The Instigator
JBlake
Pro (for)
Winning
8 Points
The Contender
KRFournier
Con (against)
Losing
5 Points

ToC Round One: The Twenty-Second Amendment should be Repealed

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
JBlake
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/9/2009 Category: Politics
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 6,226 times Debate No: 9183
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (10)
Votes (3)

 

JBlake

Pro

I would like to open my first round of the tournament by wishing my highly esteemed opponent, K.R. Fournier the best of luck in the Tournament of Champions.

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Twenty-Second Amendment: The amendment that prohibits the U.S. President to serve more than two terms. It also prohibits him from running for a second term if he has served more than two years of his successor's term.
The full text of the amendment can be found below:
(source: http://www.usconstitution.net...

Repeal: 1. To revoke or rescind, especially by an official or formal act.
2. Obsolete To summon back or recall, especially from exile.
(source: http://www.thefreedictionary.com...)

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Resolved, That the twenty-second amendment to the United States Constitution should be repealed.

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In this debate I will introduce at least threemajor reasons why the amendment should be repealed. 1) It is counter to U.S. democratic principles (note: we are not a democracy, but we operate under democratic principles); 2) Limiting the President to two terms can have harmful effects on U.S. interests; and 3) It impedes the ability to inact long-term plans. I reserve the right to introduce more arguments later in the debate should the necessity arise.

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Counter to Democratic Principles
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Few would doubt that the U.S. operates under democratic principles. The twenty-second amendment is counter to these principles because it forces a limit on the people's will. The American people have their choices, in essence, restricted.

This relates to the topic of the twenty-second amendment in that it limits the people's ability to choose its head of state. If they find a good chief executive that makes them happy, they ought to be able to ask him (via re-election) to continue to serve beyond two terms. There is no valid reason for a good president to be limited to two terms, should the people desire his continued service.

The American people have shown on multiple occasions that they are more than competent enough to limit a bad president to no more terms than he/she is in good standing. Evidence of this comes in the form of the many presidents that have only served one term (Ford, Carter, Bush Sr., to name only the most recent); and presidents that have run for three terms and lost (Grant, and T. Roosevelt). Clearly the American people can decide for themselves if a president has overstayed his welcome.

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Harmful Effects
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The moment a president reaches 'lame duck' status, the public will is no longer an important consideration in policy development. He is no longer dependent on staying in the public's good graces for his continued employment. He has no motive to consider the public will. The potential for mischief should be clear to the reader.

Term Limits also give the president incentive to take advantage of his office while he can, especially once in the 'Lame Duck' phase (read: half of a two-term presidency). This could come in the form of partisan appointments, giving out fat contracts to friends or party donors, or other such nefarious activity.

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Impedes Long Term Planning
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Limiting a president to two terms forcing him/her to focus on short term goals rather than long term ones. This gives he/she incentive to look for short term gains that, while it may be politically expedient for the party in the short term, it may have negative consequences for the nation in the long term. Additionally, it limits politicians' ability to see long term plans through to a successful conclusion (should the long-term goal coincide with the public will, of course).

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CONCLUSION
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Because the twenty-second amendment is counter to our democratic principles and it limits people's choice; and
because it can have harmful effects, like divorcing presidents from the public will during 'lame duck' status; and
because it encourages short-term plans at the expense of long-term ones:
the resolution, that the twenty-second amendment should be repealed, is affirmed.

Thank you.
KRFournier

Con

I'm glad to accept my first tournament debate if not a bit intimidated by my opponent's excellent track record. That being said, I think there is a strong case against the resolution.

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MY ARGUMENT
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The 22nd amendment passed through Congress in 1947 after Franklin Delano Roosevelt was elected to four terms, the first president to successfully acquire more than two terms (though not the first to attempt it). [1] Some critics argue that a jealous Republican party, which had gained control of both houses, pushed the bill through for personal gain. Motives aside, it still required bipartisan support to acquire the two-thirds votes needed in Congress followed by the three-fourths ratification by the states. This is no small feat, and the fact that it was accomplished is indicative of the people's choice.

