Friday, April 25, 2008

Guilt by Association

As I have watched the political campaigning, I had almost convinced myself that it could not get any lower. I can certainly see how people in other countries, watching the our political shenanigans, could easily be led to believe that all Americans are sleaze-balls, unfit to associate with other civilized tribes. But, recent events now convince me that yes, it can get lower.

Politicians have rediscovered the concept of “guilt by association.” If you know someone who turns out to be a crook, then you too are guilty. The fact that you might not have known of his/her illegal actions, and that you thoroughly disapprove of those actions makes no difference.

The Republican Party here in North Carolina have invented a new and sinister twist to this concept. They will put this on the air in a TV ad. So far as I can understand, their (the Republicans) rather distorted logic is as follows:

Barack Obama attended a church in Chicago where the Pastor preached inflammatory sermons.

Because Obama attended that church and knew the Pastor (guilt by association) therefore he must agree with that Pastor.

Obama is a Democrat.

There are two candidates in the primary election for the office of Governor in North Carolina.

These two candidates are Democrats.

Therefore, they must also be guilty of something (guilt by association). Are they also to be accused of agreeing with that Pastor, whom they never met or never heard? Apparently so!

When I was in college, I took a course in Logic. Examples of this kind of reasoning were shown, always to great ridicule.

The Republican Party plan to start running this TV ad next week. John McCain, the presumed Republican candidate for President, has told them not to run it! The state party nabobs refuse. They say, with great pomposity, that these facts need to be before the public. BALDERDASH! What they will do is make any voter like myself say “You people are total idiots, and I wouldn’t vote for any Republican candidate in the general election, whether for the office of dog-catcher up to President.”

Like I said, the tactics can get lower, and probably will.

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