Links to rhetorical tools:

Here are links to the rhetorical tools used in this class:

Schemes & Tropes -- Perelman & Olbrechts-Tyteca -- Fallacies

Friday, February 9, 2018

What a touchy subject: Politics. I came across the article: “Lie,Exploit and Destroy”, written by an OP-ED Columnist, Charles M. Blow in The New York Times.

 Blow criticizes Trump in every sentence to make sure his audience walks away thinking that, “Trump is just the worst person in the world.”. When I came to the end of this extreme leftist post, I realized that all of the claims he was making had hardly any written evidence to support or validate his conclusion. There is no consideration of down-plays in his argument, its his way or no way which leads us to another fallacy of Black-or-White and he admits that himself:

“In the space, everything must exist at its extremes. Everything is love or hate, big or little, best or worse. And, everything is very, very, very.”

It wasn’t to my surprise that this entire blog post is a one-sided fallacy; from the article itself to the comments which were algorithms to place “The New York Times Picked”, comments first in supported of their articles conclusions.

“My sense is that absolutely nothing will be beyond the pale for Trump. He will lie, exploit and destroy. If you think he’s dangerous now, you haven’t seen anything yet.”

"Blue State Blues"

1. One-Sidedness
" It is a send-up of the liberal social agenda...are running on the same “progressive” agenda that has broken the state."

Although, the writer admits that a conservative politician is not the best, the article is clearly speaking from a one-sided conservative view point. Throughout the reading, the "liberal agenda" is constantly ridiculed and the conservative views are held high. It had a very us(conservatives) vs. them (liberals) vibe. This article would be less one-sided if it wasn't written that way, but I don't think you can find an article like that on Breitbart. 

2. Overgeneralization
"Rauner has no chance to win the general election."

The article talks about Rauner being possibly the "worst Republican Governor" and then goes on to say that there is a new light in the Republican running and that light is Jeanne Ives. In the end of the article, it says "Rauner has no chance to win the general election." This is an overgeneralization. Even though Rauner's chances of winning are looking slimmer thanks to Jeanne Ives, he still has a chance along with the Democratic politicians.


Another Day Another White Man

The rhetoric present in articles about abuse against women is always interesting. It is either trying to justify it, stay on the fence, or is having to explain why this abuse is wrong or why it not being discussed, because we obviously still don't know how or why it is wrong. This article is about John Kelly. Another worm that has a high position in one of the most powerful houses in the country. Cool. Love that.

1. I feel like the term of equivocation can be exemplified in this line:

"First comes the fairytale. Victims fall in love with the charming side of the abuser, a public persona." (Steiner, Why men like John Kelly do nothing when abuse allegations surface, CNN). 

It feels romanticized. While it is accurate, it feels fluffy and so typical. It loses a lot of relaisticand rhetorical weight. What fairytale? Do they all look the same? What is it supposed to look like? Etc.

2. The title seems a little weird to me too. 

"Why men like John Kelly do nothing when abuse allegations surface"

Like...of course they do nothing? They don't have to. They live in a world where abuse is brushed under the rug and it is only when "snowflakes" find the information is it a big deal. I don't like that this makes the article seem like it is being made about him. I understand the angle that the author is trying to take, which is to explain the hows and whys of abuse cycles, but I feel like the title is a fallacy somehow. 

3. Then we maybe have a quote out of context

"Relationship abuse thrives when otherwise intelligent, powerful people ignore its warning signs." (Steiner, Why men like John Kelly do nothing when abuse allegations surface, CNN). 

The author is not really making it clear as to whether or not she is outlining just this case or if she is outlining every abuse case ever. For if she is outlining every abuse case ever, then she is glossing over so many individual instances where this sparkling term of "intelligent, powerful people" is weird and doesn't exactly fit for different reasons. She is cutting off a lot of her audience. 

White House, Kelly, and Porter

Several fallacies are used in this highly-charged political blog. One of the less obvious ones is the "No-True-Scotsman." This fallacy isn't really even used in the blog itself, but the blog author, Laura Clawson, hints that the fallacy was used in the period that she is writing about. Clawson quotes Kelly's discussion of the type of person that Porter is and states: "Yet even though he knew that Porter would be denied security clearance, Kelly not only didn’t fire Porter ahead of the reports of his history of abuse, he stood by him as the first reports came out, describing Porter in glowing terms. Even Kelly’s walkback of his initial support for Porter specified that 'I stand by my previous comments of the Rob Porter that I have come to know.'" This shows that Kelly himself was using the fallacy of "No-True Scotsman" when defending Porter - almost like "No true man/politician would beat his wife (I mean, come on, we all hate politicians so this one isn't that hard to believe).

