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WRDL Debate #2: The Wall: Cold Front vs ncordless | Page 5

Discussion in 'The War Room' started by Fawlty, Feb 5, 2017.

  1. Cubo de Sangre Gold Belt

    Cubo de Sangre
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    Agreed. Very impressive in most regards. But like a chess match, moves open up moves and I see one that looks potentially dangerous.
     
    #81
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  2. ncordless Red Belt

    ncordless
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    My understanding of the format of this debate is that this first phase was supposed to be devoted to my opening statement and I am now supposed to address Cold's opening statement. However, because our positions were not clear to each other, I feel this first phase has been as much about establishing positions rather than a critique and defense of my position. I think that, for sake of continuity, instead of ignoring the developments in Cold's position, and just attacking his opening statement, I should incorporate where the argument has advanced to. Also, I think that the argument organically mutated into a standard back and forth instead of the more formal format. While I am fine with it, I think it is running its course a little sooner than if we'd stuck to the original format, which was calling for a more focused inquiry into each other's original positions instead of this rapid expansion of the topic. If @Coldfront is in agreement, I suggest that we skip the next two rounds of it after my next argument and proceed to the next phase.
     
    #82
  3. Cold Front Black Belt

    Cold Front
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    Whatever you like. You can work out the details with Fawlty. I'll respond to whatever you put in front of me next.
     
    #83
  4. Cubo de Sangre Gold Belt

    Cubo de Sangre
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    Is this how the format begins?

    This means you get cut-off from a direct response to his last post?
     
    #84
  5. ncordless Red Belt

    ncordless
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    No, sorry. Let me be a little more clear.

    As I read the format, Parts B, C and D were originally intended to Address my Part A, and Parts E, F, and G are meant to address his original position. But because we started without knowing what the other was arguing, we've both had to adjust on the fly, and the format has fallen apart. To put it in a legal context, the format was supposed to be like a direct/cross/redirect format of testimony where the argument gets more particular, but has instead morphed into a Opening/Response/Reply style argument where we are quickly expanding the topic. That's fine and I am all for it, but I don't believe that another round is necessary.

    Since I am supposed to have final argument in this first sequence anyway, I am proposing that we stop the opening phase after the my next argument, we skip Parts F and G, and move on to Part H.

    If this works for you Cold, let me know. I don't want to presume from your previous response.
     
    #85
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  6. Cubo de Sangre Gold Belt

    Cubo de Sangre
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    Yeah, it's a little off-kilter due to the ambiguity of argument. But did anybody put aside an argument due to it or was the debate over the scope of the argument in addition to the action? Looks like you've got to shift gears and if you want to hold anything against him from his last post it'll require weaving it into what comes next.

    The religious nature of the initial debate was too much to stomach so I'm a late-comer to understanding the process.
     
    #86
  7. Cold Front Black Belt

    Cold Front
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    Sure.
     
    #87
  8. ncordless Red Belt

    ncordless
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    Alright then. Unless Fawlty disagrees, I am going to draft my response, which will not be limited to Cold's opener, but instead his total argument so far, and then we will move on to questions.
     
    #88
  9. Fawlty Red Belt

    Fawlty
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    @ncordless @Cold Front

    It's true we've gotten off track here, and I'm too tired tonight to review and make a good decision. Since you guys agree that you're ready to move on to questions, @ncordless we'll do it how you suggest. You have one response, and then we go to Cold Front to start Q&A.

    Thanks for your patience, I'll check in tomorrow afternoon.
     
    #89
  10. Thurisaz Too dangerous

    Thurisaz
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    I'm highly entertained by all this. I don't know why, but both debaters are providing strong arguments for a wall.
     
    #90
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  11. Fawlty Red Belt

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    #91
  12. ncordless Red Belt

    ncordless
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    #92
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  13. Fawlty Red Belt

    Fawlty
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    Cool, but let's hold on, there are concerns about the general clusterfuck this has turned into. You guys put a lot of good thought and posting into it, and it shouldn't go to waste. We'll get our ducks in a row backstage and then proceed.
     
    #93
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  14. ncordless Red Belt

    ncordless
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    Cool. I am actually relieved because I have had a hellishly busy week and am not writing at my best this evening.
     
    #94
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  15. Gandhi Birdie num nums

    Gandhi
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    This is what the argument should have been about in the first place. Values.
     
    #95
  16. Gandhi Birdie num nums

    Gandhi
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    I see we are restickied so are we back on?
     
