Straw Man

June 11, 2009

Thanks to Raoul for pointing me to this column from William Safire, Straw Man Issue.   Two goals of this site is to point out things that might change a person’s thinking and feature techniques that cause people to talk past one another.

The straw man is the latter.  It’s used often in personal debates and national speeches.  Recognize it.  Safire describes it his way:

Take your opponent’s argument to a ridiculous extreme and then attack the extreme.

When this happens to you, call it.  State that your position has been misrepresented and ask for a chance to reconcile your true position to the straw man version of your position.

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