In case you live under a rock, you will have noticed that there is some hefty debating going on in the United States. While I am glad I am not on the continent, the news and rumors of Trump, Clinton, Cruz, and others is slightly unsettling. I do not hear much good of it – I only hear the bad news: “They had this argument and Trump insulted some female for having a menstrual cycle. If he keeps this up, we may as well have a third World War.” Consequently, I freak out and bam, the apocalypse. All that to say, we live in an age of political debates gone array and logical fallacies galore (like the ones above). In order to fuel my thoughts, I watched a couple recent debates and I will attempt to communicate my exasperation. Enjoy.
Marco Rubio was asked, “You have said that you do not do personal attacks. However, in past debates, you mocked Trump for…” (a lot of things that aren’t worth typing) “So, what happened?”
His answer was this: “Let me say something, this campaign for the past year, Trump has mocked everybody with personal attacks…” (a list of people Trump has insulted) “so if anyone has ever deserved it, it is Donald Trump, for the way he’s treated people. That said, I would much prefer to have a policy debate.”
Now, it may just be me, but did he answer the question? No. What he really did was retaliate with more criticism. Using the “you too” strategy is appealing, especially in such cases as these. In order to move the blame from yourself, you shift it to another guilty person. In this case, to avoid owning up to his bashing, Rubio instead talks about how Trump has done it and how he deserves it. While initially this works, it doesn’t sound very convincing. If you wanted to sound responsible, you might want to admit your faults or the faults in you argument.
I could give you countless more examples – one of the most common ones I found in this lovely Fox News interview was the skewing of statistics – but just so you know, we may not be getting a very intelligent president this year, but we are getting a president with some sassy teenage boy humor. So.