Traitorous Critic Fallacy

ergo decedo

Description: Responding to criticism by attacking a person's perceived favorability to an out-group or dislike to the in-group as the underlying reason for the criticism rather than addressing the criticism itself, and suggesting that they stay away from the issue and/or leave the in-group. This is usually done by saying something such as, "Well, if you don't like it, then get out!"

Logical Form:

Person 1 offers criticism against group 1.

Person 2 responds to the criticism by disingenuously asking them why they don't leave group 1.

Example #1:

Gertrude: I am tired of having to fill out these forms all day. Can't we find a more efficient system?

Cindy-Lou: If you're not happy with the way we do things, we can find someone who is!

Explanation: Cindy-Lou did not address the concern, but essentially threatened Gertrude to shut up or lose her job. This example might also be seen as proof by intimidation.

Example #2:

Steve: In Sweden, college is free for citizens. How come we can't do that here?

Ed: If you like Sweden so much, move there. The USA would be glad to be rid of your liberal ass!

Explanation: Besides begging the question (Steve did not say he liked Sweden), Ed refused to address the question asked and deflected with a disingenuous question on why Steve does not move to Sweden.

Exception: Repeated expressions of favoritism for the out-group and dislike of the in-group could justify a why-don't-you-join-the-out-group type of response.

Tip: Remember the old saying about the grass being greener on the other side.


This a logical fallacy frequently used on the Internet. No academic sources could be found.

Questions about this fallacy? Ask our community!

Reason: Books I & II

This book is based on the first five years of The Dr. Bo Show, where Bo takes a critical thinking-, reason-, and science-based approach to issues that matter with the goal of educating and entertaining. Every chapter in the book explores a different aspect of reason by using a real-world issue or example.

Part one is about how science works even when the public thinks it doesn't. Part two will certainly ruffle some feathers by offering a reason- and science-based perspective on issues where political correctness has gone awry. Part three provides some data-driven advice for your health and well-being. Part four looks at human behavior and how we can better navigate our social worlds. In part five we put on our skeptical goggles and critically examine a few commonly-held beliefs. In the final section, we look at a few ways how we all can make the world a better place.

Get 20% off this book and all Bo's books*. Use the promotion code: websiteusers

* This is for the author's bookstore only. Applies to autographed hardcover, audiobook, and ebook.

Get the Book