I have often observed that political liberalism, as practiced by the rank and file liberal, is a philosophy of emotion rather than thought. This is observable easily enough when you look at the propaganda they pass along.
Picture of a starving child; we should use the government to take money from the taxpayers and feed the child. Picture of a drowning polar bear; we should use the government to take money from the taxpayer and save the polar bears. Picture of a homeless person; we should use the government to take money from the taxpayers and buy homes for everybody. Picture of a child who can’t read; we should use the government to take money from the taxpayers and fund public libraries and teacher’s unions. The list goes on and on. They use any big crisis followed by a plea to use government to take money to fix the problem. The pattern is obvious and simple. Never let a crisis go to waste.
It’s also quite obvious and simple to someone who has the slightest inkling of human history and human nature that such emotional pleas are started by the true driving force behind all liberalism. The hardcore radical liberal is an angry person who seeks to take over and destroy anything they can get their hands on. This is evidenced by the many great historical examples of unfettered liberalism where genocides always seem to happen. Notice that every example I gave above includes an increase in government power with a corresponding decrease in the freedom of the taxpayer to control his own money as he pleases.
The primary difference between rank and file liberalism and conservatism is that a conservative takes the time to think things through. They don’t just shoot from the hip in a fit of emotion; rather, they look at the longer term consequences of having the government, which has minimal qualifications to handle anything with expertise, in charge of handling everything.
The problem becomes a matter of how to handle a liberal. You can put any sort of statistical fact or study or well based analytical opinion in front of them and it will simply bounce right off. Even if you get them to acknowledge the point you’re making and recognize the validity of the data they will usually say that they, “just have a feeling,” that whatever they are doing is for the best of all of us. Most often they will just tell you that you want children to starve, you’re a racist, bigot, etc., for not supporting what they do. Never fail to have the sense to recognize that what you are dealing with is not an analytical argument; it’s based on nothing but pure emotional stimulus response.
The problem is that when you approach a rank and file liberal, or someone who is on the fence, you have to approach them and make a basic, easy to understand and factual point which also appeals to the emotions of an unthinking person. Don’t bother giving them data from someone like the Heritage Foundation or Freedom Works or any obvious conservative source of data. No matter how valid it is they will simply mock it as data from partisan hacks. These sources make good points, but for the person who is paralyzed from the neck up it is useless because it requires that they do something that they can’t usually do. Think. It is a waste of time to send them something of that nature because it will go so far above their heads they’d never even see it.
Unfortunately there is no hope of easily handling the hardcore radical liberal and you will likely never win them over. Should you find yourself confronted by a rank and file liberal there are easy ways to handle them. You simply stick to only the very basic points that they cannot deny and appeal to their emotions as they relate personally to them.
Whether you are liberal or conservative, there is one thing inherent to the nature of all human beings. Emotions are universal. We all have them. If you show me a picture of a starving child I will have the same feeling as a rank and file liberal. The hardcore radical liberal looks at picture of a starving child and has an emotional reaction as well; they are gladdened by it. However, if you are bothered by something, a rank and file liberal is most likely bothered by the same thing and has the same emotional reaction. The difference is that a conservative sees many different ways to solve the problem which don’t interfere with the freedoms of other people. The rank and file liberal becomes consumed by the desperation of the situation and being somewhat hypnotized by the radical liberal’s propaganda, thinks the government is the only way to handle everything. That’s the only choice which does not require them to think.
I’ll say this again because it is important; you have to get below the level of thought, into an area where they can immediately observe a fact on an emotional level. If you give them a choice that causes them to have to think ahead in the slightest degree you will lose them.
To this end I give some examples. There are too many approaches to list out here but if you understand the basics you’ll be able to move things along nicely.
Basic truth; either you control your money or someone else does. So ask the rank and file liberal, “Either you control your money or someone else does; isn’t that correct?” Do this with manners and good communication skills. You wait until they answer it, even if this takes forever. If they never answer it, they never answer it, but it is your best chance to get them on to the lowest possible rung of the ladder towards thinking for themselves.
