troperville

tools

toys

SubpagesLaconic
Main
Quotes

main index

Narrative

Genre

Media

Topical Tropes

Other Categories

TV Tropes Org
random
The War on Straw
aka: War On Straw
Your argument did not address his, but nice try.
"A straw man argument is one based on misrepresentation of an opponent's position. To 'set up a straw man' or 'set up a straw man argument' is to describe a position that superficially resembles an opponent's actual view but is easier to refute, then attribute that position to the opponent."

"Criticism of my alleged views was widespread and highly successful. I have yet to meet a criticism of my views."
Karl Popper

So, you want to bring up politics, or have An Aesop, but can't bring yourself to fairly represent the other side of the argument? You didn't read up on the other side's position, and hope to patch your argument with a little dodgy logic?

Well, there's only one thing to do. Declare War On Straw!

You too can fight against positions that would make an outside observer say What an Idiot! Just don't fight anything that has any resemblance to reality, and you should win easily!

Some of the tropes here are not strawmen every time they appear; for instance, a Corrupt Church, Animal Wrongs Group, or Amoral Attorney can sometimes be used as a villain a la Acceptable Targets without any (deliberate) intention of making a larger political statement. Sometimes people use those things with the justification that they do exist in reality to a limited extent — but they are still strawmen when used, implicitly or explicitly, to try to make a larger argument against anyone who shares their beliefs.

Sometimes the existence of non-corrupt/wrong/amoral versions is acknowledged in the setting to indicate that there's no hard feelings; on the other hand, sometimes those good versions are really a Fox News Liberal used to try to make an actual strawman less obvious.

It is also important to note that caricature, itself, can be a perfectly valid way to make an argument; Voltaire, Swift, and many other writers have used it effectively and incisively against their opponents. The distinction is that valid caricatures use exaggeration and hyperbole as rhetorical devices to present nonetheless legitimate arguments, exposing the victim's failings and flaws without misrepresenting them. But the line between the two can be extremely thin, especially in unskilled hands or when the author does not truly understand what they are trying to caricature; many authors have produced strawmen that were painfully obvious to others while believing themselves to be penning biting Swiftian satire.

For more detail about the fallacy upon which this series of tropes is named, see Strawman Fallacy.

The flip side (where the target is so wacky it's hard to parody) is Poe's Law.

When the War on Straw is being lost, its Strawman Has a Point.

The War On Straw has many fronts; among them are:


Three Faces Of EveAllegorical Character    
Viewers Are MoronsCreator Standpoint IndexWhy Fandom Can't Have Nice Things
The Unfair SexStereotypeWhere Da White Women At?
Wardrobe MalfunctionWe Are Not Alone IndexWeird West
You BastardThe Only Righteous Index of Fanatics    
Wall of TextBad Writing IndexWanton Cruelty to the Common Comma

alternative title(s): War On Straw; Strawman
random
TV Tropes by TV Tropes Foundation, LLC is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available from thestaff@tvtropes.org.
Privacy Policy
22974
1