The Instigator
Pro (for)
The Contender
Con (against)

Eddie Vedder is a hypocrite for writing lyrics about how rich Donald Trump is

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/17/2018 Category: Music
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 1,539 times Debate No: 110868
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Am I the only person who thinks that the lead singer of Pearl Jam, whose net worth was estimated to be $80 million last year, shouldn't be writing lyrics complaining about how rich the president is, or against capitalism, or generally any of the wining that comes out of these very rich musicians mouths? Any musician who makes money off a song denouncing capitalism or complaining about rich people is a hypocrite.


I accept.
Debate Round No. 1


Well... I'm pretty sure that by accepting the debate, it would have been obvious you accepted the debate. Pretty sure you just wasted your first round of argument by typing that in there as well... What am I wrong on? I mean I know they're also very clever for making money off these things, but it doesn't stop them being hypocritical. Complaining about the exact free capitalist society that enables you to make, record and sell records and make millions of dollars is extremely hypocritical.


Pro's case starts with a straw man fallacy and ends with a false equivalence fallacy.

The purpose of Eddie Vedder's lyrics and comments towards Donald Trump was specifically to do with how he chose to spend his money and how out of touch it made him with the people that he works with[1]. Eddie Vedder himself possesses neither of these traits. The comparison between them is night and day.

Let's look into Eddie Vedder. He joined Pearl Jam in 1990 and released the album Ten the following year. It immediately brought them into the mainstream and Eddie Vedder took issue with that and refused to release music videos so that the band's songs didn't get promoted so well[2]. So it was not about the money. Quite the contrary. He specifically took steps to reduce the profit. It was always about the music. But since he has now accidentally fell into money regardless, how is he to go about spending it? Well, how about putting it to good use by contributing to charities? Eddie has contributed to 14 different charities[3].

Now let's take a look at Donald Trump. Most of his business is in real estate. He owns various establishments in a number of countries, most of which he doesn't visit or have any personal relationship to. And in any case, even if he did, real estate isn't exactly something that you can say is a passion in the same way that music can be. This is a venture that is clearly profit driven. It was never about the pleasure of owning a hotel for its own sake. But does Donald also contribute some of his fortune to charity? Well, yes and no. He founded the Donald J. Trump Foundation. However, its reputation has been irreparably damaged since it came to light that it was all a selfish ruse designed to benefit his businesses[4], and later, his presidential campaign, the latter of which landed him a fine from the IRS[5].

So these two people are not even close to the same. Neither in how they came into money, nor about how they go about spending it.

Also, about capitalism, you don't have to be in favour of the abolition of a particular system to see flaws in that system. By that logic, Donald Trump's catchphrase was "make America great again" which implies that he doesn't think it currently is. Does that mean he should choose to live out the rest of his life in a different country being ardently anti-America? Of course not. Eddie Vedder supported Ralph Nader in 2000, John Kerry in 2004, Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012 and Bernie Sanders in 2016. He is not a socialist. And he doesn't have to be to have concerns about specific aspects of capitalism. Pro's thinking on this is way too black and white.

[2] Ashare, Matt. "The Sweet Smell of (Moderate) Success". CMJ. July 2000
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