False Alternatives
"Would you rather have a broken arm or a broken leg? The answer is those are not alternatives. They're the same type of thing—injury."—Andrew J. Galambos SYNOPSIS All political debates have three things in common. There is disagreement over political choices, each of which is certain to displease some or a large number of people affected by the choices. None of the political choices provides a real and permanent solution to the problem. All political choices involve coercion. The political debates have ranged from subjects as broad as social and economic rules of life for all of humanity to disputes over an issue as narrow as whether students in American public schools should recite a religious prayer or a Pledge of Allegiance to the U.S. each day. These political debates are framed in terms of false alternatives—that is the proposed methods of accomplishing a political objective are identical in their logical content, and a real alternative is not even considered. Even though