May 23rd, 2009

In the blue room: dinner party etiquette for conservatives

Commenter Oblio offers some suggestions for those occasions when one is trapped in those oh-so-pleasant dinner table or cocktail party or book group discussions with verbally aggressive liberal friends and acquaintances.

I think they bear highlighting:

There are some simple techniques for dealing with dinner party blowhards and social bush-bashers/obamatrons.

1. When they start ranting, just say “Now, now” in a genial tone of voice with a smile on your face. It is amazingly effective, and lots of people will want to talk to you afterward.

2. When someone offers a bumper-sticker sentiment as a deep thought on some issue of the day, ask “Do you study that closely?” in a mild manner. Most often, there will be stunned silence followed by a hasty change of topic.

3. If someone wants to rant on after #2, just keep asking questions about where they get their information, their views of the implications of their position, how they do the cost/benefit analysis, their response to some authority’s (particularly some liberal authority’s) criticism of their position, etc. Force them to clarify their points. In most cases they start embarrassing themselves within about 45 seconds. Very few come back for this treatment twice.

4. Restate their positions without euphemism and in the clearest possible terms: remember Orwell on how people would react to Oxbridge types defending Stalin’s purges if the apologists had to say, “I support killing people when you can get good results by doing so.” It is very gratifying to see how uncomfortable social liberals get when you strip away the euphemisms. Someone will change the topic within 30 seconds.

5. Avoid stating your own position or contradicting the blowhard. If asked whether you agree with the blowhard’s point, you can say no and give two or three reasons why not, then stop. You are not obligated to make a case FOR the opposite, and you shouldn’t bother to ask the blowhard whether he agrees with you. That’s OK, because reasonable people can disagree. If he really pushes for your opinion, you can point out that you weren’t the one who gave the strong opinions in the first place, and you only asked questions.

6. If really pressed, I quote my mother, who told me “There are three things you shouldn’t discuss in company: politics, sex, and religion.” Not too surprisingly the most dangerous and explosive topics manage to combine all three.

The trick in all cases is to stay calm and not to take anything that is said personally, no matter how stupid or offensive it might be. The key is to make social embarrassment work against the blowhard. If male, the blowhard is usually making a dominance display. In that case, refusing to be bullied without losing your temper is normally enough to make him look pretty small. If female in mixed company, the blowhard is probably signaling “in-group” membership: the underlying message might be “I want to belong.” Proceed accordingly.

I have lived for most of the last 30 years in deepest Blue State, academic, ecclesiastical, NGO, and European circles, and I can testify that these tactics are easy, painless, and highly effective.

59 Responses to “In the blue room: dinner party etiquette for conservatives”

  1. FredHjr Says:

    Some of these I had thought about on my own, but the ordering of the total package is diabolical. I love it. I plan to use it.

  2. FredHjr Says:

    neo,

    I hope you and all the members here have a nice holiday weekend. Let’s not forget the hundreds of thousands of faithful Americans who gave it all so that we may continue to enjoy liberty’s blessings.

    I must admit that this Memorial Day weekend is the saddest I’ve experienced yet, when I think of where that Long Legged Mack Daddy is taking our country.

  3. Occam's Beard Says:

    Good advice, Having doubts about my ability to control my temper over a protracted period, I use a much shorter line: “Hmm, you may be right,” then change the subject.

    It takes an especially boorish liberal (not that such don’t exist in abundance) to change the subject back to argue with someone who’s just said that.

    Broader question: why do liberals so often assume everyone agrees with them, when 48% of the electorate obviously does not? Is it simply an in-group shibboleth or sign/countersign?

  4. Oblio Says:

    Is it simply an in-group shibboleth or sign/countersign?

    I think so. Simplest explanation. That should appeal to you, OB.

  5. Paul Gordon Says:

    Broader question: why do liberals so often assume everyone agrees with them, when 48% of the electorate obviously does not? Is it simply an in-group shibboleth or sign/countersign?

    Well, if they are talking to YOU, then obviously they think you must be one of the enlightened 52%; else, why would they bother?

    What a disappointment it must be when they discover they are conversing with one from the dark side.

