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The Contender
Con (against)

Do unlimited campaign contributions endanger democracy?

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bluechipkev7 has forfeited round #2.
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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/12/2016 Category: Politics
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 457 times Debate No: 96052
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (1)
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I'm referring here to the current Supreme Court Stance (Citizens v. FEC), that there should be regulation or cap on monetary contributions from corporations to political campaigns.

If you read the majority opinion from this case, what was basically said is that campaign contributions essentially represent speech (that money equals speech), and that therefore, a part of our American right to free speech means extending corporations (legal persons) the right to donate as much as they want to political candidates in general and local elections.

I mean, I think there are just fundamentally so many things wrong with this. In my opinion, the First Amendment was intended to protect political speech, works of art, personal opinions etc. It concerns speech literally, that we shouldn't police what can or cannot be said. To extend that to mean that a company with hundreds of million of cash flow should be able to donate to candidates at will doesnt seem implicit in that above definition.

But that's an aside I think. Because I think what we're talking about here really, is what is more important? Being able to do whatever you feel like with your money, or democracy? I think when we say that corporations should be allowed to donate as much as they please, were saying their voice matters more. Granted, influence does not mean coercion or causation, but influence is still important.

I think in this case we should say that a corporations right to "free speech" concerning how much they would like to influence a political outcome, and additionally, their right to do with their property whatever they will, is not as important as maintaining a democracy which values the choice of individuals and their right to political power and expression regardless of how much money they make.

And I think the two values are definitely mutually exclusive in this place. We need to face that enforcing property protection and inflating the notion of corporate personhood endangers democracy, and that the latter is more important, deserves more protection.


Unlimited campaign contributions do not endanger democracy; the democracy of the United States can not be compromised by something that is not deemed unconstitutional. Had it appeared in a court and ruled unconstitutional then I would not be here right now. Suggesting that it is wrong would simply be a subjective point of view, which is not to be ruled as a valid argument. Corporations and wealthy individuals are entitled to their rights (yes, corporations are treated as individuals) to do as they please with their money as long as it does not obstruct the rights of another. Campaign contributions can in no way what so ever legitimately be correlated to a downfall of a democratic system.
Debate Round No. 1


"Democracy cannot be endangered by something that is not unconstitutional", that's clearly not true. You have to consider the difference between ethics and law. In 1855, slavery was legal south of the Mason-Dixon line. Does that mean slavery was not a threat to political freedom? Or, for example, Nazi lieutenants were following orders (effectively laws) from their dictator to abduct Jews and other victims from their homes and carry them against their will to concentration camps. All totally legal, but clearly violates principles of democracy.

"Suggesting that it is wrong would simply be a subjective point of view", that's also not necessarily true. A political argument may contain both subjective emotional and rational elements. In my argument I paraphrased a Supreme Court case and argued logically to common sense how I felt that the court's decision was ill-conceived. I'm not just yelling out into the street my opinion, hoping someone will agree with me simply because I'm angry and its my opinion, nor am I leaning on my reputation. My argument is rational in flavor and cant just be cast off as subjective opinion, if a retort like that were permissable in a debate, every argument could be thrown out ("It's just your opinion". Pretty weak, I have to say).

Corporations certainly do enjoy many rights of conduct, property, rights of individuals. It's not true though that the only instance where their rights are limited are because they are directly infringing on the rights of others. If you look at the Unified Commercial Code for instance (a set of laws that governs interstate business in the US) you'll find countless entries that say, require certain yearly filings from corporations, that require them to fill out certain paperwork as a part of their conducting business, certain time-sensitive issues according to contracts and sales, etc.

My point is that corporations must and should abide certain codes of conduct, and I think they were conceived for the sake of creating a healthy business environment. It's relevant to our issue here because it means that precedent of law clearly shows that corporations should be held to certain regulations that have nothing to do with offending the rights of others (torts).

Therefore you'll have to come up with a stronger reason for why corporate shadow money doesn't attack the fairness of democratic elections. And I've restated my position there carefully so you don't think I mean that it's going to cause a "downfall of a democratic system".
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Debate Round No. 2
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Debate Round No. 3
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by skipsaweirdo 2 years ago
Dedemocracy would have to exist first. The United States is nothing but a social experiment. Beginning with the assassination of A. Lincoln the US is nothing but an example of a very old strategy on how to conquer a nation. Its called divide a d conquer. Dems and Rep is simply a front for psychological warfare. That's why they are seemingly divided by ideology and the result of who wins what never changes the agenda being forwarded in the States. We are just ruling class slaves too
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