Saturday, November 26, 2011

Ad Hominem Recall

I have talked to more than a few folks eager to recall Governor Walker. Invariably there is an intense personal loathing of the man. He is arrogant, he is condescending, he is power hungry etc... Some of these same folks will acknowledge that the cost of government employment was such that something at some point needed to be done. They want to recall him, it seems, primarily because of the manner in which he did what he did.

I will admit that I haven't spent much time listening to or observing Governor Walker, and that I generally like his policies, but what I have seen of him would not cause me to dislike him personally. He presents as a low key and reasonable person to me.

My own theory is that, upon scrutiny, Walker's signature policy move of limiting government union power was far from draconian, even for those directly affected. Thus, the emphasis for recall proponents needs to be on Walker's personal attributes, and any negative qualities must be relentlessly exaggerated or fabricated.

I don't think this recall will be successful as a result of such a week argument in its favor.

And one further point. Opponents of President Obama who frame their argument mostly in personal terms are often considered racists by the left. Indeed, the personal or ad hominem argument is rightfully considered one of the weakest forms of persuasion. Yet this is the primary method used by the recall folks. And they get away with it with little criticism.


GearHead said...

Good point. We don't call it Walker Derangement Syndrom for nothing. Maybe you've noticed how the professional union-backed protest crowd is now carrying signs featuring sub-human caricatures of the Governor. This is in the finest tradition of how WWII Germany depicted Jews to rationalize atrocity, and how the FDR USA depicted the Japanese culture.

You see, once you've crossed the line of decency, it's pretty easy to make it personal. Especially if the crowd is large enough. Proof is kicking off a recall by mobbing his family home. What an act of low class, bereft of any legitimate purpose. Hate and spite may be a motivator, but it is rarely a winning formula. But it does tend to leave a lot of wreckage in its wake. Some never learn. What a pathetic waste of time and resources this whipped-up frenzy brings, as well as the further waste of time and resources having to defend it.

Real Debate said...

He is arrogant, he is condescending, he is power hungry etc...

Sounds like Obama.