Countering this malicious immaturity takes patience, grace and factually based arguments
Not having an honest debate with a liberal
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On New Year’s Day, Kyle Becker, writing at Independent Journal Review, published the amusing but true list of eight things liberals do to avoid having an honest debate. Given that his focus was on the American left, I wanted to pull the camera lens out, so to speak, and have a look at this from a broader perspective including my own experiences and what the British do differently.
The list of eight things liberals do to avoid having an honest debate – according to Kyle Becker
- Ad Hominem (Name-Calling aka “You’re a Racist!” etc.)
- Distracting (aka “Pivoting” aka “Changing the Subject”)
- Somebody Else Did It Before (aka Two Wrongs Make a Right)
- Obama Doesn’t Know What’s Going On (Or Did I Do That?)
- It’s a Far-Right Conspiracy (Or The Koch Brothers Did It)
- You Heard That on Faux News
- Argumentum Ad Misericordium (Or “Do it for the Children”)
- It’s Bush’s Fault
Name calling is exactly that and is employed to neutralize debate. In other words, your argument is invalid because you are a Christian / Racist / Homophobe / member of the tea party etc. Already this year in an online debate which was only taking part because the woman had already employed #2 - I was referred to a ‘sophist’ (twister of truth) and was compared to Lucifer – and this was by a theology post-graduate.
Playing the race card in politics appears to be primarily used in America. The British tend to see it for what it is. However, discrediting Christians can be done the same way in the UK though it’s still likely to be done ‘on-point’.
So onto #2. Changing the subject is extremely irritating but employed by many liberals with frequency as soon as they encounter someone who knows what they are talking about. This one is more widespread across the nations. I was attacked on Twitter following a piece published by CFP – changing the subject from trying to dress boys as girls to reduce their testosterone levels (which she is employed to do) to the legal status of Scotland. (I’d called it a province, she calls it a country and tried to make the debate about that).
Next liberal trick - Somebody else does it too! Ah, we learn this in school but as we mature we grow out of it. People justify their wrongdoing on account of the fact that they are not alone in doing it. Mature people are personally accountable – liberals and lefties, though, rarely grow up.
#4 “Obama doesn’t know what’s going on” is one that would never fly far in Britain and in fact not with some Democrats either were it not for the President’s race. But because of the fear of attacking Obama for his ineptitude because of his race (see #1), the idea that the President has no idea what’s going on is considered viable. In fact it should be completely unacceptable that he supposedly has no idea what’s happening with anything, even though he’s just called a press-conference to announce he’s fighting to fix the problem.
Next! - It’s a far-right conspiracy! The American-left may get traction with this one because occasionally they are partially correct. A minority on the right do go off the deep end with conspiracy theories but the left uses that to say that to claim that everything on the American right is a conspiracy.
Back in the days when Bill was President, his beloved Hillary famously accused Republicans of a vast right-wing conspiracy, which actually meant that they had the audacity to oppose her. But the thinking comes from the fact that, in America, anyway, there is a vast left-wing conspiracy that operates in complete contradiction to the policies it preaches.
The reason the American-left (supported by British lapdogs like The Guardian and The BBC) thinks the Tea Party is a conspiracy is because if they ran it then it actually would be. When they run something it is highly organized and centralized, just like communism. An actual organic organization like the Tea Party is something they can’t fathom, don’t think is possible, and just organizationally don’t trust.
Onto #6. – Blame Fox News! The American left are equaled by their British counterparts here even though Fox News is seen by a relatively small amount of people across the pond. (but apparently by all the left-wing bloggers). The repeated bashing is supposed to discredit the channel and it has been discredited amongst lefties everywhere. However, Fox’s market share continues to grow regardless because they are the only cable news in America that does give everyone a fair shake.
Ironically Fox News is not exactly conservative central! It presents a healthy dose of conservative analysis, although it shows more mainstream Republican thinking along with a bunch of Democrats doing #1 - #5 & #7 - #8. The real conservatism is on talk radio (some of whom appear on Fox) from people like Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Mark Levin, Laura Ingraham, Glenn Beck etc.
Do it for the Children! - #7. As the aforementioned Limbaugh frequently points out – liberals are well-intentioned. The argument goes, ‘we have to do it because of the need’ – such as the 46 million without health insurance (which is now up to at least 48 million). This becomes their license to do absolutely anything they want because they can always identify someone with a need.
Blame Bush! Or in Britain blame Thatcher!
Blame Bush! Or in Britain blame Thatcher! The American left which includes most TV and print media spent the entire Bush Presidency trying to discredit him. The BBC chimed in too. Now for the last five years, we have endured the ‘it’s Bush’s fault’ argument to explain why Obama hasn’t fixed anything yet.
For young Britain and for the unions that mantra is Margaret Thatcher as was so illustrated after her death last year. An online campaign, largely by people too young to remember her, was launched to put the song ‘Ding Dong the Witch is Dead’ at number one on the pop charts.
Also this week, Labour MP Ian Lavery wrote on how Margaret Thatcher lied to the country during the 1984-85 miners strike leaving scars still felt today “through the wanton destruction of our industry and communities”.
The idea of this timeless smearing is to be able to point to Bush, Thatcher, Fox News, Christians, The Tea Party, The Koch Brothers etc. as examples of what happens ‘if they’re in power’. Countering this malicious immaturity takes patience, grace and factually based arguments. As Becker finished his piece he wrote “Sometimes, arguing with radicals seems like an exercise in futility. But, remember, you’re not always arguing to change their minds, but the minds of rational people who are observing the debate.”