    #96
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  17. ncordless Red Belt

    ncordless
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    My response will be coming in hot this evening.
     
    #97
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  18. Cold Front Black Belt

    Cold Front
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    @ncordless @Fawlty

    I'm waiting. Just let me know what format you have agreed to. As far as I know, my next task after ncordless's response should be three questions.
     
    #98
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  19. ncordless Red Belt

    ncordless
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    That's my understanding as well.
     
    #99
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  20. ncordless Red Belt

    ncordless
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    Welcome back, everyone.



    Since we’ve been dormant for a bit, I think a recap is worthwhile. In the opening, Cold Front and I argued past each other. Neither of us thinks a wall across the entire border with Mexico, and both of us think that a wall might be useful in at least a few locations.


    Where we differ on the wall is how much of the wall should be built, how effective it will be, and why a wall should be built. Cold Front thinks we should build lots of wall, I think we probably have enough already and could probably do with less.


    I have argued that the wall will be ineffective because it won’t stop, or even likely dent, illegal immigration, and that there are better ways to curb illegal immigration. I also believe a wall will cause more trouble than it will prevent, and so is not justifiable. In the end, Cold Front’s vision of “the wall” is a militarization of the border. It will be as ineffective, and with similar consequences, as the militarization of the police in the War on Drugs. To do something so harmful to so little effect, especially when alternatives such as stopping employers from providing jobs to illegal immigrants are available, is a fatally flawed position.


    Cold Front essentially admits that a wall is not justifiable in a cost/benefit analysis. Amazingly, he also uses a quote from Senator Dirksen, “A billion here, a billion there, pretty soon, you're talking real money” and does not see the dissonance. Wasting a few billion here, and a few billion there on a wall that won’t produce much benefit, and yes, pretty soon we will be talking real money. Money that Cold Front is willing to squander, but I do not think we should.


    Cold Front does not disagree with my assertion that he is really asking for the militarization of the border. At best, he argues that this time it will be different because drugs are different than people. His argument misses the mark and is not particularly persuasive. Sure, drugs disappear when they are consumed. People don’t (though a lot of illegal immigrants do travel back and forth across the border). That’s interesting and all, but it assumes that those illegal immigrants have already made it past Cold Front’s worthless wall. His argument admits that the wall won’t help, and it is only through creating disincentives that we can actually curb illegal immigration. I agree.


    Cold Front, in a moment of real insight, speaks of a “virtual wall” which he says is the will of the people. I think that’s right. Ultimately, if We the People do want to stop illegal immigration, we will do it organically through policy and societal norms. If we stop hiring them, they will stop coming. Militarization of the border, or the building of a real wall, will not only make it more profitable to smuggle them over.


    Notably, Cold Front shows us the patented Cold Front bar graph that, if you have ever seen him in a thread before, you know that he eventually breaks out at some point. He says that I need to explain why, if curbing illegal immigration is impossible (I never said that, I just said a wall won’t help) we were able to curb immigration between 1924 and the ‘60’s.

    [​IMG]

    As you can see, Cold Front’s graph purports to show “immigration into the United States” over time. But what it really shows is legal immigration over that time. It's bunched up in five-year increments, so the numbers look higher, but when you look at the actual data, linked below, you can see that it's only measuring legal residents.

    https://www.dhs.gov/immigration-statistics/yearbook/2015/table1

    There’s not really good evidence of how exactly how much illegal immigration across the Mexican border was going on during that time, though anecdotal accounts tell us that it has always been around. Of course, if you tighten legal quotas, there will be less legal immigration. How does that advance his argument that we stopped illegal immigration during that time?


    Cold Front labels recognizing the futility of militarizing the border as “fatalism”. But it’s not so much fatalism as pragmatic realism. As I will discuss below, Cold Front is very confused about what America is and what are American values. One of the bedrock values of Americanism is pragmatic realism. It permeates our beliefs, our laws, our art, and our government. It should not be so readily disregarded, especially in favor of something so decidedly Anti-American as Cold Front’s vision of a militarized border.


    So let’s get real for a second. Militarization of the border will not work. We have a 3,200 mile border. In the 1980’s, we had 2,000 border patrol agents and almost no fence. Now, we have approximately 20,000 border patrol agents and and hundreds of miles of fence. What effect has it had on illegal immigration? Doing something dumb twice as much, or twice as hard, doesn’t make it less dumb. Doubling down on a spectacular failure like militarizing the border doesn’t make it less of a failure.


