Definition

Name-calling is fallacy an Ad Hominem type of Red Herring logical fallacies. The synonym is mudslinging or character assassination. It’s a lowest possible type of argument where instead of addressing the issue in question, the opponent character or identity is abused without intent to discuss anything, instead of undermining his arguments.

He can’t be right! He is such a brainwashed simpleton!

See Graham’s Hierarchy of Disagreement below.

Graham’s Hierarchy of Disagreement

Identity Politics

Originally came from Minorities and Political party supporters (political identity), it’s a bit more difficult to tell what is identity politics now. In simple cases it’s assigining people specific label and praising or blaiming them because of this label, not because of their actions or words. In the discussion, because this labelling detracts from the topic, and not associated with the character or the person (that would be artumentum ad personam then) but with the label, we can group those arguments into this Name-Calling. Name calling is very often used in propaganda.

Recent fallacy examples in Australian politics and media

Here we try to list some of contemporary Ad Personam - Name Calling and describe some details. Sometimes it relates to opinion, amd other times to secured attributes bashing. Nevertheless, here they are.

OK, Boomer

Originally having roots in Ad Hominem Tu Quoque, OK, Boomer is a dismissive response to people from a Baby Bommers Generation, those who were born in 1946-1964. Name calling example:

– You don’t understand anything here!
– OK, Boomer!

It is often considered ageist. It became very well known after several online meme’s and especially when a Green left advocating for Climate Crisis in New Zealand Parliament did shut down with this phrase someone next to them.

Karen

A Name-calling of a person who extreamely disapproves severe lockdown system imposed on Melbourne population during COVID-19 pandemic in mid of year 2020. This name became well-known after Jodi Grollo, dubbed “Karen from Brighton”, (Brighton is south-eastern suburb of Melbourne) when she was exercising 10 kms from home, when only 5km permitted, she was asked by a TV reporter why is she so far away, she repplied:

Well, you get sick of walking the same streets…
I’ve done all of Brighton

This comment gone viral. Then the she posted a video of herself singing

So, I’m leaving on a jet plane. I don’t think that I’ll be back again.
Bugger off. I am over. I am done. I am out. Cheers Victoria.

That resembles the attidude of many Melbournians.

ClimateDeniers

That’s a name-calling for everyone who doesn’t support Climate Crisis movement. Climate change denial, or global warming denial is denial, dismissal, or unwarranted doubt that contradicts the scientific consensus on climate change. Usualy this consensus is visualised with NASA low-base effect chart of global temperature measured on since 1880

  • Global temperature and Earth climate are changing like, forever
  • You are just a Climatechange Denier!

CoviDeniers

Aslo called Covidiots are the ones who doesn’t support restrictions on anything related to movement, isolation or quatantine to restrict spread of COVID-19. Irrespectible of efficiency and the cost of those restrictions they can be categorised as

  • Distance between people restriction (like, not allowed to be closer then 1.5m). Usually it’s callded a “Socical Distancing” but probably whould be called “Anti-Socical Distancing”
  • Restrictions on movement (i.e. less then 10km from your home)
  • Restrictions on meeting other people outside (like no meeting of other people not from your household)
  • Restrictions on welcoming other people into your home (like - not allowed)
  • Sending children to school
  • Restrictions on business allowed (like - only essential - which can be like 30% of the economy)

This type of name calling example is:

  • Do you know that survival rate after COVID-19 is very high?
  • You’re just a CoviDeniers!

More info: