My answer is simple: They win because they’re wrong.
Huh? If this seems confusing, let me describe how the Liberal mindset develops. Throughout life, we make decisions in two ways: Either measuring data with our minds, or overriding data with our emotions. If we measure data, our minds develop skill in doing so. But if we ignore data and do what we want, our minds develop another skill—that of defending emotional choices with dizzying tactics.
Suppose you’re buying a car. The data says you can afford $25,000, but your emotions want the $50,000, mid-life-crisis-mobile. So you buy the sweet ride. No longer measuring data, your mind shifts to “internal lawyer,” defending your emotional choices: “I’m due for a raise anyway…I’ll adjust my entertainment spending…I look 62% more attractive in this car.” Once a glorious accountant, your mind transforms into a sleazy defense attorney—the kind who guzzles martinis, numbing the guilt of defending halfwits who see sports cars as miracle cures for receding hairlines.
This brings up our leftwing counterparts. While Conservatives generally seek to control themselves, Liberals generally seek to control others, thus sparking their own mental disconnect: “I don’t want to be controlled because it’s wrong to control me, but I don’t like their choices so I’ll control them.” Embracing this anti-golden rule, Liberal minds enter sleazy lawyer mode, defending the idea of herding people like cattle. The deeper Liberals commit, the more skilled they become, and in time they can defend anything.
Do you see why Conservatives leave debates feeling overwhelmed? We're used to measuring data, not wading through endless rationalizations.
And Now, David Webb
For a great example in defeating this Liberal mindset, witness Conservative talk show host David Webb on the 11/18 episode of Fox’s “America’s Newsroom.” Confronting a tactic called deflection—re-directing or avoiding questions—Webb thrived where most Conservatives fail.
Let me set the stage:
At issue was President Obama’s attempt to distance himself from MIT economist Jonathan Gruber, in which Obama wrote Gruber off as “some advisor who never worked on our staff.” Why did Obama say this? Because statements by Gruber had surfaced, celebrating the use of outright deception in selling Obamacare to “stupid” Americans. Yikes. Fleeing “Gruber-gate,” Obama acted like he barely knew a man he paid $392,000 to consult on Obamacare…and who visited the White House 20 times…and who bragged of personal meetings with Obama…and whom Obama himself, in 2006, cited as someone he had “stolen ideas from liberally.”
Okay, so Obama lied. Nothing new there.
But read Webb’s exchange on “America’s Newsroom.” Host Martha MacCallum first plays several damning videos of Gruber and Obama (including a fun one with Webb trailing Gruber, seeking comments), then addresses Liberal talk show host Santita Jackson:
(Warning: Jackson’s dodging is skillful, but tedious. It’s lousy reading, but please read it all to prepare for leftist tactics)
MacCallum: “Santita, given all of the press this has received, and the fact that he was in the White House 20 times, and talks quite specifically about an Oval Office meeting with the president, I mean, can you believe that that was what the president had to say about this at that point?”
Jackson: “Let me say, David, let me forever be on your side. I don’t want you chasing me down—how frightening! Let me tell you, is the law perfect? No. Should it be fixed? Absolutely. You know, I’m one of the Americans who could not be insured 10 years ago, and, because of pre-existing health conditions, that, could have ended my life, and so, the Gallup poll this week just said that 70% of Americans who have been able to buy insurance through these health exchanges are satisfied with them. So I don’t want to end the law; I want to mend the law. I can understand the questions that many people have—I have them myself—they need to be answered. But I don’t want this law to be thrown out; I want us to focus on it. A lot of the personalities…this has been very entertaining, but what is not entertaining are the lives that are at risk—“
(Webb interrupts this lengthy misdirection, resulting in an unintelligible interaction between Jackson and himself. Then MacCallum jumps in to restate her original question)
MacCallum: “I ask you to answer my question if you would. Do you believe that the president was not aware of Jonathan Gruber?”
Jackson: “You know, Jonathan Gruber has been denied by both Republicans and Democrats. Do you know, this started in 1989, with the Heri--(Webb starts to interject)—well, excuse me David, but let me finish my thought. I mean, the fact is, the Heritage Foundation came up with ACA, or some variation of it—"
(Webb interjects that Jackson is deflecting, the two talk over each other, then MacCallum brings it back)
MacCallum: “Santita, finish your sentence.”
Jackson: “My point is, I feel that both parties have been in on this. Hillary Clinton tried to push it up the Hill, Romney kind of got it across the line, then President Obama was able to get it a little bit further down the road. All I want is, I want some answers, but I really want all Americans to have access to great healthcare.”
(More talking over each other ensues, so MacCallum takes over, eventually allowing Webb to put Jackson away)
MacCallum: “Santita, everbody agrees that all Americans should have access to good healthcare. The question is whether or not it should be done through the private industry, through competition, through open across the border purchasing of healthcare plans. I mean, you know, the question here is whether or not the people were deceived in this country when they were presented this plan, is it not, David?”
Webb (my emphasis added): “Yeah, and Martha, by the way, Santita does a brilliant job of deflecting and never answering your question. The fact is Obama in 2006 references Gruber. The fact is we have a White House visitor’s log, and not everybody gets to have a meeting in the Oval Office. So, she deflects from the issue to bring others into it. That’s a great tactic, maybe for TV, but the American people are dealing with reality. And there are many things that need to be fixed in both health insurance and healthcare delivery systems, but Obamacare was a hoax that was foisted on the American people with a lie; with a number of lies, and Jonathan Gruber and President Obama and Nancy Pelosi, and all the Democrats who supported this did not fix problems.”
At this point, Jackson is thoroughly disarmed. She flails about, discussing Gruber’s work on Romneycare, but this falls flat because Romneycare was designed as a test program in one state, not imposed nationwide (Romney, in fact, opposed nationalizing it). Furthermore, Romney’s plan was developed with an 85% Democrat legislature and heartily received by sweeping majorities in Massachusetts, while Obama developed his plan completely against his rival party and public sentiment. So Romney told the truth and governed with the people, while Obama used deception and governed against the people. Gee, slight difference.
Here’s the point: By using this tortured reference, Jackson shows how badly Webb has beaten her. She’s crushed. From there, Webb’s hardest task is choosing which endzone celebration to use before spiking the ball (I myself enjoy “The Lambeau Leap”).
Conclusion: Easy Strategy
Let’s apply Webb’s brilliance: Before returning Jackson to the subject, he first explains her tactic. This reveals Jackson. Understand, Webb knows how liberal minds work, but he also knows most people don’t. That’s why he starts by exposing tactics. Does Jackson’s deflection intimidate him? On the contrary, he uses it to disarm her! Wonderful!
I know it’s frustrating to debate committed liberals, since their minds create webs of confusion to justify illogic. It’s exhausting. But before untangling their chaos, reveal their tactics:
- When they misdirect and dodge, say they are misdirecting and dodging.
- When they spout examples of “Conservatives doing the same things,” tell them you’d be happy to discuss those examples--AFTER discussing the issue at hand (they hate this).
- When they laugh to diminish your point (Joe Biden, anyone?), ask why they think laughing at a point makes it less valid.
This is easy strategy. Disarm them first, and then debate on equal footing. Like David Webb, you’ll stop struggling to keep up, and start spiking the ball.
You really can do it. Just use your mind.