Politics is a game of interest and convenience that is characterized by logical fallacies and misleading arguments. Politicians engage in political processes by campaigning to convince electorates to vote them wholeheartedly. To achieve the goal, they manipulate the psychology and emotions of voters through logical fallacies that are characterized by political rhetoric. Some of the logical fallacies that the politicians are prone to using incorporate red herring fallacy, straw man fallacy, and slippery slope fallacy (Cirjak 1).
First, red herring fallacy, also known as clouding the issue, misdirection, or beside the point fallacy, is an argument that changes the subject matter and distracts the audience from the underlying issue in focus. The red herring style of argument has been applied by politicians in many nations, including the US, UK, and France. For instance, it may be true that a policy framework is in place to adjust the minimum wage upwards. However, a sustainable solution would be a significant reduction of burdening government regulations to allow businesses to expand structurally and financially and plan on how to pay their employees higher (Silva 1). As a politician, I would respond by indicating that, at the moment, we are dealing with legislation that is before the legislature that seeks to adjust the minimum wage to $20 per hour. My take is that it provides the working families with the opportunity to increase their disposable incomes to acquire basic needs. Let us focus on that.
The second logic fallacy that is widely used is straw man fallacy, which involves an intentional misrepresentation of facts or twisting of the opponent’s position about an issue (Silva 1). It also involves a bizarre presentation of an argument in a bid to discredit another person’s argument. For example, lobbyists may insist that abortion should remain prohibited. A politician may reframe this to mean that refusing abortion denies individuals the basic right of choice and wellbeing. Our resolve must be to promote individual's health.
Slippery slope argument is another form of a fallacy that is common among politicians. They use it to fool millions of supporters. It involves an argument that if a specific action is taken, then a highly undesirable one would inevitably follow (Tikkanen 2). For example, we should not allow politicians to escape justice when they commit atrocities. If we do, corruption or impunity will become a norm, and more resources would be lost.
Apportionment is the process of sharing losses and benefits between organizations. It is applicable in various contexts and situations, including insurance, politics, and legal systems (Grazia 256). In insurance, apportionment is defined as the allocation of loss suffered by an insurer between all the insurance companies that insured the damaged property. The apportionment criteria help to determine the percentage of cost or liability each insurer would bear as captured in the fatal accidents Act of 1846. For instance, a car insured by two insurers would promote the sharing of the compensation instead of one company carrying all the burdenif damage occurs. In geopolitics, especially in the US, apportionment is defined as the act of apportioning members of the US House of Representatives in proportion to each state’s population considering the US overall population (Grazia 257). Apportionment also applies in the context of income and dividend payments. This is manifest since all divided payable by companies are apportioned based on investment, divided value, and capital rate.
Apportionment is imperative because it promotes fair representation of the people in parliament. It ensures that a leader represents a reasonable number of people, which averts issues of underrepresentation. Similarly, apportionment promotes fairness and eliminates injustices among trading partners by ensuring that the returns achieved are shared proportionally according to the member's contributions. Moreover, apportionment is beneficial because it allows insurance companies to share the burden of losses.
Apportionment of Legislative Districts & Gerrymandering
According to the article titled “What is Gerrymandering and why it is Problematic” gerrymandering focuses on establishing or advancing an unfair advantage such as political benefit over a particular party (Ingraham 1). It fosters an unfair advantage through manipulative schemes such as altering district boundaries and political outcomes based on ethnic, racial, religious, and linguistic parameters. Ingraham acknowledges that the practice has been problematic since it advances cognitive bias and discrimination of the minority groups (1). Many attempts to correct the situation have been explored, including filing a suit at the US Supreme Court. Unfortunately, the court failed to provide a clear solution by declaring that the federal courts have no authority to adjudicate issues relating to partisan gerrymandering (Ingraham 1).
Notably, those who benefit from gerrymandering are the wealthy and elite society members, including politicians, industrialists, and wealthy people. The elite and rich people benefit more since they are the ones who take advantage of various situations to attain their interests. For instance, industrialists and large businesses are employing the tactic to dominate small industry players by lowering their competitive levels. The large companies achieve the goal by investing heavily on promotional and advertisement activities. Politicians also benefit from pushing for boundary review to get a representational opportunity.
A recent election that remains controversial and unfair in the US is the 2016 general elections, whose leading contenders were the current President, Donald Trump, and Secretary Hillary Clinton. Hillary Clinton won the majority votes by over 1million above Trump's figures (Prokop 1). However, the Electoral College magic catapulted Donald Trump to power. Many people were disappointed with the development, and feelings of unfairness were immense. The fairness criteria that were violated regards the weight that cast votes carry and their influence on the Electoral College votes. Under fair circumstances, the Electoral College votes should be informed by the amount of direct electoral votes. Based on the anomaly, a suggestion to have the direct votes one receives to determine the candidate who becomes the President instead of the Electoral College votes is gaining momentum (Prokop 1). The recommendation would be implemented simply by replacing the Electoral College system with the direct voting system.
Cirjak, Antonia. The Most Common Logical Fallacies. 19th March 2020.
Grazia, Alfred. General Theory of Apportionment. 2nd February 2019. https://scholarship.law.duke.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=2523&context=lcp Accessed 27 June 2020.
Ingraham, Christopher. What is gerrymandering and why is it problematic?. The Washington Post. June 27th 2019. https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2019/06/27/what-is-gerrymandering-why-is-it-problematic/ Accessed 27th June 2020.
Prokop, Andrew. Why the Electoral College is the absolute worst, explained. VOX. 19 December 2016. https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2016/11/7/12315574/electoral-college-explained-presidential-elections-2016 Accessed 27 June 2020.
Silva, John. Evaluating arguments and identifying logical fallacies. 15th August 2018. https://newslit.org/updates/logical-fallacies-and-discourse/ Accessed 26th June 2020.
Tikkanen, Barry. Techniques for Reasoned Debate: Recognizing the Top 20 Logical Fallacies