    🙂

  6. davidt Says:

    Great suggestions by Oblio. And as I posted in the previous thread, I’ve adopted a tactic for when a Dem/Obama supporter tries to start a political discussion. Avoiding actual political positions, I ask, “Have you ever heard that the two topics of conversation most likely to cause trouble are Religion and Politics? Do you believe it’s true?” And then, most importantly, “Have you ever wondered why?”

  7. Oblio Says:

    One I use often is “I can tell you feel very strongly about this.”

  8. Occam's Beard Says:

    By virtue of having been an academic for many years in the bluest of blue universities, many assume that I’m an “uber-lib,” as one put it. In Europe I was introduced as “an American, but one of the good ones.”

    Imagine their shock when they found out my dark secret..

  9. Giles Says:

    Oblio,

    Excellent advice. I’ll be sure to use those when debating.

    – G

  10. vanderleun Says:

    So I take it that changing the subject to my gun collection and new concealed carry permit is the wrong way to go.

  11. turfmann Says:

    Has anyone ever noticed that no such suggestions are ever sounded within the liberal community? Why, it would never occur to them that their opinion was debatable.

    Like you, Neo, I am up to my neck in liberals here at home. Its just that my understanding and patience is wearing thin.

    As an old friend used to say, “you’re taking advantage of my good nature…”

  12. gcotharn Says:

    really good stuff. thanks. May have occasion, tonight, to use this: “Do you study that closely?”

    Blogs – including my own, and including this one – have been a wonderful outlet for expressing myself and to getting stuff off my chest. Then, I go through the rest of my day with happiness, without feeling a need to enter political discussion, with easy discipline to stay out of potentially unpleasant and combative conversation. I have listened to political conversation and, rather than feel a need to jump in, literally said to myself: I’m going to blog about this. That seems, at one level, unhealthy. Yet, given the lack of give and take of much public discourse, and given the lack of civility: blogging instead of conversing is an unlikely yet healthy response. Dear Web Log, here’s what happened today…. Seemingly pitiful, yet sane.

  13. Oblio Says:

    LOL, vanderleun. That should clear the room.

  14. Occam's Beard Says:

    One technique I’ve used (when not trying to put a cork in a liberal rant) is the parsing of principle from practice. Experience suggests that liberals generally don’t think very clearly about this, and therefore will oppose a policy on “moral” grounds, and then pivot into attacking it on strategic/tactical ones. (E.g., attacking the Iraq War as “wrong,” and then segueing into how it’s just generating more terrorists.)

    The technique goes like this: “Suppose we somehow could prove beyond any doubt that the war was killing more more terrorists than it was generating. Would you then support it?”

    They’re usually taken aback by this, and will then stammer that yes, they would, but we don’t know that, etc.

    Then the trap snaps shut. “So we’re agreed that we should support the war if it’s killing more terrorists than it’s generating. What evidence would convince you that that is in fact the case?”

    Note that this gets them off their moral high horse, since they’ve already abandoned their moral objections and agreed with the principle. They cannot then return to abstract “moral” arguments, and are instead reduced to debating tactical efficacy. Moreover, the onus is then on them to propose an operational measure by which to assess that efficacy. (Invariably they’ve never thought about this.)

    I then let them off the hook, by saying that if I knew for certain that the war was generating more terrorists than it was killing, I’d reconsider my position, thereby implicitly inviting them to do the same. At this point the discussion turns on objective, unemotional criteria (e.g., incidence of terrorist attacks within Iraq), where the liberal position is nigh unto untenable.

  15. Occam's Beard Says:

    Sorry, that “was generating” should be “were generating.” I recast the original sentence and forgot to change to subjunctive mood.

  16. gcotharn Says:

    that’s just your subjunctive opinion

  17. Oblio Says:

    A subjunctive opinion would be full of conditions contrary to fact. I hear a lot of those.

  18. Hong Says:

    Good advice, tough to follow. There should be seminars and workshops on this. lol

  19. Ozymandias Says:

    Shout out to Oblio and Occam’s Beard. You guys should collaborate and create a conservative “Rules for Radicals”.

    Everybody here has touched on how the biggest problem is that liberals have deeply-seated assumptions about the world that we live in. I think its right to go after their assumptions because it destroys the foundation of their arguments. Cheney is doing an excellent job by attacking the common perception of the Bush Administration. We need to be nice, but not be afraid to push back when we get attacked by bullying liberals.