The second fallacy used in the blog post is "Quoting out of Context." This fallacy is used directly by the author when she states: "Many of the scandals coming out of this White House have come straight from Donald Trump. We spend a lot of time talking about how difficult it is for his staff to have a consistent message when he might undermine it in a tweet 10 minutes later, and how Trump promotes infighting among staff. But in this case, Trump genuinely seems to have been out of the loop, reminding us once again that the staff he’s handpicked are both terrible people and very well capable of screwing things up all on their own." Honestly, the reader could have finished reading the blog post without this paragraph and been just fine, but I feel like the author is trying to throw in one last stab at the president, whom I don't care for, when the situation wasn't even about the president.


It is currently on the front page as: "Epic botching of White House wife beater case forces Kelly to clarify that domestic violence is bad"

"Mike Pence loses it"

The Article covers a story of a openly gay Olympian refusing to meet with Pence. Pence put out two tweets saying he supports all Olympians. The author had some choice words to say over his clear hatred for Homosexuals.

Wishful Thinking 
"Judging from his life’s work, he ought to be thrilled to not have to talk to a gay person"

Because Pence was for trying to "fix" gay people he hates talking to them. The author is happy to write off Pence completely for his previous work. It may not be so long ago but the author is completely against the possibility of Pence having a wider view of Homosexuality.

Poisoning the Well
"I personally am very much looking forward the next chapter of this saga featuring the very flustered and Rippon-obsessed Pence."
"It’s pretty strange that Pence is seriously losing it over being called out for his own dehumanizing views on LGBTQ community"

Pence is obsessed, he is losing it, he put out desperate tweets. I think he is doing damage control because as vice president he doesn't want to look like a complete tool that he is made out to be. He isn't saying anything bad he said he wants the US Olympians to bring gold home and that he supports all of them.


Isaac Marcell

"How the Russians Pretended to be Texans - and Texans believed them" 
Hasty Generalization
"They seemed to think, for example, that Texans drank Dr. Pepper at all hours: while driving their giant trucks, while flying their Confederate battle flags, while griping about Yankees and liberals and vegetarians."
This is a hasty generalization that according to this article allowed Russians to convincingly pose as Texans to stir up the idea of secession amongst Texans. This Texan stereotype is a textbook definition of hasty generalization. The article claims that the Russians were able to effectively use a stereotype to convince millions of people of the authenticity of a website.

Begging the Question
"And then, in August, it was gone."
"Despite its claims of transparency, Facebook has effectively prevented the public from examining these posts and these pages. So far Heart of Texas remains the only example of a Russian account that I and other researchers managed to study in detail before Facebook pulled the rug out from underneath it."

Throughout the article, the author continually makes claims that read as if the basis of the article is a conspiracy theory. The author begs for the reader to draw the same conclusion that the Russians are fueling the Texan sentiment to secede from the United States. By the end of the article, readers are left to draw their own conclusions based on the author’s conjectures that at this point are self admittedly unable to be proven fact or fiction.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Joe Manchin: Taking Politics Out of Politics

Honestly, it kinda seems like rhetoric is the father of politics. Think about it, it's a bunch of wigs arguing and trying to appeal to others to get something done. It's all  politicians seem to so, banter/argue until they get what they want. However, one politician is taking a stand; Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia. He's arguing to take the "politics out of politics." In other words, he wants to strip it of things deemed unnecessary (negative campaigning and working against incumbents.) However, CNN has a different take, seeing it as leading to a one-party system and  increasing incumbent reelection. Let's see how they argue this.

The Fallacy of Accident: "But, like all things that seem good, this is bad."

This does not explicitly follow the model, but does imply it. It says that things that seem good are, in reality, bad. What is being discussed (Senator Manchin's proposal) is seen as good. Following the previous logic however, this meant the proposal is actually bad.

One-Sidedness: "Remember that every trade association, every political action committee and every lobby shop has a vested interest in giving to incumbents so politicians in office would have no problem continuing to hoover up cash."

This quote makes a one-sided argument in the fact that it doesn't consider all information. Has it been proven that all PAC's/lobby shops have this interest? If even one that doesn't follow this is found, this argument is destroyed.