Thursday, October 31, 2013
Lessons Learned in Arguing With Conservatives
The first thing I learned was that I was going to need a lot of patience because we were going to go down many rabbits trails before we got to the main topic. I knew I was going to have to take a lot of name calling, sift through the exaggerations, and I needed to try and calm down my angry opponent. That’s right, I’m satisfied with the last two presidential elections and my opponent is not. An angry person is not likely to make much sense until they cool down.
The conservative is likely to be a Ronald Reagan or a Ron Paul disciple, so they come into the argument with an idea that they are superior and if things somehow don’t go their way, then the system had to be rigged. They seem to think that President Obama couldn’t possibly get those millions of votes legitimately, so he would had to entice his constituents with government goodies. There’s no other possible explanation.
In the VA’s thread titled “America is ineptocrasy not democracy’ “the right-wing commenters wanted to make it about “makers and takers” and they got upset when other posters did not want to follow that storyline. They want to control the dialogue using their talking points rather than facts from reliable sources.
I had to sit patiently while my conservative opponent went through his monologue where he would call the president a socialist, tyrant, illegitimate, or the latest thing he heard from talk radio. I knew that I would be wasting my time trying to refute all those false claims, so I sat there and" bit my tongue" until we could get to the issues. It’s a rope- a- dope tactic.
If we were arguing in front of an audience, my conservative opponent would put on a show, by wildly exaggerating all his points. I had to carefully phrase my opinions and points, so he didn't mock my answers as much, since we are not having a formal debate. A good example is the last comment in the “Voter ID Law No problem in Crossroads” thread where a poster stated “Did you bother to read the article? “The voter ID law hasn't presented any problems. The gloom and doom stories were just that, stories?” The poster doesn’t know that’s such a small sample, that it is not representative sample that we can rely on but he thinks we can’t read.
The conservative is not dumb, but you have to keep repeating the facts that you got from reliable sources because they won’t sink in the first, second or even the third time around. For example, many have moved off the IRS non scandal because there were not enough facts to support their conspiracy, so it quickly became not a matter of concern. Benghazi is still alive to them because they think there are still pieces of evidence around to bring down the Obama Administration or to weaken Hillary Clinton in her presidential run. The Republicans have not come up with any meaningful legislation, so this is all they have to cling to.
Today, the GOP is on a “what did the president know and when did he know it?” strategy. Yesterday’s congressional hearing about the disastrous rollout of the Healthcare.gov website, there were more questions and statements about the president’s promise that people could keep their crappie insurance policies if they wanted to. It’s too late in the game for the GOP to start playing the “I feel your pain” game because everyone is aware that they have never cared about universal affordable health care.