Political analyst: Several years ago, McFarlane, the military dictator, had Brooks, the former prime minister, arrest...

Evan on August 18, 2019


Could someone please this passage and how they arrived at answer choice D?


Irina on August 18, 2019


The question requires us to identify the necessary assumption for the argument's conclusion to be valid. The argument tells us that several years ago M- a military dictator, had B- the former prime minister, arrested on charges of corruption. After years of negotiations, M has pardoned B, and she agreed to join his government. Almost all M supporters believe that B is guilty of corruption. Almost all M opponents will oppose anyone who agrees to join his government. The argument then concludes that because M supporters believe B is guilty, and M opponents will oppose anyone in his government, B will have few supporters in this country.

The correct answer choice needs to state an assumption that will cause the argument to fall apart if it is false. Let's see if any of the answer choices fit this criterion:

(A) B's joining M government inappropriately gives that government a semblance of legitimacy.

Incorrect. This fact has nothing to do with the conclusion, the analyst never says that M's level of support depends on whether the government is perceived as legitimate.

(B) There is less corruption in the country's government now than when B was prime minister.

Incorrect. This fact is likewise irrelevant to the conclusion. The analyst is not saying her level of support depends on the level of corruption in the country.

(C) B's political positions do not overlap with those of M.

Incorrect. B's political position is irrelevant to the conclusion. She joined M's government regardless of whether her positions differ or not, and M's opponents will oppose her based on this fact alone.

(D) Most people in the country are either supporters or opponents of M

Correct. The argument presumes that because M supporters and M opponents oppose B, she will enjoy the support of only a few people in this country who are neither M supporters nor M opponents. If (D) is false, and most people are actually politically neutral and are neither M supporters nor M opponents, meaning their support of B is neither contingent on their perception of her guilt nor on her joining M's government, then we can no longer conclude that B will only have few supports. This assumption renders argument invalid, if false, and is thus the correct answer choice.

(E) The charges on which B was arrested were unfounded.

Incorrect. This fact is irrelevant to the conclusion, the analyst relies on the supporter's perception that B is guilty regardless of whether the charges were legitimate or not.

Does this make sense?

Let me know if you have any further questions.

Daniel on June 12, 2020

Isn't it possible that people who believe B is guilty of corruption could still support her? If this were the case then D would no longer be necessary...