A Straw man is a misrepresentation of the other side's case. Such an argument is called a straw man because a straw man is easier to attack than the real argument of the other side.
Examples of straw man argumentsEdit
With a straw man argument, the original position against which the argument is made is misrepresented (usually to make it sound weaker), or exaggerated. Then the misrepresentation is refuted. By refuting the weaker, made-up position, the original position is seen as having been refuted. For example, you argue that we ought to spend more money on infrastructure to which your opponent responds with questioning why you don’t want America defended properly. She then can argue why the defense budget shouldn’t be cut while you are still on infrastructure. There's more examples of misrepresenting liberals below. This has been changed into a bulletted list which wasn't in the original text to make it easier to follow. The italicized sections in square brackets, [...] are what I wrote and aren't in the quote.
- Make your voice heard, even if it's a whining, sanctimonious liberal voice trying to get illegal immigrants free hair gel and heroin. [When has any liberal tried to get illegal immigrants free hair gel and heroin?]
- Liberals are all secret Communists aiming to destroy morality and personal choice; [True liberals value Freedom and strongly oppose Totalitarian types of Communism. When groups of people freely choose to live communally sharing possessions liberals have no issue with that.]
- Scientists shake their fist at God while plotting to surpass Him; [Scientists apply the Scientific method trying to find out the Truth whatever that is. If the truth turns out to be different from what some Mythology imagines people who believe that mythology try to argue scientists are shaking their fist at God. Science has allowed Humans to advance beyond what was imagined in earlier times. If believers feel that's trying to surpass God it shows indirectly how much science has achieved.] (...)
- Feminists want to kill all men; [That's Misandry, not feminism and even the worst misandrists are unlikely to want to kill all men. That would cause the human race to end in a generation with no younger people to look after the misandrists when they get old.] 
Note: By no means all Conservatives are as unreasonable as the above suggests. Only a small minority are.
Straw man debateEdit
- 1st person puts forward argument A.
- 2nd person puts forward argument B misrepresenting A.
- 2nd person refutes argument B.
- It appears superficially that argument A has been refuted.
- The "Straw Man" Fallacy Video with a clear explanation of the straw man fallacy