Military coups and personal incredulity

Published: 4/8/2021 9:06:27 AM

So riddled with errors and misrepresentations is John P. O’Rourke’s latest My Turn column “Sixty days” that it would require two such columns to fully correct. Three hundred words is certainly not enough, but it is enough to address a couple of points that stuck out to me.

First, I find it concerning that Mr. O’Rourke claims “the enemy is inside the wire. I hope our military acts soon.” His statement leaves little room for interpretation; the most logical conclusion is that Mr. O’Rourke wishes for a fascistic military coup to overthrow the (legitimately elected, as hard as that is for him to comprehend) government of the United States of America, an act which would spark a civil war. If I were to be as charitable as is humanly possible, I would say Mr. O’Rourke is unaware of the implications of his own wishes, and I would strongly encourage him to reconsider his position on the matter.

I’ll finish on a somewhat lighter note with my second point. Mr. O’Rourke asserts elsewhere that “since I certainly do not believe there are [80 million registered voters who would vote for Joe Biden], I have to believe ... that there was massive election fraud.” This is a logical fallacy known as an “argument from personal incredulity,” in which a person asserts that a statement must be false because they find it difficult to comprehend, or because it contradicts their own beliefs — in this case, both.

Imagine, if you will, being so incapable of recognizing how unpopular your candidate was, and so unwilling to accept the evidence presented to you, that you conclude that the most closely observed presidential election in the history of the United States of America was rigged. Embarrassing, Mr. O’Rourke.

Benny Coan-Nixon



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