What is Logic?  Logic is a specific tool that, when utilized correctly, will help you analyze political statements, policy items, economics, history, etc.  It is the basis for analytical thought and a great aid for those seeking clarity.

The basic component of logic is the statement.  A statement is a complete sentence and must be true.  An easy way to determine if a line in an argument is a statement is if you can add the words, ”it is true that” to the front of the sentence.  In each of the three arguments below, the first two lines are statements.  For an argument to be logical all the statements must be true and the conclusion must follow from the statements.  Here are a couple of exercises showing how Logic works.

Pick the argument that results in a logical conclusion:


  • All politicians are liars.
  • He is a politician.
  • Therefore he is a liar.


  • All politicians are liars.
  • He is a liar.
  • Therefore he is a politician.


  • Only politicians are liars.
  • He is a politician.
  • Therefore he is a liar.

Though all three statements have nearly identical language and similar conclusions only one of them is logical.  Mastering this distinction is the fundamental purpose of logic.  It helps us make sense out of the bombardment of conflicting ideas and statements we receive daily.

ARGUMENT #1 is logical because the two statements are true and the conclusion follows from the statements.  Keep in mind that some lies told by politicians are to protect intelligence officers, sensitive missions, secret military programs, etc.

ARGUMENT #2 is not logical because the conclusion is refuted by information not included in the statements.  For instance, the liar may be a lawyer or an athlete on steroids.

ARGUMENT #3 is not logical because the initial statement is false.

Seems easy enough.  Now we’ll test your logic skills a little more.  Below are photos of two items with a series of statements about each item.

An orange


  • This fruit is an orange.
  • The color orange got its name from the color of the fruit.
  • Juice from oranges make a nice beverage.
  • This orange is a sphere.


Lamborghini Gallardo


  • This Lamborghini is an exotic sports car.
  • The car is very fast and handles well.
  • This Lamborghini has an orange colored paint job.
  • This car can make fat, old, bald men attractive.

Now pick the logical conclusion derived from the statements above:

A:  The orange and the Lamborghini are both fast.
B:  The Lamborghini makes the orange attractive.
C:  The fruit and the Lamborghini are similar in color.
D:  The tires on the Lamborghini are round.

If you chose answer “C” you are correct.  There are four statements per item but the only common statements deal with color.  The other statements were distractions and not useful when comparing these two items.

Now lets look at some common logical fallacies to see how politicians try to trip us up.


Fallacies are mistakes in reasoning.  We briefly discussed this when describing the logical errors in ARGUMENTS #2 & #3 above.

Fallacies fall into four basic types:

Fallacies of inconsistency – a statement is inconsistent or self-defeating. “Politicians can’t help lying because they are politicians” is a self-defeating statement.

Fallacies of inappropriate presumption – an assumption is not reasonable. “Only Politicians are liars” is not a reasonable assumption because it limits the group of liars to an unreasonably small group.

Fallacies of relevance – a statement is not relevant or relevant information is not included. “Politicians lie because they have false teeth” is not a relevant observation.  Conclusions A, B, & D above fall into this category.

Fallacies of insufficiency – the statement has weak or insufficient evidence.  “Politicians wouldn’t lie because they are considerate people” is a weak statement that does not cover all the possible reasons a politician would have for lying.

Logic is not difficult but it can be tricky.  One reason it is tricky is because many folks mistake intuition, personal values, belief systems, and/or biases for logic.  Politicians know that most folks are not armed with the tools to analyze their statements and policy suggestions, and believe us, they take advantage of this.

A favorite trick of politicians is to use “False Logical” arguments to deceive the audience.  All “False Logical” arguments have fallacies.  Click this link to view a list of the most common “False Logical” arguments and examples of their use.