Democratic Party vs Republican Party
The debate is finished. The distribution of the voting points and the winner are presented below.
After 2 votes and with 12 points ahead, the winner is...
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I would like to thank YitzGoldberg for agreeing to debate this topic with me. This debate is about which party's ideology and policies best match that of the Torah
The Democratic Party is closer to the Torah's ideal than the Republican Party
R1: Opening arguments
I. What this debate is about
Just so the voters are clear, this debate is about which party’s policies and ideologies come closest to matching that of the Torah. The Torah should be defined as the entire body of Jewish literature. In my opening arguments, I will be focusing on the main four issues: 1) Health care, 2) Minimum Wage; 3) Immigration; and 4) Democracy
II. Health Care
Throughout the Torah, we are commanded to care for the widow, the orphan, the stranger, and to guard our health and our brother’s blood. Let’s first explore some texts and then get into the policy nitty-gritty.
Rambam Mishneh Torah
It is a positive Torah command to remove any stumbling block that poses a danger to life, to be watchful of it and be extremely careful of it, as it is said: “Be very careful and guard your life.
Since maintaining a healthy and sound body is among the ways of G‑d—for one cannot understand or have any knowledge of the Creator, if he is ill—therefore, he must avoid that which harms the body and accustom himself to that which is healthful and helps the body become stronger
Talmud Sanhedrin 17b
A scholar is forbidden to live in any town that does not have these ten things: a court, a charity fund, a synagogue, a bathhouse, a latrine, a doctor, a bloodletter, a scribe, a kosher butcher and a teacher of children.
It is clear that the Torah places an obligation for the sick to seek healthcare and for the physicians to provide healthcare. Thus we can conclude that the government has a moral obligation to seek to it that everyone has access to affordable care. The Medicare for All bill supported by Sanders, Warren, et. al. will do just that. Here are some statistics that should alarm all of us:
Fact 1: More people are uninsured than when Trump took office 
Fact 2: A 2009 study showed that 45,000 Americans die due to the lack of health coverage 
Fact 3: The New England Journal of Medicine found that states that expanded Medicaid significantly reduced mortality rate and improved access to care 
Fact 4: The cost of lifesaving medicine such as insulin and EpiPen’s have significantly increased over the past few years. Indeed, one family saw their EpiPen cost rise 400%  and several people died due to rationing insulin 
Fact 5: Medicare for all will significantly reduce deaths, significantly reduce cost, and provide access to care for everyone who needs it  .
What have Republicans proposed? Absolutely nothing. In fact, they tried to repeal Obamacare 70 times without even proposing a better plan .
Medicare for all fulfills the Torah obligation to guard our health and the health of our citizens. Democrats have fought for minimum wage increases while Republicans have consistently opposed it.
III. Minimum Wage
You shall not withhold the wages of a poor or destitute hired worker, of your brothers or of your strangers who are in your land within your cities. You shall give him his wage on his day and not let the sun set over it, for he is poor, and his life depends on them, so that he should not cry out to the Lord against you, so that there should be sin upon you.
You shall not oppress your fellow. You shall not rob. The hired worker's wage shall not remain with you overnight until morning.
When you eat from the work of your hands, you will be happy, and it will be well with you
Talmud Nedarim 49b
Rabbi Yehuda used to go into the Beit Midrash carrying a pitcher on his shoulders. He would say, 'Great is work, as it gives honor to the one who does it.' Rabbi Shimon would carry a basket on his shoulders and would say, 'Great is work, as it gives honor to the one who does it. '" (b. Nedarim 49b)
RAMBAM Laws of Charity
The greatest level, above which there is no greater, is to support a fellow Jew by endowing him with a gift or loan, or entering into a partnership with him, or finding employment for him, in order to strengthen his hand so that he will not need to be dependent upon others . . .
From these texts we can conclude the following:
1. Work is dignifying
2. Work is the greatest form of charity
3. It is a positive commandment to work
4. The employer has a positive commandment to give his worker’s wages on time.
5. Wages should be enough to be a “living wage,” i.e. enough to live off of without depending on others
Now let’s bring in some facts about the minimum wage.
Fact 1: The minimum wage is $7.25 and has been that way since 2009.
Fact 2: Nowhere in America can you afford a modest 2-bedroom on minimum wage 
Fact 3: Adjusted for inflation, the minimum wage is worth significantly less than it has been in the past. Indeed, the highest the minimum wage has been (in 2016 dollars) was 8.68 in 1968 .
Fact 4: Had minimum wage kept up with productivity rates, the minimum wage would be $18.42 
Fact 5: The average age of the minimum wage worker is 36 years old. [Ibid]
Fact 6: 28% of minimum wage workers have children [Ibid].