When the 22nd amendment was written, H.R. Representative #17 wrote the following annotation:

"By reason of the lack of a positive expression upon the subject of the tenure of the office of President, and by reason of a well-defined custom which has risen in the past that no President should have more than two terms in that office, much discussion has resulted upon this subject. Hence it is the purpose of this . . . [proposal] . . . to submit this question to the people so they, by and through the recognized processes, may express their views upon this question, AND IF THEY SHALL SO ELECT, they may . . . thereby set at rest this problem." [2] (emphasis added)

This statement contradicts any argument against the 22nd amendment on the grounds that it violates democratic principles, for it was a decision that was democratically conceived and achieved in the first place.

Now, it might be argued that times have changes and what was good for us then is now unhealthy. However, as this debate will reveal, the arguments today haven't changes much. FDR showed that a president could position himself in such a way as to attain long term reign. The fear may seem over exaggerated, but it was a fear recognized as far back as Thomas Jefferson who wrote, "if some termination to the services of the chief Magistrate be not fixed by the Constitution, or supplied by practice, his office, nominally four years, will in fact become for life." [3]

It might be easy to dismiss such fears as irrational, but to do so would ignore the multiple factors of a president's popularity combined with the incumbency advantage. People can only choose a presidential candidate they know, and no candidate is more known than the incumbent president. An incumbent president gains a "6-10% edge in the voting booth." [4] It is very common for people to vote for what they know, even if they aren't wholly satisfied with the current administration, only because they are afraid the less known candidates could be worse. Only 10 presidents have lost when running for a second term. Thus, it is not wholly irrational to imagine one person holding the presidential office for the remainder of their life.

Term limits bring balance to this country's leadership. The 22nd amendment aligns perfectly with the U.S. Constitution in that it brings power to the people, through a republic, while tempered in such a way as to avoid tyranny of the majority. Even if a president is popular, he or she cannot possibly represent the diversity contained within our borders. Term limits ensure a new voice of the people is regularly voted into leadership. Therefore, I firmly stand in opposition that the 22nd amendment should be repealed.

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REBUTTAL
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1. Counter to Democratic Principles

It is true that term limits run counter to will of the common people, but it is equally true that other democratic principles are what canonized the limits in the first place. My opponent should be more specific, since term limits do not run counter to ALL democratic principles, but only to those he seems to prefer.

Heads of state need a counter balance since they represent one voice in a role of high authority. I'm not talking about checks and balances, which control one's power. I'm talking about counter balancing one's voice. No elected official speaks for everyone. Every U.S. Senator is counter balanced by opposing voices within the Senate. However, there is no counter balancing voice for the president. The president represents one view for their entire term. Term limits ensure a new voice is brought into the presidency. If anything, this preserves democratic principles rather than destroying them.

2. Harmful Effects

Many factors contribute to a president's effectiveness. An effective president has a good relationship with his party, who ideally controls the legislature. An effective president garners public popularity. Often, unplanned foreign or domestic events play into a president's aptitude, the outcomes of which show his/her mettle. To place the blame squarely on a lack of motivation is short sighted and amounts to a straw man defense.

Furthermore, the whole idea that the president loses motivation is absurd when you consider the president's more pressing concern: his/her political party. A second term president is still motivated to leave behind a pleasant legacy, one that will encourage the people to vote into office another candidate from the same party--especially one eager to carry on his former colleague's good work. In short, there is no reason other than pure cynicism to expect a second term president to just throw in the towel.

3. Impedes Long Term Planning

Any worthwhile long term goal can always be carried on by the president's political party and, people willing, his/her successor. It could be argued then, that any policy that relies more on one president's charisma than on popular support is a flimsy long term goal unworthy of pursuit in the first place. Indeed, term limits, if anything, force a president to "cut the fat" and focus on worthy long term goals that the people can get behind. It fosters better planning rather than wasteful trial and error over a long period of time.

