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.
Nothing against Rush of course.
Don’t bring persuasion to a gunfight.
The way to beat liberals is not to trick them; it is to flush them away like the sewage they are.
Rush doesn’t convince people?
Yes, no one who does not LISTEN to his show, EVAR.
But if they listen 1 or 2 times, they’re hooked.
Rush wins arguments by screaming “Your [sic] an idiot”...?
The only person who’d say that is someone who has NEVER heard his show. In fact he’s polite —incredibly so. To callers, to his friends, to co-workers, to his pilots and ground crew, to people he is SUPPOSED to hate, the list goes on and on.
It’s just “cool” to say that Rush is mean, and sorry, but that’s just incorrect. The truth is MUCH harder, much more complex —Rush takes care of people and even many of the libs who call his show.
The left needs to repeat “Rush is mean and screams” because the very thought of even giving him just ONE CHANCE is terrifying to them. And it’s terrifying because deep down they have a dawning sense of just how rickety it is, their conceptual model of how the world works.
They ignore and bash him, and he is GOING TO WIN. And so are WE.
Any one thinking that Zero's followers could even hang in a Econ class, let alone with Friedman, is kidding themselves. Most of Obama's people, the 47 percent ... plus, couldn't get by the Calc 3 course to get into intermediate Econ course. (At least that is what I had to do 30 years ago)
There are no arguments that will win with liberals. They are brainwashed. I’m tired of being called evil because I’m conservative. We have “compromised” over the years instead of standing up for our priniples, and Republican moderates believed like this guy that we needed to make them love us. Well they don’t, and the liberals have insisted on us giving up half of what we wanted as we’ve gone down the slope calling it compromise. We have to understand that they ask for far more than they expect, knowing we will “compromise” and they’ll end up with what they want. The moderates have been in charge too long and given us more and more welfare and less and less morality. Time to put adults in charge. Repubs like Graham and McCain have to go.
Rush Rocks, too!
Wouldn't that be "You're an idiot" idiot?
“Your an idiot”?? First, it’s you’re an idiot, and second, you’re an idiot.
Reaching across the aisle only benefits the person you reach across to in politics.
The basic premise of the author is flawed. He thinks liberals are open to reasonable discussion of issues.
They are not. Their views are based on emotion.
What a bunch of baloney.
I won’t point out all the poor logic in this piece.
But the main flaw in the author’s reasoning is that one can persuade liberals. One does not persuade liberals. One defeats them. You don’t convert them to your way of thinking (impossible), you overcome them. They are mentally ill.
Tom’s a touch thick.
Nah. Better to go after the low hanging fruit. That’s the way the Left does it. They go after the college and HS kids, the skulls full of mush, that are generally open minded. We have to convince those that will listen that the Leftists are nothing less than vicious authoritarians.
As far as Rush is concerned, he seems to be phoning it in nowadays. Focusing on the superficial culture stuff is really boring, but that’s probably what it takes to attract new low info voters.
Having worked with rabid liberals at a union for 10 years, sometimes I would just act dumb and ask them to explain how something worked according to their beliefs. I’d just keep asking, and most of the time they would end up walking away with their head down, or sometimes get irritated because the knew they didn’t have a good argument.
It worked for Al Franken.......
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