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Identifying Logical Fallacies in Speech

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Speech is an indispensable part for the presidential candidates to attain the votes of citizens. The delivery of how an individual verbalizes and expresses his or her thoughts and ideas can be a critical element for voters to decide whether the presidential candidate is competent enough to lead an entire country. Words have an impact since they can substantially affect people, primarily when utilized on a large stage. Hilary Clinton and Donald Trump faced off for their second televised debate in 2016. However, in their second televised debate, logical fallacies have been apparent in Donald Trump’s debate against Hilary Clinton. The logical fallacy of two wrongs do not make a right is present in terms of the claims Donald Trump made with respect to his comments: “I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait. And when you’re a star they let you do it. You can do anything. Grab them by the pussy. You can do anything” (Forbes). The public has labeled his remarks as an implication of sexual assault against women.

When asked about his comment at the debate, Donald Trump responded, saying: “That was locker room talk. I’m not proud of it. I am a person who has great respect for people, for my family, for the people of this country… But that was something that happened. If you look at Bill Clinton, [what he did was] far worse. Mine are words, and his was action. His was what he’s done to women. There’s never been anybody in the history of politics in this nation that’s been so abusive to women… Bill Clinton was abusive to women” (New York Times). Donald Trump attacks his challenger’s spouse, Bill Clinton, by mentioning his history with women, notably the scandal involving “49-year-old President Bill Clinton and 22-year-old White House intern Monica Lewinsky” (New York Daily News). Instead of responding to the disagreement imposed against him about the commentaries he made about how he treats women, Donald Trump claims that if Bill Clinton did something similar or worse, his actions in comparison to Clintons would be not so terrible in retrospect.

Although creating a comparison to another individual or circumstance does not automatically classify it as the two wrongs make a right logical fallacy, a comparison is only sensible if and only if the action can be rationalized and justified without depending on a comparison to reinforce the argument at hand. However, with Donald Trump’s statements made at the presidential debate, he utilizes former president Bill Clinton’s past transgressions to defend, and almost excuse his behavior. Essentially, Trump is insisting that he ought to be absolved from the inappropriate conduct in which he was involved. Moreover, his actions seem to somewhat mirror in comparability to Bill Clinton’s actions towards Monica Lewinsky. The two wrongs do not make a right fallacy lies in the fact that the preceding behaviors of one individual or group of individuals do not alter how justifiable or how unjustifiable another individual’s actions are. In the end, what validates a person’s conduct lies in the ethics behind their actions. If someone is participating in an activity classified as immoral or inconsiderate, it is still not justified, even if someone has done that same thing in the past.

All in all, society should be able to recognize logical fallacies to differentiate an invalid argument with invalid information from a valid argument with valid information. As consumers of knowledge from a plethora of sources, we bear the sole responsibility of discerning the information we receive to point out its failings. Discovering an argument’s shortcomings makes said debate lose believability. Once society masters the skill of identifying logical fallacies in everyday speech, we will be able to utilize that ability to defend ourselves against those who use logical fallacies against us. 

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Identifying Logical Fallacies In Speech. (2021, March 18). GradesFixer. Retrieved December 9, 2022, from
“Identifying Logical Fallacies In Speech.” GradesFixer, 18 Mar. 2021,
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