And the Hits Keep Coming…

See if you can find any fallacies lurking in events and comments relating to a couple disturbing incidents promulgated yet again by members of the First Family and RIPPED FROM THE HEADLINES. In the first incident, Don Jr. thrills us with his incisive wit, verbal facility, and his peculiar, charismatic charm:

Donald Trump Jr. took a shot at “loser teachers,” who he claimed are indoctrinating children into socialism from the moment they’re born. 

“You know what I love? I love seeing some young conservatives, ’cuz I know it’s not easy,” he said at a rally in El Paso ahead of a speech by his father, President Donald Trump, who was promoting his proposed border wall. 

“Keep up that fight, bring it to your schools. You don’t have to be indoctrinated by these loser teachers that are trying to sell you on socialism from birth. You don’t have to do it.”

—as reported by Ed Mazza, Huffington Post

And this event, brought about by the gene-carrier himself:

A supporter of Donald Trump stormed the press platform and attacked a BBC cameraman at the president’s rally in El Paso, Texas [on Monday, 2/12/19].

Gary O’Donoghue, the Washington correspondent for the British public service broadcaster, described the attack on his cameraman Ron Skeans as “incredibly violent.” “Fortunately our cameraman is fine, he is made of stern stuff,” O’Donoghue told the “Today” program on BBC Radio 4. He called it “an incredibly violent attack” and said the “goading of the crowds against the media” is “a constant feature” of Trump’s rallies.

–as reported by Lee Moran, Huffington Post

Much of the re-played footage of the above incident leaves out Trump’s apparent concern for the well-being of the attacker, although it is possible to interpret his comments following the assault as concern for everyone’s safety. However, this seems a bit disingenuous when bearing in mind our President’s frequent charge that the media are the Enemy of the American People. Interesting idea.

What fallacies have you spotted on your own? If you haven’t been able to spot a single one, you have a little work to do in getting better at noticing these fallacies:

loaded language

demonstrably false statements

equivocation (shifting the meaning of key terms)

non sequitur (“it doesn’t follow”)

hyperbole (when used for purposes of extreme distortion rather than used for emphasis)

straw man (arguing against an argument that no one has actually put forward)

ad hominem attack (or attacking the messenger)

buzz words or jargon (a vocabulary familiar only to a select group)

argumentum ad baculum (the appeal to the club, or the old ‘might makes right’ argument)

Author: Craig Butcher

Craig Butcher is an award-winning educator who has taught critical thinking skills for more than two decades. In addition, he has worked on Capitol Hill as a congressional staffer and has been a top-rated broadcaster.