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CONCLUSION
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Our government is run by people, not one person. The 22nd amendment was our nation's response to the growing concern that given enough circumstances, one person could become an elected dictator. As extreme or even unlikely an outcome it might be, the nation still spoke loudly and clearly in 1951 when ratifying this amendment. The problems rectified by the amendment half a century ago carry the same potential today. Repeal the 22nd amendment, and run the risk of one voice ruling the country for a decade or more. The founding fathers sought to create a government free from deified kings and despot dictators. Let's keep it that way.

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SOURCES
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1. http://www.usconstitution.net...
2. http://www.law.cornell.edu...
3. http://en.wikipedia.org...
4. http://books.google.com...
Debate Round No. 1
JBlake

Pro

I would like to thank the eminently respectable K.R. Fournier for this lively and thorough debate. Regardless of the result, I trust this will be an informative experience for the both of us.

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I will begin by rebutting Mr. Fournier's argument, then defending my own.

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KRFournier: 'It is indicative of democracy"
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Mr. Fournier begins his argument by asserting the democratic nature of the amendment. The passage of the amendment through the proper ratification process, he alleges, is "indicative of the people's choice." On its head, this claim has two major problems. Firstly (1), close examination of the ratification process shows that it is not an indication of the people's choice. Secondly (2), even if it were indicative of the people's choice when it was passed in 1951, it does not necessarily reflect the views and desires of the people today.

1. The ratification process begins with the requirement of a two-thirds majority vote in both houses of congress. Once passed, an amendment is sent to each state legislature for approval. As Mr. Fournier correctly points out, three-fourths of the state legislatures must vote in favor. I hope the reader will take notice of who is left out of this process - the people. Therefore it cannot be said that the amendment is a reflection of the people's choice because the people were never given a say in the matter. Instead, it can only be said that the passage of the amendment is indicative of the federal and state legislatures' choice.
(Source: http://www.archives.gov...)

2. Even if we allow that it is a reflection of the people's choice (which I am not), that does not stop a new generation from attempting to express and enforce the new version of the people's will. Thomas Jefferson questioned this very principle in a letter to James Madison when he wondered "Whether one generation of men has a right to bind another." Does one generation have the right to bind all of posterity? Jefferson ultimately concludes "'that the earth belongs in usufruct to the living;' that the dead have neither powers nor rights over it." So while it may be that the people chose in 1951 to limit the president to two terms (see above for the rebuttal to this point), future generations should certainly be able to open dialogue on the issue and, if they deem necessary, to overturn it.
(Source: Jefferson to Madison, 6 Sept. 1789, paragraph 1: http://teachingamericanhistory.org...)

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Mr. Fournier, in claiming that the twenty-second amendment was "conceived and achieved" in a democratic manner (although it wasn't), confuses the limit placed on democracy as it relates to presidential elections and the supposedly democratic nature of the ratification process. Certainly the reader can conceive of a democratically enacted amendment that restricts democracy. If we allow that the ratification process was democratic (it wasn't) then that is what has occurred in this instance.

Therefore, my point still stands that the twenty-second amendment runs counter to democratic principles because it limits the people's choice of presidents.

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Jefferson and fixed terms
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Mr. Fournier quotes Th. Jefferson:
"if some termination to the services of the chief Magistrate be not fixed by the Constitution, or supplied by practice, his office, nominally four years, will in fact become for life."
This quote is supposedly a representation of the fear of a president attaining a long term reign. However, Jefferson is speaking about limiting a single term to four years so as to require the president to have his service reaffirmed by the people (every four years). This falls far short of an endorsement of limiting a president to a set number of terms (let alone to only two terms).

