Skip to comments.More Milton Friedman, Less Rush Limbaugh
Posted on 05/04/2013 3:54:55 PM PDT by kreitzer
- More Milton Friedman, Less Rush Limbaugh
You all remember, in the wake of the most recent electoral defeat for Republicans, I went on at length about how we need to speak to liberals in a language they understand? I maintain that we need to stop saying things that make us feel better about our positions and instead say things that people who think differently than we do would find persuasive. It's a big theme with me lately, and is something I learned from my father.
My father wins a lot of arguments, but he usually does so by personally attacking the intelligence and character of the person arguing with him. "Your an idiot" may be his most widely spoken phrase. Most often, the result is that they will either concede his point simply to shut him up, or will walk from the verbal battlefield, unwilling to engage in childish name calling. He takes either of these as 'victory' but I've always found it unproductive. The only thing he ever really convinces anyone of, is what a monumental jerk he can be. He changes no-one's mind, and persuades no one to his position. In effect he wins every battle and still loses every war.
After watching him do this my entire life, I've tried to take a different path. I never want anyone to feel like they have 'lost face' because they've argued with me. I don't need anyone to ever concede my position if it's in direct opposition to theirs. Their personal justifications are their own business. All I ever care about anymore is what they do after the discussion.
So that's my schtick. "I'd rather have people think I'm wrong but still do what I want them to, than have them admit I'm right but by then be too angry to do things my way." I don't see arguing with people as a battle for status. I don't see disagreement as an excuse to try to make people admit I'm smarter than they are. Nothing productive comes from that. I literally have nothing to prove. All I want is an outcome that matches my goals.
And I maintain that the way to get people to do things your way, is to make it easy for them to do so. If you worry about how smart they think you are, or making them "admit they were wrong in the first place" that only makes it harder. If you really want to accomplish something, that's going the long way around the barn. Remember, for liberals their politics is more like a religious belief than a series of rational goals and first principles. So if we really want to persuade them we need to find a way to make our arguments seem consistent with their religion.
Talking about the morality of the free market is an excellent example. The free market fully understood, is far more 'fair' than anything ever imposed by any government, no matter how noble the person whose running it. Liberals care deeply about fairness even if they don't know the first thing about how to actually achieve it. So if we frame our arguments for the free market in terms fo the 'fairness' it can deliver, it will be more persuasive for them.
That was Milton Friedman's great trick. He educated neo-marxists about what the free market actually does and in the process helped turned all of western civilization in the direction of economic liberty for a generation. He only ever spoke to those opposed to economic liberty in language they they understood.
Anyway I'm sure you get my point. Our goal when speaking to liberals should not be self congratulation but persuasion. We haven't done nearly enough of that lately.
Luckily for us, they haven't either. The left knows how to persuade conservatives just as poorly as conservative know how to persuade liberals. Have a look at this spectacular failure of a liberal trying to change the mind of conservative gun owners:
Every Second Amendment Rights Advocate Should Hate the NRA
I can't imagine a less persuasive piece for conservatives or gun owners. It truly is breathtaking in it's wrongheadedness. It isn't how gun owners think - it's how liberals 'think' gun owners, think, but it's really only how 'liberals' think. It's the liberal equivalent of a Freerepublic thread. **
I'm sure the author thinks it's incredibly persuasive. And the liberals who read it will all be emailing it to their conservative friends on the assumption that they have finally found a piece that conservatives can't argue with. They'll view it as a transcendent piece that strikes all the relevant and self satisfying points of their arguments for gun control. they'll believe that the conservatives they send it to will be stripped of any rational response, and the discussion is now over, with their side having won.
But to conservatives (myself for example) it seems like nothing more than pointless chatter, unrelated political flotsam and name calling. It's simply not the kind of thing upon which we base our decision making.
Anyway I call attention to it because it's so perfect an inverse example of what I've been talking about. We on the right need to avoid making our own arguments that same way. We need to quit convincing ourselves how right we are and start convincing people who don't already agree with us instead. We need to learn to speak the language of liberals, and quit demanding that they admit we're right.
We know logic and reason don't mean nearly as much to liberals as their emotions. We know that intentions matter much more to them than outcomes. We know they care about fairness and equality, and that their decisions must be framed in a self congratulatory way. none of that is so difficult that we can't accomplish it. Rush Limbaugh offers an incredibly satisfying rant, but he doesn't convince people like Milton Friedman did. We meed more of the latter and less of the former.
We complain that our country isn't being run by adults. But the fact of the matter is, if there is going to be an adult in this discussion, it's going to have to be us. And if we want the kids to modify their behavior, we need to tell them so in language that they understand.
For those of you who don't know, Freerepublic is a venue by conservatives for conservatives. For all the liberals that have ever been persuaded by what they have read there, it might as well be printed in Chinese. That doesn't make it wrong of course. It's a venue designed to support conservatives not win over liberals. And there is certainly a place for that kind of discussion. But the problem is that it's become the only way that conservatives know how to make their arguments, and we need to learn to persuade again as well.
Yes sir....and you put it in a way I could not do so as clearly
The difference between Friedman/Keynes is not so much.
There are probably seven or eight Freepers that you could say the same thing about.
I was on such a thread a couple of days ago. I was the only one defending Rush, while the bashers seemed say that anyone who liked what Rush said is dumb. I said that since there were so few of them, that they must mean that every Freeper is dumb. They pointed out that they outnumbered me. I counted and there were FIVE of them against me. I had to laugh.
A little more nuanced that mere “emotion.” Try Lust, Greed, Power mad and other vices some even nameless.
Not so much, huh? Please elaborate.
I did find out how to shut up a leftist. I said that we currently borrow $.40 out of every dollar the government spends. I asked “How do you suppose that’s going to end?”
DEFUND socialists and their collectives. DISMANTLE them when necessary. DESTROY them when necessary. The time for talking is ovah.
live - free - republic
Rush Limbaugh continues to inform, motivate, and inspire on a daily basis after 25 years in his work. He is the one “must listen to” educator on the radio.
“...couldn’t get by the Calc 3 course...”
I’d bet $5 that 90% couldn’t even pass Algebra 101.
“Tom” is an imbecile that can’t even persuade the choir to his position because he’s illiterate. This article is a waste of time.
Do you have any idea what I’m talking about?
Do you understand basic economics?
Do you understand the difference between the Austrian economists and the Monetarists who are Keynesians and who provided the theoretic cover for the central bankers to run this country up to the very edge of the cliff of economic collapse?
If not, let me know. I’d be happy to inform you.
A free-market supporting, freedom-loving American patriot who understands that Monetarism is the fiscal policy behind the Keynesians and the academic cover for the central bankers.
Please do. Let’s get started. Begin with your hypothesis that monetarists are Keynesians.
That thought is enough to make your skin crawl.
Nobody is going to persuade an idiologue of anything.
How IS a pencil made?
other good MF videos at link also
You don’t listen to Rush, do you? You seem to know only his caricature.
I think this guy just graduated from poli sci, and he took some econ where he read Friedman, and now he’s out to fix us with his brand new knowledge and wisdom. His dad should kick his ass.