Andrea Trejo Hernandez
Rhetoric and Media Communication
Jonathan S Carter
February 28, 2017
“The Fallacies of Our Current Public Figures”
Lately, talking about politics has become an everyday conversation on social networks, TV, etc. Thousands of people are trying to share their opinion and create arguments. Every argument is exposed to the public, therefore you want to make your argument as efficient as it can be. The problem is that there is a high probability of failing. In rhetoric, we call these fails “fallacies.” As described by Keith, fallacies are “mistakes and errors in argumentation and reasoning,” (Keith 48). Now, let’s look at some fallacies of our current public figures.
Ad personam: Focusing your argument in judgmental opinions against your opponent (Keith 48).
An example includes Tomi Lahren talking about protesters: “The protesters are still out in force, but let’s be honest they are not protesters, they are crying babies with nothing better to do than meander around the streets with their participation trophies and false sense of purpose.” As you can see she is trying to have an argument about why protesting is bad, but instead of using facts about the disadvantages of a protest, she insults them.
2- Appeal to ignorance: Giving value to the words of someone who is not an expert on the subject (Keith 48).
Ex; In Mexico, multiple public figures have become part of the government without any experience in politics. Two of them are Carmen Salinas, an actress who is a deputy, and Cuauhtemoc Blanco, a soccer player who is the mayor of Cuernavaca. As expected, both of them have had multiple problems with their contributions to politics due to their lack of experience.
3-Guilt by association: When an arguer tries to create a conclusion based on evidence that is irrelevant to the argument (Keith 49).
Ex; Our current president and his multiple stereotypes, from implying that all Mexicans are rapists, criminals and drug dealers to calling Muslims terrorists.
Red herring: Taking an argument off point (Keith 49).
Ex; Peña Nieto talking about the Mexican economic crisis. He tried to justify the Mexican economic crisis by saying that other countries have worse problems. I mean it might be true but it doesn’t mean that other countries having worse problems will get rid of our problems.
Keith, William M. The Essential Guide to Rhetoric, 2008
Trevor, Noah. Giving a Voice to Conservative America on "Tomi": The Daily Show, Dec 1, 2016. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F2xv4fba65U&t=299s