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Incumbent's Advantage
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My opponent seems to distrust the people's ability to determine whether their chief executive is performing well or poorly. He claims that even a poorly performing incumbent has an advantage over a new challenger simply because he is better known. To support this he cites a claim that only 10 presidents have lost when running for a second term (the actual number is 11, Con's source omitted Teddy Roosevelt's failed run). While on face value this seems like a low number, when we include those who did not seek a second term (either by choice, or by failure to receive the party's nomination) we get a different picture. Below are the statistics:

43 distinct presidents (Cleveland served twice)
Sought a second term: 27 (1)
Lost a second term: 11 (2)

1. Washington, Adams, Jefferson, Madison, Monroe, Adams, Jackson, Van Buren, Lincoln, Grant, Cleveland, Harrison McKinley, Roosevelt, Taft, Wilson, Hoover, Roosevelt, Truman Eisenhower, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush, Clinton, Bush.
2. Adams, Adams, Van Buren, Cleveland, Harrison, Teddy Roosevelt, Taft, Hoover, Ford, Carter, Bush
(Although not specifically stated, these numbers can be verified on: http://en.wikipedia.org...)

When we look at the cited number in this way we see that nearly half of the presidents who sought a second term lost their bid, rather than the one-fourth implied by the citation. This supports my claim that the American people are fully capable of deciding whether or not a president has served well enough to deserve a second term.

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Defense of My Argument
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Counter to Democratic Principles
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1. Con attacks my position as being one that ignores aspects of democratic principles that I prefer. As I showed in the very first section in this round, the amendment was not ratified with democratic principles; and that if it were, that does not limit us from overturning the laws and amendments of past generations.

2. Mr. Fournier claims, in his second paragraph of this section, that the president has no counter balancing voice. On this point I would beg to differ. The president has advisers, a cabinet, and literally thousands of other people within the administration. Is my opponent claiming that none of them can offer a counter balance to the president's voice? Even if we grant that none within a president's administration offers a counter balancing voice (which I don't), the president still must go to the people every four years to be re elected. This forces him to continue considering the people's will. In this way, the people offer one counter balance to both the president's voice and power.

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Harmful Effects
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In rebutting this section, Mr. Fournier assumes that the president considers the welfare of his party when he makes decisions. If this were the case, no president would make unpopular decisions so as to protect the welfare of his party. History has shown that this is not the case. Not all presidents put party before the people, and not all presidents will put the party before personal interest.

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Long Term Planning
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I concede on this point. My opponent has convinced me of the folly of advancing this point. He is correct, any worthwhile long term goal should be able to continue without a charismatic president.

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I would like to close by once again thanking my opponent for his most able of responses - even convincing me on the last point. I wish him good luck in the final two rounds.
KRFournier

Con

As expected, JBlake is bringing out all the stops. It is certainly a pleasure to debate him no matter the outcome.

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DEFENSE OF MY ARGUMENTS
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I will be using different headers to delineate my arguments, since I JBlake's interpretation does not wholly and accurately reflect my approach. I generally do not like to break my argument into separate modules, but in the interest of consistency and readability, I will acquiesce. At any rate, I will address all of JBlake's objections.

1. History affirms the 22nd amendment

JBlake called this argument "indicative of democracy." Indeed, I do content that democracy, as established in the U.S., realized the 22nd amendment in a just and fair manner. His contention, however, is that the common people were left out of the equation. Recall that JBlake pointed out in round one that "we are not a democracy, but we operate under democratic principles." The U.S. is a republic, a special hierarchy of political representatives at the local, state, and federal level. The people elect their state and federal leaders, so the voice of the states ideally represent the voice of the people. So why does JBlake say it isn't so?

If JBlake is correct and the will of the states did not reflect the will of the people in 1951, then the people must not have correctly chosen their leaders and/or representatives. Why then should we trust the people to correctly elect the U.S. President? JBlake cannot have it both ways. If he insists the people are capable of choosing the president without limits, then he must concede that the people were accurately represented during the ratification process.

