(also known as: appeal to the common man)
Description: In place of evidence, attempting to establish a connection to the audience based on being a “regular person” just like each of them. Then suggesting that your proposition is something that all common folk believe or should accept.
X is just common folk wisdom.
Therefore, you should accept X.
Person 1 is a common man who proposes Y.
You are also a common man.
Therefore, you should accept Y.
My fellow Americans, I am just like you. Sure, I have a few private jets and homes in twelve countries, but I put on my pants one leg at a time, just like you common people. So believe me when I say, this increase in taxes for the common folk is just what we all need.
Explanation: There is no valid reason given for the increase in taxes.
You don't want a hot dog and beer? Eating hot dogs and drinking beer at a baseball game is the American thing to do.
Explanation: Here the person making the argument is appealing to the tradition of the common folk.
Exception: If the “common folk” appeal is made in addition to valid reasons, then it is not a fallacy, although I would argue it is cheap pandering that many people can easily detect.
Logically Fallacious is one of the most comprehensive collections of logical fallacies with all original examples and easy to understand descriptions; perfect for educators, debaters, or anyone who wants to improve his or her reasoning skills.
Get the book, Logically Fallacious by Bo Bennett, PhD by selecting one of the following options:
Enroll in the Mastering Logical Fallacies Online Course. Over 10 hours of video and interactive learning. Go beyond the book!
Enroll in the Fallacy-A-Day Passive Course. Sit back and learn fallacies the easy way—in just a few minutes per day, via e-mail delivery.
Have a podcast or know someone who does? Putting on a conference? Dr. Bennett is available for interviews and public speaking events. Contact him directly here.