I have an e-mail exchange going with a list of people who are both friends and strangers. It appears that one of the strangers falls under the category of dittohead. So I would like some advice from the Kos community. What do you say to a person like this? I have gotten to the point where it seems completely pointless because no matter what I say he will continue to give the same response. I will put the exchange below the fold with his words in grey. Any advice would be appreciated.
This started when someone sent out an e-mail about Pat Robertson saying that "activist judges" are a greater threat to America than terrorism. Here is what ensued.
Well, it's not as if liberals have been all that fired up about going after the terrorists! Heck, the only time they show any backbone is when they want to pretend to filibuster a handful of judicial nominees...
Another liberal responded:
I disagree with you. It was Bush who stopped pursuing Bin Laden in Afghanistan and changed direction by invading Iraq. I never understood why he did that except to control the oil in Iraq. Saddam Hussein didn't hijack 4 airplanes and crash 2 of them into the WTC, one into the Pentagon, and one in PA.
And how many of Clinton's judicial nominees did the right-wingnuts oppose? The pendulum swings both ways.
I half agree. I think it was about oil...but it's a lot more than that. The is whole list of reasons and I don't believe that anyone of them is much more important than the rest. I think Bush honestly believed that he could change the world. The reasons for the Iraq war are oil, politics, religion, corporate power and profit and the expansion of American empire all in one ugly mix.
As for judges...the GOP is so full of crap that their breath stinks. There is a very small list of seven judges who right wing extremists that the Democrats are taking issue with and they have the right to.
There may be a minority of Democratic senators but those sentators represent a great number of people than the Republican senators. When it comes down to it the Senate is a fundamentally undemocratic place. The extremist judges represent the beliefs of a small minority in this country and they're trying to force an upopular ideology onto the public. Clinton nominated moderate judges and the GOP still wouldn't approve them.
Also, don't be distracted by the pro-choice/anti-choice debate on these judges (or the coming Supreme Court battle). This is about corporate power and the New Deal. The agenda of the Republican Party is the privatization of everything and the growth of corporate power to intrude on individual liberty. Not to mention the destruction of the New Deal.
That's what this about. Don't be distracted by abortion.
Conservative guy responded:
This is the second round of political babbling that you have spouted that I have had to slosh through.
I have but one question: where's the evidence?
Sure, you liberals make all of the outrageous charges you can imagine (I'm particularly entertained by the corporate power one; makes me feel like I'm eavesdropping on a bunch of John Birchers).
And do me a favor: define 'extremist?' Based on all of the data I've
reviewed you people are frothing at the mouth for one reason and one reason only - your hatred for the true intent of Constitution.
Then I said:
Well for starters generally when someone begins a sentence with the words "I think" it implies that they are about to make a statement of opinion based upon an interpretation of the world around them. Saying "I think" generally implies that one is still open to other possibilities and realizes that they do not yet have all the facts.
Second, I think before you accuse other people of "frothing at the mouth" you should probably check for moisture around your own lips. I think I was, and generally am, fairly polite in my response to your "outrageous charges".
Let's take a look at what you had to say:
"This is the second round of political babbling that you have spouted that I have had to slosh through."
You don't have to read it if you don't want to. I don't care. I find it funny that you think that things like numbers showing concrete evidence of a certain phenomenon can be classified as babbling.
"...you liberals make all of the outrageous charges you can imagine..."
You mean like saying that being a Democrat and a Christian is an oxymoron?
"Based on all of the data I've reviewed you people are frothing at the mouth for one reason and one reason only - your hatred for the true intent of Constitution."
This data you speak of...where might it be? I haven't seen too many studies that give any hard evidence of liberal hatred for the constitution. So, I have one question: where's the evidence?
As for evidence of my own thoughts...I would suggest checking out the Project for the New American Century at www.newamericancentury.org. It was co-founded by William Kristol, editor of the Weekly Standard and former chief of staff to VP Dan Quayle. This is one of the intellectual centers for the neoconservative movement, the architects of the Iraq war. Here are a few of the greatest hits from their mission statement:
"We aim to make the case and rally support for American global leadership."
"Does the United States have the resolve to shape a new century favorable to American principles and interests?"
"Cuts in foreign affairs and defense spending, inattention to the tools of
statecraft, and inconstant leadership are making it increasingly difficult to sustain American influence around the world."
Does anyone see any euphemisms in there? I'm only looking at the philosophical basis of what this administration does. Claims similar to mine are coming from circles that are not entirely liberal. I've spent a little time reading Pat Buchanan and The American Conservative. There is a lot of concern about the fact that America is expanding its role as global cop.
As far as corporate power goes...let's not kid ourselves. That is the main concern of the government. Isn't it funny that we get a bill making it harder for individuals to file for bankruptcy but when the airlines come on hard times congress is falling all over themselves to bail them out? How much money has been "lost" in Iraq with no accountability for it? How many people were cheated out of their retirement by Enron with no accountability? How many people in California were gouged by Enron with no accountability?
You know what's funny? Watching the current crop of Republicans in congress and this administration use the government as a corporate piggy bank is almost enough to make me vote Libertarian. At least those people stick to conservative principles rather than mouthing free market rhetoric and then using our tax dollars to subsidize everything under the sun.
Finally, conservative guy said:
You're still frothing. If you have a real point to make, make it. So far, all you have done is make charges that are pure conspiracy theory based upon your own twisted view of the world, or are based upon your self-loathing of the United States.
In order to keep this simple (I am busy making lots of imperialist money for myself and my family and don't have time to ream you out for every inane claim you make), why don't you begin by identify one position you would like to debate intelligently and explain why you and your ilk are in the right (no pun intended) and why conservatives are wrong on that issue.
What do you say to that? It seems to me that I should say good night and tell him there is no point in talking to someone who refuses to listen. I know that no matter what I say his response will be to say I'm frothing at the mouth and have no evidence to back up my claim (when clearly I do). So what is the point?
It points me to a bigger question. What is the point in trying to debate anything with anyone on the political right who has a similar attitude?