Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The Structure of Street Logic

Freddie, if I recall correctly, the racist complaint arose in the following context. McCain made a criticism of Obama’s position; Obama responded that ‘they’re going to criticize me for not looking like the presidents on the dollar bill.’ It went on further as you suggested. This exchange was something like the recent exchange where McCain said Obama had said the surge was wrong, had voted against funding it, now recognizes violence is down (implication: it succeeded) but still won’t recognize the error. Obama responded that ‘it’s improper to question his patriotism.’

In my practice experience ‘street’ logic or argument goes as follows:

I. ‘I like you and sure wouldn’t want to see aggression (which would be detrimental to you) happen.’

II. ‘My arguments a1, a2, a3 lead to my desired result b.’

III. ‘Not b however will result in the aggression referred to in I above.’

IV. ‘So grant me b and we’ll allow that it was due to the sequence of a arguments above.’

This is the formal structure of what Obama has been telling us and McCain.

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