Fact 7: Minimum wage improves the economy and reduces worker’s needs to public assistance  
Increasing the minimum wage to a living wage fulfills the Torah’s obligation to care for our employees and improve their dignity via work. Democrats are fulfilling this obligation while Republicans are opposing this.
Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free
You shall not wrong a stranger or oppress him, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt
You shall not oppress a stranger, for you know the soul of the stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt
The stranger who resides with you shall be to you as one of your citizens; you shall love him as yourself, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt
I could cite dozens of other texts about immigration, but the Torah is unanimous that we must love the immigrant since we were strangers in the land of Egypt. We ought to love them as ourselves and not wrong them. Now let’s bring in some facts.
Fact 1: Undocumented immigrants pay $12 billion in taxes per year 
Fact 2: Immigrants are less likely to be incarcerated than native-born Americans and that there is a negative correlation between levels of immigration and crime rates 
Fact 3: Immigrant owned businesses employ 8 million Americans and have a purchasing power of $ 1.1 trillion 
Fact 4: US law states that in order to seek refugee or asylum status, you have to be physically present in the United States regardless of your legal status or how you got here. 
Fact 5: Migrants are fleeing violence and seeking a better life. Because you have to be physically present in the United States, the “children in cages” are following the law. 
Fact 6: Trump and others have called immigrants an invasion and have constantly spoken dangerous lies about these migrants. As a result, the El Paso shooter systematically targeted Mexicans and blamed Trump for his actions .
The conclusion of these facts shows that we must love and care for the stranger. The United States has a moral obligation to welcome immigrants fleeing violence in their community, especially because the United States is responsible for the crisis and violence  .
Democrats are fulfilling the mitzvah to love and welcome the stranger while Republicans are violating that mitzvah.
With regard to Bezalel’s appointment, Rabbi Yitzḥak said: One may only appoint a leader over a community if he consults with the community and they agree to the appointment, as it is stated: “And Moses said unto the children of Israel: See, the Lord has called by name Bezalel, son of Uri, son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah” (Exodus 35:30). The Lord said to Moses: Moses, is Bezalel a suitable appointment in your eyes? Moses said to Him: Master of the universe, if he is a suitable appointment in Your eyes, then all the more so in my eyes. The Holy One, Blessed be He, said to him: Nevertheless, go and tell Israel and ask their opinion. Moses went and said to Israel: Is Bezalel suitable in your eyes? They said to him: If he is suitable in the eyes of the Holy One, Blessed be He, and in your eyes, all the more so he is suitable in our eyes.
Democracy is the heart of our country. As such, we ought to increase that democracy and ensure that every American can have equal say in our government. Democrats have made numerous proposals to increase democracy. Democrats have made a modest proposal to make election day a national holiday. Mitch McConnell called this a “Democratic power grab.”  Democrats have also made modest proposals like same-day voter registration, automatic voter registration, voting by mail, and many others. Each of them was opposed by Republicans. Republicans have made it harder to vote by passing voter ID that makes it harder for minorities and seniors to vote 
I examined 4 major issues that we are facing today and compared them to the Torah. Democratic policy wins on each of these major issues.
Please vote pro.
- I want to first thank my opponent, Virtuoso, for agreeing to debate with me on such an important issue. Jews grow up in America thinking that everyone must be liberal, and if you're conservative, you're a Nazi. Somehow, these two things correlate together as if by Divine decree. Well, I'm here to tell you that that's false.
- But of course liberals have their shining moments. (This is a sentence fragment)
- If the Democratic party is so Torah-driven, why do they criticize abortion? Have you put an ounce of thought into this? You seem like a smart guy, you surely must have, so what's your answer?
- Do you expect me to somehow believe this is sanctioned by Torah? How have we, as a collective melting-pot, gone so low? Perhaps it's overpopulation? Have you heard of the Rat Paradise experiment? It took place in the 60s, and it's what we're going to face soon
- Keep in mind, dear readers, that the Right isn't drawing closer to Fascism, it's liberals. How can I make such an astounding claim? Well, just ask yourself, which side is suppressing information? Which side demands that you follow its dogmatic currency as if it were some kind of faith? Which side has criticized the freedom of speech, to fact-check, and see opposing views? Liberals
- To a point, this was acceptable, but now the Left has grown far more dangerous than the anti-Semites of the Right and that's because they've managed to hide all their blatant hatred against Israel (= Jews) under some clever umbrella terms. Terms such as anti-colonialism, White privilege, and the rhetoric of human rights.
