Every conservative needs to carefully study the list of logical fallacies. The list is long, as the arguments are often complex and use fallacies in subtle ways. Here are a few simple fallacies that Leftists mostly use:
Pot Calling The Kettle Black
This is a common Tu quoque fallacy that Leftists use to excuse misbehavior from their own side. It is often used in the media to provide cover for the more violent element of the Left to perpetuate illegal activity.
When someone on the Left gets caught rioting or beating up conservatives, the first response will be to cover it up and say the protests were “mostly peaceful.” But in the modern age of social media and livestream video this is difficult, so they usually distance themselves by saying the perpetrators weren’t Leftists, the “no true Scotsman fallacy.” The media will label the rioters “anarchists” or “Trump protesters”.
If this proves impossible, they will next fall back on the next best excuse: “Oh well, conservatives do the same thing. Just imagine if a Democrat provocateur showed up at a Tea Party! You guys would be burning down buildings and smashing windows as well!” The smarter media propagandists will provide a handful of examples, such as abortion clinic shootings from decades ago.
This logical fallacy shifts the issue away from the Left’s misbehavior, abstracts it into a hypothetical game, and presents an impossible argument: how could you possibly prove that conservatives wouldn’t behave this way in a similar situation if it never happened?
How To Counter – The first way to counter this is to treat it as you would any false analogy and point out the inconsistencies between the examples. “No, Tea Partiers didn’t smash any windows or beat anyone up.” “Abortion shootings have nothing to do with Obama’s horrible immigration policies.” This brings the discussion back to the Left’s specific misbehavior.
Next, point out the childishness of this debate tactic. It is indeed a very infantile tactic, something pre-schoolers do to excuse themselves–“Well he did it first!” Point out that they don’t have the integrity to even own up to what their side did. Whatever you do, don’t start virtue signaling, “Well we can use this as a learning moment for both sides. Both sides are at fault.” Nu uh.
Establishing Frame Through Abstraction
Remember all those equal signs that people were making their profile picture on Facebook during the gay marriage crusade? One of the most powerful logical fallacies I’ve seen Leftists do is abstract their arguments until they become slogans or definitions of words. The left will carve down arguments into small words or phrases and piece them together into simplistic math equations.
Marriage is “love.” See how easy that is? Secularization of marriage is “equality.” If you don’t support government control over marriage then you oppose love and you hate equality.
This fallacy is used so often because it fits perfectly in Socialism’s use of slogans. Everything is a slogan to them. “Hope for change.” Press any Leftist on what specific policy they disagree with President Trump on and they will revert to some chant they heard on CNN about equality and love.
It takes a very simplistic mind for abstraction to work. But once it does it fills the public’s mind, heart, and soul.
How To Counter – Persuade the Leftist to think more intelligently.
The danger with Reification, the abstraction of people and ideas into words, is that it leads to genocide. Once you start messing with the praxis of basic and important concepts like love and equality, it is no small stretch to abstract individuals or entire groups of people into extreme categories.
The gullible public also goes on to reify themselves and the problem compounds–which is important to the ends of Socialism, as Socialists regard people only in terms of production and consumption. This is a very powerful and dangerous logical fallacy that we see getting worse and worse in America.
One common argument you hear from the Left in the immigration debate is “Jesus accepted everybody.” Curiously, the people who use this argument do not believe in Jesus and repudiate Christianity as the source of all the horror in the world.
This tactic is part of Socialism’s general effort to find inconsistency in their enemy’s ideology. “Your holy book says this but you are doing this.” Once the cognitive dissonance is established, Socialists insert their own ideology as a superior alternative. Saul Alinsky wrote about how to attack conservatives by holding them to their own standards. Conservatives have high standards–we strive to get closer to perfection–and being human, we all fall short of these standards. The moment we doubt our inmost standards, we open ourselves up to perverse philosophies that replace them.
The incredible power of this logical fallacy is evident by the fact that Satan himself used it against Jesus.
This is a Satanic debate tactic that leftists use. Satan himself used it against Jesus. After his 40 day fast, the devil came to Jesus the second time and told him “The scriptures say the Messiah will be caught by angels whenever he falls. So if you really are the Messiah, prove it right now and jump from the pyre.”