Of course, that's only half of JBlake's objection. He furthermore contends that past generations' decisions should not bind the current generation. Not only do I agree, I feel compelled to point out that I already anticipated this objection in my first round when I said, "it might be argued that times have changes [sic] and what was good for us then is now unhealthy." Indeed, the issue of term limits should not be ignored simply because the past already decided. However, history does give insight into the issues involved in this decision, which brings me to my second contention.

2. Term limits prevent indefinite reign

JBlake labeled this "Jefferson and fixed terms." It was not my intention to convey that Jefferson was endorsing presidential term limits. My point was that the concern of presidents gaining too much power by maintaining indefinite rule goes all the way back to the founding fathers. The problem does not magically go away simply because this generation proclaims itself to be equipped well enough to do away with the 22nd amendment. It's irrational to think that it is not likely to be a problem today, especially when you also consider my next two contentions.

3. The people cannot be trusted to make the better choice

JBlake accuses me of distrusting the people's ability to choose a president, and indeed I do. This was precisely why I brought up the incumbency advantage, but there are plenty of reasons to support my position. People rarely vote for a political candidate based solely on capability like my opponent might have us believe. They vote according to religious convictions, party loyalty, misinformation, popularity, and so on. David Hume said reason is "the slave of passions, and can pretend to no other office than to serve and obey them." Incumbent's have access to greater media channels, funding, and world events. FDR, the catalyst for the amendment, was able to acquire his forth term primarily for being a wartime president. There is no consistent rationale for believing that the people are capable of voting for the "better" president. Consider just some of the reasons Bush was reelected: http://news.bbc.co.uk...

4. Tyranny of the majority

The only valid objection to my previous contention is that the people ought to be permitted to choose their president even if they are not equipped to choose without bias. This brings me to my final contention, which JBlake did not address. Term limits naturally limit the popular majority from keeping their preferred leader in a position of power. After two terms, the popular president must step down, giving other public opinions a chance to be represented on an executive level.

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REBUTTALS
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1. Counter to Democratic Principles

I'm afraid JBlake did not fully comprehend my use of the term "voice" in my rebuttal here. Every elected official represents a majority voice: that is, the opinions and desires of their majority constituents. A U.S. Representative represents the majority voice of his/her district, which is counter-balanced by opposing voices from other districts. On the contrary, the U.S. President represents a single national majority voice. His advisors, cabinet, and administration--all ultimately determined by his own choosing--do not necessarily represent opposing public voices. For this reason, it is good that a president step down after two terms, allowing a new voice to be represented.

2. Harmful Effects

JBlake rightly points out how irrational it is to think that all presidents consider the welfare of their party over and above their self interests or the will of the people. That being the case, it is equally irrational to think that all presidents "give up" during their second term due to lack of motivation. JBlake cannot have it both ways. If my objection is irrational, then so is this contention to begin with.

3. Long Term Planning

We seem to agree on this point.

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CONCLUSION
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On the surface, the 22nd amendment seems to hinder the democratic process. However, as I have attempted to show, completely unleashing the people's will fails to consider the reality of human nature. People in power will attempt to stay in power, and most voters are not well equipped enough to prevent power abuse. The 22nd amendment is a reasonable solution. It certainly steps on a few toes, but it by no means cuts people off at the knees. People still have their say. They are merely asked to vote for fresh blood after eight years of the same. I firmly resolve that the 22nd amendment should not be repealed.
Debate Round No. 2
JBlake

Pro

K.R. Fournier, as usual, is a shining example of what this website is about - solid argument presented in a clear and courteous manner. Regardless of the outcome, this has been an informative and enjoyable experience. I would be honored to debate Mr. Fournier anytime in the future. I wish him all the luck in his closing arguments, and the tournament as a whole.

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I will respond to each of his points in the order listed.

