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Logical Fallacies

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 example, the ban on partial birth abortion. It's a brutal practice. People from both political parties came together in the halls of Congress and voted overwhelmingly to ban that practice My opponent, in that he's out of the mainstream, voted against that law" (3rd Debate). In this response, Bush is clearly substituting an appeal to the popularity of his position instead of an argument of the position's merit.

Perhaps the most common of all fallacies is known as the Red Herring. The name comes from fox hunting, when hunters would drag dried, smoked herring (which is red) across the fox's trail in order to throw the hounds off the scent. In logical arguments, a red herring argument distracts the audience from the issue being discussed by introducing an argument which is completely irrelevant. Red herrings are often used by politicians in debates when there is an explicit topic that is easy to lose track of. It also applies


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Logical Fallacies. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 02:51, August 18, 2017, from
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