The Abraham Lincoln Debate

Weekly Debates

The society gathered in our beloved and historical Philodemic room to debate the resolution “Resolved: Abraham Lincoln was a tyrant.” Tensions ran high as the society began to debate the conduct and legacy of the esteemed Mr. Lincoln. Mr. Rahul Singh (SCS) of Virginia opened the debate with an appeal to look beyond the legend of Mr. Lincoln and examine the man. Mr. William Downes (COL ’11) of Massachusetts presented the society with the historical context of the debate and impressed upon us all the gravity and horror of the war. Making her induction, Miss Jordan Daniels (SFS ’12) of Colorado introduced the house definition of tyrant as one who exercises executive authority in an inappropriate, unreasonable, or arbitrary manner, given the circumstances. Mr Scott Garosshen (COL ’12) of Connecticut laid out the basic historical case for the severity of Lincoln’s situation. The floor debate pressed back and forth like the battle on the fields of Gettysburg, with no side gaining a clear advantage. Miss Green, speaking for the affirmation, pointed to Lincoln’s identification by early Philodemicians as a model rhetorician and challenged the society to seriously weigh the cost of his accomplishments. Mr. Desnick accused the negation of arguing for tyrannicide or “John Wilkes Booth was justified”. To great acclaim, President Wagner challenged this assertion and tasked the society with closely weighing the illegality of Lincoln’s actions with regard to the keynoters’ definition. The conflict was quickly joined by both sides, but, at the end of this great, civil war, a victor emerged. The membership stood, and the house divided. The society negated the resolution 19-3-37.

Please join us next Thursday to discuss “Resolved: Álvaro Uribe did more harm than good.”

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