Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Logical Fallacies- False Dichotomies

False dichotomies are related to being black and white. They are also either or. It is a fallacy of limitations, though. Many people do not see the shades of grey in the world, and that is the fallacy of seeing things as black or white. There is also the dilemma of limiting one's choices. Like the example of conservative or liberal that was the black or white debate, this one is popular in politics as well.

During the last presidential election, people were hellbent on choosing between republican or democrat. Maybe they were the two most likely choices, or the ones with the most viable candidates, but they weren't the only choices. Many people believe that voters either voted for Hillary or for Donald. Well, that's simply not true. Many states have provisions for write in candidates (NC has restrictions such as you must be registered as a write in candidate) and almost every state has provisions for third party candidates. If a candidate files in a state prior to their deadlines, and following their rules, many parties may be represented on a ballot.

Take Randolph County for instance. There is an upcoming sheriff's election. There are two parties with candidates running before the primary. The Republican Party may choose from Greg Seabolt or Robert Graves. The Libertarian Party has Eric Hicks and Adam Brooks for candidates. Eric Hicks is actually a republican, but thought he would ensure his nomination by switching parties for the primary. This way he would make it on the final ballot in November, but Adam Brooks entered the race. Now, I am not sure why Hicks chose Libertarian, as I have not followed him that closely, but I imagine it has to do with the fact that it's not one of the "two major" political parties in the US, so he thought there would be less likely a challenger. We still have two parties to choose from, but they aren't the parties that most people would consider. It would seem that we only have two choices.

We have more than two choices now, as we did in November of 2016. In November of 2016 we could vote Democrat (Clinton), Republican (Trump), Independent (Johnson), Write-in (Stein), or not voting. See in NC, You have to register as an optional write-in candidate. Jill Stein was the only NC candidate to do so. BUT we still had more than two options. People kept complaining about the two options, but didn't want to take the time to actually vote for/ campaign for another option. People complain about there being only two choices, but there are not. It's a false dichotomy. Nothing will change because the democrats won't vote republican and vice versa. Well, What if people start electing not Democrats or Republicans? But they won't.... oops that's circular logic. We'll discuss that one next. We have limited ourselves by devising a dichotomy and living by it, when it doesn't really exist. We have more choices, but we can't see the forest for the trees.

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