Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Sanders: Hasty to Generalize

The Democratic debate taken place on November 14, 2015 consisted of three presidential candidates: Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton, and Martin O'Malley. The candidates hoped to gain more momentum and support for their campaigns. One candidate in particular, Bernie Sanders, often expressed statements (similar to Clinton's and O'Malley's) that tended to flaw his arguments and reasoning. These 'mishaps', yet strong and convincing, are known as logical fallacies. By using the logical fallacy, hasty generalization, Sanders gives sympathy to the tragic events in Paris.

He tries to pull the recent issue into one of his most favorable and important issues of his campaign: climate change. The moderator asks Sanders of whether he still agrees that climate change is still (in his perspective) the greatest threat to national security. Sanders states, "Absolutely. Actually, climate change is directly related to the growth of terrorism." Sanders then proceeds to give an explanation that does not relate directly to terrorism at all. He says, "You’re going to see countries all over the world... struggling with limited amounts of water, limited amounts of land to grow their crops and then you’re going to see all types of international conflict." Sanders is quick to say that climate change will negatively affect the availability of resources, and because of that, countries will wreak havoc on each other. He continues and does not provide sufficient evidence that will back up this view. Additionally, even "international conflicts" does not necessarily mean terrorism.

 (begins at 8:23)

Furthermore, Sanders want to connect his biggest priority, climate change, to a recent event that will show he also believes that terrorism is a threat to national security. This use of hasty generalization is effective because of its power to show that Sanders will cater to the fears/worries of the American people but also how he will not give up what he stands for. Sanders tries to connect the two unrelated topics into one to show that if he could fix this one issue, the other issue will also be affected in the same way (making for an efficient presidency). His attempt also tries to provoke empathy and an aggressive response for those affected in the Paris attacks. Sanders compares these two extreme sides of issues to acknowledge that he is serious for accomplishing such task if he were elected president.

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