Monday, February 1, 2016

Post-Hoc Palin

About two weeks ago, Sarah Palin announced her support of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump at a rally in Tulsa Oklahoma. In addition to the many logical fallacies one needs to make in order to support Trump at all, Palin attempted to lay her son's recently public domestic abuse charges at the feet of President Obama. By making use of a post hoc argument, Palin tries to say that Obama's "lack of respect" for veterans caused her son Track's actions, not actually Track himself.

By making use of the faulty logic that, because two things occur at the same time or in a sequence, one is caused by the other- also known as a post hoc argument- Sarah Palin asserts that Track's abuse of his then-girlfriend was in fact attributable to our current president and not at all actually his fault. In her speech, Palin told the crowd that her "son, a combat so many others, they come back a bit different, they come back hardened... They come back wondering if there is that respect for what their fellow soldiers and airmen and every other member of the military so sacrificially have given to the country.” By saying that she was going to address her son's domestic abuse charges before making both of these statements, Palin insinuates that not only do combat veterans come back from the war with a lot of new problems (something most would agree with) but that her son Tracks' recent domestic abuse charges stem directly from these problems. Additionally, she somehow manages to blame these problems on Obama, who- according to her- doesn't respect the military. Essentially, her argument boils down to: 1. Obama disrespects the military -> 2. Veterans have mental issues when they return home -> 3. Her son Track beats up his girlfriend.

This argument is flawed in a couple different ways. First of all, it would by quite difficult for Palin or anyone to prove that President Obama doesn't respect the military. While he may have cut military spending, that in no way means that he doesn't respect the men and women that serve in our armed forces. Furthermore, the connections between Obama's "disrespect", veteran's post war problems, and her son's domestic abuse are all weak at best. Just because things happen does not mean that they cause each other. The reason this arguments works so well is because of many American's fear of loss of military power, and in some cases fear of foreign nations. Hopefully, once people understand the numerous flaws in Hilary Clinton's "arguments", they will be able to laying the blame for a very serious offense at the feet of anyone else besides the person who committed it- Track Palin.

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