We’ve all experienced it. You get in an argument with someone who knows little about the subject they’re talking about, but who is absolutely confident they’re right. Maybe it’s police violence, maybe it’s climate change, or school closures during the pandemic. They’re reciting tired progressive talking points that have been debunked a dozen times over. You’re presenting them with counterarguments that are hardly original, but your interlocutor seems to have never considered them before. Pretty soon they’re backed into a corner.
So they pull out the card you knew was coming from the very beginning: “Oh, so you’re just content to let them die???”
The argument has now pivoted from a dispute over facts and reason to an unwinnable contest over who has the purer heart. And the assumption is, quite clearly, that you’re the monster for having your awful opinions. You can keep arguing if you want, but at this point there’s no more persuasion to be had, if there ever was any. You’ve been condemned for your thought crimes and there’s no appeals process. The person you just wasted ten minutes arguing with will walk away with their position utterly unchanged, but their opinion of you diminished. According to terms you never agreed to, you’ve lost the debate.