Mitt Logic

Mitt Romney let slip another gem today, to which a quick application of some rudimentary logic yields a whopper of a conclusion.  The simplest logical structure is your basic syllogism. Every overalls-wearing hillbilly knows what a syllogism is, but for any guests who aren’t overalls-wearing hillbillies like us, some explanation may be needed.   A syllogism gives you two statements called premises.  If the two premises are accepted as true, then the third statement, called the conclusion, must also be true.  Here is what a syllogism looks like:

………Premise:  All men are mortal.

………Premise:  Socrates is a man.

………Conclusion:  Therefore, Socrates is mortal.

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What Romney told CNN today is this:  “By the way, I’m in this race because I care about Americans.  I am not concerned about the very poor”.   Now, we have to be very careful not to misinterpret what Romney said, but everyone will agree that  care about and concerned about mean pretty much the same thing.  We can, can’t we,  interchange these two terms without doing damage to Romney’s meaning?  With the equivalence of terminology established, we find two premises of a syllogism  in what Romney said:

………Premise:  I care about Americans.

………Premise:  I do not care about the very poor.

Therefore what?  The conclusion should be obvious to all, whether they are wearing overalls or not.

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Therefore, the very poor are not Americans.

We need to say for the record that Mitt Romney is a very decent person.  He would never come right out and say, even to himself, that poor people aren’t Americans.  And yet, the fact that his brain could string two such premises together  forces one to think that he really must believe it unconsciously.  They aren’t really Americans.  Not really.  The very poor are so far removed from the kind of folks Romney knows as his fellow Americans that they are a class apart.  They are foreign to his experience.  They are truly other.  And so they simply aren’t on his radar as a group meriting  focus and concern.  It’s Americans that he cares about instead.

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This was no one-off slip of the tongue.  Romney routinely goes off script and lets these beauties fly.  He likes to fire people.  Corporations are people, too.  Tax policy should only be discussed by our betters in quiet rooms.  And poor people aren’t Americans.  Not really . . . all of which is money in the bank for Democrats this fall.

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