There is a debate strategy called "Ad Homoniem" http://www.nizkor.org/features/fallacies/ad-hominem.html
|There is another way.|
Basically this is when instead of addressing the ideas and arguments of another person, a personal attack on the person with the argument is made. For instance if a person makes an argument that water is wet, and the counter argument is that the person making that argument is a raincoat salesman and has a vested interest in water being wet. Thus water isn't really or always wet, this guy just wants to sell more raincoats.
No attempt to make a real counter argument. No refutation that water really is not wet. Just an attack of the person.
This is the old method of "distraction" in argument. But reacently we have seen a new twist on this. A new tactic. One that no one seems to be recognizing for what it is.
I call it, "intentional error" and it is being really effective.
Here is the strategy:
Lets say that I am embezzling money. And I know that I will be caught sooner or later, so I prepare some other errors that are annoying, but less serious.
In my example, I start to wear clothing that is offensive, but not against the company dress code.
I make a point to be as obnoxious about it as possible. I get people to complain. I may even pay people to complain about my attire.
And eventually I concede and stop wearing that clothing. But I come up with something else, to keep the attention on myself directed onto things that are not important. Or at least not as important as the embezzling.
The result, no one investigates my embezzling because they are busy arguing about my clothes. Many people get tired of this and simply tune out. When the topic of missing funds comes out, acusations to me are deflected as people that are really targeting my clothing.
This is happening today. There are some serious issues facing our country; border security, national debt, the economy. And we should deal with these issues.
But instead of dealing with them, we are talking about birth certificates. We are talking about poetry and what church the president went to. We are talking about things that don't matter. We're talking about free birth control. Or if they do matter, the don't matter nearly as much as the economy or border security.
An analogy of this is that a person with a burning home should not be concerned with an error on the deed to the house until the fire is out.
Lets keep our eye on the ball. Economy. So when someone brings up a tangent like the president's pick in March Madness Final Four. Respond with a question about unemployment, and gas prices.