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 My Affirmative Case

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Sam Chase

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PostSubject: My Affirmative Case   Wed Nov 17, 2010 3:11 pm

Affirmative Case
Intro
The blacksmith hunches over his work as he carefully links every ring. This coat of mail cannot have one flaw, it must be absolutely perfect. Its strength depends on a connection of all of the rings. A government is much like this. If we are not all together, we will lose our strength as a whole. For this reason I strongly uphold this year’s resolution. Resolved: A government’s legitimacy is determined more by its respect for popular sovereignty than individual rights.
"All good government is and must be republican…Whenever I use the word republic with approbation, I mean a government in which the people have collectively, or by representation, an essential share in the sovereignty…” - John Adams
However, before I dive into my reasons for this, I will clarify some definitions.
Definitions (these are all from Dictinary.com)
Government: The form or system of rule by which a state, community, etc., is governed
Legitimate: In accordance with established rules, principles, or standards
Respect: The condition of being esteemed or honored
Popular Sovereignty: The doctrine that sovereign power is vested in the people and that those chosen to govern, as trustees of such power, must exercise it in conformity with the general will
Individual Rights: A justified claim or entitlement, or the freedom to do something
Value Analysis and Justification
A legitimate government is clearly one that follows the established rules, principles, or standards decided upon by the governed. If a government does so, they are also strong. A strong government can make decisions for its people through ample representation of the people. Because of this, today my value is Strength.
Criterion
Today I will be using Popular Sovereignty as my criterion, or bridge to strength, because without the consent of the populous, a government cannot be strong OR legitimate.
Contentions
Contention 1: Popular Sovereignty maximizes rights.
We can all agree that rights are important, but how do we decide which rights are the most important? In America, we vote. The majority of votes decides what our rights are. This ensures that the most people obtain their desired rights. If we did not use the majority rule that comes from popular sovereignty, how would we decide on what are rights and what are wants? I could ask six billion people what the top five rights are and I could get six billion different answers. However, when the majority decides, we maximize the amount of people being granted their right. It is not possible to give everyone the rights they desire, but the next best thing is. Granting the most people possible their desired rights.

Contention 2: A strong government must sometimes violate individual rights for the good of the governed.
The right of movement is a great example of this. I am not allowed to just walk into a top secret military base and just take pictures of everything I see. This would seriously violate the safety of our nation. Yes I have a right to movement, but for the safety of our nation that right is being restricted to a reasonable degree. Another great example of this is the draft. I have a right to employ myself however I want, but for the protection of the country, young men were taken into the military to build up our defenses. Although this infringes on my right to employ myself, the people are being protected because of my sacrifice. A legitimate government must sometimes override the general rights for the benefit of the people.

Contention 3: Consent Legitimizes.
If the governed themselves do not wish for a right to be granted to them, then the governing body is certainly legitimate not to do so. In other words, Consent Legitimizes. Taxes are the taking away of citizens’ property, but if the populous agrees this is fine, then the government is perfectly legitimate in taxing its citizens. The founding fathers did not break away from England because of taxation; they left because of taxation without representation. Violation of popular sovereignty, (back to the England example) makes a government completely illegitimate.

Contention 4: Legitimacy is determined more by popular sovereignty.
The only true source of governmental legitimacy is popular sovereignty, because it is the people that empower the government. The Constitution itself begins with the words, “We the people…” America was created to be governed of the people, by the people, and for the people. This does not say governed by the person, for the person, and of the person. The founding fathers considered popular sovereignty to be the prime way to govern a new country. In fact, a lot of very influential historical figures believed popular sovereignty as the ‘way to go’.

“In a democracy the poor will have more power than the rich, because there are more of them, and the will of the majority is supreme.”-Aristotle

One person does not determine if a government is legitimate or not, but a group of people who come together and converse about why and how a government is legitimate do.

Conclusion
As you can see, there are multiple reasons government should respect popular sovereignty over individual rights, one of which is the fact that this government becomes strong. It is also legitimized because of this. For these reasons I strongly urge that you agree with me in saying that A governments legitimacy is determined more by its respect for popular sovereignty.



Last edited by Sam Chase on Wed Dec 08, 2010 10:55 am; edited 4 times in total
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Nathan W.

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PostSubject: Re: My Affirmative Case   Thu Nov 18, 2010 11:10 pm

Just to help you with your case, the Pilgrims did not leave England because they were taxed without representation. The pilgrims left England because their right to freely worship was taken away. I think you got this mixed up with the founding fathers who broke away from England because their right of representation was taken away. Either way both are risky and easily used against you.
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Charlie Smith

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PostSubject: Re: My Affirmative Case   Fri Nov 19, 2010 12:49 am

it seems like your definition of individual rights directly conradicts your second contention
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ali_n.

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PostSubject: Re: My Affirmative Case   Fri Nov 19, 2010 8:51 am

Nathan said what i was going to say... Sad

Anyway...
In your second contention you focused a bit on draft. Answering yes or no, would you say that drafting a person, giving them no choice but to come and very possibly loose their life is fair? It may be for the good of the nation, but it totally trespasses on that person's rights to life and liberty, correct?

(cross ex....)
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Christian Di Lorenzo
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PostSubject: Cross-X Question   Fri Nov 19, 2010 5:52 pm

Can individual rights be strong? (Please answer yes or no.)
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Alex4JC

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PostSubject: Re: My Affirmative Case   Fri Nov 19, 2010 11:40 pm

You are saying that in order for a government to be legitimate, it must be strong (inprinciples, standards etc.) correct? If a government is weak (and illegitimate according to you) is it necessary for the government to remove the cause?
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Sam Chase

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PostSubject: Response to Responses   Mon Nov 29, 2010 11:08 am

Thanks everybody for the constructive criticism. I will be updationg my case according to certain mistakes.

Ali, I will say that NO, it is not fair per say for a government to force a person to join the armed forces. HOWEVER, fairness is completely subjective.

Christian, NO, Individual Rights are not strong, because it is only one person. In order for a country to be strong you need the majority's consent, not the belief of one person.

Alex, That is a great question. I believe you were going to get me to say "Yes, we must remove the cause." Then you would say (one way or another) that popular sovereignty is the cause. Therefore we must remove the cause (ie. popular sovereignty) of our country becoming not strong, and by consequence, not legitimate.
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Alex4JC

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PostSubject: Re: My Affirmative Case   Mon Nov 29, 2010 11:29 am

1. Can the government be wrong?
2. Can the government be corrupted?
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Sam Chase

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PostSubject: Re: My Affirmative Case   Mon Nov 29, 2010 12:07 pm

Yes, it can be wrong and corrupted. Which is why we should rely on popular sovereignty. It makes sure that it isn't only the corrupted and wrong people that are ruling
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Alex4JC

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PostSubject: Re: My Affirmative Case   Mon Nov 29, 2010 12:26 pm

So if a government is corrupted, that means it has corrupted people in it. You are saying it is okay for the government to remove those people if they are causing the government to be weak?
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Sam Chase

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PostSubject: Re: My Affirmative Case   Tue Nov 30, 2010 9:55 am

Well, it depends on how we define corrupted. If this corruption does not influence their political standing whatsoever, then no, we do not need to remove them.
But if said corruption leaks into political matters, than yes, we should remove them.
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