Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Debating with Liberals

After a recent debate with a Liberal on Twitter, I was subjected again to the Liberal’s idea of rhetorical debate.  Believe it or not, for the informed debater it is not at all difficult to defeat their argumentation.  You see, Liberal argumentation is fraught with rhetorical fallacies that are all too easily taken down utilizing a few simple rules of debate.

Before I continue, I would like to take time to establish my credentials with regards to this subject.  For those of you who do not know me personally, I have a Bachelor of Science degree from the College at Brockport (part of the State University of New York) in Communication Studies.  It is one of the top schools in New York for the study of Communications and Rhetoric.  My education included Rhetoric Theory, Rhetorical Critique, Argumentation and Debate.  Since that time I have used these skills in the fields of sales and marketing, currently for a national radio conglomerate (my company’s social media policy requires me to not specify which company).

As I stated above, certain rhetorical fallacies are rife within the Liberal dialectic.  For those of you from Palm Beach County, FL, a fallacy is an illegitimate form of evidence in a debate, and dialectic is the overall series of arguments used by a particular group.  For the purpose of this demonstration, I will primarily use the issue of Global Warming, specifically man-caused Global warming.  The first fallacy is called the fallacy of expertise.

The Fallacy of Expertise

The fallacy of expertise is the belief that if someone is an expert, everything they say is beyond reproach.  What is important to know is that in a court of law and a debate, expertise must be demonstrated.   First and foremost, so many of Liberals so called experts are not experts in their field at all.  Look at Al Gore.  Al Gore is not a scientist.  Yet he is treated as an environmental expert.  What is his education?  The former Vice President has a bachelor’s degree in Divinity (that is theology for those of you from Palm Beach) and a graduate degree in Law.   So what precisely makes Al Gore an expert in climate science?  The answer is nothing.  Yet we are told he is an expert by Liberals and are expected to treat his claims as scientific.  Why,  because he claims himself an expert.  Herein lays the first part of the fallacy of expertise: people who claim themselves experts without actually being qualified as an expert.  Liberals expect to be assumed experts regardless of their actual expertise. 

What if the person is actually a legitimate expert?  For example, I due to my education and vocational experience I can claim a level of expertise in the field of rhetoric.  Yet I must still demonstrate that expertise with valid evidence.  Herein lays the second part of the fallacy of expertise.  Man caused Global Warming has not been demonstrated to be true.  Few people argue that the temperature of the Earth has changed over time.  The difference between the argument of Liberals and Conservatives is the cause.  Conservatives believe that the Earth’s temperature is in a state of constant flux.  It warms and cools in cyclical fashion.  In essence, the Earth was designed by its Creator to be self-regulating.  Even Liberal scientists’ claims back up this fact.  Forty years ago we were told that we were heading for a new ice age.  Now the same Liberal scientists claim the Earth’s temperature is rising.  If one were to follow the Liberal stream of logic (a difficult task to be sure) one would surmise that man has corrected his mistakes in reversing the effects of Global Cooling. 

However, Liberals do not like to enter into such debates.  It’s devastating for their case.  Rather, they start telling you the names of experts that agree that Global Warming is true.  They don’t feel the need to show the evidence, they just say “this expert” or “that expert” agree with them.  In a court of law and in a debate, this is an inadmissible argument.  It must be presented with specific evidences which demonstrate the case.  Liberals, of course, do not like tearing this down, which may lead them to this argument:

The Fallacy of Consensus

Liberals claim that all reputable scientists agree with their position on Global Warming.  Of course, they are already utilizing the fallacy of expertise by rejecting one sizable group of scientists while accepting those who agree with them.  It is false to believe that all reputable scientists agree with the claims that man caused Global Warming.  It is not true at all.  A significant group of scientists in fact do not believe man has anything to do with Global Warming.  Yet these Liberals will tell you no reputable scientist agrees with denial of Global Warming.  Of course, they do not actually even attempt to debate the scientific evidences against the Global Warming, they simply assume that because a particular individual disagrees with them they must be wrong.  The false assumption that one is absolutely correct without questioning is  a fallacy.  True science is based upon evidence, not consensus.  Once a Conservative tears down the fallacy of consensus, expect this argument next:

The Fallacy of Bias

The Liberal with whom you debate will then often attempt to tear down the lack of evidence given by their side by trying to tear down the other person whom is arguing with their so-called experts.  Rather than dealing with the fact that the consensus is not scientific, they instead start listing the biases of your side.  They will tell you that those who reject the principles of Global Warming are part of the energy industry or large businesses, essentially those who theoretically have the most reason to oppose environmental regulation.

