Getting others to think the way you want them to think requires that your frame prevail over theirs. The more successfully you frame a debate, the greater your chances of prevailing.
However, it’s often necessary to de-legitimize your opponent’s frame before you have any chance of asserting your own. Your ultimate goal is the dialectic, a reasoned debate in which both you and your opponent pursue rational truth. Rarely will you be able to achieve this during a single conversation. Ultimately, you must earn both trust and respect to be able to talk to sombody instead of at them.
The requisite tool for this is rhetoric, the manipulation successful intellectual and emotional framing of the debate to your own advantage. Rhetoric is like a firearm, a force for evil when used by an adherent to lies, the ultimate good in the hands of one seeking Truth. Be the latter. Ensure that you understand not only why you are correct, but how you conceivably could be wrong. Also, attempt to understand how somebody else could come to contrary conclusions. Like all great Lies, leftism is built on some very fundamental Truths. These Truths have become warped and are therefore evil, but they are Truths nonetheless. As you learn how the Truths have been distorted into Lies, you learn how somebody could be bewitched by them. This enables you to help others draw the distinction in their own heads between the Truths we should all believe (school shootings are beyond awful) and the Lies that leftism has warped them into (Gun-Free School Zones!).
But before you can do that, you need to be able to say what you need to say in the way you need to say it. Sometimes you have to resort to three second slogans, but often you don’t. Leftism has infiltrated every layer of our culture; it’s what we assume. Calling the lie to these assumptions often requires some explaining, and its the job of the competent leftist to ensure you never get that chance.
As you try to make your intial points, immediately become cognizant of how your opponent responds to them. Does he sneer, make funny faces, or shake his head as you talk? Does he even let you speak without interruption? Does he use a condescending tone that belittles your points, even though the actual words he uses are complete nonsense? None of these should be barriers to anyone observing the conversation who seeks Truth, but all of them are. Neutralize them as soon as you have the opportunity to do so.
I will often spend far more time ensuring that I will be able to actually make my points by neutralizing my opponent’s non-verbal frame than I will actually making the points themselves. I make the beginning of the battle entirely about the location of that battle, that location being one in which I can say what I need to say in such a way that it will be fairly considered by any observers.
And the best way to neutralize a non-verbal frame is simply to call attention to it.
“You’re great at addressing me like I’m an idiot, but you didn’t actually reply to a single point I made.”
“Wow. You must be right. After all, you’re making a face like somebody farted.”
“Laughter. Yes! Proof that Obama’s actually trying to reduce the deficit.”
“I admit you really sound like you know what you’re talking about, but you don’t.”
Laughing, sneering, and condescesion have nothing whatsoever to do with whether or not you make any sense, and nobody admits that such BS influences them. Nevertheless, these non-verbal DHV’s (Demonstrations of Higher Value to the non-Game initiated) do subconsciously lead listeners to think that the person using them possesses some sort of superior wisdom. It frames them as the alpha, and if you don’t respond to them, you’re usually at a disadvantage.
However, even if your listeners see through your opponent’s BS, calling him on it throws him off. Unless he’s making an obvious idiot of himself like Al Gore in that one debate with Bush and therefore hanging himself, calling attention to somebody’s condescending tone forces them to stop using it. It takes them out of their comfort zone. This gives you power.
If you’re not sure what sort of effect he’s having, I recommend calling him on it. Many think that Ryan did the right thing by not calling Biden on his eterno-clownface during their debate, and it’s true that many people were put off (he did look like a dipshit). However, had Ryan called him on it, all those who disliked Biden’s expression would have respected Ryan for doing something about it, and many who were subconsciously tricked by Biden into thinking Ryan was talking nonsense would have instead consciously realized that Biden was grinning at some seriously inappropriate times. Instead of the debate being a draw, Ryan could have elevated his alpha-status and won the debate. He missed a great opportunity.
Among the more difficult non-verbal frames to handle is volume. Bill O-Reilly, Chris Matthews, Sean Hannity, and Rosie O’Donnell (see how non-partisan I can be) are among the masters at drowning out their opponents. It matters not how logical you are if nobody can hear you, and if you strive to make sure you’re heard by being even louder, you’ve played directly into their hands by arguing exactly the way they like to argue. Sure, it can be entertaining to watch two monkeys screaming at each other, but unless you’re the host or a master loudmouth yourself, advantage: the other guy. You might inspire your allies, but you’re unlikely to win any new ones.
However, males often find themselves feeling less manly when facing a loudmouth and therefore try to win on the loudmouth’s terms. It feels like shirking away from a fight. You’re not being out-alphaed if you win the fight on your own terms.
