Appeal to Fear
Last week I received an email from a coworker. The email was titled "just before the pain begins". What followed was about 15 images of people about to get themselves seriously hurt. The first was a cyclist who had just wrecked and his right arm and shoulder were a few inches away from getting run over by a car. Another was a BMX biker about 30 feet in the air and so far away from his bike that there was no way he could use it to land. There are a few pictures of folks running with the bulls and one of a broken bat just making contact with a spectator's jaw. All of the images made me wince with pain. Now, those were the set up shots. The last image was of one of the current presidential candidates standing in front of the US Capitol. That's it. The stated premise of all these pictures is that each one was taken "just before the pain begins". The viewer is left to draw a correlation between the previous painful images and this rather mundane image and come out believing that this too will result in pain.
You know I recognize that it was meant as a joke. And if it were not the status quo for political dialog I would have probably thought it was funny too. Unfortunately so few people have any desire to participate in fact-based logical discussions on issues that really matter.
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