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Argument, claim and support

 An argument is a set of reasons set forth by a given party to persuade others that an idea is wrong or right. In critical thinking, arguments serve the purpose of engaging the audience in a form of discussion that will culminate to a number of individuals supporting the conclusion drawn. According to Chaffee (2014)a good argument must persuade the audience to take up the claims made. Logical argument must meet the three criteria of relevance, acceptability and sufficiency.  Acceptability relates to the credibility of the evidence used to support the argument, relevance refers to the proper link of the evidence to the case presented, and sufficiency entails to the provision of good reasoning (without any reservations) to persuade the audience to accept the reasoning (Rowe & Reed, 2014). Focusing on the argument presented by the USA TODAY’S editorial board, the current paper presents a critical discussion on the claim presented, to identify the logic nature of the argument, point out any reservations made and ascertain whether the argument was persuasive or not.


Claim Made In the Argument

Donald Trump is unfit for the presidency and should therefore not be voted in as the president.

2.0. Support Offered

The presenters have pointed out a number of reasons to support the argument that Donald Trump is unfit for the presidency. One of the reasons given is that the he is erratic and not even in various policy positions (The Editorial Board, 2016). The editorial board argues that Trump has been engaged in different sides of various issues making it difficult for one to engage his position on the issues presented. This evidence is backed by the NBC details that indicate how trump has made approximately 124 shifts on 20 issues, thus justifying its acceptability (Hitchcock, 2017).

Another evidence availed to support the argument is that Trump traffics on preconceived opinions that are not informed by actual experience. According to the USA TODAY editorial board, the then presidential candidate built his campaign appeals on bigotry that showed maximum intolerance on individuals exhibiting different opinions from his(The Editorial Board, 2016). Trump had strong resentments against Muslims, migrants and the Mexicans. His proposal on mass deportation of migrants, attacks on Indian federal judge and fanning of the movement to question the authenticity of the first black USA president are facts that provide further evidence to justify that he his trafficking on prejudice(Hitchcock, 2017).

The reckless speaking that Trump has engaged in further justifies his unfit nature for presidency. According to the editorial board, the presidency is a high office that cannot be occupied by an individual whose utterance is a threat to the national dialogue. The reckless nature of Trump has been evidenced by his invitation of the Russian hackers to tamper with the election, his critic of the military parents who lost their sons in Iraq and mockery of the disabled reporter amongst others. The fact that the evidence on the recklessness of trump was witnessed by the entire Americans justifies its credibility and relevance in supporting the claim.

From the analysis conducted most of the evidence given is acceptable and relevant to the claim presented. According to Hitchcock (2017) the fact that source of the evidence are proven makes them more authentic and acceptable. On the other hand, relevance is attained, when the identified evidence can be used to justify that indeed the candidate is unfit for presidency. As reported by, a president should not only be honest and trustworthy, but should also uphold respect for his subjects, thus making anyone with reckless or erotic behaviors to be unfit for the office, this justifies the relevant nature of the evidence in supporting the claim.

3.0. Reservations and Persuasive nature of the Argument

As much as the presented claim has attained the criteria of acceptability and relevance, it has failed the test of sufficiency making it less persuasive. According to Evans and Stanovich (2013) acceptable standards of sufficiency are only attained when proper reasoning is presented without any reservations to convince the audience agree with the claim. In the case presented, the editorial had made the reservations on what qualities are needed of a president and whether the identified qualities are exhibited by the other presidential candidate (Hillary Clinton). Moreover, the board only focused on the flaws of Clinton and failed to justify or endorse her candidature over that of Trump (The Editorial Board, 2016).

According to Chaffee (2014) an acceptable standard of sufficiency must be attained for the audience to be persuaded to accept the claim in the argument. The editorial board ought to have given a justified suitable option to the voters for them to be persuaded not to vote for Trump. The reservations observed in the argument only leave the voters in state of dilemma on who to vote in since, all of them have some flaws anywhere. For the argument to hold  and for the Editorial board to persuade the  audience that Trump is unfit for office and should therefore not elected as the president, proper reasoning and justification must be provided on the suitability of the alternative candidate apart from just giving evidence to warrant the unsuitable nature of Trump.





Chaffee, J. (2014). Thinking critically. Cengage Learning: Boston

Evans, J. S. B., & Stanovich, K. E. (2013). Dual-process theories of higher cognition: Advancing the debate. Perspectives on psychological science8(3), 223-241.

Hitchcock, D. (2017). Do the Fallacies Have a Place in the Teaching of Reasoning Skills or Critical Thinking?. In On Reasoning and Argument (pp. 401-408). Springer International Publishing: London

Rowe, G., & Reed, C. (2014). Argument diagramming: The araucaria project. In Knowledge Cartography (pp. 173-191). Springer International Publishing: London.

The Editorial Board (2016). USA TODAY’s Editorial Board: Trump is ‘unfit for the presidency’, USA TODAY, 1-4