Project 2025 by the rhetorical appeals

This is the new version of "Look! Shiny object!" It's now all over Facebook. Here I'm going to try to connect the dots. Anyway, Project 2025. We are supposed to be deeply concerned, once again, about America becoming a theocracy, decades after Reagan put them into power and decades after the publication of Margaret Atwood's Handmaid's Tale.

In your formal educations, were any of you ever asked to discuss the three rhetorical appeals in Aristotle's Rhetoric? So there are three basic appeals, and this is taken from ancient Greek.

Ethos -- the appeal to character. You see this in celebrity advertisements.

Pathos -- the appeal to emotions. They lay this on heavy to get you to donate to charities.

Logos -- the appeal to reasoning. This is like when they tell you in a car ad that the car you're buying gets good mileage.

Well, my Facebook feed is in a panic, now, but it's not because of Joe Biden's mental state. I guess it's not surprising that there would be a "look! Shiny object!" given the dire state of Democratic Party politics right now. At any rate, the Project 2025 obsessives have a real problem with ethos right now. These are the people who did nothing while the Democratic Party forced everyone into lockstep -- through the pre-primaries and the primaries -- to support a President with early-version senile dementia if they didn't want to be personae non grata. That was the time when they all should have attempted to break the power of the Democratic Party. But they didn't do anything, while the team assembled behind Dementia Joe was busy screwing up Ukraine, Gaza, Europe and the United States. That should tell you something about the mental caliber of these people.

The round-up of it is that even if Project 2025 was this big threat to America, you wouldn't trust these people to do anything about it. Most likely what they'll do is to put all of their energies in a Democratic Party campaign that will be designed to lose. They don't even have the character necessary to say the word "dementia."

Moving on to pathos. The obvious emotional appeal of "omigod Project 2025" is that we are supposed to panic about an impending Trump victory which will catapult the Heritage Foundation into power. This brings up the obvious rebuttal to all this: that if the people who designed the Democratic Party's rank-and-file talking points were the least bit worried about an impending Trump victory, they wouldn't have run Joe Biden against him. I say "wouldn't have run" because the decision to stick with Biden until his impending brain death was made at least a year ago, and what you're seeing in the political scene now is the mere enactment of a drama that was planned out far in advance of the event. It would, however, be hilarious if Biden refused to drop out, ever, and if their forthcoming attempts to invoke the 25th Amendment failed too.

Thus the real pathos here, the emotion that I am filled with upon reading Facebook and the news feeds, is pity. I am really, really sorry that the rank-and-file Democrats couldn't have amounted to something more than what they are. These are people who borrow their notions of political organizing from a political party run by people who hold them in contempt, while the Heritage Foundation offers a much more effective model of political organization.

Lastly we have logos, the appeal to reasoning. These are people who, through their actions, have made a Trump victory quite probable. But they don't seem interested in any reasoned-through organizing against Republicanism through, and this is a basic prerequisite, disavowal of the Democratic Party. They certainly haven't announced on Facebook that they're all moving to swing states to flip said states to vote Biden, though it must be admitted that going door-to-door in superheated summer weather to discuss politics with people is probably not an effective approach. The obvious line of reasoning is that we might store a discussion of Project 2025 somewhere on our hard drives, and access it later if it comes up. It's probably not an unimportant topic.

Ultimately, "Look! Shiny object" is not really an effective line of reasoning. What would be effective would be looking at the situation squarely. The opposition to Trump will need a far more effective organizational scaffold than the one it currently has, given that he's in all likelihood going to be President again. I don't expect this organizational scaffold to come from the Democratic Party, much less a bunch of people posting on Facebook.

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these dumbos seem to embrace, but it certainly smells bad.
How about project 2024 for starters?

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Cassiodorus's picture

@QMS 2024 is kind of like these people who clamor for a "two-state solution" without the least notion of how thoroughly Gaza has been cast in ruins. Is this the year in which America realizes that its metaphorical horse has left the metaphorical barn?

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" Don't be in such a hurry to condemn a person because he doesn't do what you do, or think what you think. There was a time when you didn't know what you know today." - Malcolm X

@Cassiodorus
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beneficial for human kind will never be posted on an opinion poll
nor discussed in MSM broadcasts, so I guess the answer is no.
Individually, we can conceive of change in the present.
Group think seems to disallow vaster prospects. Tomorrow is a
fools errand.

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usefewersyllables's picture

@QMS

reduced to “I have more stuff than you, so I rock!”-type thinking. As a rule, we don’t give a flying Philadelphia fuck about dead children, genocide, 2000lb bombs on refugee camps, or any of those things that might disturb someone who is paying attention, or has a conscience.

Instead of a conscience, we Americans have credit cards upon which the banks kindly keep raising the limits (as long as you ignore the 25% interest rates), and big jacked-up diesel pickemup trucks with which to roll coal (as long as you can afford the fuel), and massive firearms (as long as you can afford the ammo), and an utterly unassailable belief that We Are Better Than Anyone Else.

Our politics now perfectly reflect the American zeitgeist, which simply put is “I got mine, so fuck you”. There’s no impetus for our Betters to spend our tax dollars on us, or any human needs anywhere for that matter- because we Americans are clearly perfectly happy with the status quo. They can continue to blithely line their pockets with that sweet MIC cash undisturbedly, while we are busy congratulating ourselves about our exceptionalism.

This will not last. It will be a bit of an uncomfortable adjustment for all concerned, when that inevitably ceases to be true.

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Twice bitten, permanently shy.

