Warm Southern Breeze

"… there is no such thing as nothing."

Note To @TheDemocrats & Other #NeverTrump-ers: To win in 2018, STOP THE AD HOMINEM!

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, March 1, 2017

To be certain, I find Donald J. Trump to be a contemptible person, truly grotesque, and undignified in every manner. That being said, he holds the office of the Presidency of the United States, and regardless of the personality in it, the office is worthy of respect.

Some have found Trump’s occupancy of the office to be onerous, and his candidacy repugnantly contemptuous, and aside from discussions regarding ancillary matters such as Russian meddling in our electoral process, there very well may be significant merit to the arguments made supporting such accusations of his character flaws. However, I wish it to be made clear that there is, and must be, a separation from the personality of the man, and the policy ideas he promotes.

To illustrate the matter, consider the following online dialogue:

A: “The time for trivial fighting is behind us”. …. says the one who perpetuated the birther lie for over 8 years causing serious buildup of hate groups and encouraged barbaric behavior among the populace . ..and who led angry mobs in chanting “lock her up” … only lame minds can take this pervert seriously.

B: I dunno’. He said some things that sounded good, but then again, that’s every politician’s job… and he is one now. We’ll see how he fulfills those promises to have Paid Childcare, Decrease Medication Costs, Rebuild Infrastructure, and a few other things, including selling Health Insurance across State Lines. It was definitely a “kinder, gentler Trump.” It was good to hear Steve Beshear, a native Southerner and Democrat, who, I think, essentially said much the same things, and pointed out that Trump must work TOGETHER with the Democrats to get things accomplished by and through compromise. As well, SB cited that problems do exist with the PPACA, but that they can be remedied. I concur.

A: He sounded good because his approval ratings are lower than any POTUS at this point in their presidency and also because he had several people who knew what he needed to say in order to do damage control and make him appear to be somewhat polished .. many of us are mindful of what a creep he is . Can’t make a silk purse out of a sows ear.

B: Even a broken clock has the correct time twice daily. So in that sense, if he says something on policy that has merit, I’ll acknowledge it. On him as a human being (the ad hominem), I’ll defer commentary.

A: I am in awe of you feeling more positive. After studying the cycle of abuse and understanding how narcissistic sociopaths can charm the socks off their victims I cannot fall for anything that comes out of his vile mouth.

C: Ditto

D: Amen. Narcissists MUST be liked. They MUST be right (in their own minds). They NEVER have empathy.

B: There is a thing called “ad hominem” which is a Latin term meaning “to the man” and as it applies to logic, it is called a fallacy because it does not focus upon the topic. And though I think Trump is a total asshole, I will instead focus upon the ideas he talks about, because I refuse to fall into the trap that it’s about him personally, because it is not. It’s about his ideas. So, even if he is an asshole (which I think he is), I will purposely defer so describing him as one because to do so is NOT about the idea he talks about. And to degenerate into a name-calling game is to embark upon a mission bound for failure. I’m in it to win it.

D: That is idealistic. I cannot separate the man from his ideas. They are one and the same to me. He’s a pervert, hence his policies on women are bound to be self-serving. He’s a racist, hence his policies on blacks, hispanics, and Muslims are bound go against civil liberties. He’s a narcissist hence he is trying to suppress freedom of speech and freedom of the press. I could go on but I won’t. While I find your point, valid, and even noble, it’s not for all of us.

B: I would counter by asking this question: If a narcissistic racist perverted asshole told you that your house was on fire, and that you needed to evacuate it, and call the Fire Department – and you smelled smoke, and saw flames – would you dismiss it because the report came to you from a narcissistic racist perverted asshole?

D: No. Point taken. However, having been married to one, I would probably believe he started it for attention or some self-serving matter. But yes, I would vacate the house.

###

The definition of an ad hominem argument is illustrated in the online dialogue above. An ad hominem is an argument made based upon personality, rather than upon ideology.

If ANYONE attempts to dissuade or persuade impressionable voters, those voters will NOT be swayed by having someone make an ad hominem argument.

Why not?

We’ve already seen the depths to which Trump will stoop in campaigning… yes?
We’ve already seen how malignant a personality he is… yes?
We’ve already seen the contemptible manner in which he privately talks… yes?

None of that had an effect upon those who supported him… not even among Christians who find such behavior not merely revolting, but morally reprehensible, and decidedly un-Christ-like.

So… if nothing the candidate said or did had any effect upon his supporters, why would anyone imagine that to call him names – however negative and truthful they may be – would have any effect upon him, or more accurately, the opinion of those who support him?

Instead, talk about ideas.

That’s what won them in the first place.

 

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