Politics is full of speeches, promises, grievances, and other wordy debates and arguments. It is generally agreed upon that conservatives engage in logical, fact-filled debates, while liberals engage in double-speak, false promises, and downright lies. Have you ever heard the phrase, ‘Confuse a liberal, use facts’? Well, it does not always hold true; but there is a reason that phrase exists. The liberal ‘playbook’ includes blaming others, deceit, half-truths, doublespeak, dishonesty, and lies. How do you recognize these things? Being able to spot rhetorical fallacy will allow you to get to the truth at the heart of all the lies.
The truth is most people will never take the time or energy to actually take apart what is spoon-fed to them; most will simply take what the President, politicians, or other government officials tell them. Americans have become apathetic and really no longer care what happens, which is why we are currently dealing with a government that is bordering on (if it’s not already there!) tyranny and Imperialism. We’re only a few steps away from Socialism.
The Department of Rhetoric and Writing at University of Texas (Austin) says that, “[F]allacies… don’t allow for the open, two-way exchange of ideas upon which meaningful conversations depend. Instead, they distract (a person) with various appeals instead of using sound reasoning.” Sound reasoning is not something that liberals typically use in arguments.
In a recent PolitiChicks episode, Dr. Gina Loudon expands on how to fight back in a ‘decent’ way. She says that it is imperative that we “Be aware of the enemy’s tactics without lowering ourselves to them… Conservatives have to stick to our guns; we have to call the truth the truth.”
There are so many more, but here are the top three fallacies used by liberals:
Red Herring – This one is usually easy to spot; it is simply an attempt to change the subject and/or divert your attention to another issue at hand. Example: Recent political ads from the Obama campaign are the perfect example; Rick Grimaldi recently opined that the Obama ads are pure red herring. I agree; while the Obama camp is spouting Mitt Romney outsourced jobs, the truth is that he is trying to divert your attention away from his own failed policies and the high unemployment and declining economy created as a result of those failed policies. The evidence of the President’s failed policies are everywhere – increased unemployment, increased number of Americans dependent on food stamps and other welfare programs, and a barely-surviving economy.
Straw Man – This is also another easily spotted fallacy; a straw man simply misrepresents an opponent’s position. When Obama told people that supporting Romney was supporting a ‘War on Women’, this was a classic example of a straw man fallacy. Romney wasn’t calling for a war on women – or on birth control. He was calling for people to be responsible for their own choices – nothing more. Hmmmm… personal responsibility – what a concept! Yeah, Obama, that’s kind of the same thing as an all-out ‘war on women’ – kinda, sorta, uh, no, not really the same thing at all!
Ad Hominem – Attacking the person instead of the idea – pretty simple, huh? We saw this fallacy clearly in the recent attacks on Mitt Romney. Romney released exactly the number of tax returns he was required to release. The Obama camp, led by Harry Reid, accused Romney of being a felon because it was possible that he didn’t pay taxes just because he didn’t release his records for those years. That’s absurd. Just because he didn’t release his records does not mean he didn’t pay taxes and it certainly doesn’t mean he is a felon as the Obama campaign suggested.
These are just three of the most common fallacies used in politics; there are many, many more. Knowing how to spot fallacies will help you spot the flaws in liberal arguments and enable you to overcome them and win any debate using facts and logic. Sometimes fallacies are employed innocently; but, more often than not, they are used purposefully to lead people astray. Poor reasoning and lack of logic make arguments appealing to anyone who will listen – but if you can spot it – you are ahead of those people who are content to just be led blindly. Spot the fallacy, win the argument.