It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.


Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.


Round 1. Nerdling V intrepid: National Leaders

page: 1

log in


posted on Feb, 20 2004 @ 12:33 AM
The topic for this debate is "Results are more important than character in national leaders."

Nerdling will be arguing for this proposition and will open the debate.
intrepid will argue against this proposition.

Each debator will have one opening statement each. This will be followed by 3 alternating replies each. There will then be one closing statement each and no rebuttal.

No post will be longer than 800 words and in the case of the closing statement no longer than 500 words. In the event of a debator posting more than the stated word limit then the excess words will be deleted by me from the bottom. Credits or references at the bottom count as part of the post.

Editing is Strictly forbidden. This means any editing, for any reason. Any edited posts will be completely deleted.

Excluding both the opening and closing statements only one image or link may be included in any post. Opening and Closing statement must not carry either images or links.

As a guide responses should be made within 18 hours. However if the debate is moving forward then I have a relaxed attitude to this. However, if people are consistently late with their replies, they will forfeit the debate.

Judging will be done by an anonymous panel of 11 judges. After each debate is completed it will be locked and the judges will begin making their decision. Results will be posted by me as soon as a majority (6) is reached.

This debate is now open, good luck to both of you.

posted on Feb, 20 2004 @ 12:10 PM
Yes, results are all that matters. Thank you.

The statement is so self-evident, no opening statement is required.

posted on Feb, 20 2004 @ 05:17 PM
Hi Nerdling, I am glad that we get to meet in this forum.

Image is very important in todays politics, substance is less important. There is three catagories of voters. Liberal, Conservative and Center. The first two, usually, vote the same way, the last, the Swing vote, is the one that determines the election. It is these voters that the candidates target.
A candidates personality becomes important in any election. Strength, charisma, a connection, even sexuality come into play. A candidate that connects with the people cannot only overcome an opponent with better credentials, he/she can overcome even personal scandal.

posted on Feb, 20 2004 @ 05:29 PM
Results are more important than character in national leaders.

And so I begin the rounds today asking you to keep your minds open at the topic I am about to present you with, many will not like due to their own affiliations but is the strength of my argument rather than the nature.

Leadership should be born out of the understanding of the needs of those who are affected by it. A leader should grow and blossom like a flower, it is a learning process akin to marriage, and the leader learns about his people and their needs and tries his best to complete them, would you rather have a president who looks good or puts that extra $20 in your wallet that you need to buy food? The public do not reward those who do not act in their best interests, they never have and they never will, you dont get results then you dont get the kudos, the leadership position is one of enormous responsibility.

Results ARE everything, but the ends do not always justify the means.

Results are without a doubt more important than character in a national leader and that has become self-evident over the past few years. The sheer vanity of electing someone because of perceived character and that new term presidentialness appalls and shocks me tremendously. Are you people mad? The underlying point many dont realize is that 99% of the voters will never have met a candidate and they will rely only on their perceptions of images from the massed media, which are for the most part manipulated to push one candidate over the other. A sound bite and a quick smile are not enough for people to make up their minds, if it was this way then the candidates would not even bother writing manifestos and affirming beliefs in causes.

Elections based on character votes have not always gone so well, such as Reagan, who was probably the worst president of the 20th Century but is always remembered as the nice man who could kick ass, what ass? What did he kick? So he bombed Tripoli and Benghazi a couple of times for the deaths of hundreds of Americans, not the smartest trooper in the woods was old Ron. This principle works on both sides too, JFK looked wonderful, charismatic and youthful but can anyone remember one sound memorable decision he made? I know that I cannot.

Now look at previous British Prime Ministers, just about every one of them had the character of a soiled mattress but they sure as hell got things done over the years. Many were dominating intellectual figures who were able to deliver the goods to the British people that still leave a legacy today: the creation of empire, a national health service, Free speech and the right to assembly, the right to lobby parliament and the right to vote. Such famous names include Disraeli, Palmerston, Churchill and Gladstone who all had a modicum of character but relied on their ability to lead the nation to success. For blessed is the leader who seeks the best for those he serves.

Strong characters get us places, but only when we need them to face off an enemy, Hitler won the election because he had a strong character. The German people did not care about his politics and elected his party into the Reichstag, which let him gain more power. We all know how that one ended, the misconception is that Hitler seized power, he did not, and he achieved it through legal means and good old trickery, a trait that many politicians still possess to this day.

