In today’s world, we often encounter people who use manipulative tactics to gain support for their cause. Ammon Bundy, a far-right political activist and leader of the self-proclaimed patriot group, the People’s Right’s Network, is no exception. Bundy has been accused of using dishonest attacks on St. Luke’s Hospital as part of a grift to enrich himself and Diego Rodriguez.
This article aims to analyze the tactics employed by Ammon Bundy in his speech, highlighting the use of abusive language and logical fallacies to manipulate people into supporting him, even when he is 100% in the wrong.
The BBQ Standoff
Ammon Bundy’s ongoing lawsuit with St. Lukes hospital and his refusal to participate in any court proceedings led to an arrest warrant being issued with a bond of $10,000 for contempt of court. A couple of Gem County Sherrif deputies went to the property where Bundy resides and inquired if he was home. This visit triggered a callout to Bundy’s People’s Right Network, encouraging them to come to his aid.
This alert brought a few dozen of his most loyal followers to the property where Bundy resides (he recently transferred ownership to an LLC, a move many believe to be an attempt to protect his assets from the current lawsuit). Bundy’s followers showed up for a BBQ. They were encouraged to camp on the property to provide a buffer between Bundy and law enforcement officers who might try to serve an arrest warrant that had been issued due to his contempt for court proceedings.
Bundy gave a speech to the crowd assembled in one of the buildings on the property and attempted to rally support to get people behind his cause.
Ammon Bundy’s speech is full of abusive and manipulative language designed to dehumanize those he wants us all to believe are persecuting him. It is essential to identify the use of abusive language, its logical fallacies, and why it is abusive so we can innoculate ourselves against being manipulated.
Here is a list of statements made by Ammon Bundy in his speech that contain abusive, deceptive, and deceptive language and an explanation of what logical fallacies are used to manipulate people into sacrificing their blood and treasure for him.
Logical Fallacy: Ad Hominem
In his speech, Bundy accused St. Luke’s Hospital of being a “criminal organization.” This is a clear example of an ad hominem attack, where he targets the hospital’s character instead of addressing the actual issues at hand. By using such aggressive language, Bundy aims to discredit the hospital, making it easier for his audience to believe his claims without questioning the validity of his arguments.
Logical Fallacy: Strawman Argument
When discussing the hospital’s policies, Bundy states, “St. Luke’s is basically saying that you don’t have any rights.” and “They want to control everything and take away your freedom.” This statement misrepresents the hospital’s actual stance, setting up a strawman argument that is easier for Bundy to criticize. By doing so, he distracts his audience from the real issue and strengthens his position by attacking a weaker, distorted version of the hospital’s policies.
Logical Fallacy: Appeal to Authority
In an attempt to validate his claims, Bundy quotes the Idaho Constitution, stating, “It is the right of the people to alter, reform, or abolish the same whenever they may deem it necessary.” By referencing a respected authority, he tries to strengthen his argument and make it appear more credible. However, Bundy’s use of the quote is misleading, as it does not directly apply to the situation he’s discussing.
Logical Fallacy: Slippery Slope
Bundy argues that if people do not stand up against St. Luke’s Hospital, it will lead to a “medical tyranny.” This is an example of a slippery slope fallacy, where he asserts that a specific event will inevitably lead to a chain reaction of undesirable consequences. By presenting this catastrophic outcome, Bundy aims to incite fear in his audience, pushing them to support his cause without critically examining his argument.
Logical Fallacy: Appeal to Emotion
In his attempt to evoke an emotional response, Bundy claims, “This is just what happens, my friends, this is just what happens.” and “This is about our children’s future.” By suggesting that the current situation is historically inevitable, he tries to establish an emotional connection with the audience without presenting a logical argument. This appeal to emotion aims to provoke feelings of injustice and anger, making it easier for Bundy to garner support for his cause. His use of the old “think of the children” line shows he really likes to milk sympathy for his cause, that somehow he is saving kids by using his follower’s children as human shields for the BBQ standoff he’s creating.