Basic truth; either you believe you should control your own money or you believe someone else should control your money. This is where the emotional point comes in. Most people, by far, inherently recognize at an emotional level, the connection between their own freedom and control of their bank accounts and pay checks. People don’t like to have things taken away from them. “Do you believe you should control your own money or do you think someone else should control your money?” Most people will follow the second basic truth at the emotional level and admit that they’d rather have control of their own money. There are some that will hedge and try to dodge all along the way but if you persist and get this question politely answered there may be hope for them.
Basic truth; either a politician believes you should have control of your money or he wants control of your money for himself. Do not point out which side is which! Remember, you are dealing with a person who has been programmed at an emotional level to support the left. If you at any point mention Democrats are bad they will react emotionally. Just stick to the question and let them observe for themselves. If you’ve handled it smoothly enough, and if the person is capable of thinking at all, you should see the lights come on to some degree.
There is a difficult part that not even a lot of people who support Republicans get. Basic truth; if a politician says he is justified in taking any percentage of money from you, for any cause at all, without your own personal consent; you do not have control of your money. I know that is a radical statement as some people would see it. I’d challenge anybody to disprove its factuality on the basis that even if the politician says, “I’m only going to take a paltry five percent and you won’t even miss it,” it is the politician who is deciding that you can only control the remaining ninety-five percent. If he changes his mind tomorrow and says he’s going to take seven percent, ten percent, twenty percent or like most European Socialist countries a whopping seventy-five percent, it is him who is taking it and making the decision that whatever is left over is yours to do with as you please. It is a principle that leads back to my first basic truth; either you control your money or someone else does. The government, backed by any number of people, taking money against the will of the person who is giving it, violates the basic definition of having control of your own money.
The preceding paragraph is more than you could explain to a person who isn’t thinking. There is also the point that the government of any country does have valid expenses that do need to be covered. And there are certainly people who would wish to not contribute to the cause at all. For myself, I have never understood why the government can’t have its own source of income, rather than feeding like leeches off of the income of others. But that’s not the point of this article and setting my own tendencies towards digression aside we have to impress upon the fence sitting rank and file liberal that more freedom equals less taxes. The above basic has the flaw of being stated as a rather complex absolute.
In keeping with the need to make the appeal to a liberal an emotional one that would tend to get him to change his mind a very gentle approach on a gradient works best. “Do you feel that you would have more freedom if less of your money was taken from you?” You are not appealing to his sense of logic or compassion for others. You are directly asking for his emotional feelings on the subject. If you can move him down a single percentage point in his support for taxation, you’ve moved him in the right direction. Tomorrow maybe you’ll move him another point.
There is one problem that is very difficult to handle. Class envy. If he’s not a person who understands the wealthy of this country, which he isn’t one of, carries the economic circumstances of both the rich and poor, there is only one argument I can think to use on him, and man, this is a very long shot. Again, this argument needs to be stated as an emotion and needs to be directly related to him. “Do you feel it would be easier for you to move from being poor or middle class if the government has less control of your money as you progress?”
If the person you’re talking to is complaining about unpatriotic corporations moving overseas don’t bother pointing out to them that the United States currently has the highest corporate taxes in the world. They will have no sympathy for this point at all, even if you explain to them that they are paying higher prices for it because corporations will only pass the expend of the tax on to their customers. It is far too complicated and does not have the personal emotional appeal they need to understand. So again you stick to simple and personal. “If the town you’re living in requires you to pay forty percent of your income to taxes and the next town over only requires ten percent, where do you feel would be the best place to live?”
Hopefully these points and principles will give you the ability to make some headway. While they may not change the viewpoint of the person you are having the conversation with they will usually convince other people who might incidentally overhear the conversation or read it in social media if that’s where you are having it. Frequently I hear accolades from someone who wasn’t even in the conversation about how it was handled. Be polite and have good manners and most of the time you’ll pick up some support.
If all else fails there is still one very good thing you can do to make your point. Basic truth; liberals love the Beatles at a personal and emotional level. Send them a link to the song, “Taxman.” If that doesn’t win them over nothing will. Either way you’ll have the benefit of getting a great song stuck in your head. And that’s better than arguing with a liberal any day.