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View Diary: Persuasion: Talking Others Blue (49 comments)

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  •  I appreciate the non-confrontational suggestions (0+ / 0-)

    We need less kun-fu in our rhetoric and more Tai-chi.

    A lot of conservatives have a depressed and pessimistic view of life in general. They gripe about lots of things besides politics.... and Talk Radio tells them exactly who to blame for that.

    A good way to engage them is to join their gripe session. "Yep, the world IS going to hell in a handbasket"... but when the conversation turns to whose fault that is, you can say, "Naw, it's not the unions, it's the damned banks!"... or, "if the corporations weren't so damned greedy, we woudn't need all these regulations!"... and so on.

    A gambit I like to use with the really hard cases is to ask, "Yeah, but what if that's not true?" It's not a direct assault like, "You're lying". And it's not a flat rebuttal like, "That's bullshit". The key words are "what if..."

    Nobody wants to be seen as "gullible". We've all been embarrassed by the experience of blaming someone for something they didn't do. We've all been chagrined for getting worked up about a problem that could have been avoided if we had just read the instructions.

    So have our conservative neighbors. The first response to a provocative statement is to plant that seed of doubt.

    Often the True Believer will just spit back, "It IS true!", but you've already blunted his momentum and a  little voice in the back of his head is asking, "What if I'm making a fool of myself here?"

    The clever ones will reply with "What if it IS true?"... but that's just playing rhetorical turnabout. He's just admitted that the point is arguable. You can then reply with somethings like, "well, it's not something I would repeat without checking it out first". Then you argue the facts, the veracity of his sources,  or move on to something else.

    "What if.." doesn't work in response to a simple assertion like "Obama is ruining the country". You have to ask them "why do you say that?" until they offer the premise for their belief.

    Don't ever expect to convert a True Believer. Don't even expect to "win" an argument with one. Your goal is to influence any "undecideds" who might be watching... and to make the bullies a little less quick to exploit a captive audience in the future.

    The only way to "lose" an argument with a conservative is to avoid it altogether.

    Have you noticed?
    Politicians who promise LESS government
    only deliver BAD government.

    by jjohnjj on Tue Jan 31, 2012 at 11:56:48 AM PST

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