By Daniel Rigney
In elementary logic, the syllogism commonly assumes the form:All A’s are B.
All B’s are C.
Therefore, all A’s are C.
Aristotle inspired this classic example:
All men are mortal.
Socrates is a man.
Therefore, Socrates is mortal.
Shakespeare’s Puck took the next logical step:
All mortals are fools.
Socrates is mortal.
Therefore, Socrates is a fool.
… to which Socrates responded posthumously,
This I know:
That Puck knows nothing.
But we don’t have to exhume the classics to dig up classic examples of the syllogism. Some are hiding in plain search.
Thus, for example:
“All politics is local.” (Tip O'Neill)
“Local is loco.” (Jim Hightower)
Therefore, “All politics is loco.” (Psychology Today)
Thank you, sir. I’ll have another.
“All Jokes are offensive.” (plancksconstant.org.)
“Trump is a joke.” (The Guardian)
Therefore, “Trump is offensive.” (Las Vegas Sun)
Thanks you, sir. I’ll have another.
Rove, Coulter, Limbaugh and NewsFox are “top conservatives.” (topconservativesontwitter.net)
Conservatives lost the election. (John Leonard, salon.com)
Therefore, top “conservatives are losers.” (Jillian Rayfield, salon.com)
Maybe just one more:
“History is the set of lies agreed upon.” (Napoleon Bonaparte)
It is now widely agreed that "the Tea Party lies.” (Rachel Maddow)
Therefore, “the Tea Party is history.” (E.J. Dionne)
The argumentation is tight and compelling. It’s all here: the rhetoric of logic and the logic of rhetoric, the cherry-picked documentation, the misleading quotations liberated from their confining contexts.
Rebuttal is futile.
Give it up, NewsFox. In 2012, you’ve been beaten at your own game. OutFoxed, as it were.