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Appeal to Pity

A prime example came when he was asked to defend the cost of the Iraq war in terms of American casualties. Bush cited a widow named Missy Johnson, and commented that "you know, it's hard work to try to love her as best as I can, knowing full well that the decision I made caused her loved one to be in harm's way" (1st Debate). This was clearly a fallacious appeal to pity, asking the listeners to substitute emotion for reason.

Another commonly used fallacy is known as the Bandwagon Fallacy. The name comes from the phrase "jump on the bandwagon," which historically was a wagon large enough to hold an entire band of musicians. In the 1800's, political candidates running for office often rode a bandwagon through a town and people would show support for the candidate by climbing aboard the wagon with them. The phrase has become popularized to refer to joining a cause as a result of its popularity. The Bandwagon Fallacy is often committed by politicians today, and it occurs whenever one argues for an idea or position based upon an irrelevant appeal to its popularity instead of its merits (Engel, 1994, pp. 223-225). During the presidential debates, George Bush often resorted to the Bandwagon Fallacy. A prime example of this occurred in the third debate, when George Bush was asked for his stance on abortion. Bush responded by saying: "Take, for examp


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