How did Jesus reply? He shifted the narrative to point out how Satan was appealing to pride. “Thou shalt not put God to the test.” Abraham tested God when he went to Egypt, but that was because he could not find any other solution to a difficult problem. A test of faith is not the same thing as a test of God. Jesus jumping from the pyre would have been creating a problem and then demanding God to solve it, and it would have been motivated by pride.
Leftists use this devilish debate tactic all the time. Like the devil did with Jesus, Leftists subtly change your belief structure to set up a strawman argument about you, and then attack you for contradicting that belief.
How To Counter – When the immigration issue comes up, there are a few ways I reply. First, I point out their hypocrisy, that they are suddenly so concerned about war refugees but ignore all the rape and murder of Christians that have gone on for years. Second, I point out the incorrectness of what they assume to be my beliefs. When did Jesus ever say everybody gets a free pass to go wherever they want? Justice is a vast gulf that divides people. Third, I point out a deeper more important principle that they are contradicting, which ought to be obvious, which is self-defense. If the leftists were truly interested in helping these refugees, they would help rebuild their homeland, or invite them into their own homes, or at least set up a structure for integrating them into our society. Instead, Leftists support more wars in the Middle East which create more refugees.
Fallacy of Equality
It is no mystery why Leftists appeal to equality: their entire ideology is built on the word. Everything has to be equal! Sure, equal application of the law is a good thing, but once we stray from equality based on merit and start demanding equality based on manufactured “rights,” such as the right to enter any restroom you wish, this is where it becomes a logical fallacy.
You see this all the time in the media, and they are very selective about what is equal and what isn’t. As the saying goes, all animals are equal but some animals are more equal than others.
Leftists often use equality to push their Tu quoque fallacy. After Socialist agitators violently attacked the peaceful Milo event in Berkeley and shut down his lecture, far-left journalists justified the violence as somehow equal to free speech. “They have their right to hate speech? Well we have the right to practice our speech by shutting it down.” In the demented far-left brain this makes sense. Everything is equal… when it is convenient.
Later, Trump supporters were intent to hold a peaceful rally in the city and practice their right to free speech. When the Left predictably showed up and violently attacked them, “based stick guy” showed up with a shield and stick, and he violently defended conservatives from the attackers. The media reported mostly on the violently stick guy and all but ignored the violent leftists who instigated the confrontation. The local NBC reports dismissed the event as a clash between “demonstrators” on both sides. NBC went on to quote radical Leftists who pretended like Trump supporters were crushing their free speech:
‘“It’s one thing to be a Trump supporter and wave the flag,” said Benjamin Lynch, who belongs to the By Any Means Necessary group that opposes Trump. “It’s another thing to try to build a kind of organization that’s set on attacking immigrants, set on attacking Muslims.”…
“Just cause I don’t have the same views as you, you don’t have to get violent,” Anzaldua.
Henry Meier, who witnessed the heated clashes, also chimed in.
“If you don’t allow the other side to have freedom of speech, you don’t live in [a] democracy anymore,” he said. “You pretty much just have mob rule.”
Leftists appeal to false equality when a Leftist gets caught committing a crime, when they want the government to control your freedoms, and when their side is morally deficient and they want to tear down the merit of their enemy. What would NBC’s headline be if Trump supporters had initiated violence against a small group of peaceful leftists? Would they appeal to equality then? Of course not.
How To Counter – It should not be hard to dismantle this logical fallacy. Remember, Leftists appeal to equality to falsely boost the merit on their side or to insert the government as the great equalizer. Don’t virtue signal: “Oh yes, equality is very important.” Instead, point out why equality does not exist and reveal why they are pretending like it does, what their game is.
For example, when Leftists recently attacked Trump for reducing federal funding for food for the elderly, I found that a good response is to point out that charity is not charity if the government is taking your money to redistribute it. A model of government that gives subsidies for everybody’s meals is not sustainable. Then ask the Leftists how many meals they have given to the elderly in the last week. Turn it on them.