To begin with, studies show that medical billing is more expensive in the U.S. than in many countries.The U.S. health care system spends twice as much as Canada, for example, because more “payers” means more complexity. Savings from a simple Medicare expansion could reduce this waste by about $89 billion a year.Another source of savings is on insurance administration. Private insurers spend more than 12 percent of total expenditures on overhead, compared with around 2 percent for Medicare. Savings from moving everyone to Medicare would approach around $75 billion because of economies of scale, lower managerial salaries and more meager marketing expense.A third way a simple Medicare expansion would yield savings is by reducing the ability of hospital monopolies to overcharge private insurers. Medicare, in contrast, is able to pay 22 percent less for the same services because of its size. If all Americans used Medicare savings on hospital costs could exceed $53 billion.
White supremacists frequently like to manipulate crime statistics in order to claim that nonwhite minorities, particularly African-Americans, are far more crime-prone and the source of most violent crime against whites. Indeed, it is a core belief that this is the case, and many white nationalist ideologues — including politician and pundit Patrick Buchanan, Jared Taylor of American Renaissance, and the Council of Conservative Citizens — all have made considerable hay out of proffering “studies” laden with risibly bad statistics and other evidence to make their case.The BJS study demonstrates plainly that this is simply not the case. Some 57 percent of crimes involving white victims were committed by white perpetrators, while only 15 percent were committed by blacks, and 11 percent by Hispanics. Black crime victims fell along similar racial lines, with 63 percent of the crimes committed by black perpetrators, while 11 percent were committed by whites, and 6.6 percent by Hispanics.
Overall, the BJS reported, “the percentage of intraracial [that is, same-race] victimization was higher than the percentage of interracial victimization for all types of violent crime except robbery.”Moreover, it explained, “the rate of white-on-white violent crime (12.0 per 1,000) was about four times higher than black-on-white violent crime (3.1 per 1,000). The rate of black-on-black crime (16.5 per 1,000) was more than five times higher than white-on-black violent crime (2.8 per 1,000). The rate of Hispanic-on-Hispanic crime (8.3 per 1,000) was about double the rate of white-on-Hispanic (4.1 per 1,000) and black-on-Hispanic (4.2 per 1,000) violent crime.”This is consistent with previously collected data, including a National Crime Victim Survey in 2000 that showed that 73 percent of white violent crime victims were attacked by whites, and 80 percent of black victims were targeted by blacks. This pattern is even clearer in the category of murder.
That hasn’t chastened the people promulgating the distorted statistics. Buchanan, citing Taylor’s fake statistics in 2007, wrote: “The real repository of racism in America — manifest in violent interracial assault, rape and murder — is to be found not in the white community, but the African-American community.”Nor have the smears faded at all: In 2016, then-candidate Donald Trump retweeted a graphic that originated on a neo-Nazi website trotting out statistics mainly lifted from Taylor and the CofCC.The false beliefs that arise from these smears have consequences, too: Dylann Roof, the domestic terrorist who killed nine members of a Charleston church’s black congregation in June 2015, shouted during the rampage at his victims his belief that they were “killing us.” In his manifesto, he specifically cited the CofCC’s website and Taylor’s smear pamphlet as the source of his information.
- Drops the Torah verses that I provided in the opening round and also failed to respond to my interpretation of the Torah verses that I provided in the opening round
- Drops my sources on the minimum wage and drops the fact that small businesses support increasing the minimum wage
- Drops the statistics and facts that I provided throughout this debate. This is key: Instead of providing other statistics or showing why mine are wrong, he stated " Virt must have some sort of love-affair with statistics because he never stops using them. Well, red flags anyone? Statistics, as we've already discussed, are untrustworthy and easily refutable. They're no better than anecdotal evidence in court, and that's why even economists don't rely on them for their field." Once again this is a claim that NEEDS a citation (more on this later).
- Drops my sources that medicare for all reduces cost.
- Again, he keeps suggesting that we'll save costs and reduce spending if we expand Medicare - STOP, JUST STOP - you, the reader, think to yourself the following: how will we do that? Even if you cut military spending, the biggest expenditure in this country would still be entitlements. Let's look at Greece. They had all the entitlements you could ever dream of, and it lasted two years before it all imploded. People were kicked out of hospitals, university students had to open their wallets. If this happened in America, it would be economic disaster. And the sad truth is, there are people with real disabilities who work for peanuts doing jobs nobody will do, and I'm not talking about the bums on SSI.
- 78% of Conservatives are people of faith. In Israel, it's 64%. Most Conservative Jews are from the Haredi world, and for good reason, as they look to Torah as their only authority. Democrats, on the other hand, disregard authority (a secular value). This has led to the acception of homosexuality, and, if left unchecked, to things like pedophilia, incest, and beastialty.
