Can someone please help me identify any fallacies of argument in the ad "Romney: Obama policies are worse than Carter," or any arguments that you suspect might be logical fallacies. Explain how the example is a logical fallacy, and if you think the logical fallacy is effective or not effective. The political ad link is below:
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Since the video that you link to is just a set of snippets of Mitt Romney’s speeches (it is not actually an ad), it may be unfair to say that he is engaging in logical fallacies as there is no way to know what he said before or after the clips that we saw. With that caveat in mind, let us look at some potential logical fallacies in what he said.
One possible fallacy comes toward the end of the clip when Romney says that “Americans” are tired of being tired and that “Americans” want real change. This is a form of the ad populum, wrapping oneself in the flag fallacy. Romney is implying that all people who are really Americans dislike President Obama’s policies.
Another possible fallacy is the strawman fallacy. At one point, Romney says that Obama is anti-small business. By doing this, he is putting the worst possible spin on Obama’s policies. He is setting up a strawman who hates small business and contrasting himself with that strawman.
Another fallacy that shows up here is a second example of ad populum¸ in this case in the form of emotional appeals to things like our sense of family. Romney lists a long set of people who had to forego various things that everyone would want. For example, he talks about grandparents being unable to visit their grandchildren and people being unable to go on vacation. He does not prove a link between Obama and these negative consequences but simply tries to paint a negative picture and to link it in some unspecified way to Obama, who is then portrayed as being anti-family.
Finally, there is the post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy. Romney claims that over 23 million people were out of work. He does not link this to anything that Obama did, but he simply asserts that because those unemployed people exist after three years of Obama’s presidency, their problems must have been caused by Obama.
All of these are possible logical fallacies. As to whether they are effective, their effectiveness is largely in the eye of the beholder. What do you think? Are they convincing to you?
Thank you for your help!
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