The Instigator
Pro (for)
0 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
9 Points

Who should have control in America? The people(yes) or the government(no)?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/12/2014 Category: Politics
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 344 times Debate No: 66933
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (1)
Votes (2)




I believe that there should be somewhat more control for the people than the government, because it would be the people who elect the representatives of the government(e.g. the President). At the same time, the government depends on the "Social Contract", the strong relationship that should exist between a ruling force and its people. The simple question would be why it would matter for the people to have more political control-which is what i am trying to find out...


I accept the debate challenge. Thank you for the debate. Let me begin by saying that your debate touched on several overlapping interests of mine, politics but especially the juxtaposition of ideals and realities.

This round will focus on assessing Pro’s arguments, through question and comments about what Con believes to be the most important features of this debate.

Although not explicitly stated, Pro appears in line Rousseau’s philosophy of the Social Contract. [Selection was based on closest similarity between the big three: Hobbes (totalitarian worldview), Locke (aristocratic, conservative), and Rousseau (imprecisely majoritarian). Rousseau’s overarching view of politics is much harder to pin down because of style but also due to attribution of figures including Robespierre.

Since it’s superfluous to delve into the deep end, at least into competing arguments about Rousseau’s political philosophy or its influence on the intellectual underpinning and violence following the ouster of Louis XVI.

The ‘General Will’ is a concept developed in Rousseau’s famous political tract The Social Contract. At its most basic, the ‘General Will’ much like notions of ‘the people’ operates in world of abstraction; however, in Rousseau’s view the individual and individualism is subordinate since the ‘General Will’ determines the boundary line of a society.

The concept of the ‘General Will’ however was tested in the real world. However, its results proved at best to be absolute failures and at worst the motivation for a terrorist campaign headed by Robespierre, specifically referring to the disastrous phase of the French Revolution known as The Terror.

Explanation for laying out Social Contract theory: Con would like to know whether Pro supports theoretically or in practice this kind of version of Contract Theory, and in the event the answer is no, then what exactly are Pro’s views on this issue of political philosophy [provide examples].

Second Part of Round One (Clarifying Terms/Questions):

Since there are only three rounds, I have discovered that the best approach to get my opponents to specific exactly their position as well as define terms developed.

Line of question centered on the question of ‘the people’

[Question]: Who are the people? Our notion of ‘the people’ in 2014 result from contingency, contextual features of our collective history, and by that I mean today ‘the people’ encompass populations, segments of society that at expand every fifty years or so.

[Question]: Are ‘the people’ the framers version, meaning wealthy, white property owners?

[Question]: Are women ‘the people’ because history they have not been considered in a political and legal sense to be so?

[Question]: Are African Americans included in version of ‘the people’ because they have not been for the vast majority of our history?

[Question]: If you choice the conventional contemporary example, why is this more valid than the position held by Washington in those early years or the understanding of ‘the people’ to US Grant, as he tried to suture the separate pieces into a united whole?

[Observation and explanation of Questioning]: Because to select one version over another appears to Con as overtly arbitrary, especially since every expanded and incorporation has derived from government exerting its control on the population.

Clarifying the meaning of government

The Supreme Court is the third branch of government. They are the final arbiters of the American legal system (constitutional amendments the exception). Our nine justices are by far the least accountable to the people, unelected and accountable to the people, not to mention life tenure on the bench.

Questions of Legitimacy and proper exertion of power

[Question]: Is the Supreme Court a legitimate institution, since it categorical removes ‘the people’ from determining what is and is not constitutional?

[Question] Is Pro’s position that ‘the people’ should determine law?

[Question] Is it legitimate for ‘the people’ to use their power to marginalize or eradicate minority opinions and minority groups?

[Question]: Are ‘the people’ able to determine law individually or does Pro’s version include larger units that would discern the collective desires of ‘the people’

[Question]: If ‘the people’ determined hypothetically that adults have the right to marry children, or all drugs are permissible under every and all circumstances, or said that the murder of transgender individuals was legal is Pro saying this is preferable to the current system?

[Con’s reasoning for long series of question]: Simply put, answering these questions will allow this debate to have a clearer sense, without having to debate in later Round basic concepts and definitions. Anyway, good luck.

Debate Round No. 1


Platinum99 forfeited this round.


Due to Pro’s status as a new member combined with the forfeiture in the last Round I will simply extend the questions/arguments posed and discussed in the last round. For the debate to even function Pro must provide more than the introductory statement. Because I feel it would be a waste of time to speculate on potential arguments I will wait for Pro to return.

Debate Round No. 2


Platinum99 forfeited this round.


Well Pro forfeited the last two rounds. Therefore, without any idea about my opponent’s definition of key terms like “people,” “government,” and “control” I really have little to go on, little to rebut. I will make a couple of remarks. First, the proposition entertained by my opponent has many valid points, however, without evidence, even speculative evidence, I can only guess the ones he might have made. Few people hold such an elitist view that they believe every decision needs to be left to the government, treating the people as incapable or subordinate. And while the balance today is far from ideal, it is legitimate and even though often dysfunctional, does function. Some of the answers to the questions I posed in earlier Rounds would have been interesting, especially on an institution like the Supreme Court. But my opponent left the debate after the first round. Con should win for at least one reason: the forfeiture of my opponent.

Debate Round No. 3
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by cheyennebodie 1 year ago
They have control now. At the ballot box. The problem is there are more freeloaders and low-information voters than those who want freedom from government intrusion.That vmight be turning since this last election. The republicans have just one more chance to get it right, then they will become dinosaurs of history.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by lannan13 1 year ago
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: Forfeiture
Vote Placed by RobertMcclureSmith 1 year ago
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Total points awarded:05 
Reasons for voting decision: FF by Pro