- But the main issue here is that he's mistaken as to the role of Medicare. The whole purpose of Medicare is to teach you responsibility, not hand you free care. It works the same with auto insurance.
- So his assessment that Medicare for all is cheap, it's just a fairy-tale for adults. Remember that we're spending more money on medicare than our military as it is! Wait till we get it "for all"! And believe me, you can give privately owned hospitals all the government funding you want, it ain't going to solve a thing because rates will just explode due to the simple fact that there's no way in hell you're having more cash than them.
- For a progressive, Virt's pretty closed-minded.
- Last point. Virt seems to believe that one conservative psycho proves that all conservatives are wild bigots. I happen to know a liberal in jail, but I'm not using that to claim that all liberals are terrible. I find it hilarious that for one urging against stereotypes, he's just been caught with his hand in the jar. Again, it'd be like me asserting that Virt has some racial problem with Whites. But hey, I'm conservative, so what do I know?
- Just when I began to miss the old ad hominems, Virt got desperate and essentially called me a "racist." Liberals, what can you say? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
- Virt supports a 100% estate tax. Who in the world wants a 100% tax? Not me! The taxes I want is what we used to have in this country before the Spanish-American War, and that was a luxury-goods tax. That tax is fair because it was grounded on how much you spent. It took your greed to the bank. Another idea would be a taxation on imports, and it doesn't take much brains to figure out how that would help the economy.
- Lastly, Virt wants to replace Capitalism with... Socialism. Well, what kind of Socialism, because we already have a lot of it. What, Communism? How many more millions will it take to die before people like him realize it doesn't work? He sits here and rants on Capitalism, but it's the Capitalist system in this country which allows him to live in a house and yet, complain about it! These kinds of people take advantage of everything Capitalism has to offer them, they alone prove why democracy doesn't work.
Deuteronomy 24:14-15"You shall not withhold the wages of a poor or destitute hired worker, of your brothers or of your strangers who are in your land within your cities. You shall give him his wage on his day and not let the sun set over it, for he is poor, and his life depends on them, so that he should not cry out to the Lord against you, so that there should be sin upon you."
You've got to stop misquoting verses from the Talmud and Genesis, because we know how it ends... not with the creation of a male partner! In fact, I find it very disingenuous that you [had] the nerve to decontextualize [Genesis 2:18] because there's not one rabbinic scholar in the whole world of Jewish literature, past or present, who'd ever concur with that nonsense. You tried pulling that same rubbish with Berachot 19b. What it's talking about is Kevod HaBeriyot, which has nothing to do with secular dignity, and is merely concerned with d'rabbanan (granted, it discussed sanction to alter d'oraita, but that was... rejected, and thus, it remained that only Nevi'im were permitted to annul it temporarily).
Virt: Fact 2: A 2009 study showed that 45,000 Americans die due to the lack of health coverage.Me: Supposedly, a 2009 study showed that 45,000 people died due to the lack of health coverage. The problem is, that's just a statistic. What was their sample size? What was their average? They likely conflated the numbers, and this is why I don't take such studies seriously because the context in which the study was done, is always different than the one in which we're reviewing it. Aside from the inherent issue of studies, let's imagine a simple scenario and you tell me if health coverage has anything to do with it: say Joe took part in this study back in '93. Years later, he dies of a sudden heart attack.Do you see the issue here? Now, can I purpose a better plan? If you want perfect, free health care, try exercising and eating right.
For every claim that I made I provided a reliable source or two while my opponent makes many assertions that have no evidence to support. Key examples:This has led to the [exception] of homosexuality, and, if left unchecked, things like pedophilia, incest, and beastialty [will become transparent in society].
Now, we can look back to the ancient Egyptians and the Greeks, who had all sorts of weird things, and see what kind of results they produced, morally, as well as economically. As it turns out, it was one of slavery, debauchery, and murder. The evidence for this has been well documented, ....
My opponent's statement that Medicare is to teach you responsibility and not give you free healthcare is a statement that has no basis in fact. Once again, my opponent cited absolutely NO evidence to support this!
I feel that I had good conduct. I didn't forfeit and I didn't resort to any personal attacks.
This just shows my opponent's contempt for the poor!
Now my opponent is showing his utter contempt for the African American community.
And the sad truth is, there are people with real disabilities who work for peanuts doing jobs nobody will do, and I'm not talking about the bums on SSI.
The real reason immigrants are "less likely to be incarcerated" is because Blacks make 13% of the population, and yet, over 40% of them are behind bars.
Look here, if you think that's somehow racist, it's not. Blacks just happen to have the lowest IQ in America, topping off, I believe, at 85. With that said, 20% of Blacks in America are more intelligent than your average White, and that's great news, believe me!