Ad baculum

Rand Paul’s Refutation Method (ironically plagiarized from some website)

Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky) has been accused of multiple counts of plagiarism.  The case against him seems fairly convincing.  Perhaps this is why Paul has gone ad baculum against his accusers (from the same link):

“Yes, there are times when [speeches] have been sloppy or not correct or we’ve made an error,” Paul said. “But the difference is, I take it as an insult and I will not lie down and say people can call me dishonest, misleading or misrepresenting. I have never intentionally done so.”

He continued, “And like I say, if, you know, if dueling were legal in Kentucky, if they keep it up, you know, it would be a duel challenge. But I can’t do that, because I can’t hold office in Kentucky then.”

You really don’t get much of the old ad baculum.  For the uninitiated, ad baculum, or appeal to force, occurs when one threatens violence or sanction as a means to change someone’s belief.  Nice of Paul to give us an example.

2 thoughts on “Ad baculum”

  1. “You really don’t get much of the old ad baculum.” Maybe not from public figures, but there are innumerable examples in the comments of websites.

  2. One could also argue ad baculum is a cornerstone of U.S. foreign policy, but I won’t go into that anymore here.

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