The Instigator
rougeagent21
Con (against)
Winning
45 Points
The Contender
mongeese
Pro (for)
Losing
38 Points

U.S. mentally handicapped citizens should be able to vote for the President of the United States

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/15/2009 Category: Politics
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 6,120 times Debate No: 8650
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (22)
Votes (17)

 

rougeagent21

Con

The full resolution is as follows:
United States citizens of eligible voting age with mental disabilities (mental retardation) ought to be allowed to vote for the President of the United States.

I stand in negation. I will allow my opponent to open. If you accept this debate, you agree with the following definitions:

President
- the person who holds the office of head of state of the United States government

Mental retardation
- a generalized disorder, characterized by subaverage cognitive functioning and deficits in two or more adaptive behaviors with onset before the age of 18

Ought
- used to indicate a duty or right

Vote
- elect, to express or signify will or choice in a matter, as by casting a ballot

Good luck to my opponent.

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

Pro

I agree with my opponent's definitions, as required.

The only real contention that I am going to need, barring any countering to those of my opponent, would be that these citizens are of eligible voting age, and therefore are allowed to vote.

http://en.wikipedia.org...

Thank you, and good luck.
Debate Round No. 1
rougeagent21

Con

==DISCLAIMER==
During this debate, I do not intend to offend mentally retarded/handicapped persons. I do not hate them in any way, I am simply expressing my voting views.

Like my opponent's, my argument is a short one.

In the United States, a person must reach the age of 18 before they are allowed to vote. This is an extremely important right that we as Americans hold. We do not hand it out freely, but cherish it dearly. (hey, I made a rhyme!) As my opponent has pointed out, you must be of eligible voting age before you are allowed to vote. Why is that you ask? We believe that youth under 18 show poor judgement. This is certainly not true in ALL cases, but it is by far the majority group. For the same reasons we do not allow youth under 15 or 16 (depending on your state) to drive a car, we do not allow children under 18 to vote. Because voting is so important to us, we want to make sure that it is not marred by a child's skewed view of society.

Now we apply this to mentally retarded people voting. It is rather obvious that mentally retarded people show extremely poor judgement on quite a regular basis. Given this, what obligation do we have to them to allow them to participate in elections? As a child driving, or youth voting, mentally handicapped people consistently show poor judgement. We cannot allow our voting rights to be marred by illegitimate ballots. The resolution is negated.
Thank you.

www.sedbtac.org/ada/publications/legal/voting_rights_under_ADA_intellectual_psychiatric_disabilities.doc
mongeese

Pro

My opponent assumes that mentally retarded people would always show poor judgment. In terms of driving, I can see that. They wouldn't be able to react to any danger in enough time. In voting, however, with two major political parties, they can only get it wrong half of the time. Most mentally retarded voters probably still support a political candidate. You can't count on them to make the right decision every time, but you can't count on them to always make the wrong decision, either.

Additionally, what if some people decide that they want to have a platform of the desire to rid the population of all mentally retarded people? That was what Hitler did [1]. The mentally retarded people would need to vote against a president that hates them. It is for their safety that they must have voting rights.

Therefore, because they need the right to protect themselves, and they would make the right decision more often than the wrong decision, the resolution is affirmed. Thank you.

1. http://www.traditionalvalues.org...
Debate Round No. 2
rougeagent21

Con

Essentially, the debate comes down to two points.

==Decision Making==

I have shown that mentally retarded people often cannot make an educated decision. My opponent claims that "they can only get it wrong half of the time." First of all, there are multiple parties for a reason. Simple because only two of them have been elected to office in quite a while does not mean the others do not receive any votes. Secondly, half of the time is a large number! An estimated 26.2 percent of Americans ages 18 and older — about one in four adults — suffer from a diagnosable mental disorder in a given year! [1] That is about one fourth of american citizens of eligible
voting age. Are you trying to tell me that a number as large as that cannot sway an election? Allowing these people to vote would completely invalidate the voting process.

==Protection==

First of all, equating America to post WWI Germany is completely off-center. In the United States, the president does not hold enough power to exterminate people with disabilities unless agreed upon by congress. (Which would never happen) I am only arguing that the mentally ill should not be able to vote for the president, not that they should not vote for congressmen. Therefore, they are in no danger.

Allowing the mentally retarded to vote compromises American votes. Since this is such a valuable right that we are privileged to hold, we must not let it be marred by the uneducated vote. Even if the mentally ill only get the vote wrong half of the time, it is still invalid! To uphold the validity of our votes, the resolution must be negated. Thank you.

1- http://www.nimh.nih.gov...
mongeese

Pro

"First of all, there are multiple parties for a reason."
However, there are only two that can win the presidency.

"Simple because only two of them have been elected to office in quite a while does not mean the others do not receive any votes."
However, it doesn't matter, because they never win. Besides, even the mentally retarded are more likely to vote for a main party.

"Secondly, half of the time is a large number!"
However, there is bound to be a decent number of people who can make responsible decisions while mentally retarded. Therefore, they'd make the right decision more often than not.

"An estimated 26.2 percent of Americans ages 18 and older — about one in four adults — suffer from a diagnosable mental disorder in a given year!"
I question that.
For one thing, if they have to estimate, that means that not everybody is identified.
For another, your definition requires an onset before the age of 18, invalidating the statistic for this debate.
For yet another, if 1/4 of all adults are really mentally retarded, it can't really be all that serious in each case, because I don't even know a single mentally retarded adult, so anyone who is doesn't even show it.
Finally, this implies that mental retardation can come and go. A person who plans to vote Republican shouldn't be stopped for a temporary disorder.

