Via Real Clear Politics, I found this op-ed from Joe Trippi. He opens with a sincere anecdote about being diagnosed with diabetes (but why he excerpts the quote from his book like it’s by someone else, I have no idea).
He then writes:
I’m not alone. 23.6 million Americans suffer from diabetes. And, for all of us, Monday was an important–and emotional–day. President Barack Obama signed an executive order lifting the nation’s ban on funding research on new embryonic stem cell lines. With it, there is new hope for millions of diabetes sufferers, including me, as well as millions more suffering from other debilitating diseases.
Really? Really? It was emotional for all of you? Every single one? Are there no ardent-pro-lifer diabetes sufferers? Is there no such thing as a diabetic Catholic priest? Did Trippi have a giant conference call?
The plain meaning of this is that all 23.6 million diabetes sufferers agree with Barack Obama’s stem-cell policy. I don’t need a poll to know this is incandescently stupid. And arrogant. And dishonest.
I mean, I shouldn’t have to point out that American diabetes sufferers did not unanimously vote for Joe Trippi to speak for them on biomedical ethics. I would bet large dollars he didn’t even bother to look for a poll or some other evidence to support that claim. He just said it because, golly, it just must be true.
I don’t mean to single out Trippi. This is a very common form of argumentation in America. X number of people suffer from, or are victimized by, Y. Activists support Z policy to deal with Y. Therefore all X number of Americans agree with the activists about Z.
But Trippi’s glib assumption is a particularly egregious example.