The Instigator
Wallstreetatheist
Pro (for)
Winning
27 Points
The Contender
ditzmister
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

Woodrow Wilson was a bad president.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 6 votes the winner is...
Wallstreetatheist
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/6/2012 Category: Politics
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,750 times Debate No: 23435
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (15)
Votes (6)

 

Wallstreetatheist

Pro

Resolution: Woodrow Wilson was a bad president.

Rules:
(1) Debater must have typing experience and internet access.
(2) Place your arguments and sources inside the debate
(3) Structure the debate in a readable, coherent fashion.
(4) No semantics, trolling, or lawyering.
(5) Must insert one witty quote per round.


Rounds:
(1) Acceptance + Internet High Five
(2) Main Argument
(3) Rebuttal to opponent's main argument
(4) Response to rebuttal + closing arguments + voting issues (one paragraph)


"Nothing is so permanent as a temporary government program." -Milton Friedman


I accept this debate which I have thusly created and challenge those of rhetorical wizardry to a verbal duel. With my hand elevated and ready for forearm pronation, I slap yours in a ritualistic manner. Good luck to whomever accepts, and may the Gods smile upon you during this debate.

Kittens!
ditzmister

Con

"Censorship is like telling a man he cannot have steak because a baby can't chew it"- Mark Twain.
As you can see Woodrow Wilson was not a bad president, because he did absolutely nothing, and attempted to create the league of nations, and won WWI. As to my opponent, you seem stuck on this topic, try a new one.
Debate Round No. 1
Wallstreetatheist

Pro

Intro
Those who assess the quality of presidents are often impressed by communication skills and charisma. Both of those characteristics account for President Woodrow Wilson’s standing in several lists of good presidents. However, Wilson, like other presidents should be judged not on charisma, but on how his policies affect the nation and the world during his presidency and over the course of history. The policies were catastrophic.


The “ruler” with which I will categorically evaluate Wilson’s presidency are the criteria of peace, prosperity, and freedom. Peace allows human beings to be free from unnecessary suffering at the hands of other men and lays the foundation for sound economics and the protection of civil liberties. Prosperity increases the standard of living of humans within its scope and of trading nations. Freedom allows a human to exercise his protected rights in any manner he chooses (so long as it does not interfere with the exercise of the rights of others), and is a fundamental aspect of human nature’s desires. Wilson is scored negatively on all of these criteria; thus, making him a bad president.

Peace 1: Wilson decided to enter World War I.
In 1916, he ran for reelection of the slogan, “He kept us out of war,” but in April 1917, shortly after his narrow reelection and second inauguration, he asked Congress to declare war on Germany. As early as December 1916, the Germans desired peace talks, while wanting to keep the land they occupied in Belgium and France. But because Britain and France expected that United States entry into the war was likely and would turn the tide of the war in their favor, they rejected Germany’s settlement. If the US had stayed out, the French and British would have been forced to take this settlement and end the war. As a result of US entry into the war, millions more men were killed in combat and billions of dollars was wasted in an effort to “win” the war. Because of the harsh reparation payments forced on Germany to get the US war loans from Britain and France, the the usurpation of its foreign lands, and the stringent control of Germany’s industry, World War II was essentially created by the Treaty of Versailles. Many historians trace the roots of World War II to the Treaty of Versailles of which he was an integral supporting member.


Peace 2: His military policies instigated decades of aftermath.
While generating support for the Treaty of Versailles and League of Nations, he was oblivious to the fact that he would be held largely responsible for the largest, costliest, and bloodiest war in world history: World War II. World War I brought to power three monstrous dictators: Stalin, Lenin, and Hitler.
He also played a role in triggering the Russian Revolution and then meddles in the ensuring Russian Civil War, i.e. he inadvertently helped the communists take power initially in Russia and then made them hate the United States; thus, paving the way for a Cold War that lasted more than forty years. In that Cold War, two confirmed false nuclear launch signals from both countries was received which could have ended civilization in a nuclear holocaust.
He was the most interventionist president in United States history. He ordered military interventions in Mexico in 1914 and 1916, Nicaragua in 1914, Haiti in 1915, the Dominican Republic in 1916, Cuba in 1917, and many other military operations that have generated lasting animosity against the United States.
As a result of World War I and II, the Russian and Chinese revolutions, and civil wars and conflicts spawned by the Cold War (most of which can be traced to US entry into WWI) the twentieth century was by far the bloodiest century in world history. Even in the 21st century, people are still losing their lives in conflicts ( e.g. Iraq) indirectly generated by the US entry into WWI. If the loss of approximately 110 million lives is not enough to make you think Wilson was a bad president, we still have two more categories to go.


