I've recently listened to an interesting Dutch podcast. The podcast talked about framing, and specifically about how people sometimes frame things by using a tactic that uses single words or images to emphasize one aspect of a topic, with the goal of convincing others to have a similar opinion on that topic. It goes on to talk about how emphasizing only one aspect leads to neglecting others and summaring big issues in a single word fosters a climate where discussions and even casual talks lack nuance, discussions harden, and black-white thinking is encouraged, even though this behavior can be highly useful for convincing people.
A good example the podcast used was 'tax relief': Words used by Republicans in America to express their point of view that taxes should be lowered, while implicitly accusing Democrats of letting the taxes get too high. This highlights a specific positive aspect (relief), but bypasses possible negative aspects like getting less state income from taxes.
The podcast talked about one way of countering these words: summarize your own position in one word too. This can be seen in the juxtaposition between e.g. pro-life and pro-choice. In fact, the podcast mentioned this way of countering is way more effective than providing counterarguments when it comes to having a discussion. Which seems nice, but has the same pitfalls as outlined in the previous paragraph. As such, since couter-arguments are probably not effective, I've decided to try and counter the rhetoric technique itself, much like I was taught to do in my high-school classes on Dutch language and rhetorics/debating.
I had a recent opportunity to try and do so in a discussion about "privilege". An acquaintance I was talking to talked about growing up in a household without poverty as 'being privileged'.* I responded by pointing out "privilege" was an example of the technique I described above, explaining the technique and that the lack of nuance in it would not help a good discussion.
They asked me to explain further, so I replied that by summarizing their thoughts about growing up without poverty as "a privilege", they were bypassing other arguments, like how this is something everyone should have. After all, privileges are special rights awarded to groups of people to give them more or different rights than someone would usually have a claim to (think 'computer privileges' and how a parent can grant or revoke those when raising a kid), and everyone has a claim to a right to grow up without poverty.
I do think I messed up the explanation because my explanation can also be seen as a 'counter-argument', but I saw no other way (still don't see any) at that time to answer the question of how they were summarizing their thoughts on a complex societal issue in a single word. The things I said were dismissed as 'what a privileged person would say'. At that point we ended the talk with an 'agree to disagree'. But their response suggests to me that my behavior somehow reinforced their willingness to resort to this technique, instead of made the other person realize they are using a particular rhetoric.
How do I more effectively counteract this rhetorical technique in a way that doesn't reinforce a person's willingness to use it further?
* Someone in chat mentioned this person may have been unwilling to have an open talk/discussion. The remark was made on a website that actively encourages and revolves around such discussions, and we've become acquainted enough that I feel confident in saying that this wasn't the case