In case you haven’t heard, Toronto mayor Rob Ford recently admitted to smoking crack. His staffers have gone to the police with concerns about his alcohol abuse, which includes drinking and driving and swilling vodka bottle after vodka bottle in high school parking lots. His driver has been arrested on drug dealing charges. Is Ford going to resign? His answer is an emphatic no. And unless he’s convicted of a crime, there’s nothing anyone can do to remove him from office.
Toronto holds a special place on the LSAT. LSAC is often keen on reminding LSAT test takers that the LSAT is used for Canadian law schools, too. As a result, I’d wager that Toronto is one of the most used names for a variable in the LSAT Logic Games section. We’ll take a look here at some of the flawed logic surrounding Mayor Ford’s situation:
Rob Ford LSAT Flaw I: Exclusivity
When Mayor Ford was asked about his visits to an alleged crack house, he replied, “That is not a crack house. It is a house with a family with a father and a mother and three sons and a daughter.” Mayor Ford ignores the possibility that a house could very well have both those qualities.
Rob Ford LSAT Flaw II: Composition/Part to Whole
Mayor Ford then pointed out that a 78-year-old mother and a 55-year-old son who works every day live at the alleged crack house, implying that they were certainly not crack users. First of all, their ages and occupations don’t mean anything about whether they smoke crack. But even if we assume that they don’t partake, the presence of two individuals who don’t smoke crack does nothing to guarantee that the house as a whole isn’t a crack house.
Rob Ford LSAT Flaw III: Equivocation, With a Touch of Ad Hominem
This one comes from the mayor’s brother Doug Ford, also a Toronto Councillor, who tried to turn the fire back on one of the mayor’s questioners, asking, “Have you ever smoked marijuana?” If he’s trying to imply that everyone in the room is as guilty as the mayor, that’s a pretty big equivocation. And the personal lives of the ones accusing the mayor have nothing to do with whether the accusations are valid.
Rob Ford LSAT Flaw IV: Being Completely and Utterly Delusional
OK, that’s not an LSAT flaw. But I could go on and on with these. This past weekend, the mayor told a reporter that he wants to run for prime minister one day. And that more than anything suggests that Ford is operating in a world in which logic doesn’t really apply.