September 30th's debate did clarify the difference between Bush and Kerry. This difference is the core conflict in America. Kerry is a Relativist, Bush believes in Truth. I have been asked to debate on election issues. The opponent I hoped to meet in a "clash of ideas" declined the invitation of the Teenage Democrats and Republicans. She says "She's not running for anything!" But she really just doesn't want to argue with me. I will meet the former Debate coach, who will defend Kerry's positions. A "Relatively" easy task for him since Kerry has many positions to choose from on any given subject. Anyone who has debated in competition will realize that Kerry has provided his supporters with a veritable "file box" of positions to choose from. All one needs is for an opponent to take a stand and one will have a "Kerry card" to deal with it.
Definitions: (Check your Webster's)
Argue comes from the Latin arguere - to make clear.
Debate is defined as contention by words or arguments.
Absolutists believe in the Truth and therefore argue to find it.
Relativist use arguments and words in a confusion of disconnected positions which become an appeal for points; allowing and even encouraging contradictions.
As an absolutist arguer, I say Kerry lost the debate on September 30th because he did not expose any truth about himself or the President. Relativist debaters will say Kerry won because he presented the best contentions. Let's examine both men's positions.
Note: I do not pretend to be quoting anyone directly - and many of these position statements will be drawn as much from campaign statements as from the debate, but as VP Cheney said, "ninety minutes of acting tough in a debate cannot undo 35 years of record." Unless you are a Relativist.
Kerry says, "I supported the war when I thought there were WMD threats. I now 'know' there were no WMDs so I no longer support the war, BUT I will still fight the war, I will fight it harder and win!" This is a Relativist stance. An absolutist would argue that if a war was justified by a lie it is unjust, and the thing to do is to say one is sorry and quit!" But Kerry does not say that. As a Relativist he can say we shouldn't be fighting the war and that we should win it in the very same sentence.
Kerry says, "The war is too expensive. It has cost $200 Billion that could have been used for education and health care, BUT if you elect me I will spend more money and send more troops because Bush did not send enough troops, and did not provide them with adequate equipment." An absolutist would argue that if the war costs more than it is worth, we should come home and quit spending money on it. But Kerry doesn't say that. As a Relativist he can say the war isn't worth the cost and he will spend more for it in the future.
Kerry says, "Those who allied themselves with the US were fools, a coalition of the coerced and the bribed. They have foolishly entered into reckless participation in a dangerous and unnecessary war, BUT elect me President and I will bring together all nations and France, Germany, and Russia will join in freeing Iraq." An absolutist would say, no intelligent leader or wise nation would enter a needless slaughter; so give me the power and we will get out. But Kerry, the Relativist, doesn't say that. He can say both that no nation can support the war in Iraq and that he will get lots of nations to do it.
Kerry's real motivation in his debate is not his moral compass or his core values; he has neither. He will present any position to get elected, and as a Relativist, supported by relativist in the media and the liberal elites, he can provide instant gratification to his "card grabbing" constituents by providing them with whatever sound bite they need to support him.
Now let's compare Bush's stance on these three postings. As an absolutist Bush's arguments must be logical and reasonable.
Bush says, "All wars in the defense of freedom and the safety of America are just and necessary. Saddam threatened the safety and freedom of America and the world, therefore war against him is just." This follows the form of the most famous syllogism in Logic: All men are mortal, Socrates is a man, therefore Socrates is mortal. War is just if it defends freedom, this war defends freedom, therefore it is just. Kerry might argue that the war does not defend freedom or make America safer, but he does not. He supports the war and is against it at the same time.
Bush says, "Money spent on the war makes American safe. This is the reason we have a military; they need support so we must sacrifice the money to carry out the decisions made by the commanders in the field." Again, the same logical syllogism, wars for safety are worth the sacrifice, this war keeps us safe and makes the world safer, therefore it is worth the cost. Kerry could argue against this position by proving that this war has not made the world safer, but he says just the opposite, most of the time.
Bush says, "We get every ally we can, and show them respect and gratitude, but we do not wait for a "Global Pass" from other nations who are not interested in American success or the spread of freedom." This argument flows with elegant logic. Allies are those who support each other, we support those who support us, therefore we have allies. But America will not turn its safety over to the discretion of those who want the US to fail. We will not seek their permission, "the Global Pass." This final statement is an example of another basic logical form, the negative mode, Modus Tollens. If it is raining outside then the sidewalks are wet. The sidewalks are not wet, therefore it is not raining outside. If Nations support us then they are our allies, France does not support American therefore they are not our ally. Remember that France's stance in this war has nothing to do with what is good for Iraq or for the word, but only what France perceives to be good for France. Many point out that the French do not like Bush. Of course they don't because the French don't like America to be strong. When we had a weak President, Bill Clinton, they were very happy. If another weak President were to be elected they would be very pleased.
For a week Kerry's supporters have been reading his "cards" and saying he won the debate. Bush cannot be all things to all people because he must act in the real world. Bush operates in the world of truth. Kerry can say anything he wants because what he says has no real world effect, it does not need to be true. Kerry can be judged the better debater by relativist, for contention is the province of the Relativist, but his arguments are not winners to those who seek to make the Truth clear.
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2 weeks ago