  20. Tatyana Says:

    If I was a methodical emotion-controlled type I would print out this post and the thread and look it up every time I happen upon a lefty.

    But I’m not. And that’s a pity.

  21. Thomass Says:

    Occam’s Beard Says:

    “Broader question: why do liberals so often assume everyone agrees with them, when 48% of the electorate obviously does not? Is it simply an in-group shibboleth or sign/countersign?”

    It’s to intimidate the masses (we have so much power we can be loud boors at parties and you can’t do anything about it to some, and see everyone agrees with us to others) and it roots out a few heretics. Stalinism through and through.

  22. 11B40 Says:

    Greetings:

    And, if nothing else works, use my favorite expression.

    “Next time you see your parents, tell them I said they still have some work to do on you.”

  23. jon baker Says:

    I once asked a young self identifying “anarchist communist” where communism ever worked. Seems she could not point to a place. But then she seemed to think we should all just come to a place where the government did not force communism on people, people just agreed to share everything.
    I should have asked for her car.
    Of course she was also against “organized religion”. Ironically, certain small religious groups might come closest, for a short while at least, to what she desired. But then they still run into the freeloaders who can crash the system. That pesky human nature. Utopia on an unredeemed planet does not survive reality.
    In reality, the small traditional family unit is sort of communist. In the traditional family though, there is also ideally a strong male leader, a supportive wife and kids that get their bottoms spanked when they misbehave. Not exactly what the left pushes for.

  24. pdbuttons Says:

    i once was at a cabin summer cook-out
    and i had these tiny american flags in my van…
    so i wents and got them…/and when the topic turned to politics/war/bush etc./
    they knew i had different opinions/
    i pulled lil tiny flags from my pockets and said..
    “don’t question my patriotism!”…/waving them about!
    after a ten second delay i laughed/ where is your sense of humour?/ i asked…they were/are my friends…but it was funny!
    thanks neo 4 sweet site!

  25. Beverly Says:

    They are insufferable, these poseurs. I’m fed up to the back teeth with them. But the “etiquette” for handling leftist boors is good.

    As for the self-styled communists, just pluck their wallet from their pocket, and start going through it. Take half the money and half the credit cards, put them in your own pocket, and hand it back with a smile. When they object, say sweetly, “I’m just testing your principles, darlin’.”

    I really, really hate them. The more I watch the leftists, the more I regard them as being as loathsome as the bolsheviki and fascisti of old. Jackbooted bastards, all of them. And fools.

  26. pdbuttons Says:

    the iron heel never got much call of the wild
    drama..mama

  27. waltj Says:

    “So I take it that changing the subject to my gun collection and new concealed carry permit is the wrong way to go”.

    Actually, Gerard, that’s a great way to send them shrieking from your presence, as if afraid that one of the guns in question might go off on a rampage, all by itself. Silly twits.

    Regarding the question of what the U.S. military could do against its own citizenry, let’s hope we never have to face that question. I like to think the military would live up to its constitutional responsibilities and refuse illegal orders to make war on fellow Americans. But even a military as good as ours faces one implacable foe: geography. The U.S. landmass is huge, particularly for a military that only consists of about 2.3 million members, including reserves. Without substantial assistance from the local populace and authorities, I doubt the military could even secure the major population centers, much less the small towns and countryside. And how many servicemen (and women) would change sides when faced with the prospect of killing and oppressing their own families and friends? I’d like to think many. Well, that’s this retired reserve Lt. Col.’s opinion, anyway.

  28. Oblio Says:

    Guys, I understand the frustration. My point is that you have to get serious about winning socially, and losing your temper at a dinner party doesn’t help the team. There is really no need to, and if you do, it reinforces the myth of the Angry, Mean Conservative that causes the wishy-washy social liberals to flock together for protection.

    You need to get in among the pigeons and scatter them.

  29. Oblio Says:

    By contrast, if you are in a public debate, you are not required to show forbearance or to put up with bad manners from the other side. By all means tear them to pieces, embarrass and humiliate them. Facts and Logic are still your best weapons here, and even better if you can stay cool while your opponent is melting down. I think there is room for temper and indignation about bad behavior from your opponent.