Let us touch upon the democratic candidates now, we are left with a two horse race between John Kerry and John Edwards, this is the ultimate popularity contest and I will take great joy in saying I told you not to after Kerry is elected for that Massachusetts liberal is one a little too far right for comfort. John Kerry has lots of character but his politics stink, does he even understand what hes for and against? All I hear is national security and no to gay marriage, stop me if Im wrong, but isnt that what Bush is also using to get reelected? Edwards is campaigning on nice guy strategy but getting his own politics out, the southern charm gets a foot in the door then he follows with the politics. Campaigns based on character have failed so far, such as General Wes Clark, did he actually stand for anything? Gephard failed because he lacked a personality.

Leadership is action, not position

What a country needs is a man or woman who will get things done, not one who looks great on television.

Some of the words biggest mistakes were made on good intentions; good intentions are the child of a character driven leader.

"Courage - not complacency - is our need today. Leadership not salesmanship." - John F. Kennedy

posted on Feb, 20 2004 @ 06:46 PM
Nerdling, I was open to your words. However, I found that there were to many "shoulds" in them. We are not debating what should be, we are debating what is.

"Leadership should be born out of the understanding of the needs of those who are affected by it."

It is the proccess that we are debating. Hitler was charismatic, he was elected. That doesn't justify what happened later, but the proccess worked.

The 2 presidents that you mentioned, JFK made a huge decision during the Bay of Pigs. How do you think the Cold War would have played out if he hadn't have called the Soviet Unions bluff. Remember, Viet Nam was in it's infancy. If the USSR thought that the US would just roll over, how many MORE troops would have lost their lives. If he had lived I am sure he would have been re-elected.
Reagan also came from a position of strength. So much so that Iran couldn't give the hostages up quick enough. Did he do anything, no. It was his persona that got them released. You said that he was probably the worst president of the 20th century, even as the worst, his persona got him re-elected, and had 12 years of Republican government.

The media also has to be fed. They need to have something that will appeal to the viewer at 6 and 11 PM. Clinton was a godsend for them. Look at all the political proccess threw at him, and he still was re-elected. I still remember the time he played the sax on T.V. He related to the people. His policies didn't, for the life of me I don't remember what his policies were. BUT, I remember him playing the sax. Dem.'s were going to vote for him, GOP was going to vote against him but he related to the people, the swing vote, and served 2 terms.

posted on Feb, 21 2004 @ 09:09 AM
Those are all good points, but youre still completely wrong.

Results are more important than character, for if we elect for character alone then we get nothing but a shallow individual incapable of making good choices for the people, those elected on character have a character that they must maintain above all other things, Eisenhower had the sturdy general, Reagan had the angry man, Kennedy had the charming vibrant man.

Those elected for character alone have been some of the most dangerous men in history; I think that point is self-evident

I must follow the people. Am I not their leader?
~ Benjamin Disraeli

The leader is the mirror of the people and those with a strong personality hinder their ability to do whats best for their people, clouded vision and delusions of grandeur ensue at the call to power, the process begins to spiral downwards, as in Blairs Britain, he was elected because of his vibrant youthful personality and the need for change, oh what a mistake that has been, we have been taken to wars we did not support, and its pretty obvious that he is not listening to Mr & Mrs John Bull. Stories are spun on a daily basis to give the public the best impression even though nobody actually believes the official line anymore.

A leader should be a leader, not a celebrity.

Swing voters constitute only 20% of the voting populace, 40% will always vote to the left because their parents did and 40% will vote to the right for the same reason, those 20% are the important ones who need to be focused on, it is more likely that a candidate will win on sound policies that benefit the people than for a man (or woman) who will do photo opportunities, sign copies of their books and generally lecture everyone on how great they are

posted on Feb, 21 2004 @ 03:55 PM
Nerdling, I totally agree with you, in a perfect world. But we must deal with reality. In the real world image is more substansial than content. You mentioned Eisenhower, the war hero, re-elected. Reagan, the strongman, re-elected.

Look at Arnold Schwarzenegger. What is his political experience? NIL. He beat out people, in the recall, more qualified than himself to the governers chair by his persona.

As you have said, the swing vote is a small percentage. You have to appeal to the people. Look at Dean. He was the front-runner going into the Dem.'s prelims. One tirade later people were thinking WTF. He has since dropped out.

You have to show stability and strength to be considered, no matter what you can do.

posted on Feb, 24 2004 @ 03:04 PM
We must deal with reality indeed, we have the freedom to make choices on our leaders and to fire those who are incompetent, staying with your Arnie reference i must draw attention to California and last novembers incident, Gray Davis was recalled because he did not get results, he made life hard for californians and for himself in the end, the people recalled him and picked a leader promising change, people deserve more credit than we give them, arnie promised to get California back on track, many couldn't care less about his personality and past.

