I'd like to thank my opponent for his responses.
In this round, I shall respond to my opponent's responses.
Let's start off with the Jerusalem part of my argument. As I stated in the first round, he, like his predecessors promised to do this, but unlike them, he actually did it. What I was going for by stating this makes him a good president, is that he actually keeps his promises. The issue a lot of people have with presidents in the past is that they all promise these great things, but never own up to, or keep those promises. President Trump on the other hand, has kept most of his promises thus far, including the Jerusalem promise. A good president would keep their promises and advance America in any field they can. If I recall correctly, moving the embassy to Jerusalem, a city known for it's religious importance, was an advancement for the religious community.
On the note of your point on how Trump may be a good president for certain groups or individuals. I understand what you're saying and agree to an extent. Naturally, being a business man himself and knowing their struggles, he would businesses a lot. But that doesn't necessarily mean that he won't at least try to help the other people. As I have stated, him and his Cabinet are still in the process of working out another bill that may help the American people. Though, naturally the President can't help everybody. Everyone's success is dependent on the individual themselves and whether or not they're willing to put in the work to accomplish their goals. I will discus this more in the next section. At the end of the day though, all I'm saying is that you can't make everyone happy, so do the best that you can.
Now back to what I started to discuss in the last section. The success of an individual in on themselves. They must put in the work to accomplish their goals. This is true for everyone, no matter where you come from. In no way can a President be the cause of their success, but a good president would create policies that in some way help those individuals achieve their goal. But, it's mostly the states responsibility to create these policies.
In their response, my opponent stated that state legislating everything is a bad thing. But that can't be necessarily be true. The original plans for America, were to let the states be in full control of themselves. In other words, the Federal government, at no point, was supposed to be able to control the states themselves. The Federal government's original purpose was to enforce the Constitution and make sure that the states' governments didn't abuse their power. If we know anything about American history, we can clearly see that this vision was never realized. On the note of President Trump leaving insurance policies up for the states to decide, I'd like to state that President Trump is pushing for the original vision of the United States to be realized. Unfortunately, there isn't enough evidence just yet to prove whether or not he is. These types of things are typically better analyzed at the end of a President's term. The point I'm making though is that we can't say if states being in charge of their people's insurance other fields is a bad thing, because the federal government has run everything for too long. We never got to see the states actually run themselves.
In this section I will touch back up on the black community.
* As I stated in my arguments, I never credited President Trump for the record low of the black unemployment rate, in fact I specifically stated that the President, in no way, can affect those numbers. That part of the argument was my attempt at arguing from the point of view of someone who does credit President Trump for those numbers. On the note of those statistics though. Of course the people retrieving those numbers aren't going to consider anyone currently in prison. This is easily dismissed by the fact that people in prison can't necessarily hold a job, let alone contribute anything to the economy. Sure, there are some prisons that have their inmates perform paid labor, but they're not paid much and there's no guarantee that they're even able to spend the money they make. If they do, we could easily argue that prisons have their own economy separate from the country and state they're in. But this is an argument for another debate. We're getting off topic here and I apologize for that.
* I am fully aware that Kanye West has been denounced by the black community. Unfortunately this is what happens to black folks who "leave the Democrat plantation" and support Republicans. And yes, those National areas Trump designated could be seen as an attempt to prove that he's not racist like everyone claims he is, but I digress. The point of the argument was that he's trying to better his relations with the black community. This can easily cause people to view him as a "good president" because he realizes that, even though the black community makes up a small percentage in the U.S., we need everyone working together to help progress America into the future. George Washington's warning about parties is extremely valid here. In a way, President Trump is pushing to stop the parties and get everyone working under the same symbol. The red, white and blue. This could easily make him a good President. It would also make him the first President to unite the country. Another way he's doing this is warning people about main stream media, which has proven to be extremely biased and has turned away from reporting news. President Trump has pretty much told Americans that they need to start thinking for themselves and figure out what they believe in, not to let the T.V. tell you what you should believe.
Now we'll touch up on North Korea again. My opponent stated that Trump can be blamed for a lot of happenings in the war. This is easily debunked. Despite being under a cease fire, North Korea still attempted to launch missiles and Nuclear weapons at the U.S., Japan and South Korea long before Trump took office. If we're going to blame Trump for making it worse, we should also blame every President that's been in office since the war started. I will acknowledge the fact that Trump did make threats towards North Korea, but it wasn't the kind of threat that the media would have us believe. His threats pretty much consisted of, "if you attack us, we will retaliate". In other words, President Trump pretty much stated that he will defend the country should North Korea actually manage to attack U.S. soil. Unlike former President Obama who has been quoted making plans to attack North Korea.
This will be a brief section to discuss the tariffs on Chinese imports and Trump being all buddy, buddy with Russia.
*First off, Trump stated that he wanted to bring American made products back. An easy argument for why this would be a good thing is simply, making our own products would be more beneficial for the economy than constantly importing products from other countries. How can this be beneficial? Keeping our money circulating in our own economy is one thing. Jobs is another. We'll need people to make these products. It also opens opportunities for small business to get foot hold, maybe a small one, but a foot hold just the same. Not to mention, we could export those products to other countries, which would bring in more money. Putting a tariff on foreign goods would theoretically motivate American businesses to sell American made products.
* I'm going to make this sub-point based on the assumption that my opponent believes the Russian collusion theory and that Trump and Putin are very good friends. On the note of the Russian Collusion theory, this has been proven false time and time again thanks to the Mueller investigation. This has already been debunked so many times that using it as an argument is kind of pointless at this point. Don't get me wrong, had this been a couple years ago and relevant, I'd happily debate that topic, though in another debate. Anyway. We can't really say that Trump and Putin are good friends, though I can see why people would think they are. They both have very similar ideals, with Putin being Russia first and Trump being America first and they both have a mutual desire to get rid of ISIS, a goal that both have agreed to work towards together. In this sense, they have a mutual respect for each other. But they're relationship is not different than that of any other world leaders. It still has it's rough spots. Russian fighter jets keep flying extremely close to our air craft and President Trump did send some troops to Ukraine in spite of Putin demanding him to stay out of it. I don't know about everyone else, but this doesn't seem that like as glorious of a friendship as the media claim.
I will admit that Trump has said some very controversial things. But that's what a lot of people like about him. He's against political correctness. Political correctness at it's core is a Fascist philosophy that aims to silence anyone who disagrees with whoever's using it. Political correctness has irritated a lot of people over the years and a lot of us find it to be a relief to see someone who would stand against it, despite being constantly attacked for it.
This will be on the whole "Muslim ban" argument. My opponent stated that Trump said Muslim several times throughout getting that ban passed and claimed that he targeted the wrong countries. These arguments are easily debunked. Yes, President Trump did say "Muslim", but there's a good reason for that. He was banning travel from countries that have heavy ISIS presence. ISIS is an extremist terrorist group of Muslims. The countries President Trump targeted, had been having numerous ISIS attacks at the time, so to keep the American people safe, he banned travel from those countries so the insurgents couldn't sneak their way in. It's not because he's xenophobic. If he was xenophobic, he wouldn't let anyone in the country period. A good question to ask would be. Would a xenophobe really be pro legal immigration? A xenophobe, is someone who fears, or dislikes people from other countries. Trump has shown no signs of this. Not in his travel ban, not in his immigration policies. Speaking of which, let's get into his immigration policies. A lot of people will claim that Trump is a "bad president" because he wants to deport all "undocumented immigrants" (or more properly, illegal immigrants). This isn't because he hates or fears them, it's because they broke a law. Technically, him deporting illegal immigrants is just him doing his job. It's the President's job as the Head of State to enforce the laws that Congress creates. In fact, the law in question being enforced is 8 U.S. Article #1325- Improper Entry by Alien. So at the end of the day, President Trump is being called a racist xenophobe for enforcing a law that congress created a long time ago.
One more thing I'd like to point out is the hypocrisy of the xenophobia accusation towards President Trump. Does anyone else find it odd that the same people who claim Trump is a xenophobe, also accuse him of being good friends with Putin, a person from a different country? I sure do.
My opponent, in a way, brought up approval ratings. Well in all fairness, we can't necessarily use approval ratings to prove that a President is good because every president is going to have an equal if not greater disapproval rating as you'll see in the charts provided in the link below. Now I also want to touch up on my opponent's claim that my arguments are subjective. Allow me to better explain why I chose the arguments I did. I'm basing whether or not Trump is a good President based off of his accomplishments. I believe that what determines whether or not a President is actually good, depends on what they have accomplished during their time in office and whether or not they benefitted the American people in some way rather than they're character. They're personality doesn't really affect their ability to do their job all that much. I hope my opponent now understand the reason I discussed Trump achievements and goals rather than who he is as a person.
I look forward to reading my opponent's response and I apologize for not being more clear in the beginning of the debate.
