Let’s face it: political discourse isn’t exactly friendly turf. With such strong views and opinions, courteous and respectful discussions among those who disagree is an absolute rarity. Civil and open-minded discussions might result in compromises, rationality, and better living standards for everybody. Unfortunately for us though, we’re not playful, understanding bunny rabbits.
We’re humans, and sometimes we like to rant about our opinions. There’s nothing wrong with that. We have free speech after all, and everyone is entitled to their opinion. Yet, the clashing of opinions can often result in something we all know as the black hole of arguments. It may start as a casual troll comment on a Facebook status.
That elevates into towers of back-and-forth dialogue until one person gives up, realizes it’s 3am, and rushes to get food because they didn’t even realize that they missed eating dinner. Or lunch.
In my experience, arguing is never worth it. Nothing is ever gained, the other person won’t have a flash of realization that changes their views. Even in the rarest instance that he or she does, a week later, he or she will just link to Paul Krugman, saying “This article on how alternate dimensions and black holes are responsible for our ailing economy is BRILLIANT!”
However, if you still insist on trying to argue, I’ve created a brief list of words, phrases, and sentiments that should be your keys to knowing #1. the person is nuts, #2. you’ve won the argument, and #3. there’s no point in wasting your valuable time anymore.
“You’re a racist!” Unless you’re a KKK member, or subscribe to Ron Paul’s Newsletter, it should be clear to anybody that this argument is worthless.
“You’re anti-clean air and water, anti-children, anti-puppies, anti-’Community’…etc” – As if even the staunchest conservatives wants polluted air, contaminated water, enslaved children, murdered puppies and “Community” taken off the air.
(That’s the worst one of all of those. Go Save it!)
“You’re stupid! Dumb! Ignorant! Arrogant! Smelly! Fat! Horrible” – Ad-Hominem is what people resort to when they have no logical arguments left.
The Conspiracy Theorists
Whenever someone delves into a conspiracy theory, let them go. You won’t be able to save them.
The phrases may vary, but the key words you need to look out for are bolded.
- Zionist Jews controls everything!
- 9/11 was an inside job by the government!” (As if the government that can’t even efficiently manage the line at the DMV is capable of such an elaborate scheme.)
-That’s just what they want you to think!
-The Bilderberg group controls everything! It’s the evil bankers!
These are people that really have no idea what the hell is going on. They don’t closely follow politics, they don’t really know what they believe, and the sensationalized hype about every issue imaginable is absolute truth to them. This is also known as the assumed narrative behind everything. We can pretty much sing along with them at this point.
-Insert Republican is dumb, nuts, crazy, wants a theocracy, is secretly gay.
-Insert Moderate Republican is smart, reasonable! (Until they become a threat)
-Insert Democrat is smart, dignified, intellectual, compassionate.
-Tea Party is racist, hateful, violent, infested, rowdy, insane.
-Occupy Wall-Street is peaceful, loving, caring, inspiring.
Perhaps their favorite might be
It’s funny how the entire network, that generally reports the news like any other station, is the devil, because it has a few conservative commentators. Bonus ignorant points are given to people that use this same rambling on local FOX affiliates as if they’re all tied into this grand conservative brainwashing conspiracy.
Many of their arguments are just slogans that come from protest signs or bumper stickers.
-Bush Lied! People Died!
-We are the 99%!
The things that have no relative bearing on anything important, are the issues that they decide their vote on.
-Rick Santorum can’t be President with a last name like that! Gross!
-Chris Christie is way too fat. Sorry, we can’t have an overweight President.
-I voted for Obama because he’s black!
These people may also be zombies.
- OBAMA 2012!
- Ron Paul is the only one who can save us! He is our savior! RON PAUL 2012!
These people are just as likely to believe a historical document, as they are a tabloid article at the grocery store checkout counter. These people, although frequently liberal, are otherwise known as Jon Stewart’s audience, the cast of “The View” or Independent voters. Honestly, when these people say these things, it’s not even worth your time to respond because the only one who can get through to them is Brian Griffin from Family Guy.
I hope this is something you will keep in mind next time you inevitably end up in an argument. Like I said, there’s nothing wrong with some civil discourse to challenge your beliefs. In fact, I encourage that! However, if the person in question exhibits any of the above traits, that’s your signal to stop the argument and realize that this person is more than likely a lost cause.
So let it be- you’ve got more important things to do anyway!