Analysis of an Editorial Article: Donald Trump’s Contempt for the Rule of law


Pick a recent current event that attempts to persuade the reader (a good location is the editorial section of a newspaper). As you read it, begin to think about the concepts we have discussed in this class. What claims were made? What evidence was presented? Was it adequate to establish a causal link? Did the evidence presented come from credible and reliable sources? Was the source of the evidence an authority on the topic? Was the evidence presented clearly expressed? Did they provide enough evidence to adequately establish causality? If so, explain. If not, what evidence needs to be presented that establishes causality? Were there any underlying assumptions? What persuasive techniques were used in the article?


Analysis of an Editorial Article: Donald Trump’s Contempt for the Rule of Law

The current event selected in this article is Donald Trump’s contempt for the rule of law. It was reported in a New York Times Editorial on June 6, 2016, titled “Donald Trump’s Contempt for the Rule of Law” (The New York Times, 2016). In this article, two claims are made about the presumptive presidential nominee for the Republican Party in the United States. The first is that Trump openly attacked Gonzalo Curiel, a US District judge who is trying a law suit against the Trump-owned Trump University (The New York Times, 2016). He claimed that Judge Curiel was not supposed to try the case as he had a ‘conflict of interest’. He was referring to Curiel’s supposed Mexican heritage and the Trump campaign’s proposal to build a wall on the US-Mexico border to restrict illegal immigrants from coming into the country. However, Judge Curiel is not Mexican but an American born in Indiana. The second claim made in the article is that on June 5, 2016, on CBS’s ‘Face the Nation’, Trump attacked yet another judge, a Muslim this time, stating that he might be similarly biased based on Trump’s proposed ban on entry to the United States by Muslim immigrants.


The facts in the editorial article are clearly, concisely and well-presented and they provide enough evidence to substantiate the claim that Donald Trump has a blatant disregard for the rule of law. To justify these claims, the article offers evidence from a very credible source: CBS’s ‘Face the Nation’, a live political talk show hosted by John Dickerson, a well-versed political analyst, as well as from Trump’s own political campaign media team. The evidence provided is enough to establish a causal link because it clearly demonstrates instances where Trump has disregarded the constitutional policy of inclusion for all irrespective of race, gender or religious affiliation. The underlying assumption made throughout the article is that these claims represent Mr. Trump’s deeply-held beliefs and not just isolated cases of personal bias.


The New York Times. (2016). Donald Trump’s Contempt for the Rule of Law. The New York Times, June 6, 2016.

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