Any argument that is directed at a person, instead of at his or her argument is a Personal Attack Fallacy, or Ad Hominem. This type of fallacy attempts to distract the audience from the argument by placing the focus on a flaw in the person’s character. A person’s character is usually irrelevant to the truth or falsity of an argument.
This is a very common tactic among politicians, as it is a way to question the credibility of a person so that the audience then begins the question the person’s arguments and ideas. Be skeptical of any slander tactics, as they are an attempt to distract you from the content of the argument.
Example Argument: “Are you going to listen to her? You can’t trust anything she says, especially about dieting! She’s a republican.”
Premise: She is a republican
Conclusion: Therefore you shouldn’t trust anything see says, especially about dieting
A woman’s political affiliation has nothing to do with her trustworthiness or her knowledge about diets. The attempt to try to discount someone’s argument based on an unrelated character aspect is an unfair distraction and is irrelevant to the reasonableness of someone’s argument.