"Are you trying to tell me that a number as large as that cannot sway an election?"
There would be more votes in favor of the candidate they prefer.

"In the United States, the president does not hold enough power to exterminate people with disabilities unless agreed upon by congress. (Which would never happen)"
Germany didn't think that would happen, either. Plus, letting the mentally retarded vote for everything but the president seems a little off-center.

"Since this is such a valuable right that we are privileged to hold, we must not let it be marred by the uneducated vote."
Now the mentally retarded are uneducated? Well, literacy tests for votes are illegal. Plenty of uneducated people vote every year. Some people vote Democrat because their favorite color is blue. Some people vote Obama in the name of affirmative action. Voting out of mental retardation is far from the stupidest thing someone could do.

"Even if the mentally ill only get the vote wrong half of the time, it is still invalid!"
Can a vote ever be wrong?

"To uphold the validity of our votes, the resolution must be negated."
To uphold our values of freedom, we must not discriminate, and the resolution must be affirmed.

Thank you, as well.
Debate Round No. 3
22 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by magpie 5 years ago
magpie
You are correct in your criticism of my RFD. So, let me do that here. Since it makes no sense, whatsoever, to allow the negative effects of incompetent votes, the overriding concern must be: do we want incompetent officials? If not, why would we risk it.
I like to use extreme models. Suppose, if you will, that you are the captain of a ship. Your officers, in conference, advise you that the ship will not endure an impending storm. After consulting with your chief engineer, you conclude that your officers are correct, but a majority of the crew wants to push on. Knowing that the seamen are incompetent to evaluate the situation, do you, in the interest of egalitarianism, allow the vote, and condemn everyone aboard to certain death?
You did a fair job of defending the indefensible, but it was your challenge, and you failed to sustain it.
An example of your failure is to declare the earth to be flat. You could then use persuasive and eloquent arguments to support your position, but nothing that you could present would be valid. Your arguments died upon presentation because your premise, while politically correct, undermines any attempt to prove it.
Posted by mongeese 5 years ago
mongeese
And your change improved nothing.
Posted by mongeese 5 years ago
mongeese
magpie, your RFD only shows your own opinions. An RFD should reflect an opinion of the arguments of the debate.
Posted by magpie 7 years ago
magpie
No one should be excluded from voting because of mental retardation, though I agree with Con that their voting can be fraught with chicanery. But I have a a strongly held belief that a knowledge test, consisting of: Civics, Politics, Economics, the Constitution, Government History, Geography, etc. should be a criterion for voting. I realize that this criterion would exclude most mentally challenged individuals, but not intentionally. It would, however exclude lever pullers who have no idea what they are doing, nor the dire consequences that flow from their misguided votes.
Posted by Maikuru 7 years ago
Maikuru
C: Tie
S/G: Tie
A: Pro - I found both sides to be laregly unconvincing. However, the assumptions forming the foundation of Con's case (i.e. the majority of the mentally disabled cannot form rational decisions, the votes of this group would be both substantial and damaging) were never proven.
S: Tie
Posted by wjmelements 7 years ago
wjmelements
Really close arguments-wise.

B/A: TIED/PRO
CONDUCT- TIE (No major infractions)
Spelling- PRO ("judgement") and Grammar: PRO (CON uses a few commas where semicolons should be used
ARGUMENTS: PRO (though only barely: CON used a statistic as the base of his claim. This statistic was proved invalid as an argument by PRO rather inefficiently. CON did not meet BOP as well)
SOURCES: CON (had more sources and more reliable ones)
Posted by rougeagent21 7 years ago
rougeagent21
lol agreed
Posted by magpie 7 years ago
magpie
Mentally deficient people already do vote. How do you think B.O won?
Posted by rougeagent21 7 years ago
rougeagent21
First of all, I teach a mentally retarded kid taekwondo. I have been around them.

"I'm assuming that neither pro nor con have spent time with mentally handicapped people. Here's a small piece of advice: retards aren't interested in politics."

You are correct. However, a retard's PARENTS might be interested in politics. A retard's FRIEND might be interested in politics. Retards could be pawns in other's political games.
Posted by TurkeyProphet 7 years ago
TurkeyProphet
Has no one else noticed the glaringly obvious flaw with the resolution?

If someone actually wants to go and vote and has the ability to understand how to vote and presumably if they are voting they will understand something of what they are voting for and the purpose the vote serves. Then that person probably isn't that mentally handicapped, and therefore should have a say in how the country is run.

I'm assuming that neither pro nor con have spent time with mentally handicapped people. Here's a small piece of advice: retards aren't interested in politics.

I suppose the point the resolution was getting at was that really really stupid people shouldn't be allowed to vote. But you shouldn't really tax people who work as hard as you and then not allow them to be represented in government because you think their opinions are less worthy. I suppose if you changed the law so people who didn't want to vote were exempt from tax then you'd probably only get the people who really cared about voting, voting.
17 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Vote Placed by magpie 5 years ago
magpie
rougeagent21mongeeseTied
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Reasons for voting decision: I voted con, but consider: They already do vote
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