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2018-12-05 22:09:06Hello again. Thanks again to my opponent for their well thought out rebuttal. I look forward to addressing your responses, and at the end, putting forth some more arguments of my own.
I think it makes the most sense for me to begin by responding to the rebuttals point-by-point.
To address your first set of rebuttals(Section 1), I would agree that, in the general sense, following through on promises is something that is good. However, I think your point here about the moving of the US Embassy into Jerusalem is a misused argument. I don't think it's fair to paint the situation like Trump is the one that finally kept his promise, which all the other recent presidents couldn't do. These other presidents contributed too, there is a lot that goes behind moving an embassy. To use another analogy, let's say you're trying to push an immensely heavy box across a line about four feet away. Let's say that one person is able to push it halfway and then another person comes along and pushes it to about the three-foot mark. Now, let's say Trump comes along and pushes the box the last foot. Certainly, it would be unfair to credit solely credit Trump for pushing the box over the line. My point with this analogy is that this is what you're seemingly doing here by crediting Trump as the sole reason for the moving of the US Embassy into Jerusalem. Just because the embassy was physically moved into Jerusalem under Trump doesn't mean it's about him 'keeping all his promises unlike the other presidents', it's a little bit more complex than that. Also, in round 1, I asked you why it's good that he moved the embassy in the first place. Your response was that since Jerusalem is inherently a region rich with religious history and community, the embassy advances that richness. This kind of coincides with my over-arching, central, theme that Trump really only helps the kind of people that he himself is: religious, wealthy, etc.. This whole embassy point really isn't even remotely significant but I just have a problem with appropriating this to Trump being a president who 'keeps his promises' as opposed to other recent presidents. Also, near the end of your argument, you mention that you don't want to discuss Trump's character but this seems to be a direct praise of Trump's character by saying that he is a person who can keep a promise.
To address your second point in Section 1, can you imagine if every president came into office under the impression they can only help one or two group's of people and just to 'do the best they can'. Not only is this theoretically wrong, because you should be able to help everyone--at least to an extent, but it's also empirically and demonstrably wrong. If Trump is doing the 'best he can' then surely we wouldn't be able to really think of much else that Trump could feasibly do, I mean, after all, he is the president. Just about anything he wants to be done bad enough, he can make happen. However, I'm pretty sure just about anyone could think of at least five or so things that Trump could do that would be beneficial right now, so I would dispute the claim that he is 'doing the best he can' and that that's 'all he can do'.
Now, let's discuss your first point in Section 2 (which you also hinted at near the end of Section 1) regarding the claim that 'the success of the individual is on themselves'. You claim that, at the end of the day, it really comes down to the individual to determine whether or not they're going to be successful - it's all about hard work. I agree with the concept and base idea of this, that with enough hard work you can really overcome nearly any obstacle. However, I shouldn't need to explain to you why this isn't a realistic expectation. If everyone worked as hard as they could so that they could overcome whatever extenuating problems or circumstances they're facing then those problems wouldn't exist. So, it's unfair to just say that people who aren't successful should just work harder. Also, it's not completely up to hard work in the first place. Things such as the socioeconomic status, family, city, and school you're born into are all extremely significant factors in determining success. But, I agree with your point that the president can and should implement policies to try to help these circumstances and the people in them. However, you then immediately go on to say that this is mainly the duty of the state to implement these policies, essentially conceding that Trump has done basically nothing to help people from these more 'unprivileged' (if you will) circumstances. This again relates back to my major, central, point that Trump seemingly, at least based off of his policy, doesn't care about people from lower socioeconomic statuses, he only serves a select group of people, who, in general, support him and whose interests coincide with his own.
To respond to your point about state legislation, I never said that state legislation was inherently bad. I didn't even say that state legislated insurance would be bad. I specifically said that a number of things that Trump wants now to be state-legislated, such as common core, were previously bi-partisanly agreed upon to be federally regulated. I am also claiming that many of the things Trump wants to be state-legislated, such as common core, would be a huge disaster for the main groups of people it would affect. My point here is that Trump is causing a lot of political discourse in areas where it isn't needed. To briefly touch on a point you make later in your argument, that Trump is bringing about unity in the country, this is one direct example of how Trump is doing exactly the opposite, but there are many many more.
In response to your clarifications about Trump and the African-American community (Section 3), I don't think you quite understand how the statistics work. My point in mentioning that the BLS statistic was flawed because they don't count incarcerated persons wasn't that incarcerated persons can somehow contribute to the economy from prison. My point was that, because they're incarcerated, we can't know whether or not they held a job prior to their incarceration, thus skewing the statistic as a whole (especially when you take into account just how many black people are incarcerated). Because of this, we need to be skeptical of this statistic of a 6% black unemployment rate.
