The Gish Gallop Tactic Used by Trump

The particular tactic used by trump has a name for it. Gish Gallop which is a technique, named after the creationist Duane Gish who employed it, whereby someone argues a cause by hurling as many different half-truths and no-truths into a very short space of time so that their opponent cannot hope to combat each point in real time. This leaves some points unanswered and allows the original speaker to try and claim his opponent lacks the counter-arguments.

This was introduced by a commenter named MikeyB who was commenting on the trump methodology in talking to Biden. This was no debate and it totally unregulated except for running out of time. Net time, the moderators should interfere with trumps running of the mouth with lies.

MikeyB: Well, that wasn’t pretty. Trump’s technique worked great and would have worked even if President Biden wasn’t sick. That means Trump will use it again. Here is a counter for that “debate” technique that could even turn it mercilessly back on Trump. I’ve been putting the below comment in social media to explain what happened.

“Biden stood almost no chance to win, but not because of his health.

This was not a debate. It was Trump using a technique that actually has a formal name, the Gish gallop, although I suspect he comes by it naturally. It’s a rhetorical technique in which someone throws out a fast string of lies, non-sequiturs, and specious arguments, so many that it is impossible to fact-check or rebut them in the amount of time it took to say them. Trying to figure out how to respond makes the opponent look confused, because they don’t know where to start grappling with the flood that has just hit them.

In hindsight I see one way that might have worked to defeat Trump’s “Gish Gallop” strategy of throwing out rapid fire lies.

It is too many lies to respond to, so Biden should have stood at his podium holding up one hand and every time Trump told a lie, raise one more finger. When it was his time to speak, Biden would just say “OK, you just told x number of lies. Now let me tell you about my policy to help America”.

What would be great is if he said “Whoops, ran out of fingers”.

By the end, people would have been laughing along with him and apparently the excessive lies of Trump’s are what annoy people.

Trump refused to say what he was doing on Jan 6. He changed the subject when asked if he would honor the election, then when asked again, he waffled and said if it was fair. He didn’t answer about Ukraine. He gave a new answer to about supporting a nationwide abortion ban. All he did was lie. That is how that debate really should be judged. Even if Biden hadn’t had a cold, he would have almost certainly fared badly in that barrage of lies, but it’s about the lies.

At least with all of Trump’s lies, he sort of showed it as a battle between good and evil. The details don’t matter.”