Write a 220 word or more, typed, double spaced, 12 font, argumentative essay on an argument given by a presidential candidate, indicating the use by that candidate of two informal fallacies. This essay points out the weakness of an argument by showing that it commits at least two informal fallacies.
SAMPLE CANDIDATE STATEMENT AND ARGUMENTATIVE ESSAY RESPONSE
Suppose that Ms. Jones is a candidate in a presidential primary for the Independent party and makes the following statement attacking her opponent, Mr. Roberts:
Candidate Roberts claims that he has a solution to the projected shortfall in social security. He suggests that to fix this problem, the social security system should be privatized and not dependent on taxpayer contributions. Let workers save for their own retirements and not depend on the federal government. But Roberts is a millionaire so his policy could not possibly be just. What does he know about working class people who are trying to save for their retirements? Moreover, if Roberts plan is implemented, disruptive protests may be ignited, bringing chaos to our streets. So we must stand united against Roberts dangerous policy proposals. Please get out the vote for me for the Independent Party nomination!
Sample argumentative essay:
Ms. Jones argues that voters should not support Mr. Roberts because his proposal for preserving the viability of the social security system could ignite protests. She also claims that Mr. Roberts could not possibly have a good policy proposal because he is a millionaire. But these attacks on Roberts proposal are not relevant to his argument. His argument is that social security should no longer be a government run program but should utilize the private sector to manage retirement savings. Ms. Jones commits two informal fallacies here: the argument against the person and an appeal to force.
The argument against the person occurs when Ms. Jones uses the fact that Mr. Roberts is a millionaire as a critique of his policy. Even millionaires can have ideas that are good for all citizens. So his economic status is not relevant to social security policy.
The appeal to force occurs when Ms. Jones warns of disruptive protests should Mr. Roberts social security policy be implemented. Again, that fact that such protest may occur is not relevant to the merits of Roberts proposal. It is possible that a good proposal would evoke some protests. So Ms. Jones should address the merits of the policy proposal being offered by Mr. Roberts, not attack his character and try to evoke fear.
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