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 Sam Chase's Negative Case, against one Ms. Ashley Eaton

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Sam Chase

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Number of posts : 42
Age : 21
Location : Clayton, NC
Humor : Mmmmmmmmokay?
Registration date : 2010-09-01

PostSubject: Sam Chase's Negative Case, against one Ms. Ashley Eaton   Fri Dec 10, 2010 6:06 pm

Negative Case
John Adams, in his Thoughts on Government said, “Government is instituted for the common good; for the protection, safety, prosperity, and happiness of the people; therefore, the people alone have an incontestable right to institute government; and to reform, alter, or totally change the same, when their protection, safety, prosperity, and happiness require it.” Mr. Adams clearly thinks that protection, safety, prosperity, and happiness are all rights we deserve, and that a government that infringes on such rights is illegitimate. I realize that my opponent used this quote as well, but I would simply like to shine a new light on it. Today, I firmly stand resolved that “a governments legitimacy is not determined more by its respect for popular sovereignty than individual rights.” Hello, my name is Sam Chase, and I will be your negative speaker for this evening. Before I dive into the complex world of today’s debate, I will define some key terms for today’s debate round. I agree with my opponent’s definitions of Popular Sovereignty, Legitimacy, and Government. However, I will pose a new definition of Individual Rights.
Definitions

Individual Rights: Fundamental rights, esp. those believed to belong to an individual and in whose exercise a government may not interfere, as the rights to speak, associate, work, etc.
Value

Today, I choose to value the common good along with my opponent, but for different reasons. My opponent wishes us to believe that to achieve the common good we need popular sovereignty. My opponent also wants us to believe that the common good is the majority of the people’s good. What of the minority? I value the total common good of the people, not just a large piece of it. I believe we can achieve the common good through inalienable rights.
Criterion
As I said before, I will be using Inalienable Rights as my criterion, or bridge to the common good. I choose to do so because, if we all have certain rights, the populous will be bettered. If we use liberal democracy as my opponent suggests, the people could elect those who are corrupted to places of high influence. In today’s society, it would not take much for a person to hide their intentions until they were elected into office. However, I believe that no matter how corrupted someone is, as long as they uphold the inalienable rights of the people, their government is legitimate. The inalienable rights I speak of today are those written on the bill of rights.
Contentions
Contention 1: The Common Good, Not Part of it.
As I mentioned before, my opponent wishes for us to believe that the common good is the good of the majority. However, why would someone value the common good if only some of the people’s good is being taken into consideration? What of those not included in this “common good” Dictionary.com defines common as “pertaining or belonging equally to an entire community, nation, or culture” The definition says the ENTIRE community, nation, or culture, not just the majority of the community, nation, or culture. However, by valuing the total common good, we achieve the betterment of the whole populous.

Contention 2: Rights Legitimize
My criterion for this round is inalienable rights. As I said before, I believe that a government that upholds certain inalienable rights is legitimate. I like to know that I have certain rights that the government cannot legitimately take from me. Now, I say take from me, not restrict. Things such as the restriction of right to movement are perfectly legitimate to a degree. I am fine with not being allowed to walk into a top secret military base and reveal all the secrets I see to the world. My opponent wants to say that popular sovereignty legitimizes because then the government respects the most people. However, consider this. The populous wishes to take away my right to life, simply because I don’t have a high voice. They wish to kill me just because I annoy them. And, since we chose to use popular sovereignty as our prime way of telling whether a government is legitimate or not, I get a lethal injection. Is this right at all? But, because I value individual rights over popular sovereignty, no matter how many times the majority votes on it, I go on living.

Contention 3: Liberal Democracy Can Go Wrong
In my opponent’s first contention, she said that people vote for those who uphold their ideals in congress. Now, this may be true on some occasions, but there is a possibility that the elected officials will say something contrary to the want of the electors. Take George Bush’s election for example. He and Al Gore both ran for president, and, relying totally on the vote, Gore won. However, those elected in the electoral college voted otherwise, and Bush was put into office as president. This is just one instance of what can happen when we rely on liberal democracy and elected officials to make our decisions. Now, consider individual, inalienable rights. With such rights, there is no variation. We always know that there are rights given to us on the bill of rights, and that they are subject to us, we are not subject to them.

Contention 4: Popular Sovereignty Inconsistency
Let’s examine America’s voting system. Every four years, the people come together and vote on who they believe should be put into presidential office. Now, consider what I just said. Every four years. This means that we do something differently every time, or we would not need to continue to hold elections. If popular sovereignty never changed like inalienable rights, we would never hold another election again because we would always think the same thing. However, Americans are influenced by fads, peer pressure, and multitudes of other things that change our opinions on things constantly. Now, when we look at the other side, we see that individual, inalienable rights never change. They are reliable, in that the Bill of Rights guarantees us certain rights, and also guarantees that they cannot be taken away.

Conclusion
In conclusion, we see that Individual Rights ought to be respected over Popular sovereignty for three reasons, We Want the Common Good, Not Part of it, Rights Legitimize, and Popular Sovereignty is Always Changing. It is for these reason that I urge a negative ballot today, and agree with me in saying that “A government’s legitimacy is not determined more by its respect for popular sovereignty than individual rights.”
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