Prosperity 1: Promoted pre-war economic interventions.
Even before Wilson mobilized the entire economy to fight World War I, he was pursuing an activist domestic agenda contrary to the history of the Democratic Party, which had been a bastion of small government. Like Wilson’s faith-based foreign policy, which included total war,religion also fueled his missionary ardor for the progressive movement at home. He is among the three most legislatively active presidents in the 20th century, and with this came disastrous consequences of both progressive politics and its economic intervention. Decades after the idea of a national bank was buried, his “New Freedom” legislative agenda created the Federal Reserve System, which Nobel Prize-winning economist Milton Friedman showed to be the cause of the Great Depression, as it excessively expanded the money supply during the 1920’s. The Federal Reserve has also been proven to be the cause of the boom and bust business cycle, the financial crisis and the housing bubble among other economic fiascoes.

In 1913, the Sixteenth Amendment to the Constitution was ratified, which allowed the return of the income tax. At first the tax was minimal, but then he (with inspiration from the Ten Planks of Communism) decided to get a more sharply graduated income and inheritance taxes passed. In a classic example of the “ratchet effect” (going up, but not going down), some of the high taxes on incomes and corporate profits were retained after the war extended. The tax continues to progress today, and is one of the primary causes of unemployment and economic sluggishness and deadweight loss.
His programs laid the groundwork for expanded government with his setting precedents of the FDA, Overman Act, Enemy Act, Fuel Control Act, and Railroad Administration, etc. His creation of agencies to try to fix problems inspired FDR’s New Deals which prolonged and exacerbated the great depression.


Freedom 1: Undermined constitutional check and balances.
Wilson used World War I to vastly enlarge the president’s powers. Under the National Defense Act of 1916, he could appoint all commissioned and noncomission officers of the National Guard. This encroachment subverted the states’ constitutional right to appoint the officers of the militia. The act effectively increased the president’s authority over the military and undermined the constitution’s provisions for ensuring some state control over militia as a counterbalance to federal power.

Freedom 2: Eroded civil liberties.
In US history, WWI and its after math were probably the worst times for the erosion of precious and unique American civil liberties. Conscription, a form of involuntary slavery, was resurrected from the Civil War. The Congress passes the selective service act of 1917, which authorized him to draft men against their will to fight in a distant war, thereby taking away their own liberty.
The Espionage act of 1917 and the sedition act of 1918 were “probably the most serious attacks on the civil liberties of Americans since the short-lived alien and sedition acts of 1798” during the administration of John Adams. Yet the Supreme Court upheld convictions under these unconstitutional WWI-era laws.

Freedom 3: Set bad policies toward blacks and women.
To Wilson, some racial groups were more equal than others. A Democrat originally from the South and a blatant white supremacist, he sought unsuccessfully to get Congress to pass legislation to restrict the civil liberties of African Americans.
During and after his administration, racial violence spiked, in some measure because of the racist tone he had set The results were lynching, anti-black race riots, and the emergence of the second KKK to dominate the Democratic party in the southern and western states.
Similarly, Wilson had women suffragists arrested, because of his blatant misogyny. But later, under intense continuing pressure, he campaigned for the 19th Amendment.

Woodrow Wilson was a bad president.

[1] Ivan Eland, Recarving Rushmore, pgs. 212-229
ditzmister

Con

You are an expert on this topic! You should be seeing as it is the only topic you have ever debated on. A true master debater can debate on a wide variety of subjects
Debate Round No. 2
Wallstreetatheist

Pro

Uhh.. not sure what to do in this round now.

This is my third time debating it, because I have to give a presentation on Woodrow Wilson in Advanced Placement United States History (APUSH). My friend is actually doing the same president, but she is presenting him with the biases I described. Our teacher is allowing me to go immediately after her, and I will demolish every possible positive spin until each statement praising him is eviscerated and left to die.

I'll assuming that you are conceding? If so, just say that you concede to me.

Also, if you want to debate any resolution about presidential history, economics, investing, finance, or liberty, just ask.



More Sources

[1] Ivan Eland, Recarving Rushmore, pgs. 212-229
This book is the basis of the metric system and dismissal of the charisma and communication skills biases I used in this debate.

[2] http://www.thefreemanonline.org...
A section of this article demonstrates how Woodrow Wilson expanded federal power through coercive accumulation methods.

