The Instigator
miketheman1200
Pro (for)
Winning
12 Points
The Contender
jvava
Con (against)
Losing
5 Points

We do not hold our politicians to the same moral standards as children

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 4 votes the winner is...
miketheman1200
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/24/2013 Category: Politics
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,622 times Debate No: 39398
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (6)
Votes (4)

 

miketheman1200

Pro

1st round is acceptance.
jvava

Con

Hello. I am glad to be debating with you.

I accept the rules of this debate. I am arguing that although politicians do not always keep their campaign promises, when they are running the voters expect them to have the same or similar moral standards as children.

Good luck. May the best debater win.
Debate Round No. 1
miketheman1200

Pro

I'll remind my opponent that I have the BOP to prove the following resolution "We do not hold our politicians to the same moral standards as children". If con wishes to bring up other topics they may although it might be irrelevant to the topic.

To start lets define moral.

[1] - "concerning or relating to what is right and wrong in human behavior"

Based on the definition of moral, we can examine what sort of moral standards we set for children at home and in school. Generally parents and people who care for children, including myself, will set down simple moral guidelines for the kids to follow. This includes don't hit, don't steal, don't lie, don't cheat, don't use force against others.

Based on these general examples we can make an analysis comparing these morals most people expect their children to follow to the politicians who govern us and decide how we live.

Don't Hit:

Although politicians may not directly harm us by hitting us they do make the decision to send us to war where our young men and women are wounded or killed. This consequence is a direct effect of the decisions politicians have made when sending people to fight wars that are not in self defense. This would not apply to a war fought in immediate self defence.

Don't Lie:

Just about every politician will fabricate stories of themselves or make promises they do not intend to keep in order to be voted into office. Or they tell the people they will reject or propose legislation. Soon after coming to their position they are made offers by lobbyists and special interests and totally reject the promises they made to the people who elected them, essentially making every promise worthless, a lie.

Don't cheat:

The politicians who run for office cheat you every year. They cheat you by limiting the number of choices you have in an election and by passing laws that negatively effect the democratic process. Third parties like the Green Party and the Libertarian Party constantly have to spend thousands to work on getting their candidate on the ballot in many states. These harsh ballot access laws stop competition for the politicians belonging to the main two parties and both parties are in agreeing in doing this. A majority of campaign funds for the third party might go to getting on the ballot which severely limits what they can do to reach out to voters. This cheats third party candidates out of the election and you out of a choice. Just recently Ohio brought up a piece of legislation that will make it incredibly difficult to attain ballot access. [2]

Don't Steal:

This is a relatively simple one, taxes. If we use this definition of theft "the crime of taking the property or services of another without consent"[3] then we can clearly see that taxes are theft. Oh well wait a minute! Aren't taxes used to fund services that people want. Sure, but it is still theft because a large number of people who pay taxes aren't looking for those services that taxes pay for and do not want them at all. So with out these peoples consent politicians take money and use it to advance their own interests and policies. It would not be theft if a collective came to together and paid for something or established a service that they desired. Taking from people who do not wish for or require a service with out their consent is theft.

Don't Use Force Against Others:

This was partly covered by the first point, but this will expand upon that. Politicians pass legislation that dictates how we should live. Restrictions on gun ownership, the illegality of many drugs and substances, the restriction of free individuals to conduct trade with out licenses and papers dealing with the legality of their business. Laws dictating who we can marry. These are all laws that exert force on people to make them live a certain way.


Each of these points illustrates that the very moral standards we hold our children to are not something we hold our politicians to. This is an unfortunate truth that, if trends continue, will never change.

I await Cons response

Sources:

[1] - http://www.merriam-webster.com...

[2] - http://news.cincinnati.com...

[3] - http://www.merriam-webster.com...

jvava

Con

My argument is this: politicians do break laws and commit immoral acts behind America's back. Everybody knows this - political and sex scandals do flood the history of American government. I am not denying that politicians are liars and cheaters or whatever.

What I want to get across is that the reason we vote in politicians is because of their efforts to appear morally-sound. Despite chaos, the American political system still votes for the candidate that proves themselves more-moral.

Confusing, I know - but what I mean is that, despite distortion, voters typically vote for those who appear better morally.

Obama tried to appear as if he supported American equality by means of supporting gay marriage.

