If you ever plan to attack Mike Rowe over Facebook then you better bring more than just a few "smug and snarky" comments to the table because anything less than a well-sourced, reasoned, fact-based argument might just earn you the same public humiliation that Rowe just dropped on Chuck Atkins. Oh, and your grammar better be spot on too.
Unfortunately, Chuck didn't follow any of the guidelines above when he decided to write on Mike Rowe's Facebook thread accusing him of being at "white nationalist" for having the audacity to suggest that a $200,000 college education may not be the 'best' option for all American high school graduates. Apparently Chuck is convinced that helping people get high-paying, stable trade jobs is just racism at it's worst...
In any event, here is what Chuck Atkins made the mistake of posting on Rowe's Facebook page:
"One of the tenants of white nationalism is that college educated people are academic elitests. Comment? No? I'm not surprised. You never take a political stand because you don’t want to alienate anybody. Its bad for business. I get it. But there is a current of anti intellectualism in this country - promoted by Republicans. Those people love you, and they think your initiative is their initiative. Meanwhile, the rest of the world is kickin our ass academically."
Which prompted an epic, multi-page response from Rowe that started out as follows:
Since we’re being candid, allow me to say how much I dislike your post. Everything about it annoys me – your smug and snarky tone, your appalling grammar, your complete lack of evidence to support your claims, and of course, the overarching logical fallacy that informs your entire position. What really bugs me though, is the fact that you’re not entirely wrong. It’s true; I haven’t shared any political opinions this week, in part anyway, because doing so might very well be “bad for business.”
Rowe goes on to beautifully explain how logical fallacies, much like the one presented by Chuck Atkins, are largely to blame for the toxic political climate in the country right now.
You say that White Nationalists believe that everyone who goes to college is an “academic elite.” You then say that Republicans promote “anti-intellectualism.” You offer no proof to support either claim, but it really doesn’t matter – your statements successfully connect two radically different organizations by alleging a shared belief. Thus, White Nationalists and The Republican Party suddenly have something in common – a contempt for higher education. Then, you make it personal. You say that Republicans “love” me because they believe that my initiative and “their” initiative are one and the same. But of course, “their” initiative is now the same initiative as White Nationalists.
Very clever. Without offering a shred of evidence, you’ve implied that Republicans who support mikeroweWORKS do so because they believe I share their disdain for all things “intellectual.” And poof - just like that, Republicans, White Nationalists, and mikeroweWORKS are suddenly conflated, and the next thing you know, I’m off on a press tour to disavow rumors of my troubling association with the Nazis!
Far-fetched? Far from it. That’s how logical fallacies work. A flaw in reasoning or a mistaken belief undermines the logic of a conclusion, often leading to real-world consequences. And right now, logical fallacies are not limited to the warped beliefs of morons with tiki torches, and other morons calling for “more dead cops.” Logical fallacies are everywhere.
As I type this, a Democrat on CNN is making an argument that says, “because Thomas Jefferson owned slaves, those Republicans now opposed to tearing down his memorial are “pro-slavery,” and therefore aligned with the modern day KKK.” That’s a logical fallacy.
Over on Fox, a Republican is arguing that “any Democrat who has not yet condemned the Senator from Missouri for publicly wishing that Donald Trump be assassinated, is guilty of wishing for the exact same thing.” That’s a logical fallacy.
Meanwhile,Mike Rowe Eviscerates "Smug" Snowflake Who Calls Him A "White Nationalist"