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History Affirms
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Mr. Fournier correctly points out that the ideal of our Federal Republic is for political representatives (both federal and state) to represent the voice of the people. He attempts to use this to present my argument as contradictory. Reality, however, may not fall perfectly in line with this ideal.

As we have discussed, sometimes a representative does not have the interest of his constituency in mind. Sometimes he is more interested in personal, partisan, or private enterprise concerns. This will have a tendency to reduce the power of some of the people's voice. As a result, many people 's views will not be adequately represented.
I must also add that it is not a contradiction to say that while representatives occasionally stray from their constituents, the people are competent enough to "correctly" choose their leaders.

Furthermore, to my knowledge, no state held a referendum or town hall meetings to address the issue. The "people's choice" was not consulted. Representatives may not have known their constituents' views on the matter.

At any rate, this point is irrelevant since my opponent has conceded the next point.

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I am glad that my esteemed opponent agrees that past generational decisions do not bind future ones. This effectively negates his point that the amendment cannot run counter to democratic principles because it was passed through the ratification process.

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Prevent Indefinite Reign
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Mr. Fournier suggests that anxiety over indefinite rule has existed since the nation's founding. I would say the anxiety has been over permanent, or life-long, rule rather than indefinite - but this is an insignificant distinction.

If the people were anxious over indefinite rule and wished to limit the president to two terms, they are certainly competent enough achieve this. After all, they were able to do so without legislative intervention for the century and a half before the twenty-second amendment. So why bind future generations to the anxiety of one?

Mr. Fournier has only shown that there has historically been anxiety over indefinite reign. He has not shown why indefinite reign is necessarily a negative thing. Point negated.

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The People cannot be Trusted to make the Better Choice
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Mr. Fournier re-introduced the incumbency advantage. On that point I will redirect the reader to my second round where I showed the incumbency advantage to be less powerful than Con and his source suggest.

He deftly argues that the people cannot be trusted to make the best choice because they usually vote based on issues like religion, party, misinformation, and popularity. However, this misunderstands what it means to be a representative of the people. If the people find such religious or social issues to be the most important, then they are fully justified in selecting a president who reflects these views. Con will have you believe that these issues are not related to performance. But if the people find his performance on these issues to be more important than other issues (say, foreign or economic policy), then their selection is fully justified.

I must respond to one more point made by Mr. Fournier. He says that "there is no consistent rationale for believing that the people are capable of voting for the 'better' president." I have brought up on several occasions in this debate just such a consistent rational for trust in the people's competency. The people have chosen, on their own accord, to limit all presidents prior to FDR to only two terms.

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Tyranny of the Majority
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The majority has ample checks and balances already in place in our system. Any tyrannical or oppressive position taken by the people is subject to Judicial Review, whereby the Supreme Court's duty is to protect the minority's rights from the majority.

The core of his point in this section is that other public opinions must have a chance to be represented. There are several things wrong with this position. First, there is nothing to stop other public opinions from their chance at being represented in the executive branch. Any opposition can run for the office. Second, if a public opinion happens to be supported by the majority, then the next candidate who most closely resembles that view will be elected anyway, thus rendering this concern invalid.

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My Argument
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1. Counter to Democratic Principles.

My opponent's concerns here seem to be unjustified. He admits that the President is a representative of the majority position. This is consistent with one of the major principles of our government - majority rule (with checks and balances to prevent tyranny of the majority, as discussed above). Again, if the president steps down and the majority voice is indeed the majority voice, then the next president will be a representative of that same national majority.

The people should have the ability to keep a good and effective representative of their majority voice. As I mentioned, the majority voice is likely to carry the following election as well. However, later representatives of this voice may be less effective. The choice should belong to the people, not the legislatures of 1951.

2. Harmful Effects

Mr. Fournier again attempts to paint my position as contradictory. The point is that some presidents could find their lame duck status to be an opportunity to consider personal, private, or partisan interests above the interests of the people. Obviously not all presidents will react this way. No one has argued otherwise. That some will react this way is a possibility that should be avoided. Allowing presidents to run for future terms requires them to remain in good standing with the public.