In regards to your point about Trump being friendly with Kanye West to improve his relations and perceptions with the African-American community, I agree that this is productive for him, despite the African-American community being a vast minority in the country. However, to extrapolate this to Trump trying to bridge the breach between the two parties is absurd. Trump has talked so much about what he thinks is wrong with the Democratic Party, how their hypocritical, wrong, and want to do all these things that would mess up the country. Whether or not Trump is justified in these claims is another topic, but certainly, if he were trying to bridge the differences between them, he wouldn't make these claims against the Democratic Party and many of its members. Also, to bring this back to the bipartisan argument, if that point isn't enough, if Trump wanted a politically united America, he wouldn't keep making settled, agreed upon, bipartisan issues, into political discourse, meaning, he wouldn't keep changing bipartisan policies in such a way that they are now divided, like most other things, between Republicans and Democrats. Overall, I think even you will agree that this is a pretty extreme claim to make that Trump is trying to bring about unity between the two parties, you would have to go a very long way to even make that argument. Also, another point you brought up here in support of your assertion that Trump is trying to bring about unity was that Trump doesn't like fake news and wants people to think critically instead of just believing everything they hear, regardless of your political stance. I agree that it's good to think critically, but I don't think this in any way brings about unity, I think it does the opposite actually when he calls out specifically leftist news organizations, such as CNN, over and over again and refers to them as 'fake news'. Whether these news organizations are 'fake news' or not really doesn't matter, the point is he certainly isn't trying to bring about unity through his criticism of media.
To respond to your point about Trump and North Korea, I didn't say that Trump was that sole perpetrator of the North Korean conflict. I, however, was arguing that he certainly made things worse and by putting an end to the conflict, he was really just taking responsibility for his own actions. Also, to defend this point more, Trump didn't just say that if North Korea attacks, so will he in self-defense, that's ridiculous. He called Kim Jong Un a madman, maniac and lunatic on multiple occasions, he openly discussed working with South Korea against North Korea numerous times, he noted how North Korea is reliant on China's economy and how China should cut them off, among many other numerous things. So, certainly, it's not fair to just say that Trump was just saying that he would act in self-defense, he said much more than that. Thus, I think I have supported my point once again that although Trump ending the North Korean conflict was a good thing, it was him that accelerated the conflict in the first place. Also, all these things that Trump has said in regards to North Korea are all personal tweets which you can look up if you don't believe me, mainly from 2017 before the conflict resolution.
To address more of your responses on Trump's reversal of previously bipartisan topics, my point about import tariffs wasn't that they were bad,(although if you want to get into that they will certainly come with an increased tax rate which will inevitably lead to a decrease in importation altogether and thus a loss of not only money but material/product as well) my point was that Trump keeps making bipartisan issues non-bipartisan. It should be self-evident why this is problematic. As a society, we always want to be moving forward. But, when you have a president who keeps going back in time, regressing, to flip-flop all these issues that we've come to agree on -- you have a problem. On the topic of Trump being 'all buddy-buddy' with Russia and Vladimir Putin, to begin, I'm indifferent on whether or not there was collusion in the election. And I believe even if there was collusion, it was very minor and probably wouldn't have affected the outcome anyway. But to say that this is some myth that has been disproven is false, if it had been disproven then I don't think so many people would believe it or be indifferent. Also, I agree that Trump has been slightly critical of Russia through certain policies, such as arming Ukraine -- which President Obama refused to do. However, in his rhetoric, he has praised Vladimir Putin numerous times, complimented him, his policies, his beliefs etc., etc. Again though, by trying to analyze these things like whether there was Russian collusion in the election or not, or whether or not tariffs would be good or bad for America shows me that you're missing my whole point about the bipartisan thing. The policies are pretty much irrelevant to this point, what I'm concerned with is the political discourse and division on issues that were previously resolved and should've stayed resolved. It is directly and clearly regressive when you have a president who keeps going back on policies that have already been agreed upon, that was my point.
In regards to your point about Trump and his controversial speaking, you say that this is what people like about him, clearly, this is just false. This is precisely what most people hate about him. If you ask most people, even Trump supporters, for something they don't like about Trump they will almost certainly give you one of Trump's many controversial statements, such as that Mexico is sending crime, drugs, and rape, or that the Mexican judge who presided over the Trump University case was directly incapable of performing his job correctly because of his Mexican heritage, and many more. Also, I agree that political correctness is stupid but I don't think that Trump, by saying these things, is trying to challenge political correctness. If he was, I think he would incorporate it when he's making these controversial statements. However, he doesn't because these statements are in regards to certain groups of people in regards to certain policies, not in regards to challenging the social stigma of political correctness.
