Straw Man
Also: Putting Words in My Mouth, Hollow Man
Class: Distort
Pretending the other person said or
means something different and absurd.

Instead of attacking the real issue, creating a practice dummy made of straw, which is much easier to attack.

Harsh prison sentences are causing more problems than they’re solving.
So what you’re saying is we should just let all the criminals go free!
No, I’m not saying that. Try again.
Medicare for all would be costly and a danger to the free market.
I can’t believe you don’t care if people die from not having healthcare!
Don’t make up wild accusations.
They want to take our guns!
The liberals!
Which liberals?
All of them!
No one has proposed anything that extreme. You’re making up a boogeyman.
Tip: A common clue is “So what you’re saying is....”
Straw Man arguments usually are exaggerated and oversimplified, or a wild accusation, or inventing an imaginary opponent “they” instead of anyone specific.
Foolacy vs. Fallacy

This matches the Straw Man fallacy: misrepresenting what someone stated.

More loosely it includes any wild accusation of their goals and hidden motives, since you can’t tell the difference at face value without further research. e.g. “They want to ban puppies” could be a misrepresentation of something actually said or a completely made-up accusation.

This also includes Hollow Man: inventing an imaginary opponent “they”.

I considered renaming this “Practice Dummy” because most people don’t know what a real straw man is. But I kept Straw Man because many people already know and use this term, and it’s very easy to illustrate. The etymology is uncertain, but it makes most sense as a military target dummy for bayonet training.
These are Level 2-4 examples   Show Analysis

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