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Argumentum ad Populum

Argumentum ad Populum

The logical fallacy known as Argumentum ad Populum means ‘to prove by appeal to the majority.’  This is done by snob appeal and/or using the ‘get on the bandwagon’ method.  It is perhaps the most commonly used way to convert voters into sheep marching in lock step.  One of the more effective ways politicians employ this argument is by using endorsements from Hollywood actors.  It is arguably the most arrogant and manipulative way to deceive voters.

Apparently the majority of popular actors are liberals.  That is not much of a surprise considering the nature of their occupation.  Actors are paid and trained deceivers.  Good ones are capable of convincing us that they are really the character they portray.  For some reason, this convinces many people that actors are truthful, caring and trustworthy.  Evidence suggests they are no more virtuous than any other group of citizens, yet it is undeniable that they have more influence.  Consequently all politicians, particularly liberal ones, seek their endorsement.

The populace (the majority) makes many decisions in our Republic.  But they do not trump the Constitution.  If Argumentum ad Populum is taken to its logical extreme, the rights of minorities would be non-existent.  The Bill of Rights would only apply to the majority. That is why the bandwagon and snob types of arguments are so dangerous.  History is full of example and these United States are not immune to human nature.

If we watch this election and primary cycle closely and we will see many examples of Argumentum ad Populum.  It is an ancient technique.  Responsible voters should know it when they see it and speak out about its damaging effects.  The habit of independence is so ingrained in Sweet Grass County that arguments saying ‘well everybody else agrees’ simply do not work.   And snobbishness is a rare blight around here.  But both tendencies exist, even in Big Timber.  Let’s stay alert and make sure our local political scene resists the influence of Argumentum ad Populum.  For a more detailed discussion of the subject, click here:

http://philosophy.lander.edu/logic/popular.html

A famous user of Argumentum ad Populum

 

 

 

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