As an avid reader on Aristotle, I think I know a bit of logic. Or at least I know that my understanding of logic is far better than Michelle Bachmann’s understanding of the subject. Let me show you what I mean:
Here is a video showing a student asking Bachmann on what she would do for the gay community in America. Bachmann responds by saying that no one group of people have rights over other people. Every America has the same civil rights. This I agree with, no one group should have special rights that other people outside of the group don’t have.
But then, the student asks,” Then why can’t gays marry?” and Bachmann responds, “Well they can get married,” she goes further to say that gay men can marry women and gay women can marry men, so therefore the law is still equal across the board. The student then responds, “So heteros have a privilege.” Bachmann of course replies no because the law only permits for opposite sex marriage, therefore we have to respect the law as stated.
So in Bachmann’s view, she first assumes the law is stated as civil as it should be, in this case, opposite sex marriage is legal. Then she assumes that since the law is civil as possible that everyone has equal right to this law. But here is her flaw, while she gives equal rights to everyone under the given law, the law in itself is advocating hetero marriage over homo marriage, that is, the law is advocating a special right to one group. Now knowing this, Bachmann must reject the premise that ‘no one group of people have rights over other people outside of the group’ in order to stay consistent with her conclusion.
Also, I want to note that she makes the argument that the law permits only opposite-sex marriage and we must respect the laws of America. But then this begs the question: Does she imply that we can never question our laws since this is a way of disrespecting a law? So if we keep consistent with the argument that we must always respect the laws and not question them, does that mean that if she was a politician in the 1960’s, that she would have been an advocate for segregation, since that was the law at the time, or in the 1910’s to 1920’s would she be opposed to the women’s sufferage movement, since the law only allowed men to vote? Hey, if it wasn’t for women back then demanding for the right to vote, Bachmann would not be a presidential candidate. Maybe she forgot that Thomas Jefferson, a person she claims to admire, once said that if the law was unjust, it was our duty as citizens of this country to protest against it. A true admirer of Jefferson would have never said to follow the law because that is the law and we must respect it.
I think I have shown Bachmann’s inconsistent claims, but probably the best way to approach Bachmann’s position is by simply turning the situation around, that is, lets say the law only permitted same-sex marriage. Would Bachmann’s position still be the same? Under this law all men, regardless of sexual preferences, have the equal opportunity to marry men and all women have the equal opportunity to marry women. See the law is equal… and since the law doesn’t grant opposite-sex marriage, it is illegal for men to marry women, and we must respect this because it is the law of the land. So Mrs. Bachmann, I ask, would your position be this?
Mrs. Bachmann fails at logic. I would have more respect for her if she just came out and said, “I am opposed to gay marriage because I dislike gays because it is an immoral action. I know best and I am just trying to make my views into law.” At least if she said that, she would be logically consistent, and not making such an absurd claim that ‘ this is law and we must respect the law.’