According to the Merriam Webster dictionary, a straw man is “a weak or imaginary argument or opponent that is set up to be easily defeated.” This is probably one of the most important words to remember, especially if you have friends that are liberals. I see straw man arguments every day. As the definition implies, straw men are used when one doesn’t have the wherewithal to argue the actual point of an issue. Straw men look, and should very similar to actual arguments, but they are designed with a fatal flaw, one which is easily exploited, so that they may be felled. But just as a scarecrow is easily identifiable as a fake, a phony argument can be easily identified with a little insight.
The left uses straw men frequently, because they have no valid arguments. For example, two of the most overused straw men are that Republicans want to take away women’s birth control, and that Republicans are anti-immigrant. On a recent Andrea Mitchell Reports, Rep. Luis Gutierrez made the claim that Republicans are anti-immigrant:
“There are a dozen very anti-immigrant, xenophobic members of the House of Representatives in the Republican majority that just have a stranglehold. We cannot have that. I think what the president is going to say is, look, there are people that have established themselves. I want a legislative solution. You’re not giving me one.
And on another recent episode of Andrea Mitchell Reports, Bloomberg’s Jeanne Cummings claimed that Republicans want to take away birth control from women:
It also has to do with policy. They [Republicans] have moved the abortion debate into birth control. This is a huge step where women, that’s a threshold issue for women. That’s about birth control, is controlling your life. This is being in control of your life, and they want to talk about taking that away? That’s a whole different conversation than abortion.”
These two arguments are false. They are designed to make mush-brained Americans think that Republicans are racist misogynists. Unfortunately, these types of arguments often work, because the media won’t call out their own, fellow liberals. Lets take a look at these straw men.
First, the argument that Republicans want to take away birth control has been bolstered by the recent Hobby Lobby ruling. When the initial ruling was publicized, I was overwhelmed by a torrent of ignorance, the likes of which I hadn’t seen since Obama was elected in 2008. Many of my friends were posting Facebook statuses, and sharing info-graphics that were condemning the court, and conservatives for “turning back the clock,” and “taking away rights from women.” But let’s actually examine the case, and the ruling.
Hobby Lobby (a Christian company) was shocked to learn that their insurance was covering abortifacient drugs, to which they are morally opposed. They sued the federal government over the ACA’s HHS mandate, which would force businesses to cover abortifacients for their employees. They won, and the left flipped out. But here’s the thing, no one is taking away birth control.
First, Hobby Lobby still covers 16 of 20 available contraceptives. The only ones they won’t cover are the abortifacients, which act to terminate already fertilized embryos. Second, should a woman want an abortifacient, such as Plan B, she can still buy it, just not through her employer-based insurance. Third, if a company doesn’t want to cover any birth control at all, due to religious objections, that is still not taking away birth control from women. Birth control is readily available, generally at a very low cost. If the company for which you work doesn’t cover your birth control, you can leave that company. No one is chaining women to the cash registers at Hobby Lobby. Additionally, if you don’t approve of your employers’ religious objections, you can purchase insurance on your own.
Not a single woman is having religion forced upon her. Contraception is not a right, and employers do not have to cover it. It is still available for purchase. Men are not barging into homes in the dead of night to tear apart medicine cabinets, and steal all the contraception. It’s a false argument that is being used by the left in order to keep women thinking of themselves as a walking uterus. The left wants women to believe that the single most important issue in their lives is contraception, and that nothing else should matter. That way, they can demonize conservatives with asinine arguments, and keep the female vote.
Now, on to the next straw man. The left wants Americans to believe that the reason conservatives are against amnesty is because they are racists. Because there simply cannot be any other reason! As the border overflows with illegal immigrants, our economy suffers, and we are at a terrible risk of an invasion by ISIS.
With an open border, we have no idea who is entering the United States. We have a new terrorist organization that is like Al Qaeda on steroids, who has told us that they want to drown us in our own blood, and Obama has done nothing to secure our southern border. This open border also aids the sex traffickers, and the drug cartels. Additionally, there is great evidence to support the notion that illegal immigrants are a drain on our economy. Because most illegal immigrants are low-skill workers, most of them are availing themselves of various types of welfare. They are taking the jobs of American citizens, and returning after being deported.
There are legitimate reasons why conservatives don’t want amnesty, not the least of which is the rewarding of law breakers. The left wants Americans to believe that amnesty is the only humanitarian course of action, that an open border is the right thing to do. This is, of course, ludicrous. They want to make it look like conservatives are racists, who simply hate anyone who is not white. That way, they can delegitimize the conservative argument, and avoid an actual debate.
Once again, this behavior has to do with keeping votes. The left has a hold on the Latino demographic, and so long as they make conservatives look like anti-immigrant racists, they will continue to keep that vote.
These straw men are absolutely ridiculous, but many Americans fall for them on a daily basis. Educate your liberal friends. Don’t let them use straw men.