Democrats and the media frequently portray the GOP as anti-immigrant. Don’t fall for it.
A straw man fallacy is a type of argumentative fallacy in which a person’s position is distorted to the benefit of their opponent. According to Nizkor, “a straw man fallacy is committed when a person simply ignores a person’s actual position and substitutes a distorted, exaggerated or misrepresented version of that position.”
Straw men offer people a way out of an argument that they believe they cannot win with facts, and reason. Straw men are designed to imitate closely the opposition’s argument, but distort it just enough to make it dramatically easier to defeat.
The left makes frequent use of logical argumentative fallacies, but the straw man is one that is particularly well-tread, specifically with regard to illegal immigration. You will frequently hear Democrats calling conservatives “anti-immigration,” which usually rolls right into a self-righteous diatribe about how this country was built by immigrants. If you believed Democrats who make this argument, you would come out thinking that conservatives are awful human beings. They hate immigrants? How can they be anti-immigrant? That doesn’t make any sense!
Once again, this old chestnut is being trotted out by a Democrat. According to The Portland Tribune:
“U.S. Rep. Kurt Schrader says the current debate on federal immigration policy is ‘the civil rights battle for the younger generation’…”
The Portland Tribune goes on to note that during a speech at a community college for an Immigration Action Day, Rep. Schrader made a dubious claim, comparing illegal immigrant “rights” to those of blacks during the civil rights movement:
“They, too, had a different background — different ethnicity, different race — and yet they had rights to participate in this country of ours that had been denied them…This is what is at stake now for a lot of you and your families. I feel a kinship and a need to support all people who had an opportunity to come to this great country.”
Democrats salivate over the prospect of comparing illegal immigrants to blacks during the civil rights movement. Hold that idea in front of them, and they slobber like starving dogs because it’s such an easy emotional argument. Tie anything in the world to civil rights, and you’ll get easily-manipulated people listening, and siding with you. It’s another fallacy, called an “appeal to emotion,” in which a speaker uses strong emotional associations to control his listeners. With a lack of evidentiary, or reasoned foundation, emotional appeal is all that’s left. Combine emotional appeal with a straw man, and you have a winning combination.
But here’s the thing. All it takes is one little fact, and this straw man is burned to the ground. Blacks fought for civil rights they were denied because they were citizens of the United States. Illegal immigrants are—you guessed it—not American citizens. As such, the argument that these two situations are comparable is nonsense. But powerful nonsense.
Simply look to the words Rep. Schrader uses: “rights,” “denied them,” “at stake,” “kinship,” “opportunity,” and the clincher “civil rights battle.” He is whipping up powerful feelings, then telling his listeners that those who came here illegally are fighting a battle as important as black civil rights.
Although this particular straw man/appeal to emotion combo is being used by Rep. Schrader to convince vapid 18-22 year-olds that illegals are just as American as baseball, and apple pie, it’s about much more than that. It’s about our trust, and where it is placed.
The distortion of the position conservatives hold regarding illegal immigration has a domino effect, leading people who fall for the distortion to hold a grudge against conservatives, based solely on a deliberate misconception. Stirring feelings, and making straw man arguments about one issue causes people to distrust all conservative positions, and thus close their minds—whichh is exactly what the left wants.
The Left wants an army of mush-brained followers, filled to the gills with undirected anger, and “feels” to vote for them in the next election. It’s all about creating an environment where trust in reasoned policy is denigrated, and trust in utopian nonsense is built. They preach this asinine philosophy to young people because they are impressionable, and thus easily manipulated. As those young people become adults, they are fully indoctrinated Democrats, impervious to logic.
Counter this argument—and all arguments like it—anywhere you can, because if we don’t, we won’t be taking our country back, but simply managing its decline.