Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Rhetoric

Dear Indigna,

I recently read an analysis that points out how George W. Bush uses the “straw man” fallacy more and more frequently to misrepresent his opponents’ views and set himself up as an imminently reasonable man. We’ve all heard him use phrases such as “Some in Washington don’t care about our security” or “Some people say we should let the terrorists win” or “Some believe we should just let the teachers do whatever they want, ‘learning’ be damned,” always followed by the emphatic, “I strongly disagree,” I’m pleased that the media are finally taking note of this trend, but what should we be doing to make sure the people of this country understand the falsehood of this rhetorical posture?

Aristotle
Athens, Greece

Dear Aristotle,

Some people enjoy writing treasonous letters. Some people would prefer a President who just sticks his head in the sand instead of facing up to reality. Some otherwise good people want to take the hard-earned money of working people like Dick Cheney and use it to buy luxury cars and drugs for welfare moms and to coddle spoiled trade unionists with seven-figure pensions. I’ve heard some people say that Greek men are great lovers--is that true?

I strongly disagree (with the exception of that last statement -- call me?), and especially with the notion that the President is using rhetorical strategies of any kind. The guy was a “C” student. It is highly unlikely he knows what “rhetoric” is.

Anyway, you sound like one of those elitist classical Greek scholar pantywaists who get their rocks off “naming” things like “rhetorical postures” and “fallacies,” both of which sound vaguely obscene. The Fact is, the President is telling the Truth and anyone who disagrees wants the terrorists to win.

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