“Dichotomizing means pathologizing; and pathologizing means dichotomizing” said Abraham Maslow.
In certain instances, it is true to say that there are two options and no more—that the answer is either black or white. Yet those instances are rare, and most of the time reality provides a colorful bouquet of possibilities, some very good, some very bad, and most a mix of both. You should be automatically suspicious, then, when someone demands that you limit yourself to either left or right, for even at a fork in the road you have more than just two options. It possible, and sometimes wise, to turn around and go back.
The purpose of the “false dichotomy” fallacy is to hide all other alternatives beyond the two options (usually chosen with prejudice and for the purpose of the unflattering contrast) placed directly before you. It is a fallacy of oversimplification.
False dichotomy has expressed itself systematically via the party system in America. As we’ve all been assured, you may choose either the Right or the Left, but if you choose anything else you are wasting your time. History itself refutes this bad logic, but it has proven extremely effective for our two parties as a means of maintaining power, since both of them benefit from this sort of thinking.