Romney tried to restore traditional morals, religious morals, by means of disapproving gay marriage.

Bush tried to appear as if he wanted to keep the American people safe no matter what it took, by means of war.

Kerry tried to appear as if he was the one in favor of saving lives by means of avoiding or halting war.

See a pattern here? There are two sides to the coin - and both try to appear more moral. Despite scandals, Republicans and Democrats try to come off as the moral party. Voters decide who they want for president - usually on a moral basis.

Now, to argue your list of points.

1. Don't Hit

Parents don't tell their children to just go around and start fights. Presidents can't just declare war; they have to have a good reason for it, and must get approval from congress.

But parents do tell their children these three things -

1. Stand up for yourself.
2. Stand up for those who are being bullied.
3. Stand up for what you believe in.

In war terms, standing up for yourself is self-defense if you are attacked. Standing up for those who are being bullied means aiding countries who are being suppressed by their leader or another nation. And standing up for what you believe in means preserving democracy.

These are, in most cases, the reasons why war begins. Self-defense, suppression, and democracy are the reasons used to justify most wars.


2. Don't Lie

For every lying politician, there is one that doesn't fib.

But that is beside the point. Look, I know politicians lie. There is no denying it. What I am trying to point out is that politicians distort the facts to make them seem more moral. They attend church services and other religious ceremonies around election season. They model for pictures kissing babies, petting on dogs, etc. I know politicians lie.

But my argument is that we vote on a moral basis, and for candidates that appear to have good morals. If they're moral conscience is poor or they have committed immoral acts before or during the time of office, then we don’t vote for them. We vote them out of office.

We still hold our politicians to the moral standards of children – we expect them to have the same morals. And if they don’t, then we vote them out of office. We vote on a moral basis. We still hold our politicians to some moral standpoint.

3. Don’t Cheat

This is an instance in which the morals of children do not compare to morals of politicians. Parents tell their children not to cheat off another child's paper. Politicians cheating involves money (millions), time (lots of it), and strategy. This two have nothing similar.

However, there is one instance in which the two compare – and that is cheating in the sense of adultery. While parents inform their children to not commit adultery, politicians who commit it with unreasonable doubt are voted out of office – like recent San Diego mayor Bob Filner. Those who are running for office that get caught up in sexual scandals often drop out of the race – like Herman Cain and Newt Gingrich. Sex scandals, adultery – aka cheating – are horrible things to get caught up in as a politician because they go against the moral majority of voters.

Again I am stating that voters vote based on moral – the candidate that presents themselves as the most moral often wins the race. We still hold our politicians to some form of moral basis.

4. Don't Steal:

You use taxes as an example of theft, as if America doesn’t consent to these taxes. This is quite wrong.

America elects politicians that represent who they are – conservative, liberal, etc. Since no one runs on a campaign of eliminating taxes, this would not be a representation of the people.

The constitution says that the government has a right to tax. Since the constitution was voted on by elected officials of the people, the people were willing to accept the taxes. They consented to the taxes, if you will.

We still consent to taxes today – by voting for politicians who pledge to either raise or lower taxes. Not eliminate them entirely.

5. Don't Use Force against Others:

The politicians that exert laws are elected by the people and are, therefore, a representation of the people. If one state wants to legalize gay marriage and another does not, then that would be a fair representation of what the people want.

And parents teach their children to play fair. Therefore, your argument on this subject is invalid.

My argument is that America votes on a moral basis – and, if a politician goes against these moral acts, than most of the time we vote them out of office. America expects some moral reasoning behind a politician – moral reasoning that are similar to that of a child.

Debate Round No. 2
miketheman1200

Pro


Thank you Con for the response.

I would like to remind Con that he is refuting the arguments made that "We do not hold our politicians to the same moral standards as children"

Con concedes that politicians do immoral things but points out immoral acts such as adultery. I would hardly think that adultery is a moral wrong doing we forbid children to do. This is because children are not generally committing these acts. Bringing up adultery is an irrelevant point made by Con.


Con argues that our representatives are held responsible for their ill or immoral actions and can be voted out of office for their wrongdoing. There is a lot of information that points out the contrary. Below is a graph of the percentage of re elected incumbents from 1964-2010. [1]





It can be argued that many ill actions have been committed by our legislatures in this time frame. From sending men and women to die in wars or exerting force upon people through unjust legislation. Despite these actions that we have discussed they continue to be re elected, proving that we don't hold our politicians to these moral standards, that they are not being held accountable as Con claims.