[3] http://www.thefreemanonline.org...
This article explains the political and economic issues that were caused by Woodrow Wilson's decision to enter World War I, and their effects on the rise of dictators in Europe.

[4] http://www.thefreemanonline.org...
This article describes the expansions of presidential power ushered in by Woodrow Wilson, which subvert the democratic process and undermine liberty.

[5] http://mises.org...
This article describes Woodrow Wilson's role in establishing the federal reserve system.

[6] http://mises.org...
This article describes Woodrow Wilson's role in creating the income tax with the Sixteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, a tax that was previously ruled unconstitutional.

[7] http://civilliberty.about.com...
A portion of this article describes why Woodrow Wilson was one of the worst presidents on civil liberties in American History.
ditzmister

Con

Well I only took AP European history, because America is garbage, and 9 times out of 10 the president is bad just simply because he sought the position.
Debate Round No. 3
Wallstreetatheist

Pro

Woodrow Wilson was a bad president. Con made no effort on his side of the debate. Vote Pro on arguments, sources, and conduct.

"The only real failure in life is not to be true to the best one knows." -Buddha
"Don't blame Wall Street, don't blame the big banks. If you don't have a job and you are not rich, blame yourself!" -Herman Cain

Vote Pro for free kfc.
ditzmister

Con

Vote Con for the Cure to Cancer!
Debate Round No. 4
15 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Wallstreetatheist 4 years ago
Wallstreetatheist
Well.. that was a fierce debate.
Posted by Wallstreetatheist 4 years ago
Wallstreetatheist
lol I love you guys.
Posted by failedALIAS 4 years ago
failedALIAS
*Sits in chair, stroking cat's ears.*
I must congratulate you, WallstreetAtheist. With all your literary prowess you managed to manipulate and use my one, petty, weakness.

Kittens.
Posted by joshuaXlawyer 4 years ago
joshuaXlawyer
no lawyering? never mind then I can't debate.
Posted by drafterman 4 years ago
drafterman
Damn. I don't have internet access. I can't accept.
Posted by cbrhawk1 4 years ago
cbrhawk1
He preaches an almost pure capitalism. If we had things his way, people would be working for a can of coke per day.

He's selfish because he puts no value on morality, saying safety measures on things such as motor vehicles should not be required when, during his day, there were many horrific deaths due to exploding gas tanks. That's just one example.

I won't say he isn't smart within his thought process. I have seen him obliterate every person he has encountered in a debate, and in a sense, my mouth drops in awe at his ability to win even hen it looks like his logic is backed into a corner.
Posted by Wallstreetatheist 4 years ago
Wallstreetatheist
Why do you think he is incredibly selfish? Most of his work is done on the factors that contribute to economic prosperity and raise the living standards of the poor.

I disagree with his theory on the Great Depression and central banking, but on average he is a force for good in the world, fighting against economic illiteracy and promoting freedom and the pursuit of prosperity.
Posted by cbrhawk1 4 years ago
cbrhawk1
"Nothing is so permanent as a temporary government program."

As much as I dislike Milton Friedman and think he is an extremely selfish individual, I can't help but think of some of the things he says. This is a great quote by him.
Posted by Wallstreetatheist 4 years ago
Wallstreetatheist
1) The metric I will use is the categorical evaluation of peace, prosperity, and freedom.
2) I will focus on both the actions that Wilson took during his presidency and the effects of those actions in later years.
3) I would be embarrassed to attend a university at which Wilson's name is engraved on a college other than "Racist Studies."
Posted by awesomeness 4 years ago
awesomeness
sounds interesting....

I might accept
6 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Vote Placed by 16kadams 4 years ago
16kadams
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Vote Placed by OberHerr 4 years ago
OberHerr
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Reasons for voting decision: Con didn't do anything....at all. Now, where is my KFC?
Vote Placed by YYW 4 years ago
YYW
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Total points awarded:60 
Reasons for voting decision: Conduct to pro because con yielded early in the debate. Pro actually argued. Con preferred to make irrelevant assertions and insult US history. Pro actually used sources. This debate was not unlike the intellectual flogging of a person who locked himself into a rhetorical stockade.
Vote Placed by Xerge 4 years ago
Xerge
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro put more effort in his case...
Vote Placed by ConservativePolitico 4 years ago
ConservativePolitico
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Reasons for voting decision: Obvious. Con put forth no effort.
Vote Placed by imabench 4 years ago
imabench
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Reasons for voting decision: no sources, no arguments, bad conduct for wasting my time