Bennett could have many reasons for arguing with the fallacies. First, he could be trying to appeal to people’s emotions in a positive way. Pathos is a part of argumentation where the writer appeals to an audience’s emotional side while also using facts and reason. However, appealing to emotions is different from manipulating someone’s emotions. Bennett tends to manipulate emotions by speaking of crack babies and pregnant mothers doing drugs instead of bringing in facts and statistics along with the drug moms and crack babies. Secondly, he could be in a defensive state because he may feel that his position is under attack. Bennett is in a powerful job that controls the drug regulation in America. The argument for legalization could seem like an attack on his ability to do his job. This would in turn make Bennett defensive and protective of the work they had done, which would blind him to proper argumentation. These reasons do not excuse his poor argumentation or make his argument stronger, but they do give an explanation for why he argued the way he did.
Bennett’s legalization argument is not wrong in the sense that it is an incorrect argument, but it is wrong in the way it goes about arguing the point. Bennett’s use of fallacies in his anti-legalization argument suggests that his argument does not have solid grounding. Fallacies are logical inconsistencies in an argument, which imply that the arguer is either inexperienced or incompetent. Since Bennett has been in politics for what seems like a long enough time to be able to argue, it can be assumed that he is not an inexperienced arguer. Therefore, it can be surmised that he is incompetent or, more accurately, he cannot accurately argue his side of this issue. Misrepresenting data and toying with emotions implies a lack of legitimate reasoning behind an argument, which means that the writer must attack the weaknesses of the human mind in order to succeed. The writer, in this case Bennett, attacks the American people’s kindness and care for infants and the fear they feel when they hear of insurmountable increases in addicts, deaths, and the like. Basically, Bennett goes after the goodwill of the American people that he aims to protect.