Logical Fallacy: False Analogy
In his speech, Bundy compares the situation at St. Luke’s Hospital to Nazi Germany, saying, “We’ve seen this type of behavior before in history.” This false analogy aims to paint the hospital in a negative light by comparing it to an extreme example from history. By making this comparison, Bundy hopes to evoke strong emotions in his audience, encouraging them to view the hospital as oppressive and unjust. Because in the eyes of the far-right, leftists ran Nazi Germany, and leftists are the enemy.
Logical Fallacy: Red Herring
In his speech, Bundy brings up the unrelated issue of abortion, stating, “They’re murdering our children by the thousands.” This is a red herring, a tactic used to distract the audience from the main topic by introducing an unrelated, emotionally charged issue. By doing this, Bundy hopes to divert attention away from the central argument and confuse the audience into supporting him.
Logical Fallacy: Circular Reasoning
Bundy claims that the hospital’s actions are unlawful and that people must take a stand against them. However, he fails to provide concrete evidence to support his claims. Instead, he asserts that their actions are unlawful as evidence of their unlawfulness, engaging in circular reasoning. This tactic aims to make his argument appear stronger without providing any real evidence.
Logical Fallacy: False Analogy
Bundy said, “We live in a day where Tucker Carlson just got fired from Fox News because why? He spoke the truth. Yeah. Right, right.” Here Bundy draws a false analogy between his situation and that of Tucker Carlson, a former Fox News host. By comparing the two situations, he implies that both are victims of speaking the truth, even though their situations are not directly related or entirely comparable. While Bundy may see himself as a larger-than-life character, comparing himself to former Fox News commentator Tucker Carlson is a pretty big stretch. And for the record, Tucker Carlson has been caught lying numerous times.
Bundy said in reference to St. Luke’s Hospital staff and legal team, “And so people don’t know how wicked they are.” This statement is abusive as it labels St. Luke’s Hospital as “wicked” without providing sufficient evidence to support such a claim. By using such strong language, Bundy attempts to vilify the hospital and sway the audience against it.
Bundy also said, “They’ve been doing this for decades. They’ll send and threaten you, your lawyers upon you, and you’re sitting there going, how in the world could I ever, ever defend myself against a massive legal team that St. Luke’s basically writes an open check to and says, destroy that person.” This statement is clearly abusive, as it accuses St. Luke’s Hospital of using its financial power to intimidate and suppress individuals. The language used (“destroy that person“) is particularly aggressive, aiming to paint St. Luke’s as a “ruthless and unethical organization.”
Bundy may be upset at the prospect of having the legal system be used to require him to disclose financial information about the fundraising that went along with the attacks on St. Luke’s. If he cooperates with their discovery and deposition requests, any wrongdoing he may have engaged in will go on the record. Any alleged activity that might be criminal in nature would be out in the open, and he could face additional legal consequences. This is not an excuse to use such abusive language.
Ammon Bundy Is Not A Victim
Ammon Bundy does not tell the truth. His lies drew people to his father’s ranch in Nevada, which attracted extremists like Jerad and Amanda Miller, who executed two North Las Vegas police officers while sitting at lunch enjoying a slice of pizza. They draped a Gasden and Swastika flag over their bodies before dying in a shootout at the nearby Wal-Mart.
Bundy’s lies attracted La Voy Finicum to the Malheur Wildlife Refuge standoff, where he told police to “just shoot me” and then got his wish granted.
Bundy’s lies convinced Idaho III% militia member and People’s Right Network leader Sean Anderson that he was “wronged” and “trapped,” leading him to fire a shotgun at law enforcement offers. He was shot in the face and now serving 18 years in prison.
How many more people will lose their lives and freedom over Ammon Bundy’s lies? Let’s all ponder this and help our friends and neighbor better understand the abusive language he uses to prevent others from getting hurt.