A False Dichotomy is establishing the choice between two or more items, both of which are wrong.

From the progressive standpoint, it’s an debating strategy whereby they claim you must agree with their bad policy or else do nothing and to let the problem fester uncontrollably, or else  fall off the ledge into some bizarre absurdity.  As always, their choice is the most reasonable.

But as Newt Gingrich says, “The choice is never between doing nothing or doing something very stupid.”

That should be our mantra.  When you see this in an argument, first deconstruct the argument, then claim there’s a third choice.  This third choice will have none of the stupidity of the first choice; that is, it won’t demand you give up a foundational right to a statist.   The third choice must also actually address the problem at hand.

Noted examples of the False Dichotomy:

Nationalizing healthcare

  • False Dichotomy: either accept Obamacare or allow millions of citizens to die without any healthcare or coverage.
  • Deconstruct: Obamacare doesn’t lower the cost of healthcare and will in fact, negatively impact far more than it will help.  Plus, those without health insurance can still get care in hospitals.
  • Third Choice: Almost ANY other alternative. The GOP came up with dozens of solutions that included the free market to lower cost, increase coverage, cover alternatives, etc.

Gun Control

  • False Dichotomy: Restrict gun rights and confiscate, or allow the slaughter of children, and allow children open access to machine guns out of vans outside the school yard.
  • Deconstruct: They’re coming for your 2nd Amendment rights. They’re asking for you to accept that self defense is only for police and government representatives.  That you don’t have the right to defend your life and home because help is only a 911 call away.  Except that the police are always minutes away when seconds count.
  • Third Choice: Conceal and carry.  Empower the citizenry. Bad guys will think twice when you raise the risk.  You’re not a victim or a child. You’re a citizen in a free country, with a God-given Constitutional right to self defense, especially against a tyrannical government.
False Dichotomy