As much as I hate Donald Trump, I was elated when he compared George Washington to Robert E. Lee. How would the corporate media respond?
"It's a ridiculous conflation," said Professor Alice Fahs of the University of California, Irvine. "He's not a founding father, and it's as though Trump thinks he is. It's really astonishing. It's amazing."
Though I haven't followed this story in any detail, I never had the sense that Trump was casting Robert E. Lee as a founding father. He simply made a valid comparison; Robert E. Lee and George Washington were both slave owners.
One could argue that we could solve the problem by treating Robert E. Lee with respect. Or we could tear down statues of George Washington.
In the meantime, what kind of fallacy are the "scholars" perpetrating here?
Wow, this has turned into an interesting question. I did some more independent research, then found a forum specializing in fallacies. So I posted my question there, and the consensus is that this is "a classic strawman fallacy."
If Trump never said they were both founding fathers and then the media saying that was the issue Trump was implying...I think that is a straw man.
I am assuming here that Trump never said anything about Lee being a founding father. In this case, it is a classic strawman because Professor Alice Fahs is responding to an argument Trump never made.
But there are likely two or more fallacies at work here...
Alice Fahs is accusing Trump of false analogy, Fahs commits fallacy of special pleading in his response. . . . He's essentially saying Washington gets a pass from owning slaves since he's a founding father and Lee isn't.
Trump [could be] implying a 'slippery slope' because Lee had similar things in common with Washington. Therefore tearing down one guys statue means that the "mob" will eventually get to Washington...thats a slippery slope fallacy i believe.
Again, I'm not a Donald Trump fan. This incident simply reminds me of his "fake news" comments. I was focusing attention on the slave owner on Washington State's flag long before Trump, and Trump is dead on when he dismisses the media as fake news. Of course, Trump should know - he's a willing participant in the media's games.
At any rate, this has been a very educational thread. There are some good comments below.