Object 3: Rep. Greene speaking at the US Capitol
May 27, 2021
Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene is a US congresswoman in the Republican Party. Object 3 shows her speaking about the former President Trump’s impeachment while wearing a mask, the word “censored” printed on it.
This object shows how communication of certain knowledge may hurt one’s credibility and ultimately hinder their future attempt to convey other ideas. There is a dichotomy between her argument (that she is censored) and the reality; she claims she is “censored,” while her speech is broadcasted to the public without any censorship. This irony reveals to the audience that she does not recognize her privilege to be heard and represented: it causes the audience to perceive her as unobservant and irrational, for considering herself to be censored. Communication of inaccurate knowledge (Greene’s claim) raises a challenge for the communicator herself—reduced credibility. Due to her action, the public may consider her unreliable, and question the accuracy of other information she communicates, such as her speech.
Lower credibility may also lead the audience to question her authority as a Representative, and this could possibly lead to reduced support towards her and the Republican Party. However, as people with political beliefs tend to be biased in favor of the party that they support, Republicans (who support Greene) may be less wary of potential mistakes or fallacies in Greene’s logic. This causes Republicans to be less likely to notice the irony in the first place, compared to Democrats or moderates (who don’t support Greene). This is especially true in the US where political partisanship is extremely strong. Since Greene’s supporters may overlook the fallacies in her claim, her false argument regarding censorship may not necessarily lead to reduced support. This is another challenge, as it illustrates how identifying fallacies may be particularly difficult for people with biases: an inaccurate claim like Greene’s may be accepted with no critical evaluation.