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CLOSING REMARKS
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Throughout this debate Mr. Fournier has failed to live up to his burden. He has had two rounds to show why allowing presidents to run for more than two terms will have negative consequences. His main point is that it could lead to indefinite reign. However, indefinite reign is just another way of saying a lack of term limits (because without a limit on terms there is indefinite reign). In other words, he is saying that a lack of term limits is bad because it lacks term limits. The circular nature of this argument should be apparent to the reader.

His concern that the people are incompetent to elect their executive representative is contradicted by history. Only FDR, who has been consistently considered by most historians to be among the top three presidents, has been elected to more than two terms. His only piece of evidence on this point has been an alleged "incumbency advantage", which I have shown to be anything but a sweeping advantage.

His final concern, that the majority will oppress the minority, is also unfounded. Our system has checks and balances in place to protect the minority from the majority.

Because the twenty-second amendment runs counter to democratic principles; and
because Con has been unable to articulate a single negative consequence of repeal; and
because his concerns have been shown to be unfounded:
I urge the reader to vote Pro.
KRFournier

Con

In closing this debate, I want to thank theLwerd for organizing this tournament and JBlake for this challenging and hopefully enjoyable discourse.

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DEFENSE OF MY ARGUMENTS
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1. History affirms the 22nd amendment

In any issue, serious scholarship should give history an honest treatment. To approach the events of 1951 as though they don't matter (because they were allegedly undemocratic) or are irrelevant (because yesterday's decisions ought not to bind today's decisions) places society in danger of repeating past mistakes. I contend that history still has something to contribute on this matter.

When I said JBlake was right in asserting that past generations should not bind the current generation, I only meant that it would be irrational to say "the past generation already decided, so case closed." This is equally as foolish as saying, "the past is irrelevant and we should make the decision without consulting history." Moreover, JBlake engages in non sequitur when concluding that my concurring with him "effectively negates [my] point that the amendment cannot run counter to democratic principles."

History does not resolve this debate with inerrant absolution, but it can and should inform the decision. FDR acquiring four terms created a real-world scenario that got people second guessing the Constitution. With overwhelming majority, the amendment passed both Senate and the ratification process. This is not to be taken lightly anymore than it is to be taken as gospel. If the nation was so compelled to act then, it would be prudent to consider their reasons with sincerity.

JBlake argues that it is logically possible that the people chose the "correct" state leaders yet still were not accurately represented in the ratification process. So be it, but the sword has two edges. This means the people can choose incorrect representation. If this is true, then term limits help prevent those that might take advantage of the public to maintain power. In short, for the very reasons JBlake doubts the ratification process, he should also doubt his own position.

2. Term limits prevent indefinite reign

JBlake argues that the people adequately prevented indefinite reign leading up to FDR. Well, this is partially true, since in some cases leaders that could have achieved a third term refused to do so out of tradition. That being said, indefinite reign--though unlikely--is still possible given the right circumstances and knowhow. This is precisely why the 22nd amendment was ratified. Though such a case might be extremely rare, even one case might prove detrimental.

Is indefinite reign of one president really all that bad, as JBlake asks? If not, then this debate is a waste of time. Indeed, indefinite reign is undesirable for many reasons. First, it's possible--however rare--for a president to take advantage of circumstances, incumbency, and other factors to manipulate the people's choice in his/her favor. Furthermore, any president represents a single majority voice, which should not be permitted to be favored indefinitely. So, when JBlake says I have not shown why indefinite reign is a negative thing, he's either being dishonest or presenting a red herring. My entire argument attempts to show why indefinite reign should be prevented at all costs.

