The author of this piece provides some real insights into the President’s verbal trickery that makes his speeches so effective. The result is not praise for the President, but criticism for the majority of the American people and their ability to think critically. In my opinion, the critism is justified …
Nazis, Fascists, Communists, Purposeful verbal trickery, Fallacies
Ten Mental Mistakes of Obamatons
By Kelly O’Connell Sunday, May 16, 2010
We live in times of rank, unchallenged errors of thought forcefully expressed in print and spoken word. Political movements, in particular, traffic in purposeful verbal trickery. In fact, some especially depend upon fallacies to drive their message since their essential convictions are defective or even diseased. Such groups as the Nazis, Fascists and Communists immediately spring to mind here.
Barack Obama peppers his rhetoric with a veritable buffet of verbal trickery. But why? If Obamatons are correct, and Barack is one of history’s great speakers, why must he use cheap rhetorical tricks to win support? The answer is Obama offers ideas which, on their face, are either counter-intuitive, or false to the average listener. Speakers do not mislead unless they sense an inability to otherwise persuade their audience. Therefore Barack needs extra help to persuade. What other explanation can there be for such incongruent methods?
Obama supporters, aka Obamatons, have created a human ocean of fallacies to buoy their leader, threatening to engulf the globe in a terrifying flood of logical errors. The following is a short list of some of the most persistent members of this false-argument tsunami.
A. What is a Fallacy?
A fallacy is generally an error in reasoning. Fallacies are common, yet fraudulent arguments. The most popular are mistakes that occur when people don’t think clearly. The most typically used have given names to aid in their detection. Certainly, we all tend to use fallacious thinking daily. But for important topics, such as politics, religion, and law it is imperative we do not employ these flawed logical structures as we will end up with unacceptable results.
B. Top Ten Liberal Fallacies
The following fallacies are employed by Obama, his administration and his rabble of fervent and often intellectually challenged fans.
This fallacy claims if someone is “morally pure,” or has the “right” motivations, then their actions cannot be questioned.
Example: Obama claims his foreign policy is better received and more effective because it is not “arrogant.” Further, he implies both his economic policies and health care plans will succeed because they are not based upon “greed,” but instead on altruism, as the wealthier are forced to share with the less afluent.
Analysis: Obama repeatedly employs the fallacy of Self-Righteousness (perhaps a logical result of his apparent embrace of a semi-messianic self-identity). Describing Obama as the furthest thing from pure, former House member Dick Armey summed him up, saying, “You’re intellectually shallow. You’re a romantic. You’re self-indulgent. You have no ability.” He added Obama was “…the most incompetent president perhaps in our lifetime.”
2. You’re Another (Tu Quoque)
Here’s the famed “you too” fallacy, which states an action is acceptable simply because another person has previously performed it.
Example: When Obama began ramping up giant deficits, and was criticized for profligacy, his followers defended him with statements like, “Bush started the deficits!” Or, “It’s OK for the last administration to do this, but not Obama’s?”
Analysis: Clearly, if Bush’s deficits were a problem, it was because such spending is irresponsible, not simply because it was W. doing them. So, if Obama quadrupled Bush’s deficits, he has fourfold culpability under the same analysis. If this dynamic is not true, imagine another example. For instance, what if Wendy’s restaurant argued they had a right to put four times the amount of cyanide in their burgers, since it was discovered a madman at McDonald’s was doing the same. This argument is utter nonsense.
3. Personal Attack (Ad Hominem)
This fallacy is committed when a person is insulted for delivering criticism.
Example: After broadcaster Rush Limbaugh launches a blistering attack upon Obama, claiming his actions were “socialist,” Obama asks a friend to respond. US Senator Al Franken officially replies, pointing out that claim is wrong because… “Rush Limbaugh is a Big, Fat Idiot.”
Analysis: Even the most ponderous commentators can deliver accurate critiques of politicians. Further, doing counter-commentary like explaining Sarah Palin is a transparent “moron,” or that Dick Cheney is clearly “evil” is not so much a way of sharing genuine information, as a manner of circling the wagons against officially denoted enemies to destroy them. It’s a tribal response designed as a defensive maneuver.
4. Damning the Origin (Consider the Source)
Damning the Origin is an Ad Hominem fallacy claiming defective sources cannot express truth.
Example: When FOX’s Bret Baier gave Barack a tough interview on Obamacare, badly exposing a lack of answers, the left erupted in fury over FOX’s bias and Baier’s “lack of decorum” and “rudeness.”
Analysis: Even a broken clock is right twice a day. If only “perfect” people were allowed to speak, all communication would cease. This defensive fallacy is lately applied to Obama’s “enemies.” The belief that comments by such monsters as Glenn Beck or religious believers, etc must be dismissed out-of-hand is absurd. After all, if cogent criticism of liberalism is articulated, it probably won’t be by the left.
5. The “Good Reason”
The “Good Reason” is a fallacy where something unacceptable is made agreeable after substituting a “good reason” in place of the actual purpose for which the thing was done.
Example: When Obama canceled America’s promised Polish missile shield, he claimed he “…supports deploying a missile-defense system when the technology is proved to be workable.” And when the DC School Voucher Program was stopped, Barack said it was because of “funding.”
