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Is Trump a Tyrant? IV: Red Herring & Two Bad

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As this was being written, it was announced that the G-7 summit would be held at Trump’s Miami golf resort. Once again, his defenders have been tasked with explaining why this obvious exploitation of his office and clear violation of the emoluments clause is actually perfectly normal and fine. This adds yet another example in support of the claim that Trump is a tyrant. Trump will simply enrich himself and his family at the expense of the public while providing nothing for the public good. This is a clear case of tyrannical behavior. Now back to the discussion of fallacious responses to the argument by definition that Trump is a tyrant. Image Credit Since the Red Herring fallacy is so common, it is no surprise that Trump’s defenders press it into service. A Red Herring is a fallacy in which an irrelevant topic is presented in order to divert attention from the original issue. The basic idea is to “win” an argument by leading attention away from the argument and to another topic. This sort of “reasoning” has the following form: 1. Topic A is under discussion. 2. Topic B is introduced under the guise of being relevant to topic A (when topic B is not relevant to topic A). 3. Topic A is abandoned. This sort of “reasoning” is fallacious because merely changing the topic of discussion hardly counts as an argument against a claim. This fallacy is often used in conjunction with the similar Two Bad fallacy. This fallacy has the following form: 1. Premises 1: A has done X, which is bad. 2.  Premise 2: A (or a defender of A) points out that B has also done X. 3. Conclusion: A doing X was not bad. This reasoning is fallacious because the fact that someone else has done the same thing does not make it not bad. This fallacy is like Two Wrongs; in Two Wrongs the “reasoning” is that something wrong is not wrong if someone else would or has done it to you. The difference is that this fallacy does not require that the other person would or has. . .

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News source: A Philosopher's Blog

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