Nicholas Kristof, of the NY Times just penned a great example of what is known as the Appeal to Emotion, logical fallacy. A logical fallacy is, in simpler terms, a false and misleading statement.
Trying to pass of false and misleading information is more commonly known as “fake news” and more aptly known as propaganda (information, especially of a biased or misleading nature, used to promote or publicize a particular cause or point of view). By doing so, he not only hurts the reputation of the NY Times by betraying the public trust.
First, Kristof frames his argument in a predicating opinion that he considers the President a liar, though he admits this claim itself uses potentially false logic. That claim is known as an ad-homenim attack, meant to devalue the subject of discussion rather than the rationality of an argument. He wants you to hate before you know why to hate.
In short, Kristof, would like you to believe that because Trump reinstated the Reagan/Bush policy by issuing a Presidential Memorandum Regarding the Mexico City Policy that he is waging a “War on Women” and as a result of this single memorandum, thousands of women around the world will die.
“In fact, this is a “pro-death” approach that actually increases abortions, as well as deaths among women.” ~ Nicholas Kristof, NY Times
Let me be clear about this. He makes a direct connection and appeals on that basis that people should rise up and contact their government in opposition of this policy. What Kristof didn’t want you to do was to read the memorandum yourself because he didn’t provide a link to it, as I did.
The Mexico City Policy is a heavily debated issue going back to 1984. There’s no doubt that it is an emotional issue in part but it’s one thing to have an emotionally charged debate and to make such a unfair appeal to charge someone as being directly responsible for the deaths of others for a decision like this. Mostly because it’s flatly a false argument by only presenting one-side.
So for sake of argument, I will concede that Kristof is right and use his same logic to disprove that Trump is waging a War on Women.
When Trump signed this memorandum he did so to prevent, in part, involuntary sterilization, which is a crime against women committed to deny them the right to have children. By fighting against this memorandum, Kristof fights for involuntary sterilization.
Funding denied to organizations that do not adhere to U.S. Law, which prevents using U.S. aide for the purposes of abortion, can be withheld and then spent on other domestic programs such as Medicaid. Taken one step further, any dollar we spend on foreign aid means less money that can be used to help fight poverty in the US. Poverty is the number one contributor to death and it affects women disproportionately to men.
So by supporting funding of foreign medical services, funds are diverted from potential programs that could help women in the US. So in reality, women will die in either case, whether or not the Mexico City Policy is followed; it really just depends on whether you want to help women who are American or not.
The great rule of conduct for us in regard to foreign nations is, in extending our commercial relations to have with them as little political connection as possible. So far as we have already formed engagements let them be fulfilled with perfect good faith. Here let us stop. ~ George Washington, Farewell Address 1796
Nicholas Kristof, has chosen a side in a war he declared. He would rather help foreign women and let American women die. He would rather support involuntary sterilization alongside abortion than help the poor in his own country. He’s willing to use women like an object as an emotionally deceitful manipulation to support the abortion industry.
If it is a choice between helping American women or foreign women, I believe it is the duty of our government to choose American women first.
I don’t care which side of the abortion issue you stand on but I would hope that you also care honesty and integrity in media. This kind of abuse of power by a journalist hurts all of us, divides us unfairly and makes it harder to have civil, rational conversations. It’s an outright betrayal of the public trust. By demonizing those you disagree with as inhuman killers you do not build bridges, create common ground for compromises or unite us in common goals; it just divides us.
So I encourage you to contact the NY Times and complain about the propaganda and bias of this columnist. Insist that, even in opinion editorials, there be an adherence to rational, critical and logical thinking rather than a dependence on rhetoric and false manipulation.