Buried deep within this assertion is the idea that Liberal scientists are not bias, in fact they would tell you Liberals aren’t biased period.  Listen to what they tell you about the Liberal Media.  They claim their scientists are arguing facts alone, while of course refusing to present those facts (fallacy of expertise).  The truth be told, the only person who is ever unbiased is the person who doesn’t know enough about the issue at hand to have an opinion, and that person could never claim expertise on that particular subject.

The only things that are truly unbiased are facts.  Now particular facts can be demonstrated to not be factual if one examines them.  Yet the personal bias of the person who presents the facts should be immaterial if their statements are indeed facts.  To say that someone who has a vested interested does not eliminate facts.  Let me offer an analogy.  Let’s say you owe me ten dollars.  You go to pay me back and hand me a five-dollar bill, claiming that because the amount owed can be paid off with a single bill of identical size, shape and color can be paid off.  I tell you no, either give me a second five-dollar bill or I will return the five and you hand me a ten-dollar bill.  I am indeed biased in this situation, as being paid less than I am owed is detrimental to my personal interest.  Yet there is nothing false about my statement.  I am owed ten dollars, and I expect to be paid ten dollars.  My bias doesn’t change the fact that you have not paid me ten dollars you owe me, and even though a five-dollar bill is the same shape, size and color as a ten-dollar bill, it is not worth ten dollars.

Similarly, if somebody is speaking evident truth, it does not matter if they are the most biased person ever on that particular subject.  If the facts back them up, their evidence is sound. Period.

The Fallacy of the Negative

Once you reach this point, Liberals will try to get you to prove that their assertion isn’t true.  Global Warming isn’t a good comparison here, so let’s go to another favorite point from Liberals: racism.  Liberals will often assert that Conservatives and Republicans are racist.  It’s an ad homonym argument to be sure (for those of you from Palm Beach County, FL that’s a single insulting attack without merit).  When you ask them to give an example of Republican racism, they will tell you to prove you aren’t racist.  How do you prove the absence of something?  The truth is you can’t prove that you AREN’T something.  That is why in our court system it is the prosecution’s job to prove that someone is guilty.  You are innocent until proven guilty.  If you have never done anything to demonstrate racism, that is all that you can do.

If someone claims you are racist, they must prove it.  To ask you to prove a negative is a pure fallacy.  They must prove it is true, otherwise they have no leg to stand upon.

The Fallacy of Verbosity

Which brings us to the final favorite fallacy of Liberalism: shouting you down.  At this point, it has become increasingly clear to the Liberal that the facts harm their case.  They will now proceed to try to try to throw so many arguments at you that you cannot deal with them all, thus claiming victory by sheer number of arguments.  This is also known in rhetorical circles as “elephant hurling.”  This usually takes the form of repeating canned slogans from bumper stickers, blaming George W. Bush for every ill in the nation from deficits to uneven tire wear to polio, or just rattling off talking points at you.  The answer is to take the very first thing the Liberal says and start to refute it.  When you're done, move to the second, etc.


Eventually what will happen is your Liberal friend will decide, after spending minutes, hours, days, weeks, millennia trying to convince you, they will declare that you’ll have to agree to disagree.  For the record, this means you’ve won.  Liberals of this sort are usually terrible at losing.  So they decide it’s time to stop arguing because you’ve trounced their case.  If they were as open minded as they pretend to be, they’d start questioning their opinion, yet since they’ve bought into the lie that their entitled to their wrong opinion, they will instead leave the discussion.  (Side note:  if you’re debating on social media like Twitter, they may disappear from the conversation entirely.  They may also try to reopen the discussion out of the blue days or weeks later when they think of what they believe is a good answer to your arguments.)   

What is important to remember above all else is that Conservatives have an unwitting ally in debates with Liberals: the truth.  Conservatism has a history of successful results.  That’s why when we talk about our side we talk about successes of our programs, where Liberals talk about the laws they’ve passed without mentioning the successes of those laws (or lack thereof).   When Conservatism has been tried, it has worked every time.  When Liberalism has been tried, it has never failed to fail.

I can hear some of you asking, “Why bother to argue with this sort of Liberal at all?”  Simple: You’re not just trying to persuade that Liberal, you are trying to persuade all who hear the discussion.  There are many people who are relatively apolitical who will be persuaded to be Liberal because they want to be compassionate.  This is your opportunity to win them to the side of compassionate results, Conservatism.  And at the end of the day, it’s more important to persuade five listeners than one Liberal whose mind is already made up.

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