The people will vote for a strong candidate with good policies, have you been watching election coverage? people aren't voting for kerry because he was in 'nam, they vote because they agree with what he is saying, he does not mindlessly utter "war on terror" and smirk at the camera like a certain texan, he fields his plans well and people are made.

The biggest thing you can do is underestimate the public, they will chew you up and spit you out if you aren't getting results... nobody likes a failure.

Sorry for late response, had major project to complete.

posted on Feb, 25 2004 @ 06:19 PM
No problem Nerdling. The point I made in my last post about Arnie was that, Davis was going to be recalled, but there were candidates that were better qualified than Ahnold. His image didn't carry him past Davis, he was on the way out, but he beat out other seasoned politicians. His personality was strong and he appealled to a lot of people, but had he done in politics, other than fundraise and publicity.
In 1976, a time of change occurred. Viet Nam had ended, Nixon got the boot. And a time for an election. The two choices were Vice President Ford, who came accross as a bumbling idiot, or Carter, proven on the state level, nothing more. Carter took it. He did well at home, but his foriegn policies were sub-par.
1980 Carter vs Regan. The hostage crisis was still going on. Carter had not solved it. Neither had Regan, but had the aura of power. Regan wins. 1984 Regan vs Mondale, ex Vp. The Iran hostage thing was well behind. He was conducting a "War against Drugs", sweaping through Central and South America. Boosting inflation to levels of of the early 70's to pay for this and his huge military research, to compete with the USSR, that brought the country Closer to WW3 since the 60's. He still was able to defeat Mondale by his commanding image, Mondale was stiff.
1988, a battle of the stiffs. VP-Bush vs Dukakis. This one is a push, and the only I will give you as voted on by accomplishment. If Bush had gone against a more charismatic candadate, he would have lost.
Which brings us to 1992, Bush vs Clinton. Bush had been at the acme of American politics for 12 years. That couldn't help him against a candidate that went on TV to play sax, had the aura of youth and was said to be a womanize. Bush out. 1996, Clinton vs Dole, same election as 92, with the same result, Clinton stays. The only difference is that he had to deal with allegations of infidelity and corruption, but he still beat out the drole Dole.
2000, a new deal. This one we cannot count, as it was stolen. We will never know what could have been.
2004, Bush vs Kerry?, Kerry is pulling the same strings the Carter did, "I have lusted in my heart", just a week ago we here that Kerry "might" have had an affair. Clinton needs no explanation. It is about relating to the people. And they do that more through P.R. than policy.

posted on Feb, 27 2004 @ 01:39 PM
People chose Arnold because he said he would get results and stop special interests groups dominating the lobby, this appealed to people because they wanted results, ergo results are most important.

Election 2004 will be the supreme test of this debate, Bush just hasn't got results, sure his big business buddies will love him for the tax cuts that saves them the proverbial arm and a leg, but the little people really aren't saving, if you're making less than 75,000 a year then you're essentially getting a spare buck or two, no big breaks.

Promises are good and all, but you have to follow up on them.

Carter was dumped because he didnt get the results with the hostages, Bush got dumped because he made the economy a shambles and made america look stupid in GulfWar 1.

Let us go back to Franklin Delano Roosevelt, probably the best liberal ever to grace the white house, serving four terms, he got MANY results including sweeping social security reforms and helping win WW2, he is the embodiment of "results over personality"

posted on Feb, 27 2004 @ 08:48 PM
This has been an interesting topic. I believe that it has been shown, in my posts, that image is more important than results. The stronger, the more people-friendly are the ones that get elected. The fact that politicians have public relations agents speaks to this (boy did Dean's let him down).
Take a look at the American political proccess during an election year. Primaries after primaries. If X wins N.C. or Y wins N.Y., this is the popular candidate. They all duke it out, and more than one has valid points, but in the end the rest of the candidates rally around the most people oriented candidate.
Thank you Kano for this lively debate.

posted on Feb, 27 2004 @ 10:40 PM
Good job you two. I'll take the muzzle off the Judges and set them to work.

Results in a day or so.

posted on Feb, 29 2004 @ 10:05 PM
Ok, more results are in.

The winner of this debate by a margin of 6-2 was Nerdling. Well done to both Nerdling and intrepid, and good luck to Nerdling in the next round.

Here are some of the judges comments:

Nerdling presented a better case. While the points made by Intrepid may indeed be quite true, Nerdling presented a better argument. A job well done by both.

Nerdling was on his way but intrepid stood his ground and followed the rules of the debate.

A tough one and well done to both. A definite close one!

top topics


log in