Take a minute and watch this video. Don’t worry. I’ll be here when you get done.
Finished? You know that weird feeling at the bottom of your stomach? That’s disgust, and that is what you should be feeling. This video, created with the only purpose to persuade and convince, is probably the most bothersome and ignorant thing I’ve watched in a long time. It is a fallacy. What’s a fallacy? A fallacy is an illogical proof. It is using unethical means to persuade an audience to agree with you. This ad is a fallacy because it is using fear, raw and real fear, to get people to do what you want. Hey! Americans! Stop spending money on stuff and, uh, stop spending money on stuff! Or China will take over America! CHINA! Those Asian people who are all weird and speak a different language and look different than us! Instead of simply having an old guy in front of us telling us the facts to convince us, they try and scare us. They also drum up ideas of xenophobia and racism. But that’s ok, because they get their point across, right? Let’s read Swineline.org’s reasoning:
This ad is part of an ongoing communications program in CAGW’s decades-long fight against wasteful government spending, high taxes, out-of-control deficit spending, and a crippling national debt that threatens the future survival of our country. CAGW is a 501(c)(3) private, nonprofit, nonpartisan organization representing more than 1 million members and supporters nationwide. CAGW works to eliminate waste, fraud, abuse, and mismanagement in government and has helped expose such high-profile symbols of federal profligacy as the Defense Department’s $640 toilet seat and $436 hammer and the $223 million congressional earmark for Alaska’s infamous “Bridge to Nowhere.” Founded in 1984 by the late businessman J. Peter Grace and late Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist Jack Anderson, CAGW is the legacy of the President’s Private Sector Survey on Cost Control, also known as the Grace Commission.
There is nothing wrong with what they want. Absolutely nothing. We shouldn’t borrow money and have deficit and all this other money, money, money crap. I don’t disagree. But I do disagree, with every fiber of my being, with how some people present their message. If the dudes at Swineline.org would just use facts, numbers, a thought out argument, I would listen. Instead, they try and use the base fears and desires of people to get their way. It’s horrible. It makes me not agree with anything they say and that’s the greatest problem we face as a people. If these are serious issues, these issues should be argued seriously.