Top News, Articles, and Interviews in Philosophy

The Straw Biden and Other Monsters of the Right

Philosophy News image
After Trump’s attempt at insurrection failed, Biden was sworn in as President. Since he entered the race in response to extremism, it is natural that his inaugural address included appropriate words. “And now a rise of political extremism, white supremacy, domestic terrorism that we must confront and we will defeat.” Biden also said, “there is truth and there are lies, lies told for power and for profit.” Given the recent insurrection and the seemingly endless flow of lies, these remarks seem eminently reasonable. But Rand Paul and Tucker Carlsen took issue with them immediately. On Fox News, Rand Paul asserted that Biden was engaged in innuendo (suggesting something deprecatory). As Rand heard it, Biden was “calling us white supremacists, calling us racists, calling us every name in the book.” Rand also took issue with Biden’s remarks about lies, saying, “ ‘And going forward we’re not going to have manufactured or manipulated truth.’ That’s another way of saying ‘All of my opponents manufacture or manipulate the truth and are liars.’ ” On the face of it, this seems to be a straw man of Biden’s claims. He focuses on extremism and calls for unity, something that would make little sense if the entire right was his target. Biden is also well known as a centrist with moderate views. As such, Paul seems to be making use of a common tactic in making a straw man, which is referring to an unknown fact. While Biden’s words and history are clear, Rand seems to be claiming to know the real meaning of Biden’s words—yet provides no evidence beyond his mere assertion. That is, Rand seems to be making a straw man. Then again, perhaps Rand is making a straw man of the right by assuming they are all extremist racists (something that is not true). One interesting contrast is to compare how Rand interprets Biden with how he has defended Trump from accusations of racism. While interpreting Biden’s words in a very negative way, Rand did his best to cast Trump’s racist claims as not. . .

Continue reading . . .

News source: A Philosopher's Blog

blog comments powered by Disqus