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Train Yourself to Evaluate Political Rhetoric
by Allan Freedman
In this fall of our discontent, the American electorate is confronted with having to make a crucially important choice between two political philosophies represented by the Democratic and Republican parties and their respective standard-bearers, President Barack Obama and former Governor Mitt Romney.
The choice must be based on as clear an understanding as possible, particularly at a time of danger heightened by global uncertainties where twisted rhetoric presents a surrealistic vision, of where the United States is and where it is going. So, how can one penetrate the spouted pernicious mendacity of deceit, fallacious dogma, and calumny demonstrated in their illogical propositions.
To counteract the propaganda surrounding us today, attention should be given to a DVD and guidebook published by the Teaching Company (Great Courses): Argumentation: The Study of Effective Reasoning, 2nd Edition, taught by Professor David Zarefsky of Northwestern University. It presents in 24 lectures rules of informal logic which can be used in revealing discrepancies in the rhetoric and argumentation of our politicians and to make the reader aware of how he or she can improve their arguments in dealing with others.
> Allan Freedman, Buffalo
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