Unless you’re very, very, new to political debates, you’re probably familiar with the “No True Scotsman” fallacy.
My favorite practitioner of it is the Twitter account of the Socialist Party of the United Kingdom. Somewhat like Beto O’Rourke’s short-lived, yet somehow oddly interminable, presidential campaign, the account can be relied upon to do the work normally reserved for rhetorical straw men. Let the record show, that over the last 150 years or so, avowed socialist parties and governments have racked up an impressive string of errors, from trivial screw-ups to horrific crimes against humanity. But on Twitter, if you dare associate any of these embarrassments with true socialism, there’s a good chance the @SPGB account will appear, like Beetlejuice upon hearing his name three times, to haunt you. It will shout, “That’s not real socialism!” and then invoke some Platonic definition of the term to “prove” that real socialists would never do the terrible things self-described socialists actually did in the name of socialism.
Anyway, here’s a pithier illustration of the NTS fallacy:
“No true Scotsman likes light beer.”