Machiavelli vs Socrates Essay

Setting: This debate between Socrates and Machiavelli takes place on a sunny afternoon on Baltimore s Inner Harbor. Both debaters are offering advice to this year s presidential candidates, Al Gore and George W. Bush. The debate is occurring outdoors and is moderated by Jimmy Fallon of Saturday Night Live. Three registered voters, with strong views on subjects pertinent to themselves, are primed with questions they want answered. The debate is about to get underway as Jimmy is starting to go over the ground rules for each debater.

Jimmy: Each of you dead guys has two minutes to give your answer. Members of the audience who have already been selected have certain questions for you on campaign topics. Each person stating a question will have his or her microphone turned off after he or she speaks. Keep in mind that you are merely stating your case or point of view, you are NOT arguing with your opponent. Without any further ado, let s begin. The first question asked is from David Stauffer and it is directed towards you Socrates. Mr. Stauffer, will you please state your question?

Dave S. Good afternoon to you, Jimmy. I watch you every Saturday and I ve got to say you re hilarious. Anyway Socrates, I have a question on the subject of education. I myself am an educator in the private school system of this depressing state. I am wondering what your stance is on the voucher system?

Socrates: That is a good question. I believe wholeheartedly in the voucher system. Every child should be entitled to a first rate education. Our primary goal; however, should be to reform public schools across this nation. Their standards are low and school systems across this nation are cheating kids out of a first rate education. It is time that we as a nation come to raise the standards of our public schools. I praise Governor Bush highly for his stance on making schools, and therefore education, more equal for all involved. However, one must keep in mind that formal knowledge doesn t necessarily make one wise.

Jimmy: Umm, well said Soc. On to you Machiavelli. Present your side of this argument?

Mach: Yes. Well, Mr. Stauffer, unlike my opponent, I am firmly against the voucher system. If parents cannot afford a good education for their children then that is their problem. I feel as though public schools in this country are adequate enough. There cannot be too many educated people, they are a threat to stability. Too many members of the intelligentsia, I believe, will prove fatal for the country. Bush s plan of equalizing schools sickens me. I believe he should avoid doing that at any cost.

Jimmy: Yeah, sure whatever you say. Up next is Terri Archibald with a question about abortion. The question is addressed to you, Machiavelli. Mrs. Terri Archilbald, will you please state your question?

Mrs. Archilbald, a middle-aged, overweight Caucasian woman steps to the forefront.

Arch: Mr. Machiavelli, I d like to know your stance on the ever-touchy issue of abortion. Do you think it should be outlawed?

Mach: Well, Terri, while I do not believe you ll ever be faced with the issue personally, I do not believe it should be outlawed. In fact, I am a strong supporter of abortion. In looking at the facts, the procedure actually has benefits. Abortion helps to keep an already high population in check. This leads to reduced competition in the work force and in the pool of students applying to college. A moderately sized population is critical to maintaining the order of the state. I also feel as though couples with two children, with others on the way, should seriously consider abortion as an alternative. I appreciate the fact that Al Gore is pro-choice, but he should toughen his position.

Jimmy: Okay Soc, will you please give your position?

Soc: Will you please call me by my name, Jimmy? My opinion on this matter differs with that of Machiavelli. I am pro-life all the way. Life is a sacred gift of God and should be cherished and respected. Personally, I tend to think of abortion as spitting in the face of God. Human life is precious and should be preserved at all costs. Abortion should be outlawed, as it is nothing but murder. In regards to this subject I must applaud Gov. Bush for his pro-life stance. Al Gore, who supports Roe v. Wade, should consider altering his stance.

Jimmy: Thank you Socrates. Our final question comes from John Rocker, who some of you may know as the controversial closer for the Atlanta Braves. This question is addressed to you, Machiavelli. Mr. Rocker, you re no No-mar, but go ahead and ask your question.

Rocker: That s right Jimmy; I m better than that guy. I even scored over 1200 on my S.A.T. s. Anyway, this has to do with the size of the military. Machiavelli, what are your thoughts on the current size of the armed forces of this nation? I ask because I might be traded soon, and if so, I ll need a job.

Mach: Now, here s a good question. I feel as though the armed forces of this nation need to be built up. As the worlds only remaining superpower, I believe we need to be ready to keep less powerful countries in line and show our muscle. A strong army is crucial to maintaining our nation s security from threats both at home or abroad. A ruler of any nation must be on guard to protect his country from any type of threat. The easiest way to do this is through preparedness and force. Since the candidate s have very similar stances on this issue, my only advice to them is to go ahead and strengthen the military.

Rock: See, that s what I m talking about. There s a real man with some testicular fortitude.

Jimmy: Will someone please turn that idiot s mic off? Okay Socrates, you re up.

Soc: The size of our military should be reduced, or maintained at its current size. We only need the smallest number of soldiers necessary to maintain peace. Peace should be our primary objective. We cannot promote peace through building up arms and showing our muscle to the rest of the world. I think both candidates should reduce the size of both the military and violent arms.

Jimmy: Well what do you know? We re all out of time. Thank you both Socrates and Machiavelli for coming out today. I m sure the voters of the nation appreciate it. To all of you viewers at home, please tune in every Saturday at 11:30 p.m. to NBC s Saturday Night Live. This week s guest is Scott Moore. It ll be a good show, watch it!