I'll rebut more of what Con has thrown at me.

"What I want to get across is that the reason we vote in politicians is because of their efforts to appear morally-sound. Despite chaos, the American political system still votes for the candidate that proves themselves more-moral."


We do not vote in politicians because of how they present themselves in their personal lives. We elect representatives to come up with economic and social policy that will become the guidelines for running a country. My argument is that their actions go against the very moral standards we hold children to. Because there is no reprehension for their actions, we are not holding them to those standards.

"Parents don't tell their children to just go around and start fights. Presidents can't just declare war; they have to have a good reason for it, and must get approval from congress. "


The men and women of congress are elected representatives, and politicians. Politicians that initiate wars. So there's no point to be had there. And when you speak about having a good reason, I have never heard a parent say , "Don't hit, unless you have a good reason." Just like how you would tell an adult if someone's bothering you, we can go to the international community to resolve conflicts unless its some sort of direct attack in which its ok to defend ourselves. Even if we are "promoting democracy" its an act of aggression against another body. If its not in self defense the reason doesn't matter.

Parents do not tell their kids to hit people who are being mean to them.

Parents do not tell their children to hit people who are hitting others.

Parents do not tell their kids to hit people who do not believe in what you do or do what you do.


"But my argument is that we vote on a moral basis, and for candidates that appear to have good morals. If they're moral conscience is poor or they have committed immoral acts before or during the time of office, then we don’t vote for them. We vote them out of office."

Bill Clinton was not impeached after cheating on his wife while in office. Our representatives did not punish him and we did not kick those representatives out of office.


"This is an instance in which the morals of children do not compare to morals of politicians. Parents tell their children not to cheat off another child's paper. Politicians cheating involves money (millions), time (lots of it), and strategy. This two have nothing similar."

Con is essentially saying that cheating is not the same when you are older and doing it on a much larger scale. This is simply untrue. Cheating is cheating and even though politicians are clearly doing it, we do not hold them accountable for this same moral truth we hold children to.

"However, there is one instance in which the two compare – and that is cheating in the sense of adultery."

This is hardly true. No parent is teaching their kids about the concepts of adultery and do not generally scold them not to commit it. I found this claim to be a little silly.

"America elects politicians that represent who they are – conservative, liberal, etc. Since no one runs on a campaign of eliminating taxes, this would not be a representation of the people."

First of all you cannot claim that Americans are well represented. It takes 50% plus 1 to get a majority and have your politician voted into office. How can a population of 49% republicans and 51% democrats getting one democrat representative be accurate or appropriate representation? Aside from that, just because its the law, it doesn't change the definition of theft or what it means for my point. Many people do not want to pay taxes for a variety of reasons but are forced to because it pays for a multitude of government programs that many people believe aren't necessary.

"The constitution says that the government has a right to tax."

Ok, the constitution permits the theft.

"Since the constitution was voted on by elected officials of the people, the people were willing to accept the taxes. They consented to the taxes, if you will."

No, it was voted on by people who were aristocrats and former British officials governing the colonies who believed it would be more profitable to be independent. And by the people you mean land owning white men. That's a history lesson for another time.

"The politicians that exert laws are elected by the people and are, therefore, a representation of the people. If one state wants to legalize gay marriage and another does not, then that would be a fair representation of what the people want. And parents teach their children to play fair. Therefore, your argument on this subject is invalid."

Con argues that because these people were elected it makes the moral ills they commit ok. My entire point is that we do not hold politicians to the same moral standards as children and here he proves my point. Politicians are voted into office and exert force and its ok by the people who voted for them. They aren't holding politicians to the same standards children when they allow and encourage the passing of these laws. Thank you Con. As for playing fair, wouldn't it be fair not to force people to live a certain way as long as they aren't hurting anyone? Democracy isn't "fair", that's why we have laws to protect people who may otherwise be exploited. Children, minorities, women etc. Would it be fair if 51% of the population voted to re institute slavery? Would it be fair to the slaves? Was it fair back when it was legal and when it was by the consent of the people?

