Persuasive Essay

by Tom Reinert, June 2014

900 words

3 pages


Modern mass media is full of biased and flawed information. Speeches and articles of public figures in general and politicians in particular are especially prone to be based on controversial assumptions and weak arguments. Even without checking the initial facts and figures one can use common sense and search for typical logical fallacies in order to identify to what extent the author can be trusted (Geisler and Brooks 25). Present paper will analyze presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s article, in which he criticize President Obama’s healthcare reform. The list of logical fallacies in his article is impressive: appeal to authority, composition, straw man, non sequitur.

Romney fiercely attacks healthcare reform, without saying about the subject of the reform even a word. He does not critically analyze the reform point by point. Rather, he generalizes and makes unrelated conclusions. For instance, listing the reasons behind his opposition to healthcare reform he writes: “we need is a free market, federalist approach to making quality, affordable health insurance available to every American”, as if the reform is working against all those things.

By doing that, Romney creates a straw man which he readily criticizes (Gula 86). Throughout the whole body of the article, he regularly suffers from this fallacy: he assumes that the reform is against competition, inflexible, and reduces consumer choice, he states that the reform entails underfunding of Medicare, etc. At the same time, he never provides links of these clearly negative features to the reform.

In the next paragraph Romney says that current tax code “discriminates against individuals who want to buy insurance on their own” by offering “a subsidy for employers who purchase health insurance for their employees”. Therefore, he connects discrimination to the subsidy which is basically not true, at least, without providing more specificities of why subsidy is discriminative. In other words, these two issues are not connected and Romney’s statement has a “non sequitur” fallacy, i.e. the discrimination against those buying insurance does not follow from the fact that the tax code has a subsidy for insurance-providing employers.

Romney also uses faulty emotional appeal and hasty generalization (Wheeler 3), when writing “we already know that it is bad policy and wrong for America”. He does not provide sound arguments for these statements. Rather he generalizes that the reform is “just bad”. He urges that the reform increases the federal influence, which he also assumes as “bad” without providing any proof. Moreover, he states that Obama’s reform is “bureaucratic”, while his proposition will be free from bureaucracy. However, practically any successful policy initiative will require administration, and Romney’s proposition will also imply certain bureaucracy involvement.

When proposing his solution to the healthcare problem, Romney appeals to 10th Amendment to the Constitution, which delegates powers to the states. But he did not particularly mention whether healthcare policy is implied to be delegated to the state government, which means that it can easily be delegated to the United States. In fact, 10th Amendment to the Constitution hardly has anything to do with the …

Download will start in 20 seconds


Note that all papers are meant for inspiration and reference purposes only! Do not copy papers in full or in part. Papers are provided by other students, who hold the copyright for the content of those papers. All papers were submitted to TurnItIn and will show up as plagiarism if you try to submit any part of them as your own work. Assignment Lab can not guarantee the quality of the user generated content such as sample papers above.