    Cold Front argues that “the wall” means something more, that it has some symbolic meaning that is so needed that we should build it even though it doesn’t make sense economically. I agree that “the wall” does mean something more than merely being a wall. But instead of being a reason to disregard how otherwise stupid it is, I think that what the wall means is all the more reason not to build it.


    One gets the feeling from his arguments that Cold Front doesn’t really care about the difference between legal and illegal immigration much at all. Illegal or not, he’d rather have none of it. He sees it as harmful to America. This makes sense as, in the end, he admits that a wall fails a cost/benefit analysis. While this topic was supposed to be about a wall, given that he has all but conceded the wall except as a symbol of disdain towards immigration in general, that we have been slowly meandering down this path for a while, and that judging by responses, this is the argument you want to see, I am going to give you what you want. So to take it back to Rome for a second,

    [​IMG]


    We are faced with a stark choice. On one hand, as Cold Front admits, we have America as symbolized by the Statute of Liberty.


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Cold Front says what has made us strong is our people. What he means by that, I know not. Certainly, we do not have the same blood in our veins. We are not all English, German, Italian, Irish,Chinese, Laotian, African, or Native. And we never have been. Most of us are a mix of several of these. We do not share the same, ancient cultures like the nation states in the rest of the world. Almost all of us cannot trace our Americaness back more than a couple hundred years. We do not all have the same religious beliefs. We are, and always have been, Anglicans, Baptists, Methodists, Catholics, Jews, Muslims, and free thinkers.


    Instead we are, and always have been, a nation of ideals, not of people. We are a nation forged on simple basic ideals, and brought together from all over the globe in search of a better life. We believe in basic fundamental rights of liberty and justice, and equality. We are a nation of immigrants who believe in basic, human rights. Rights not limited to being a citizen of here, or there, but rather fundamental human rights that everyone has. The Declaration of Independence crystalizes and distills this foundational principle. We are created equal, with inalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, not because we are American, but because we are Human. To be an American is to accept that all humans have these rights. And over time, each succeeding wave of immigration renews us, reminds us of who we are, and improves us. We strive eternally for our more perfect union. And while we’ve been far from perfect, we continually improve.


    Almost none of our ancestors were perfectly assimilated within the first generation, but eventually we all do. For instance, I can trace my ancestors back quite far. One came over on the Mayflower. One immigrated to the Carolinas, and fought with the Swamp Fox in the revolutionary war. And another came over from Germany in the post-war 1800’s settled in a place where German was spoken exclusively, and stayed there for a generation or two. My grandmother remembered German was spoken exclusively in the house. They are all part of who I am. And these stories are a part of who we all are. The Statute of Liberty, standing next to Ellis Island where millions of us can trace our lineage as immigrants, stands as a symbol of what we are. It is, at least in part, what America is.


    But Cold Front would have us give up this essential part of who we are and replace it with this:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    In his view, it is high time we gave up on the American dream, our most basic beliefs, and our heritage. Instead of freedom, we should worship fear. Instead of liberty, we should worship lineage. Instead of equality, we should worship exclusivity. He would build a wall that would serve as a symbol of our weakness. Walls meant to keep people out (or in) are antithetical to liberty.


    If we are willing to sacrifice liberty, what are we protecting? Certainly not our heritage. We’ll be giving it up for xenophobic fears. Fears that preceding generations have had and have always proved to be unwarranted.


    That’s not to say that Cold Front and his ilk don’t have a long tradition in this country. We’ve always had No Nothings, the Klan, and the like. Those that claim to protect some false sense of self from the deadly hordes or Germans, Irish, Mexicans, Italians which they’ve always seen as Un-American and feared they would destroy us. But so far, fortunately, their vision of America has not prevailed. And their fears have proven unfounded. Instead, immigration has been our fountain of youth. It has brought generation after generation of freedom-loving, hard-working, Americans here. Cold Front would have us turn off that fountain, and wither up behind our useless walls. I hope that never happens because the day it does is the day we lose who we are. It will be the day that, like the Roman Empire, we begin our slow decline into the dustbin of history as we lose our foundational principles.


    So don’t let them scare us. Don’t be afraid. Immigration is and has always been part of who we are as Americans. Don’t throw away our heritage, and toss lady liberty out on her ass in exchange for a useless wall.


    We can, and should, institute immigration reform to bring down illegal immigration, largely though a mix of making legal immigration easier and dis-incentivizing coming here illegally. Militarizing the border should have no part in whatever we do because it will do more harm than good, and will be a symbol that we’ve forgotten what America is in the first place.
     
    #100

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