3. The people cannot be trusted to make the better choice

JBlake argues that the people should be allowed to vote according to their ideologies, convictions, etc. over performance credentials. After all, if the people want a religious leader, let them have one, right? This completely misses my point. I was not arguing that voting to religious convictions, for example, is necessarily wrong in and of itself. My point was that passions tend to cloud the thinking, and this presents an avenue through which a President can control the outcome of an election. That is, the people cannot be completely trusted to make an informed decision, and term limits force the people to start anew.

For example, a poll showed that more people believed that Iraq had Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMDs) in 2006 (50%) than they did in 2004 (36%) despite the many reports that argued just the opposite. WMDs were never found. This is but one example of how one administration can keep the trust of the people through deception. If one administration can do this, why not another? It would be unwise to lift term limits entirely when it clearly prevents repeated abuses such as these.

http://www.worldpublicopinion.org...

4. Tyranny of the majority

JBlake dismisses this contention has invalid. First, he says that views opposing the majority public opinion are free to run for office. However, such candidates cannot possibly win due to being both opposed to the popular opinion and pitted against incumbent rule. Second, he says that all a candidate has to do to replace the incumbent president is to closely align with public opinion. Okay then, so why are term limits so bad? If there is always someone to align to public opinion, then there is no rational necessity for repealing the 22nd amendment.

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REBUTTALS
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1. Counter to Democratic Principles

My opponent's only argument is that "the choice should belong to the people." I have effectively shown that the people are not necessarily to be trusted in all matters. That is why our nation was founded as a republic, not a strict democracy. Not every person has the education, information, or even motivation to choose effectively. So, while the 22nd amendment runs counter to pure democratic principles, it is fully in line with a democratic republic.

2. Harmful Effects

JBlake states, "Allowing presidents to run for future terms requires them to remain in good standing with the public." He does not address the possibility that such "good standing" can be manipulated or fabricated, as exampled in the WMD issue of the Bush administration. His platform stands on the assumption that politicians are too honest or too incapable of manipulating (however slightly) elections--an assumption only I have addressed in this debate.

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CLOSING STATEMENT
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The 22nd amendment is not a major stumbling block to democracy. The people are not prevented from choosing, only limited in a small degree in their choices. This is hardly detrimental when we consider that people do not always vote with sound reason. Term limits brings into balance the failures of the people and the ambitions of politics. The 22nd amendment does not prevent sound policies or effective leadership.

Because of history's insight, the rare possibility of indefinite reign, the untrustworthiness of the people's choice, the threat of majority tyranny, and the fact that democratic hindrance in marginal at best, I firmly negate the resolution that the 22nd amendment should be repealed.
Debate Round No. 3
10 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by JBlake 7 years ago
JBlake
I did.
Posted by wjmelements 7 years ago
wjmelements
Who won this round officially? It doesn't seem like the judges came in.
Posted by MTGandP 7 years ago
MTGandP
This is a good topic. It has a lot of depth.
Posted by JBlake 7 years ago
JBlake
What are your thoughts on the issue, wjm?
Posted by wjmelements 7 years ago
wjmelements
Interesting topic.
Posted by JBlake 7 years ago
JBlake
Absolutely.
Posted by KRFournier 7 years ago
KRFournier
Off topic, but JBlake, don't you think our avatar icons look so cool side by side when viewing the debate from the home page?
Posted by KRFournier 7 years ago
KRFournier
Well, I'm sure the ToC judges will take their time to make a fair judgment. ;)
Posted by Rezzealaux 7 years ago
Rezzealaux
WELL YUNNO WUT JAY BLAKE IMA JUZZ +7 THE SIDE I AGREE WITH

jk~ xD
Unfortunately, that's what happens too often in long winded debates.

I think I'll read up on this when it's done. It'll probably help me in my gov class this year.
Posted by JBlake 7 years ago
JBlake
The judges will have plenty of reading to do :)
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by JBlake 7 years ago
JBlake
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Vote Placed by burningpuppies101 7 years ago
burningpuppies101
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ZT
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