I'd say my argument is not invalid.

I thank Con once again for taking me up on this debate, it was fun! :)

Sources:

[1] - http://www.outsidethebeltway.com...

jvava

Con

1. "I would hardly think that adultery is a moral wrong doing we forbid children to do. This is because children are not generally committing these acts. Bringing up adultery is an irrelevant point made by Con."


No, parents do not teach young children this moral - but they do teach older children, such as teens. Parents do not approve of adultery, and neither does the political world. Many politicians have been ousted of office because of political sex scandals and such.

You mention Bill Clinton. Although what he did is immoral, and although he did not get ousted of office (he was impeached, however) it did have consequences later on down the road.

"Bill Clinton's impeachment and the sex scandal that led up to it cast a shadow on the campaign, particularly on his vice president's run to replace him. Republicans strongly denounced the Clinton scandals, particularly Bush, who made his repeated promise to restore "honor and dignity" to the White House a centerpiece of his campaign. Gore studiously avoided the Clinton scandals, as did Lieberman, even though Lieberman had been the first Democratic senator to denounce Clinton's misbehavior. In fact, some media observers theorized that Gore actually chose Lieberman in an attempt to separate himself from Clinton's past misdeeds, and help blunt the GOP's attempts to link him to his boss.[40] Others pointed to the passionate kiss Gore gave his wife during the Democratic Convention, as a signal that despite the allegations against Clinton, Gore himself was a faithful husband.[41] Gore avoided appearing with Clinton, who was shunted to low visibility appearances in areas where he was popular. Experts have argued that this cost Gore votes from some of Clinton's core supporters.[42][43][44]"

This was pulled from an article about the presidential election of 2000: http://en.wikipedia.org.... Obviously, it did have a consequence; it cost Gore votes from some of Clinton's previous supporters.

This is an example of America voting morally.

"As he was leaving office, a CNN/USA TODAY/Gallup poll...68% thought he'd be remembered for his "involvement in personal scandal", and 58% answered "No" to the question "Do you generally think Bill Clinton is honest and trustworthy?".

This was pulled from http://en.wikipedia.org....

Obviously, the Clinton scandal was quite fresh in the voters' minds. Why? Because it broke a moral boundary, and caused Gore to lose later on in the 2000 election.

2. "We do not vote in politicians because of how they present themselves in their personal lives. We elect representatives to come up with economic and social policy that will become the guidelines for running a country."

Yes, we do elect politicians to come up with economic and social policy that will better the country. I am not denying this. I am simply trying to get across that morals do play a role in the way people vote and whether or not politicians are elected.

In 1976, President Ford lost in part due to his involvement in the Watergate Scandal.

In 2000, Gore lost in part due to his involvement in the Clinton sex scandals.

In 2004, both candidates were attacked based on their service in the military. Bush was said to have not served adequately when he was in the military. Kerry was said to have not worked as hard for his Purple Hearts. This caused the formation of the Swift Boats for Truth - an organization that wanted to Bush to win based on the fact that he appeared more honest. This is a morally-founded organization.

The list goes on and on. What I am pointing out is that morals still play a key role in our political system.

3. "And when you speak about having a good reason, I have never heard a parent say , "Don't hit, unless you have a good reason."

1. Stand up for yourself; I have never heard a parent say, "Let him/her beat you up."
2. Stand up for those who are being bullied; I have never heard a parent say, "Be a bystander and do nothing."
3. Stand up for what you believe in; I have never heard a parent say, "Let them brainwash your morals and change your ideals."

What I am trying to say is that fights should only be initiated with strong reason; war should only initiated with strong reason as well. If some outside force is directly hurting America or democracy, we have a right to step in and say, "Enough."

The wars America get involved in are not wars to start something, but rather to stand up for ourselves and our morals.


4. "First of all you cannot claim that Americans are well represented. It takes 50% plus 1 to get a majority and have your politician voted into office. How can a population of 49% republicans and 51% democrats getting one democrat representative be accurate or appropriate representation?"


It is simply fair representation. This nation is gridlocked, and making the majority means a larger number of people support you.

5. "Aside from that, just because its the law, it doesn't change the definition of theft or what it means for my point."

