Be Breitbart Baby
The Los Angeles County coroner’s office has released the official coroner’s report, indicating Andrew Brietbart died from heart failure. This confirms the speculation by one of Breitbart’s friends and “Big” colleagues who, while appearing on Hannity in the days following Andrew’s death, said that Breitbart probably died from a massive heart attack. In that same segment, this man (it may have been Steve Bannon, I can’t recall) revealed that Breitbart had a heart condition which had not been disclosed to the public but for which he had previously received in-patient treatment.
Conspiracy theories popped up almost immediately, including on this very site, about the cause of Andrew’s death. One person linked a report that said Breitbart was bright red or pink in color as he lay on the ground, which could possibly have been consistent with cyanide poisoning. With no eyewitness to his actual collapse, this is of course only speculation (he probably would have had a seizure prior to or during his collapse).
While I always at least entertain conspiracy theories, it would be difficult to believe that Breitbart was the victim of a political assassination and subsequent cover-up by the LA County Coroner’s office. That’s an awful lot of potential loose ends. Given the fact that Breitbart’s friend admitted he had a heart condition which was severe enough to require in-patient treatment, the most likely explanation is that he really did die from heart failure.
But what say you?
For years now I have been engaging in arguments with various lefties, from the typical casual liberal to the committed progressive to the more complicated personally-conservative social liberal (who never lowers themselves personally to the liberal standard, but is nonetheless outwardly supportive of liberalism for social connections or career reasons).
I am big on facts. The lefties I argue with are big on empty rhetoric. For years my initial reaction to any point made by a leftie is to bombard them with facts that completely and utterly destroy their argument. I thought that this was successful. To a certain extent, it is. I’ve never met a single leftie who could best me on the facts – I suppose this is because the vast, vast majority of lefties aren’t big on rational thought. I’ve even had people come up to me later and privately thank me for arguing with so-and-so, and that they themselves weren’t brave enough to stand up and do it for fear of losing a friend or whatever.
But the “success”, if you can call it that, was limited. Yes, I had won on paper, but it didn’t FEEL like a victory. My opponent left with the same absurdly smug aura of self-proclaimed righteousness with which he came. My cascading litany of facts and reason had fallen on deaf ears. I began to believe that these folks were unreachable, unbeatable. It did not matter how right I was or how wrong they were because their close-mindedness and intellectual bigotry would never allow them to engage in a substantive debate on the issues.
To someone like me, this defied logic. I am so driven by a desire to continually pursue the truth that it’s almost impossible for me to comprehend a person who can ignore that truth. But eventually it hit me: liberals do not see truth in the same terms as I do. Whether they realize it or not, whether they intended to or not, their ideology engages in explicit or de facto moral relativism. To them, “right and wrong” does not exist on a fixed linear scale.
To them, the ends justify the means.
In other words, “facts” are not absolute (and, therefore, not “facts” at all but rather tools for achieving a goal). No wonder these people were not swayed by my data. They naturally assumed that any fact with which I presented them was merely a tool that *I* was using to achieve my goal… because that’s what they would do in my position. This little intellectual loophole allows them to maintain their belief in their own righteousness no matter how many facts or rational counter-arguments are presented to destroy their ideology.
In a way, it’s bloody brilliant.
So lately my strategy has been shifting. Partly because I grew tired of long, relentless arguments in which I contributed copious amounts of detail only to have it cast aside or countered with some mind-numbingly inane bit of shallow “wisdom”. Partly because Breitbart identified the strategy first and began utilizing it himself.
Now, I just ask lefties to explain themselves. I simply ask “Why?”
Breitbart was brilliant, really. When he talked about challenging the left with the simple idea of asking them to rationalize their position, he explained that it naturally puts them on the defensive. Liberals aren’t used to having to explain themselves. They just dutifully repeat whatever glib talking point they happened to pick up that day, “RAAAAACIIIIIIIIIISSSSSSTTTT!!!!” being the most common lately. “Tax the rich!” is quickly taking over now that Romney is the presumptive nominee.
For a few months now I’ve been working on this. I admit, it’s hard for me. Pithiness is not my strong suit. But I have to say, it has yielded results. I do get a sweet satisfaction seeing lefties stumble over their own rationale, and it actually makes picking them apart easier. Where I used to deploy “shock and awe”, now I’m a careful sniper. I lure them onto my turf, let them think they can beat me at my own game, and then watch as they tangle themselves up in their own web of unsubstantiated rhetoric.
I can’t claim to have changed minds, but the strategy has definitely forced them to soften their argument. Where initially they were fervent in their position, by the end of the conversation they are subdued, even backtracking from their original stance. One person I recently debated even went from condemning all Republicans at the outset to openly calling for bipartisanship at the end.
This is not to say that simply asking “why?” is a complete substitute for facts and figures. On the contrary. While the typical “casual liberal” will never be able to explain his position, and you can dismantle him with very little effort, the committed progressive will actually be able to take it to the next level. He will come with a basic set of information with which to support his ideology. But remember, he will have one, or maybe two volleys at most. If you have three, you will probably win. If you have 5, you’re almost guaranteed a victory.
So know your stuff, friends, but I encourage you to try this out next time you’re arguing with a leftie. Channel your inner two-year-old. Make them enter your domain, make them commit to your playing field, make them explain WHY they are right, and please do report back and let us know how it goes!
Saw this reported by HotAir and also in Beck’s daily email:
OK, no big surprise here. We all knew Obama never really meant any of the things he said about “changing the way Washington works”, except that he intended to circumvent Congress even MORE than any of his predecessors. But I still feel the story is useful for us to note, particularly entering in to an election year. People who are undecided are going to be considering whether or not Obama has kept his promises, and this is just one more log to heap on the bonfire of Obama’s hypocrisy.
I feel like this election year is going to get ugly. And I’m not talking about just the negativity of the general campaigns. I’m talking about everyday folks. I’m not talking about violence, let us hope and pray that there is no violence, and actively work to ensure there is none.
No, I mean it’s going to get ugly because conservatives are DARN SICK and TIRED of being called racist, evil rich people who don’t care about their fellow man. We’re tired of the progressive left acting like they own the moral superiority of every argument. And we are not going to be silent.
So things are going to get ugly. Progressives, who have so woven their political ideology into their personal identity, are going to react with visceral force as we continue to point out the shortcomings, the flaw, the broken promises and the outright lies of this administration. They will feel like an assault on the Obama ideology is an assault on them personally, and they will react accordingly. Prepare to have vile and hatred thrown your way by people you might otherwise consider to be your friend.
It’s going to get ugly, because in the past, conservatives always try to “take the high road”. We tend to like being left alone to live our lives. We are not agitators, we actually care about people, and we try not to mar even our more casual relationships by talking politics. But no more. I have a feeling that in this election, an unprecedented number of closet conservatives are going to stand up and say “NO MORE!” “I am not a racist!”
I am one of these people. Each day I find myself engaging in conversations I wouldn’t otherwise engage in. I’ve already had some terrible things said about me. I don’t care. Their ugliness reveals the truth in my beliefs.
I Will Be Breitbart Baby!
Will you join me?
What else is on your mind?