The technique is illustrated in HL Mencken’s Minority Report, excerpted by Don Boudreaux in his Cafe Hayek:
The really unanswerable objection to Prohibition was always the Prohibitionists. If, in fact, they had believed honestly that forbidding rum to man would improve the world and had offered serious arguments for it, however unconvincing, most other men would have been disposed to listen to them politely. But it was quickly manifest that improving the world was the last consideration in their minds. What moved them was simply a violent desire to satisfy their egos by harassing their fellow-men.
It’s been about ego and not about social betterment for the Left for some time. Even Mencken’s remark merely repeats the Left’s own characterization of its ego. Here, to repeat a theme of my own, is Herb Croly, one of the founders of the modern Progressive movement, on his intellectual and moral inferiors:
[T]he average American individual is morally and intellectually inadequate to serious and consistent conception of his responsibilities as a democrat.