The reason of the establishment of the supreme court is to ensure that Americans rights are protected and that our morals are secure. If the people elect a president, and that president appoints a judge, than it is a representation of what the people want. And since the supreme court has not outlawed taxation, that is a representation of the people. You cannot consider taxation theft.

6. "Democracy isn't "fair", that's why we have laws to protect people who may otherwise be exploited. Children, minorities, women etc. Would it be fair if 51% of the population voted to re institute slavery? Would it be fair to the slaves? Was it fair back when it was legal and when it was by the consent of the people?"

In democracy, not everybody gets what they want. It is a fair representation of the people - but not everyone is going to get what they want.

Also, we have the bill of rights to ensure that our civil liberties aren't exploited. Slavery wasn't constitutional, and a majority of people realized that - that is why it was outlawed. Segregation wasn't constitutional - that is why it was outlawed. Gay rights are becoming an issue, and the previous laws for gays are being considered unconstitutional - and is gradually becoming more accepted.

We have a bill of rights and a constitution to protect our basic rights and civil liberties. Slavery will not become legal because it is not considered constitutional.

I want to state my opinion to the voters. Although I do not deny that politicians do commit immoral acts, voters elect them because of their efforts to appear morally-sound. Morals are still in place today in the American political system, and still play a role in who gets put into office.

We do hold our politicians to some moral standard - they spend millions trying to prove this, and we ultimately make the decision. We elect politicians not only on their ability to guide the nation but also on their moral standards as well.

I wish my opponent luck. May the better debater win.
Debate Round No. 3
6 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Posted by miketheman1200 3 years ago
miketheman1200
"Also, we have the bill of rights to ensure that our civil liberties aren't exploited. Slavery wasn't constitutional, and a majority of people realized that - that is why it was outlawed. Segregation wasn't constitutional - that is why it was outlawed. Gay rights are becoming an issue, and the previous laws for gays are being considered unconstitutional - and is gradually becoming more accepted. "

Oh my god...
Posted by miketheman1200 3 years ago
miketheman1200
Please click link to see graph. It stopped working on the debate for some reason.
Posted by miketheman1200 3 years ago
miketheman1200
And politicians are certainly not good role models.
Posted by themohawkninja 3 years ago
themohawkninja
Politicians and kids are two very different groups of people, with two very different sets of morals for various reasons. We don't hold them to the same moral standards, because they are not our kids, so we have no right to.
Posted by miketheman1200 3 years ago
miketheman1200
Im talking about parents/schools teaching their children not to do certain bad things that will be further explained in the second round.
Posted by k1r5ty911 3 years ago
k1r5ty911
Could you clarify the objective?

Do you mean that politicians are not sufficient role models?
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by Adam2 3 years ago
Adam2
miketheman1200jvavaTied
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Reasons for voting decision: This one was difficult. But I give it to pro for using more sources to back up what he was saying.
Vote Placed by Putt-Putt 3 years ago
Putt-Putt
miketheman1200jvavaTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro definitely had a better argument. He brouht real life examples into his debate to connect with the voters and compare itto the modern politician. Con also made an invalid argument in round 2 stating that the president cannot hold wars without congress. This is technically false. The president can invade other countries on his own funds for 90 days at a time. This is called a military sanction and can be renewed by congress.
Vote Placed by RoyLatham 3 years ago
RoyLatham
miketheman1200jvavaTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro has the burden of proof. So if claims that children are taught to be complete pacifists and never fight, no matter what. he must provide statistics that show that is what a majority of parents teach. Not only did Pro not provide the support, the contention is not plausible. The lack of evidence was a problem throughout Pros case. He provided evidence that incumbents are re-elected, but no evidence that a majority of those elected lied or cheated to achieve re-election. Pro asserts what is moral, and admits no disagreement. He thinks all taxes are immoral, but most people do not agree, and Con cites the disagreement. Con should have been more thorough in demanding proof of every one of Pro's doubtful assertions. Con did question Pro's critical unsupported claims, and that's enough to win. Pro cited two dictionary definitions and the incumbent re-election percentage; that's not close to being enough evidence to support his case.
Vote Placed by WheezySquash8 3 years ago
WheezySquash8
miketheman1200jvavaTied
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro won because he cited his sources, had had more visual support, and con seems only to be disagreeing with what pro said. He did not have many of his own points. It seemed close though, and both sides did well.