I'm going to state now that I don't trust any politicians. In the great words of James T. Kirk, "I never trusted them, and I never will." Kerry and Bush are two sides of the same coin, but I definitely believe that Bush is tails.
Last night when I was watching the debates, I was appalled at Bush. And it's not because I'm anti-Bush, it's because I expected more out of him than fallacy after fallacy. This was a debate right? Not "I'm Dubya and this my sandbox". I'm so glad the news station broke the rules and showed his face while Kerry spoke. If you didn't see the mean spirited contempt on his face, then you really missed out. I'm sorry, he looked like a 5 year old that pissed himself. His answers were obviously out of frustration, and I don't believe it's because of the "pressures of the white house". If anything our President faulters under pressure, I don't see how anyone can see him as a "strong leader". It takes strength -not- to go to war, not rush into it. Kerry made some points that even right-wing hard core Republicans cannot refute.
Let's take, for example, the answer to Bush's opening question. Straw Man. Red Herring.
The Straw Man fallacy is committed when a person simply ignores a person's actual position and substitutes a distorted, exaggerated or misrepresented version of that position. This sort of "reasoning" has the following pattern:
1. Person A has position X.
2. Person B presents position Y (which is a distorted version of X).
3. Person B attacks position Y.
4. Therefore X is false/incorrect/flawed.
A Red Herring is a fallacy in which an irrelevant topic is presented in order to divert attention from the original issue. The basic idea is to "win" an argument by leading attention away from the argument and to another topic. This sort of "reasoning" has the following form:
1. Topic A is under discussion.
2. Topic B is introduced under the guise of being relevant to topic A (when topic B is actually not relevant to topic A).
3. Topic A is abandoned.
This sort of "reasoning" is fallacious because merely changing the topic of discussion hardly counts as an argument against a claim.
I was totally amazed by all the Straw Men and other fallacies that he tossed out.
Now Kerry, he'd been pissing me off the last little while by not defending himself and putting his money where his mouth is lately, but he really impressed me over the course of last night. He looked 'stronger' and more determined than Bush did. And the fact that he brought up experience and relevant information to back himself up really showed to me that he knew what he was talking about. I don't support him on everything, I think missile defense is important, but I'm glad -someone- blasted the President on his hypocrisy. Remember it was Dubya that labeled N. Korea, Iraq, et al "The Axis of Evil." Kerry was right when he said we were working to get Osama, but Bush turned his back on the "war on terror" for the "war on Iraq" and I loved out Kerry nailed Dubya with President George Bush Senior's own quote. Bush also offended me slightly when he started talking about the world as if he owned it. Sometimes I think he really does think he owns the world (Such as his telling the Euro Union that they need to bring in Turkey) among other things.
Kerry on the other hand didn't do a very good job supporting his plan for Iraq, but luckily for him, Bush didn't do a very good job nailing him on that. Kerry had a couple of verbal snafu's in there as well, such as "WMD going over the borders". Well considering they are using bombs to kill several people (34 kids recently) then maybe it is true. I think it was a bad word choice. I also think Kerry should focus more on an end to the war and not the continuing "We shouldn't have gone there" rhetoric. I also didn't like the way he stated the global leaders should have a say in how we defend ourselves, or at least, that we shouldn't have to pander to the world for what we do.
Overall though, it seemed to me that Kerry presented facts and experience, Bush presented opinion. Kerry looked to the future, Bush defended himself. And when people defend themselves to that extent, they're unsure of themselves. Trust me on that. It looked like Bush was confused and flustered to the point that the only retort he could make is "That won't work". Well why not Mr Master Debater President? No backup bad for debates (Just ask Kerry, he knows).
Now let's talk about flip flopping, and I am amazed that people have forgotten how our own Pres is just as bad as a flip flopper as Kerry. Kerry didn't support the giving extra money to the troops -because- it would have come out of the already tax-stressed middle class to pay for it. Where's the money coming from people? As Dubya keeps saying "Who is going to fund it?"
But here, if you don't believe me, some of Bush's own flip flops, I think they're far more detrimental than Kerry's. Look these up if you don't believe me.
I'll post them in a reply since LJ won't let me post such a huge-ass list to the journal.