Obama, Trump and the “He Had to Do Something” Fallacy

By Doug Newman – email me here.
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If you would like to post this elsewhere, please just link to this URL, as I update my articles somewhat frequently. Thanks!

I am not a professional logician. However, I want to expose a very dangerous fallacy: the “he had to do something” or HHTDS fallacy.

It goes something like this.

  • There is a problem.
  • ______ had to do something.
  • X is something.
  • ______ had to do X.
  • Supporters of ______ are in total denial of X’s disastrous real world implications.

Healthcare costs had been skyrocketing for several decades. Somebody had to do something! Obamacare is something. Obama, according to the HHTDS fallacy, had to enact Obamacare. And now his supporters are in total denial of the truly disastrous real world implications of Obamacare.


Credit: Wikipedia

Enter Donald Trump, who launched his presidential candidacy promising to build a wall along the Mexican border to keep illegal aliens out as they are causing all sorts of problems. Somebody has to do something! Trump’s proposed border wall is something. Trump, according to the HHTDS fallacy, has to build a border wall.

Supporters of said wall are in total denial about what such a wall would mean in the real world. Such a wall could easily be used to keep Americans from leaving. And if Trump would build a wall on the Mexican border, why wouldn’t he also build a wall on the Canadian border? I mean, he also wants to scare the bejeebers out of us all about Muslim immigration. Such a wall could, just like its counterpart on the Mexican border, be used to keep Americans from leaving.

And Trump is also proposing mass roundups and deportations of illegals. Somebody has to do something! Mass roundups and deportations are something. So, according to the HHTDS fallacy, let’s start rounding’em up and shipping’em back on the afternoon of January 20, 2017! And let’s not bother with due process for those being rounded up! Never mind the fact that this would, in the real world, create an unprecedented police state.

Oh sure, Trump’s plans could end illegal immigration. But at what cost? North Korea has the most fortified borders on earth and they have no immigration problem. Would you want to live there?

Trump, like any demagogue, is pandering to our basest fears in order to implement a totalitarian agenda. America has more immigrants, Muslims and guns than ever and violent crime rates are down by almost half since 1995. Moreover, there is no indication that immigrants have a higher crime rate than native-born Americans.

The Constitution does not contain the word immigration. Hence, Uncle Sam has no power to regulate it. Naturalization – i.e. deciding who can become a citizen – is an enumerated power, but is not the same thing as immigration.

America had no immigration laws until the early 1880s. And the first immigration laws were not pointed at Muslims or Mexicans, but rather at Chinese. America also had no welfare state, bilingualism or political correctness.

Immigrants who came here had to either sink or swim. They had to work, learn English and assimilate into the culture. When tough times hit, charitable help was available through churches, synagogues and other local organizations. It was these same organizations that assumed the responsibility of teaching English.

Were things perfect? Certainly not! They never were. Conservatives love to extol the virtues of faith, family, personal responsibility and free markets … until they want to scare us into accepting one of their “solutions”.

Libertarians support approaches as opposed to solutions. We know that utopia is not an option. And while minimal government and maximum personal liberty will not bring about the best imaginable society, they will bring about the best possible society.

Trump’s immigration and deportation plans are just as utopian and fraught with peril as Obamacare, gun control or anything else coming from the left. In the end, they will not solve any problems, and they will inevitably create far greater problems than we face now.

And yes, I hear the train a-coming … but he’s not Hillary.

Having your right thumb in a vise grip is just as excruciating as having your left thumb in a vise grip.

About Food for the Thinkers

My name is Doug Newman. I live in Aurora, Colorado, just outside Denver. Food for the Thinkers is mostly about the connection between Christianity and libertarianism. Most Christians do not understand libertarianism. And most libertarians do not understand Christianity. Hopefully, this blog helps clear up those misunderstanding. Check out my old page at www.thefot.us And remember: When you let people do whatever they want, you get Woodstock. But when you let governments do whatever they want, you get Auschwitz.
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1 Response to Obama, Trump and the “He Had to Do Something” Fallacy

  1. Angel Fish says:

    Reblogged this on Angel Fish Blog.

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