To address your defense against Trump being xenophobic, to start, I never even said he was xenophobic, I just said he's certainly said some stuff that seems xenophobic. However, you did address my claims about Trump's Muslim travel ban. You argue that Trump only said Muslim because we are talking about ISIS, which is a movement based in the Middle East that is, at the core, Islamic. However, the way in which you word things is very powerful. If Trump would've said the problem was with radical jihadism, not Muslims, then there would've been no problem -- but Trump didn't say that, he said Muslims. You also claim that if Trump was xenophobic he wouldn't be Pro-Legal immigration. Again, I never said Trump was xenophobic -- I think even if he was he wouldn't be Anti-Legal immigration, that would make him seem insane and he never would've gotten elected in the first place if he believed that. Also, it's impossible to be a capitalist and not want at least some immigration, so that point doesn't really work as a justification for Trump not being xenophobic. Also, I never said him wanting to deport illegal immigrants makes him xenophobic, that would be ridiculous. I said the way he has described illegal immigrants is clearly controversial and is being characterized by some as xenophobic. You also make the point that it is hypocritical to accuse Trump of both being xenophobic and 'good friends' with Vladimir Putin. Again, this point doesn't really work. Xenophobia is predicated off of stereotypes you perceive as true from people other countries. First of all, it doesn't have to be absolute. Meaning, even if I did think Trump was xenophobic I would think it only in regards to places like Mexico and the Middle East, not to places like Northern and Western Europe. Also, since Xenophobia is based on prejudice and stereotypes, and since Trump personally knows Putin, it would be impossible for him to be xenophobic of him, that wouldn't even make sense. So, I don't think that claim of hypocrisy you're trying to make works.
To address your point, about Trump's approval ratings, my point wasn't that probably a majority of people don't like Trump. My point was that the vast majority of people don't like Trump, even most of the people that voted for him only voted for him because he was the lesser of two evils. I agree that most presidents can probably really only hope to break even with approval ratings, unless your someone like Abraham Lincoln, but I don't think Trump is anywhere near breaking even. In fact, I'm pretty comfortable making the estimate that only about 20% of the population would classify Trump as a good president.
In response to your final rebuttal in regards to my claims that many of your arguments are subjective, you say that you are basing whether or not Trump is a good president upon his accomplishments. This is still subjective. If your basing it off of accomplishments, where is the line? What accomplishments are important for being a good president and why, what makes one accomplishment better than another and how many do you need to be a good president? If you do a certain amount of bad things do those diminish from your accomplishments and your status as a 'good President'? Also, this gets even more subjective because what you might define as an accomplishment for Trump, someone else might define as a flaw. My criticism here isn't that a lot of what you said is only subjectively true, it's rather that you should see what you might define as good might be defined as bad for another person. Thus, when you can really only go off of subjective truths, and the majority of that subjectiveness doesn't view Trump as good, that works against your own argument.
Now, to advance some of my own arguments, I think the fact that you have fallen into the trap of simply rebutting my arguments merits to my argument that, simply, Trump is not a good president. If Trump was a good president, you should be practically overflowing with statistical data, effects, and reasoning for it. However, in this second round, you really have only defended the claims I've made against him. This shows to me that the arguments you put forth in the first round were just about all you could think of that was good about Trump. I'm sure next round, however, with this said, you will certainly advance some more arguments but just take into consideration that what I just said should be self-evident.
Also, in a lot of your arguments, you say we will have to wait and see the effects before judging the policy -- this is not a substantive argument. We cannot go off of policies that are debatably good or bad and proclaim them as one or the other before we are able to observe the effects. I think your case lies based off of what Trump has already done, and the effects visible from that -- not what he is planning to do.
Finally, to bring it back to a major point I made in round 1, that Trump has really only benefitted a small, wealthy, minority in America. I still stand by this statement and the claim that, as President, you should want to benefit those most in need, regardless of whether they stand with you politically or not. Trump has done essentially nothing for the lower or even middle class since his inauguration which I think just serves to the idea to why so many people think that he simply just isn't a good president, and that he only benefits the type of people that he, himself, is.
Nevertheless, I appreciate your participation in this debate so far, I think it has been quite productive. I look forward to your response in Round 3.
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