Logical fallacies are information an individual uses to sweet talk or convince another person and seem true, but when logic is applied, the data is only a trick( Van Vleet 2021). They are often used to trick people into believing in something they otherwise would not have been accepted. Politicians mostly use logical fallacies to convince voters or other people in power and want to retain their control. The following discussion shows how logical fallacies are used in a speech by a politician;
“The improvement in our education sector for the lower primary children is due to the laptops that we introduced in the schools and the schools that have not yet received the machines will still get them with time.” the statement is evidence of a correlation fallacy. According to the speaker, the cause for improving education in the lower school is the laptops given to the children. The contradicting issue is that some schools have not yet received the machine, which means that there are still areas in which the mode of education has not yet changed, and the quality of education is still the same. The politician aims to convince people to see the impact realized by the laptops, which in the real sense, according to the reports by the teachers, the new learning method has been challenging to some point.
Challenges stated include the lack of power in some schools to use in learning, making the laptops reserved in the stores, and lack of specialized teachers to guide the children and other teachers with no basic knowledge about the machine. The statement convinces the citizens to see the success of the program rather than the failure or cover for the challenges that the program has brought. Instead of saying so, the politician would have said that laptops have been a factor that has realized some improvements in the education sector.
During the United States election, most politicians used lies to convince the Democrats to vote for them, accelerating their rates of gaining power. For example, after Donald trump’s win in the election, he said, “everybody agrees that the Russians had no impacts on vote these elections.” The statement isn’t right and can be termed as a bandwagon fallacy. These is because the president’s sayings were assumptions, and he wanted to convince everyone that whatever he said was true. It was the right thing when in the real sense, it wasn’t because every vote for each individual counts in any election. In other terms, what the former president was attempting to bring on board was that Russians were a minority and did not have the political power to steer the elections in the country. To correct his sayings, the former president would have claimed that the Russian votes did not greatly impact the election, although still, the claims would be a fallacy.
Other claims that popular people or speakers use to persuade democrats to gain their favor are anecdotes. In terms of fallacies, these are referred to as unwarranted generalizations made mostly by politicians as a way of making quick judgments or jumping to conclusions to justify the failure of their responsibilities or due to lack of enough evidence of some problems or circumstances. For example, in justification of the robbery and killings in Nevada, President Donald Trump said, “Four people in Nevada robbed viciously robbed and killed by an illegal immigrant who should not have been in our country… we need a powerful wall!!!” the use of four people who were killed in Nevada is a generalization showing the president had insufficient evidence of the real number or the names of the people who were killed in the robbery. There is still no proof of whether the immigrant was supposed to be in the country or not and the genuine reason for the killings.
In other terms, the president would have cleared out the air by giving more details about the people killed and the robbed things. He should have also made efforts to find much about the serial killer and what action had been taken against the killer.
Straw man fallacy is a presumed misjudgment used by politicians or people in power to attack their opponents and may include hate speech and show how the opponent doesn’t fit to be in the position of power. During his campaigns that took him to the statehouse, Trump used hate speech towards his opponents to show how they were not competent enough to be powerful. Quoting his words, he said that ” Democrats have become the party of crime. They want to open our borders to a flood of deadly drugs and ruthless gangs and turn America into a giant sanctuary for criminal aliens.” The speech target was to show his opponents were bad and misleading. The referring of his opponents as democrats shows that he devalues them. They have no power and continue to convince the people that the opponents truly don’t fit the position since they will mislead the people.
The president’s saying can also be termed differently that his opponents are not competent for the position. If given a chance to lead the people, they would use their powers to mislead the people, which is not true because engaging people in drugs is wholly their decision, and they cannot be forced to do something they don’t want. The claims were to win him a favor and get sympathy votes from the citizens. There is still no sense in how the president would make over millions of people to be drug addicts or drug dealers in a state where laws and restrictions give and restrict the president’s power.
In the long run, to acquire power or win the citizen’s vote, most political people equate themselves to other people who have been politically successful and have more powers in the political arena( Caramani 2017). This method is used to convince the democrats or citizens of the person’s capabilities seeking the position and show them how the individual can lead them with the powers. The fallacy is known as false equivalence. In other terms, it is a false statement that is presumed to make the citizens believe the current happenings are not of great impact or can be easily settled only by them giving the powers to the candidate.
For example, quote,” President Obama had a big campaign finance violation, and it was easily settled.” The statement is used to show that Obama being the president and the breach of the finances wasn’t a big issue since the finances were resolved easily. It also attempts to convince the people that violation of finances for campaigns was necessary and should be done since the finances will be easily paid off. In another view, the statement attempts to show that a big person’s wit power or in prominent positions can mismanage financial resources since they can cover up for the mismanagement without any struggle. The claims do not make any logical sense because if the person can easily pay for the mismanaged finances, then the finances he is using to pay should be the ones that are being blown .in. The speaker could have said that the finances used during President Obama’s campaigns were easily settled, although still, the claims were not sound. The argument still doesn’t justify the reason or violate the finances a rightful act.
In conclusion, logical fallacies are used by politicians or people in political power to persuade or convince the voters or citizens to elect or put them in control. Logical fallacies include; false equivalence fallacies, straw man’s fallacies, unwarranted generalizations, bandwagons, and correlation fallacies. As discussed above and from the examples given, the fallacies serve a great deal in favor of the politicians or people competing for power. They help them easily convince and change the voters’ perceptions to elect them. If not keenly understood or taken into consideration, the statements may easily trick the people and elect a bad leader or someone who is not competent enough to be in power. The false statements seem like true statements and are easily believed by the people, especially when the politicians justify themselves in cases where problems and errors occur. They are the ones who are responsible for giving guidelines or acting on the issue. However much the claims are thought to be making sense, their aim is only to confuse the normal individual and award the political person favors to have the power they require.
Caramani, D. (2017). Will vs. reason: The populist and technocratic forms of political representation and their critique of party government. American Political Science Review, 111(1), 54-67.
Van Vleet, J. E. (2021). Informal logical fallacies: A brief guide. Hamilton Books.