Is there a word or term to describe attempting to discredit an organisation/movement/group by association of certain members involved?
For example, when discussing the Peoples Vote campaign among certain people I often here it being discredited by having Chuka Ummuna as the leader, Anna Sourby as a co-chairperson, and now Roland Rudd as supposedly being involved. All unsavoury characters no doubt about it, but bringing them up does nothing to discuss the merits of a second vote and only seeks to close down debate.
Written as a more abstract example:
- Person A and Person B are discussing whether the UK should have a second referendum on Brexit as campaigned for by the "Peoples Vote" pressure group.
- Person A is in favour of a second vote.
- Person B is against a second vote.
- Person B explains that Chuka, Anna and Roland - people who both A and B agree are unsavoury characters - are involved in the Peoples Vote group, two of whom in high profile positions. Person B uses this as a reason for why the entire Peoples Vote group is illegitimate and ultimately that because the Peoples Vote group is illegitimate that the UK should not have a second referendum on Brexit.
- Person B has not raised any points to do with the merits of the Peoples Vote objective - to have a second referendum - other than to discredit the group by association of some of the individuals involved.
I have been calling this "a sort of ad hominem" attack up till now, however, as I understood it the definition of ad hominem is to attack the claim maker so I think I am wrong in saying this. Person A in this is not making any claim. The entity being attacked is a third party - the Peoples Vote group.
This seems to be happening a lot nowadays, especially when discussing something political.