Refuting arguments in favor of Marcos Jr.
In an effort to understand the arguments of those who support Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., I joined about a dozen pro-Marcos Jr. groups on Facebook and asked their members this question:
“Why is Bongbong Marcos the best choice for president for you and why should people vote for him?”
These groups have tens of thousands of members but only a few responded. They offered a couple of arguments for why Marcos Jr. is the best choice for them: 1) Marcos Jr. desires unity; 2) We as a people will rise again because of this unity; 3) He has a good heart; 4) Don’t look at his name, but look at his platforms; 5) All Vice President Leni Robredo does is malign or smear others. Therefore, Marcos Jr. is the best choice for president.
Point 1 (P1) has a vague term. “Unity” is not clearly defined. P2’s terms are also unclear. What’s “rise again”? P3 is a statement of value. It merely expresses an opinion. P4 is not really a premise because it’s an imperative sentence rather than a declarative sentence (and premises are declarative sentences), so it can neither be true nor false. P5 is indeed a premise, but a false one. It’s clearly not true that “all Leni does is malign people.”
The above argument suffers from unclear terms and false premises (one is not a premise at all). But even if the premises were true, the conclusion that “Marcos Jr. is the best choice for president” doesn’t follow logically from them.
Another argument looks like this: 1) Marcos Jr. is smart; 2) He respects others; 3) He has a heart for the country; 4) He has a good platform; 5) He makes sense when he speaks; 6) He is helpful and responds right away to those in need; 7) I don’t like people who are “yellow”; 8) Above all, he has good characteristics. Therefore, Marcos Jr. is the best choice for president.
In P1, we can ask, “How do you know he’s smart? And even if he’s smart, how does it support the conclusion that he’s the best choice for president? Aren’t the other presidential candidates also smart and don’t they have similar, if not better, credentials?”
In P2, we can ask, “What about the trolls, fake news, and disinformation campaigns aimed at his political rivals, especially Robredo, which benefitted him?”
P3 has unclear terms. It’s also a statement of value, so it merely expresses an opinion.
In P4, we can again ask, “What are his platforms, and which ones are good?” It’s especially challenging to have a cohesive understanding of Marcos Jr.’s platforms since he has repeatedly refused to attend the public debates organized by the Commission on Elections and mainstream media outlets.
P5 has unclear terms. It may be true that he makes sense when he speaks or that he’s sensible when he talks, but how does that support the conclusion of the argument?
In P6, we can ask, “Can you give examples of when he responded right away to those in need? And what bearing does this premise have on the conclusion?”
In P7, the person is merely expressing a personal preference. It may be true for him but that’s a statement of value. He is not making an objective claim about something. It’s similar to saying “I don’t like pineapple on my pizza.”
In P8, we can ask, “How do you know he has good characteristics?”
Both arguments have a combination of ambiguous terms and false premises. Additionally, the conclusion doesn’t follow the premises even if they were true. It also commits a non-sequitur fallacy and is therefore not a good argument.
So both of the arguments are not good. I haven’t yet seen a good argument in favor of the claim that Marcos Jr. is the best choice for president, and it’s doubtful whether we’ll ever see one.
DANTE CUALES JR.
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