When Logic Fails in the Clinton vs. Trump Debate

I think it's safe to assume that a majority of us saw the Clinton vs. Trump thing that went on yesterday. Many people probably didn't know what the hell was going on and just tuned in to hear the attacks; if I didn't have to post something on it for class, I would've watched it for that reason too. But here I am (daaaaammmmmnnnnn Lesley, BACK AT IT AGAIN) and although the debate was somewhat informative on the candidates' points of views on certain issues, there were a whole lotta logical fallacies. Here are ten I remember from the debate:

1. The most common one was argumentum ad hominem or an argument attacking the opponent. I can't even be bothered to list the attacks because that'll make this post ridiculously long; knowing me, this post will be pretty long as it. But one attack Trump made towards Clinton was when he said she was a "typical politician; all talk no action." Clinton attacked Trump by saying he was racist for questioning Barack Obama's birth certificate and whether or not he was born in the United States.

2. One thing I saw from Trump's side more than Hillary's at the debate was argumentum ad nauseam or arguing to the point of disgust. In simpler terms, this means the repetition of a single argument. He attacked Hillary by saying that in her thirty years of being involved in politics, she hasn't done anything she says she intends to do as president. I kid you not, this must've been repeated at least once per segment from Trump. I don't even know if this even counts at argumentum ad nauseam because this isn't an argument; it's an attack. Regardless of how many times Mr. Trump repeated this at the debate, it didn't make it more or less true than it originally was.

(I wish I could elaborate more on this to make it a little more interesting to read, but as I was typing as I was watching the debate, which made it hard to pay attention. Everything is a little foggy now. Whoops.)

3. Despite my lack of enthusiasm during some parts of the debate, I paid pretty close attention to the segment talking about race, and one thing I noticed from Trump's side was cum hoc ergo propter hoc, or mistaking correlation for causation. Trump said he supported the stop-and-frisk program and stated that when the program was enforced in New York City, the number of murder rates dropped significantly. Well, how do we know that the drop was a cause of the program? It could've been a result of something else. Clinton also pointed out that murder rates have continued to drop since the election of the current New York City mayor. In an article I just read, it proved Trump was wrong about the effects of stop-and-frisk, and during the debate, he was using old statistics to prove his points...

4. THE RED HERRING. YES. I feel like this fallacy and argumentum ad hominem went hand in hand; whenever Hillary would attack Donald and vice versa, they would bring up irrelevant attacks that would distract from the topic at hand. I think Lester would agree with me here. Two things that came up were the 33,000 emails Hillary deleted (or something like that) and Donald Trump's tax returns during the third segment (I believe). Like... wut? Just like #1, I can't be bothered to type all the irrelevant facts/attacks that came up, because then this post will be longer than Websters Dictionary, and I just can't even....

5. I believe this relates to the race segment again, but one logical fallacy from Trump's side (BACK AT IT AGAIN) was dicto simpliciter. This also relates to the stop-and-frisk program. Now, Trump believed that this program was the reason that the number of murders in NYC dropped. New York City is only one of the SHIT LOAD OF CITIES in the United States of America; how does Trump know that the stop-and-frisk program will work in all cities? That generalization is a fallacy because what works in New York City may not necessarily work in cities with smaller populations, cities with different murder rates, cities with different racial demographics, etc.

6. Argumentum ad lapidem, or dismissing a claim as absurd without proving it, was also used by both parties, I believe. I remember this happening during the first segment when they each talked about their plans for creating new jobs and improving our nation's economy. I think Hillary called Donald's plan, which was to cut taxes, as absurd but she didn't back it up... and that's all I have on that :)))))

7. Sliiiiipppppeeeeerrrrryyyyy sloooooppppppeeeeee. Yes, I also saw this. One thing that was brought up in the debate was The Great Recession and Hillary's involvement in it. Donald Trump basically stated that because of Hillary's role in this financial crisis, if she were to become president, America would fall back economically and return to the same state it was in during The Great Recession. I don't understand how Hillary's involvement in one economic downfall will lead to another... but hey; that's Donald Trump for you, ladies and gentlemen!

8. This is one not mentioned in the logical fallacies link provided on the course blog; this is one I looked up myself. Donald said a vacuous truth in the third segment; he said he was endorsed by ICE. ICE is a government agency and therefore it can't endorse political or presidential candidates; from what I researched, Trump was endorsed by EX ICE officials, which makes his claim sorta true, but sorta not. It's meaningless nevertheless and was totally random in yesterday's debate.

9. I'm surprised I missed this one, but one logical fallacy in the debate yesterday was the use of tu quoque ("you too"). Here's how it went down yesterday, in a nutshell; Donald basically said, "Yeah, I haven't released my tax returns, but Hillary hasn't shown us those 33,000 emails!" In other words, "Yeah, I'm hiding stuff, but so is she!" I believe there is not much more to say about this, so yeah.
10. The last logical fallacy I'm going to list is ignoratio elenchi, another common one. Ignoratio elenchi is making an argument that may be valid but does not address the initial question. One of Donald's claims that is an example of this is the following: "“I said it to you once, had we taken the oil — and we should have taken the oil — ISIS would not have been able to form either because the oil was their primary source of income. And now they have the oil all over the place, including the oil — a lot of the oil in Libya, which was another one of her disasters.” This was in the third segment, where the topic was securing America. I admit, I don't know much about this, but what Donald said seems somewhat valid to me. Despite this, from what I remember from the debate, this claim strayed far from what Lester initially asked.

WHY DO I TORTURE MYSELF LIKE THIS?! The assignment on the course blog didn't say we had to include examples from the debate, but I decided to take that extra step. Honestly... I'm probably going to get no sleep at all tonight; this post alone took me over three hours to type up. I just hope it's good.

Sooooonnnnnggggg: Georgia On My Mind by Michael BublĂ© (there are many recordings of this song, but this one happens to be my favorite. This has absolutely nothing to do with the post itself; I finally got the sheet music to this song, which makes me happy because now I can finally play it on my trumpet! ^-^)


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