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On Non-Citizens Voting

- by Cicero

Last night, on one of the many news shows, there was a person advocating for giving illegal immigrants in the US the right to vote in US elections. It was very wordy, but the essence of the argument gives an example of a false analogy. A "false analogy" is the same as the American expression, "comparing apples with oranges." Whether you agree with her political position or not, she committed a formal fallacy in logic. Both the Left and the Right tend to cast formal logic to the wind, and that is part of the reason for the tension in the US and the inability of its society to come to a common mind on important matters.

In one part of the argument the guest argued that illegal immigrants in the US have the right to vote in US elections because when they buy things here they pay taxes, and American culture claims their should be "no taxation without representation." There are better arguments for her claim, but this is why this part of her argument commits the fallacy of a false analogy:

"Taxation without representation," was the slogan of people lawfully subject to King George ("citizens") who were being targeted with excessive taxes and who were not allowed to have any representation in parliament, even though they were law-abiding subjects of the king and were settling land under the sovereignty of the King (i.e. they were NOT immigrants). It is a lie by implication that the phrase ever applied to illegal immigrants being able to vote. The US takes away the right to vote even from natural-born citizens for breaking certain laws - how much more just is it to bar from voting non-citizens who have broken certain laws?

Fallacies such as these contribute to the tension and division in the US today, because they are not good-faith efforts to persuade people of the other side. Most of the people on these short news segments are not able or willing to persuade others; they love scoring points with those who think like them already more than they love civic harmony.

Who is disrupting Western nations around the globe simultaneously and in the same way? Who is benefiting by keeping us at each other's throats? A word to the wise; open your eyes.

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