Cassiodorus's picture

@usefewersyllables As America swelters in the heat, as Gaza dies, as Israel discovers no way out, and as Ukraine slowly approaches its endgame, the Democrats worry about the forthcoming (they tell us) end of the world with Project 2025 or 666 or something when Trump goes back into the White House. Sorry, Dems, this is on you. Your co-operation made this drama possible. Please squirm some more.

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" Don't be in such a hurry to condemn a person because he doesn't do what you do, or think what you think. There was a time when you didn't know what you know today." - Malcolm X

janis b's picture

@Cassiodorus

includes a sensation of shame. Even though so much behaviour around us is shameful, I am not yet convinced that making one ’squirm’ is a productive strategy? I honestly don't know.

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Cassiodorus's picture

@janis b America wastes opportunity after opportunity to create alternatives to the two-party system. Okay so now the Democratic Party, the receptacle of all of the liberals' hopes and dreams, is running an old narcissist with dementia. He looks really bad. Omigod what will they do? The year they spent pretending it wasn't so is at an end, and in that time they've destroyed an enormous lot of trust and will continue to do so. They could, you know, form a political party they might be able to trust. Or they could join the trustworthy one (the Greens) already in existence. But this isn't 1854, and it appears that Democrats now profess beliefs because they think it will look good on their resumes. Maybe shame would be a good thing.

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" Don't be in such a hurry to condemn a person because he doesn't do what you do, or think what you think. There was a time when you didn't know what you know today." - Malcolm X

janis b's picture

@usefewersyllables

I think the concept of 'keeping up with the Jones’, part of the basis of modern growth in america, is close to its conclusion. It’s always been a controversial aspiration, with mixed results. I think in some ways the concept today has translated into 'just how do we survive?' There’s hardly any middle or balance left anywhere, anymore. The suffering both physically and psychologically is present, to varying degrees, for most. It leaves us all in such a vulnerable place, but still always with options so far.

It makes me appreciate even more the comfort and respect found here. Thank you all.

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Cassiodorus's picture

they seem to be "yeah, this is a think tank, yeah they have some crap ideas, but Trump is pivoting to the center these days. So nobody knows."

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" Don't be in such a hurry to condemn a person because he doesn't do what you do, or think what you think. There was a time when you didn't know what you know today." - Malcolm X

@Cassiodorus
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of course they don't know, think tanks make shit up to align with their ideology.
Some other politician goes to the "center" of what exactly? Left and right mean
nothing anymore as it changes like the weather. Apparently, we are led to believe
something in-between the extremes is better? By virtue of what exactly is beyond
the scope of rational discourse.

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Cassiodorus's picture

@QMS It means he's buttering up billionaires more.

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" Don't be in such a hurry to condemn a person because he doesn't do what you do, or think what you think. There was a time when you didn't know what you know today." - Malcolm X

The Liberal Moonbat's picture

In your formal educations, were any of you ever asked to discuss the three rhetorical appeals in Aristotle's Rhetoric? So there are three basic appeals, and this is taken from ancient Greek.

I recognize those! I got a little bit of that as an undergrad!!!
I thought Ethos was the appeal to morality, though (on the implicit assumption it's somehow separate from reason, but I didn't make the rules).

I've long felt there was at least one missing we get exposed to too much of to ignore:
'Kratos' -- the appeal to force.

Another possible add-on I came up with later:
'Ploutos' -- the appeal to avarice.

Incidentally, PM me if you're interested in hearing some dweeby personal trivia that feels too much like doxx-fodder for me to mention openly!

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In the Land of the Blind, the One-Eyed Man is declared mentally ill for describing colors.

Yes Virginia, there is a Global Banking Conspiracy!

Cassiodorus's picture

@The Liberal Moonbat https://thespeakerlab.com/blog/ethos-in-action-appeals-to-character-and-...

Anyway, I like your other suggestions. My point was that if the DNC was able to corral the nice liberals into shilling for Joe Biden over the past year as against the numerous voices that said "let's have a competitive primary!" -- well, if you were an apologist for the likes of Jaime Harrison, you probably don't have the character to lead the charge against Project 2025.

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" Don't be in such a hurry to condemn a person because he doesn't do what you do, or think what you think. There was a time when you didn't know what you know today." - Malcolm X

The Liberal Moonbat's picture

@Cassiodorus ...who or what (and why) is your new avatar?

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In the Land of the Blind, the One-Eyed Man is declared mentally ill for describing colors.

Yes Virginia, there is a Global Banking Conspiracy!

Cassiodorus's picture

@The Liberal Moonbat Kanan Jarrus was the Jedi knight and tragic hero of Star Wars: Rebels, but he appears briefly at the beginning of Star Wars: The Bad Batch as a scared kid who runs away. The picture is a picture of the scared kid.

He is, in short, a character from the Old Days of a fantasy franchise currently in ruins. The Star Wars of today is a series of Mary Sue stories, and that's when they have discernible plots.

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" Don't be in such a hurry to condemn a person because he doesn't do what you do, or think what you think. There was a time when you didn't know what you know today." - Malcolm X

The Liberal Moonbat's picture

@Cassiodorus

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In the Land of the Blind, the One-Eyed Man is declared mentally ill for describing colors.

Yes Virginia, there is a Global Banking Conspiracy!

Cassiodorus's picture

@The Liberal Moonbat But the most important point is that he survived some really tough times and that at a later point he was able to make a stand for something in which he believed.

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" Don't be in such a hurry to condemn a person because he doesn't do what you do, or think what you think. There was a time when you didn't know what you know today." - Malcolm X