The Fallacy of Personal Attack in Editorial Cartoons

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Student Name Professor Name Course 27 January 2018 The Fallacy of Personal Attack in Editorial Cartoons A fallacy is an idea or argument that is not based on good logic. There are many kinds of fallacies, and they are used very often today. One of the most commonly used fallacies is personal attack which happens when a person's character is attacked instead of the real issue being addressed in a logical argument. This fallacy is also called "argumentum ad hominem," which is Latin for "to the man," because the character of the person making the argument is attacked instead of the actual argument itself (Raley 2008). An individual's character is usually irrelevant to the actual argument, so it is not logical to base an argument on somebody's character or personality. The fallacy of personal attack is used very often by politicians who often defend their views by attacking the character of political opponents. And it can also be found quite frequently in editorial cartoons. Russell Hodin's August 17, 2017 cartoon titled Trump Signals to Base is an example of using the fallacy of personal attack in an editorial cartoon (Hodin, 2017). This cartoon shows a Nazi swastika being projected into the sky from the White House. Racism has long been, and continues to be, a major problem in American society. In this cartoon, the cartoonist does not deal with the topic of racism in general, but intends to, and does, personally attack and label the President as racist, specifically a white supremist or Nazi. While the President has made some comments that can be construed as racist, it has never been proven that he is truly a racist or a member of the white supremist or Nazi

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