Analysis: Question: Is it possible Obama really canceled missiles to curry Russian favor at the cost of the Poles? Or, could he have blocked vouchers to please the teachers unions to the disadvantage of DC kids? The Good Reason tactic is used often by Obama. Any administration priming the policy pump by arguing “No crisis should be wasted” must be watched with an eagle’s eye.
6. Appeal to Pity (Argumentum ad Misericordiam)
This fallacy is another Special Pleading argument, stating pitiable groups should receive unique status and ala cart rules.
Example: Those pushing Obamacare argue the poor must be put on equal footing with the wealthy in health care choice since they lack funds. Further, it’s claimed making the rich pay for them is a morally enlightened choice.
Analysis: To argue the poor deserve more wealth, simply by virtue of their penury, creates a de facto socialist state.
7. Condemnation of Hypocrisy
A fascinating error which is again Special Pleading, is the Fallacy of Condemning Hypocrisy. This error claims the worst and maybe only moral failure is claiming to stand for a rule, then violating it.
Example: Barney Frank mounts the House floor podium, harshly condemning Larry “Wide-Stance” Craig for opposing gay marriage while practicing homosexuality. Later, when criticized for allowing a gay brothel in his DC townhouse, he states, “Let me be Frank, I’ve never lied about my orientation.”
Analysis: Hypocrisy is not the only crime in the universe. Marxist Saul Alinsky’s book, Rules For Radicals, states, “Make the enemy live up to their own book of rules.” While socialists may only want others to live transparently moral lives, all people are under the same expectation.
8. Appeal to Anger
This fallacy suggests anyone truly angry over a subject must be correct, or they couldn’t have become furious.
Example: Incensed opponents of Bush’s decision to invade Iraq, after WMD’s were not discovered, met and shouted, “Bush Lied & People Fried!” Then, when Obama was elected, war protesters decamped despite him not keeping promises on ejecting Iraq troops, closing Guantanamo and increasing efforts in Afghanistan.
Analysis: Anger, no matter how artfully expressed, is not argument. Fury is no proof the person expressing it is correct in their position. The left believes secularized holy anger is a great purifier of debates. This is an example of the Fallacy of Emotivism, claiming emotions are a signpost for truth.
9. Purified Opinion (Appeal to Political Correctness)
A fascinating recent Western development is the rise of Political Correctness (PC). Generally, PC contains a number of formerly verboten activities and groups; having gone from rejection, to protected, and now morphed into representing unassailable truth.
Example: An obese, vegetarian, Marxist lesbian boasting a peace-sign prison tattoo flips-off Conservative war hero Juan McCrane as his motorcade flies past her electricity-free commune cobbled together from recycled milk jugs and egg-crates. Officer Duerite observes, arresting her for public indecency, transporting her back to jail. But boss Chief Brawnoz insists she be released without charge.
Analysis: Under the PC umbrella lie many subgroups and arguments. Since each different group, set of beliefs, or practices must be defended upon its own merits, PC is a logical fallacy (based on the Compound Question fallacy and also an inversion of the Cultural Bias fallacy. The latter is the flawed instinct to rate one’s cultural practices as universal truths).
The very phrase “Politically Correct,” first used by Chairman Mao, is an oxymoron. “Political” doctrines are prima facie open for debate; to suggest any are “correct,” or beyond dispute, is a self-abnegating contradiction. Only a one-party system can accommodate such a theory. PC’s Marxist origins, from the Frankfurt School, are well documented, as are its goal of sowing chaos and disorder into society.
10. After This, Therefore Because of This (Post Hoc, Ergo Propter Hoc)
This fallacy says that a second event occurring after a first event must be caused by the first.
Example: Obama has pointed out how now, after his Stimulus was passed, we are finally ending the recession.
Analysis: The Stimulus is a near-billion dollar job creation bill. Despite misspent funds, no strategic plan, and a many-years spending schedule, Obamatons claim all current economic recovery is Stimulus-derived. But classical economics states such “stimulus” does more harm than good. The “Rooster Fallacy” applies here, which credits the rooster’s crow for the rising of the sun.
What happened to America’s former superbly-trained intellectual class, once patriotic and reflexively intelligent? That generation is gone, their dull replacements a zombie army of unthinking leftists simply following State command. The US is battling the debilitating effects of John Dewey’s humanistic, socialist educational vision. Dewey’s theory dismembered our once world-class, Puritan-derived pedagogy, now devolved into simple inculcation of youth in Political Correctness, instead of the classics.
We are in the fight of our lives for our future. Caught between Obama’s deranged, self-righteous socialist phantasm versus the fading glory of our freedom-boasting past, we must commit to protecting and reviving ourselves via education and political advocacy. We must purchase books on logic, philosophy, politics, history, rhetoric, law, religion, the Constitution, the Founders, and others to gain the intellectual firepower necessary to battle back and regain control of our wildly-careening country.
To paraphrase Karl Marx: America, we have nothing to lose but our chains of ignorance. We have a world to win. Patriotic People of America, Unite!
Fallacy the Counterfeit of Argument, by W. Ward & Holther, W. B. Fearnside
Improving Your Reasoning, by Alex C. Michalos