Daily Archives: March 5, 2021


Assumptio (as-sump’-ti’o): The introduction of a point to be considered, especially an extraneous argument.

See proslepsis (When paralipsis [stating and drawing attention to something in the very act of pretending to pass it over] is taken to its extreme. The speaker provides full details.).

I’m not going to talk about the killing, the wanton destruction of government property, and basically, the display of anti-democratic abandonment by the Capitol’s invaders. Their numbers and their concerted common cause demand that we find the roots of their solidarity and cut them off as soon as humanly possible.

But all this goes without saying. What really matters is the public discourse that captured their minds and turned them away from democracy’s demand for reasonable and respectful deliberation. Evidently, they were motivated by baseless (lying) repetitive assertions that the elections were rigged, and by a three-word slogan: “Stop the Steal!” On this basis, eschewing reason and evidence, they did what they did—they stormed the Capitol with malice in their hearts.

What we need now, most importantly, is to set up a commission to discover how and why the invaders were prompted by baseless assertions and an accompanying three-word slogan—discourses that may rightfully influence children, but should not influence educated adults. We need to understand this new ‘means of persuasion’ and put groundless assertions and their accompanying slogans back where they belong: in a barrel marked “TOXIC WASTE”, not for their substantive claims, but for their failure to abide by norms of deliberation that constitute informed viewpoints across Democracy’s diverse spectrum of belief. Somehow we must sanction foundational lies and their destructive purveyors. This is an emergency.

Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (rhetoric.byu.edu).

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