When facing a loudmouth, I concede no ground. I fight every interruption. I start out resonably:
“Can I finish my point, please?”
If they continue, I push a little more:
“Is this a conversation or a lecture? Should I just get a seat and allow your belicose wisdom to pound itself into my soul?”
If I still get interrupted:
“You don’t know what the hell you’re talking about. You’re just loud. That’s it. Loud.”
“You’re absolutely terrified to let somebody else make their point, aren’t you?”
“Are you physiologically incapable of adult conversation, or are you just as ass?’
In short, no matter how long it takes, throw them off the loudness game. You will either disarm them, or if you calibrate properly, you’ll bring most observers over to your side.
Drawing a connection between their loudness and fear of other views is great for males, the word “screech” works wonders for females (also the perfect word for arguments with wives and girlfriends–nothing brings about a quicker change in tone).
You may find yourself talking about how rude they are for several minutes before you actually spend any time directly advancing your cause. That’s fine, because when you get the chance to actually make your points, you’ll be able to make them effectively. People will have the chance to listen.
(Regarding loud and hostile crowds, I have the perfect way to disarm them entirely. However, I’m not announcing it on my blog when I’m still anonymous. If you know you’ll be addressing a crowd of blacks or university students, let me know, and if the price is right I guarantee they’ll leave the auditorium in tears.)
There are other non-verbal frames that I didn’t touch on, but these are some of the more important ones. If you have an obnoxious uncle or something you’re having a hard time arguing with, drop me a line or leave a comment and I’ll see what I can do.
Maybe you should say “untruth” rather than “lie”.
Second try on this comment! WordPress ate my first one, Martel, as you know.
You say Leftism has infiltrated every layer of our culture; it’s what we assume.
No, you refer to liberalism, not leftism. Leftism is RADICALISM, not liberalism. Two guys who went to HARVARD (the two you refer to in your post), the institution that produces the 1% and educates their lazy offspring, are not, properly speaking, THE LEFT. They are tainted with the ideology of privilege; Karl Marx said that the vanguard party could not come from the privileged… a Tennessee Senator’s SON, forgodsake (nods to the CCR song), is not THE LEFT simply because of who he is. A president who panders to Goldman Sachs and bails them out and bombs the dark people of the world with aplomb, is not the left. LIBERALISM IS NOT THE LEFT.
Thus, you are starting from a faulty premise.
Liberalism appeases. Radicalism, that is to say, LEFTISM, does not. You should not confuse the two.
Leftism has not infiltrated every layer of culture, since when things get dicey, the liberals in popular culture fall back on identity politics. To actually unite working class people would necessitate that liberals learn what working class issues are... and lots of liberal politicians and media types (in particular) have no clue; there are probably as many rich liberals as rich conservatives. (A sizable number of liberals are nervous about Republicans getting on board with gay marriage and gay rights, since they would lose a lot of support from rich liberals they have been able to count on.) Leftism can be properly understood as being about the rights of working people, not about the agenda of some damn Tennessee Senator’s son.
You might find this piece interesting… the assumption that affluent Ivy-League types are running the media is a given. To me, this automatically means these people are conservative–since they reflect the ideology and philosophy of the affluent–but you likely regard them as leftists. No, the Ivy League is the most privileged element of our society… that automatically means they CAN’T be leftists because they are disqualified due to their class. (BEEEP! Imagine one of those game-show buzzers going off.) They are LIBERALS, and that piece proves it. The fact that people continue to confuse liberal and leftist, means that we have no real class analysis in this country, which means it certainly has not infiltrated every layer of our culture. Harvard and Yale are the institutions and mouthpieces of the rich; assorted poseur professors and postmod theorists aside, they are not “leftist” in the least.
In case your spam filter eats this one, I saved it. 🙂
Martel, seems you got a vocabulary know-it-all reframing to yet another communism as far as I can decipher. I liked this post. It was succinct and to the point expressing the nuts and bolts of a useful idea, which is of course de-framing for a clean slate where logic can be seen. I hope I get the chance and have the patience to try that the next time some emotive fool starts telling me nonsense. Since people are everywhere, there is really only one power, social power. There is no escaping all the world’s a stage.
The Riddle of Steel
Pingback: On the Other Side | Alpha Is Assumed
Pingback: Lightning Round – 2013/03/06 | Free Northerner
Pingback: You Don’t Know How It Feels | Alpha Is Assumed
Pingback: Predictive Framing | Alpha Is Assumed
Pingback: Rhetorical Bloodsport | Alpha Is Assumed