I’ve declared how good I am at persuading lefties at several forums already, so I figure it’s time a give an example of what I do. Like all techniques, it doesn’t apply to every situation. Framing is of the utmost importance, and I’ll elaborate on that extensively. This helps you set the frame, but it’s only one small tool of many.
Much of what I’ll describe coincides with Game. However, although one could describe rhetoric as Game, it has a different goal and therefore requires a different frame. Game is about being Alpha, rhetoric is a way to use Alpha.
Rhetorically, we conservatives/classical liberals/libertarians, etc. often mix up what should be with what is (lefties do it in policy, but that’s also a future series of posts). We should develop our political opinions based on a rational worldview and a coherent moral compass, but most people do anything but.
Instead, the average dumb voter makes decisions based on what’s cool, on what makes them feel okay. I despise this reality, but I accept it as reality. Ignoring it will get us nowhere.
Therefore, when discussing politics with certain lefties (I’ll categorize them later), you’re not selling a policy, a philosophy, or an ideology. Instead, you’re selling yourself. This is one small example of how to do that. The situation we’ll explore is:
What to Do When a Leftie Says Something You Actually Agree With
NOBODY is wrong about everything. In fact, much of Leftism is Truth, it’s only Truth that’s been warped to the point that it becomes an especially pernicious lie.
This works best on the young, naive, idealistic type, especially younger females. Also, it will work better with goals (lowering unemployment) or ideals (improving education) than with specific policies. There are other times when it will backfire, but I can’t explain everything at once and I have to start somewhere.
No matter how brain-dead a given lefty may be, at some point they’ll say something that’s actually true. For example, let’s say the young liberal in front of you says something like, “I am so sick of corporate welfare,” and gasp, you agree! Here’s the most common mistake we make when she does this:
Use It as Leverage and Attack.
You start listing all the way Obama has given taxpayer money to corporations. You cite GE not having to pay taxes, Solyndra, the rest of the green energy boondoggle, and whatever other examples you can name of Democrats doing what she just describes she hates. You’re hoping to draw attention to the contradiction in her ideal with the reality of the political party she supports.
Why It Doesn’t Work. You haven’t sold yourself. She still sees you as the adversary, and therefore gets defensive. She’ll assert that Democrats are bad, but Republicans are worse. “No, Democrats are worse.” True or not, instead of getting anywhere, you’re quoting facts and figures back at each other, playing verbal ping-pong like you see every night on Hannity. Ever seen anybody change their mind on Hannity?
If she happens to be more knowledgeable than you expected, you loose. If you know more than she does and you win the joust, she’ll be tired, loose interest, and want to change the subject. In short, even if you win the battle of facts, the battle of feelings (the source of her opinions) remains unfought. If anything, even though she should be persuaded of your fantastic insights, she won’t be. You remain an enemy, a partisan who cares more about scoring partisan points than of seeking Truth. Ridiculous or not, you’ve wasted an opportunity.
Agree and Amplify
In Game, there’s a technique called Agree and Amplify. If a woman accuses you of laziness, you agree with her and proclaim how proud you are to be so useless. It’s a great way to deflect accusations and to render her powerless. Another application is during intimate settings. She tells you to stop (when you can tell she doesn’t entirely want you to), so you actually do it. She expects your hand to slowly back away but remain close to her, instead you dart across the room and turn on the TV.
The purpose of this Agree and Amplify is to call attention to how what she says what she wants isn’t what she wants. It brings her internal ambivalence and contradictions to the fore.
Therefore, when she says something you agree with, agree. But don’t just agree, really agree: Amplify. She hates corporate welfare, and DAMMIT, so do you.
Instead of listing all the ways in which Democrats have violated her beliefs, name a few times Republicans did it. Don’t just criticize Obama for his incestual relationship with Goldman, also blame Bush, and at first don’t even try to make the case that one was worse than the other. Every (legitimate) example she cites, agree with and criticize.
Importantly (or you slip into supplication), be sure that you use stronger adjectives than her, that every time she says it’s bad, you say it’s a travesty. It must be obvious you’re not saying this to please her. Instead, you are an amplified extension of her heart. Just nodding along renders you impotent.
As you do this, if you do it boldly, you will find that her principle becomes mirrored in you. You’re not a partisan hack. You stand for something (and you did pick something you actually agree with, right?). She feels like you’re on her side. As you slam the pork of Ted Stevens and hipocrisy of Saxby Chambliss, she gets the sense that your beliefs are an extension of her. And the more you’re able to agree with her, the more she’ll feel this way.
When you sense her feelings are in accord with yours, that you’re in charge of her chi, you can start naming some Democrats, too. After all, even if you’re a libertarian or a Repuke, you’ve harshly ripped into Republicans multiple times. Her defenses are down. It’s now safe to criticize Solyndra.
The first time you mention Obama or Pelosi, you’ll probably notice a little jolt, she’ll change her position and her eyes will widen. This is fine, for you are now her leader; you’ve proven your legitimacy, you’ve earned her trust.
At this point, if circumstances allow you to press your advantage, do so. Just remember to keep sprinkling in some criticisms of Republicans, even if your focus is now primarily on the late Jack Murtha. After all, if you actually believe in something, aren’t both parties shit?
There are plenty of times this won’t work, but there are plenty of times it will. I’ve developed an entire framework, charts, dialogues, and graphs, and I will gradually get it all up on this blog. In them meantime, make use of this.