriateness regression" after such a tragedy. Conservatives, on the other hand, in tandem with their ideology of the status quo, will be much more likely to push for a "waiting period," which in and of itself represses the political implications that were made apparent just hours after the tragedy, until a future moment in time.

The liberal cross-over (liberals supportive of gun reform but insistent on this "waiting period") I argue is making a political statement just as much as any other, but a conservative one. I think it's reasonable to assume that the divide in this debate will be, for the most part, along liberal and conservative lines (by the very nature of their respective ideologies). Those that are admittedly liberal (in support of change and reform) that insist on such a waiting period, are likely in the category of people who are inspired by "hope and change," but fail to recognize that this is something that need be worked for, not something that we can wait around for and expect to be handed on a silver platter. This is clearly seen in Jay Kearney's insistence that "today is not the day to talk gun control."

In short, I think it appropriate and necessary for liberals and conservatives alike to discuss, recognize, and spread the political implications of such a tragedy as soon as they become apparent, despite any differences in interpretation or application.
RationalMadman

Con

What is it to politicize?

http://oxforddictionaries.com...
cause (an activity or event) to become political in character

What is a tragedy?

an event causing great suffering, destruction, and distress, such as a serious accident, crime, or natural catastrophe

http://oxforddictionaries.com...

Now for the duration of debate I shall explain why it is not only impractical but STUPID to politicize "a tragedy" of any kind.

Politics, in the context of debate, is the collection of activities associated with the governance of a country or area.

If we were to politicize all great sufferings then what is the limit? Our country only? Where do we draw the line? Who should we focus on publicizing it to?

All these question come to mind at the issue, no answers at all.

Debate Round No. 1
andrewkletzien

Pro

Considering the lack of argumentation from my opponent and the lack of response to my arguments, I will simply add the following:

It's a quite common phrase in political science, "The personal is political." It's also very commonly assumed that, "The political is personal."

What allowed individuals to claim that women should not be allowed to vote was this very strict distinction between "the public" and "the private." The private was thought to be not of any political nature, while the public was thought to be, of course, politics and that which is "outside the home." The assumed divisions of labor put the women in "the private" (the non-political) and the men in "the public," or the political.

I argue here that it is all political, that the phrase "Everything has to do with everything" is quite astute. Tragedies need to be politicized. You may not be watching politics, but politics is watching you, and I can think of no tragedy tragedy that does not have at least one indirect political side to it.

In response to Con's questions: There are no limits. Politics deals with everything within a sovereign border, and yes, that includes tragedies. The political impacts of tragedies in other countries quite apparent as well. At this very moment Syrians are being faced with a government that is planning on using chemical weapons on their own people. A tragedy? Yes. Political? Indeed.

I also think tragedies should be publicized. To be clear, they should not be dramatized as the Casey Anthony case was. But, there is a reason why criminal records are public records. Examples of tragedies (whether you agree with their necessity or not) that are inherently political: WWI, WWII, Mai Lai, "Manifest Destiny," Road of Tears, Hiroshima, Abu Ghraib, Columbine, 9/11... and the list goes on.

I will await any shred of argumentation that the politicization of tragedies is "stupid" as my opponent says, or that it is impractical. After all, this is a debate forum.
RationalMadman

Con

There is no reason to do it.


It is just because it hurts your feelings you think the government have to care? No.

Their job is to worry about leading people, to force their will of socialism upon them and make a socialist community of happy slaves, the last thing on their mind is idiots like you who want to be free to go OMG THEY DIED LOOK AT THEM :'( when the real tragedy of society is liberal capitalism.
Debate Round No. 2
18 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by RationalMadman 4 years ago
RationalMadman
Most things are man.
Posted by Stupidwalrus 4 years ago
Stupidwalrus
@RationalMadman:

"when something is so stupid,t he only thing to do is be stupid." Is everything stupid? Because you're always stupid.
Posted by andrewkletzien 4 years ago
andrewkletzien
I'm not convinced your reasoning in that last comment was of personal reasoning, or your own personal necessity and inability to conduct yourself in any other way.
Posted by RationalMadman 4 years ago
RationalMadman
when something is so stupid,t he only thing to do is be stupid.
Posted by andrewkletzien 4 years ago
andrewkletzien
Then don't waste these people's time and don't take it on. Or actually show why it's silly. Which, if that was your aim, you failed.
Posted by RationalMadman 4 years ago
RationalMadman
This resolution was silly to begin with what makes any tragedy important or unimportant enough to or not be politicized? Impossible to determine, to a mother the rape of her child is far worse than the concentration camps of hitler.
Posted by andrewkletzien 4 years ago
andrewkletzien
Trolling is an art. But not an art in which you excel, unfortunately.
Posted by andrewkletzien 4 years ago
andrewkletzien
Listen you're talking to a gay man who went to high school in a very conservative district. If you think it's "your thing" to be an annoying troll, your abilities are quite lacking. Since I have an appreciation for a site like this, and recognize that there is a time and a place for buggering of which you seem to be so proud, I won't bother taking on an amateur like yourself. There's a time for fun and games, but stop wasting peoples' time who want to have serious discussion and have some semblance of respect for themselves and others.
Posted by andrewkletzien 4 years ago
andrewkletzien
You came up with that one all on your own. Maybe that will tell you something.
Posted by andrewkletzien 4 years ago
andrewkletzien
I never said anything about hate.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by GorefordMaximillion 4 years ago
GorefordMaximillion
andrewkletzienRationalMadmanTied
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Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: con didn't refute pro (argument). Also called him an idiot(conduct).
Vote Placed by emj32 4 years ago
emj32
andrewkletzienRationalMadmanTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Con never refuted Pro's arguments, and of course calling Pro an 'idiot' cost him the conduct point
Vote Placed by Stupidwalrus 4 years ago
Stupidwalrus
andrewkletzienRationalMadmanTied
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Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: Con dropped just about every single point, and the phrase "idiots like you" lost him conduct.