The most noticeable fallacy
The most noticeable fallacy
There are numerous examples of bias, fallacies, and specific rhetorical devices in the speech. First of all, none of electoral speeches can be regarded as unbiased for the ample reason there are implicit political, ethical, and pragmatic considerations influencing the impartiality of any such speech. It is evident that the speaker is biased against Jim W. Gettys and regards this person as the cause of all problems in the state. As concerns logical fallacies, they are abundant. The most noticeable fallacy is Ad Hominem:
‘An Ad Hominem is a general category of fallacies in which a claim or argument is rejected on the basis of some irrelevant fact about the author of or the person presenting the claim or argument’ (The Nizkor Project, 2008, ‘Fallacy: Ad Hominem’). In this case, the speaker is attacking Jim W. Gettys’ personality rather than specific proposals or policy. In this particular case, Ad Hominem Abusive, or Personal Attack, is present because the speaker uses abusive remarks instead of evidence. For instance, the speaker makes unsubstantiated claims about Gettys’ extension of powers. Another fallacy committed is the Slippery Slope:
‘The Slippery Slope is a fallacy in which a person asserts that some event must inevitably follow from another without any argument for the inevitability of the event in question’ (The Nizkor Project, 2008, ‘Fallacy: Slippery Slope’). The speaker assumes that he or she will definitely become the Governor simply because opinion polls say so. Appeal to Pity can also be regarded as employed in the rhetoric surrounding the issue of working mean and slum children.
Speaking about rhetorical devices, the speech features repetition (‘The working man — The working man and the slum child… ’), hyperbole, or using exaggeration to achieve greater effect (I will do everything in my power to protect… ), and various forms of emotive language. The speaker often employs the so-called ‘rule of three’: ‘The rule of three is based on the technique that people tend to remember three things’ (Presentation Helper, 2008, ‘The Rule of Three’). For example, this rule is used in the promise to protect ‘the underprivileged, the underpaid, and the underfed’ or in the announcement of the intent to arrange for ‘indictment, prosecution, and conviction’ of Gettys.
In fact, there are few fully developed arguments presented in the speech and no counterarguments. The speaker makes a constructive case trying to press his or her own agenda through without paying due attention to the position of the opponent and avoiding the real debate. Assessing the overall effectiveness of the speech, it is necessary to admit that it might have a limited appeal to people who rely on emotional rather than rational judgment. The speech uses affirmative language that has potential of influencing certain segments of society on subconscious level.
Yet any in-depth analysis of the arguments delivered by the speaker will unveil the unsubstantiated nature of all the claims, coupled with numerous logical fallacies. In order for a speech to be effective, emotional and rational appeal should be both present and well balanced. References Presentation Helper. (2008). ‘The Rule of Three. ’ Retrieved January 21, 2008, from http://www. presentationhelper. co. uk/rule_of_three. htm The Nizkor Project. (2008). ‘Fallacies. ’ Retrieved January 21, 2008, from http://www. nizkor. org/features/fallacies