    At bottom, the real Leftists are mean and irrational; the more we show that to the public in unmistakable terms, the more we win.

  30. armchair pessimist Says:

    We each should fight with whatever weapon the good Lord gave us. To some, He gave a calm head for facts and figures; to some, a slicing wit; to some, an ability to put the matter inside the perfect anecdote; to still others, a loud voice; and to yet others, a short fuse.

    Don’t disparage the last one. It’s the fastest way of all to show that you aren’t afraid and won’t be bullied.

  31. Piercello Says:

    Delurking to riff on Occam’s Beard (2:47) specifically and the post in general, my favorite sort of question to employ in political discussions runs along the lines of “what level of evidence would persuade you to shift your position?”

    If you like, you can then ask gently for a comparison with the level of evidence used to formulate the position in the first place.

    I once stopped a ranting uncle in his tracks by pointing out to him that if Bush could be reelected by that many millions of Americans in spite of (then) currently unfavorable geopolitical events in combination with the efforts of a generally hostile media, then either American democracy is unworkable due to a general human incapacity for logic, and should therefore be scrapped, or a rational basis for the Bush policies must exist.

    As his arguments were largely based on democratic (and anti-war) appeals to fundamental human rights and equality, hopefully I provided him with sufficient emotional leverage to actually entertain opposing arguments instead of dismissing them offhand…

    Love the blog, and the comments!

    Piercello

  32. Charles Says:

    One more tip:

    When someone (either left or right; but more often than not left) crosses over the line into personal attacks I have always said, in a feigned shocked voice:

    “Oh my god, I thought we were debating the issue; not the person.”

    I have always received an immediate apology and effectively shut down the rant.

  33. Doc_Savage Says:

    “Everybody here has touched on how the biggest problem is that liberals have deeply-seated assumptions about the world that we live in”

    And unafraid to press those assumptions and opinions on all and sundry. Of course Progressives managed to make the traditional challenge and duel response to offense illegal. Arms will only create a polite society when men are allowed to use them to enforce civility.

    Ah, but this is Progress!

  34. Piercello Says:

    Doc, it would tickle my fancy to see the following pair of bumper stickers on the same car:

    “An Armed Society is a Polite Society.”

    “Please Don’t Tailgate.”

  35. Occam's Beard Says:

    And, if nothing else works, use my favorite expression.

    “Next time you see your parents, tell them I said they still have some work to do on you.”

    In my first faculty position I had a snotty undergraduate come up after the lecture and pontificate as only Ivy League undergraduates can do. I patiently heard him out, and then slapped him on the back and replied, “You’re going to make a fine adult,” and walked off.

    He visibly crumpled. I don’t know where the line came from; it just welled up spontaneously, which is probably what made it so devastating to my interlocutor.

  36. Oblio Says:

    armchair pessimist, there is also an appropriate time to display each of these gifts. My point is that you must think about how to deploy each to achieve the goal you desire. Simply detonating whenever you desire in order to relieve anger or frustration is unlikely to do much good. If we want to win, we must be disciplined and strategic.

    OB, I don’t know whether you have ever shared the identity of this Ivy League university or what you taught. You taught engineering, or something scientific, I think. I wonder if I was a student there when you were teaching. Not that I would have taken any courses from you: I only took two Group IV courses in my time. I mainly hung out with the poets and historians.

  37. Occam's Beard Says:

    Two anecdotes. A while ago at a business lunch I was treated to a lengthy BDS rant in “no tickee no shirtee” English by a recently arrived faculty member from Taiwan. Along with several others, I studied my plate, blood pressure rising, trying manfully to resist the urge to agree with him at least in regard to lax immigration controls that let people like him into the country. (IMO, it takes weapons-grade boorishness to be welcomed into another country, given a great opportunity, and publicly to slag it off. Memo to self: learn how one says STFU in Mandarin.) I did resist, but doing so did violence to my soul.

    Second, on another site a leftist troll offered some racial generalizations about whites. As an experiment, I repeated his stereotypes, and then in true leftist style extended them to corresponding ones about other races, and then denounced him for the lot as a blatant racist. I beat him over the head for things he hadn’t actually said, but that I had attributed to him in extending his stereotypes. When he protested, I replied that “everybody knows exactly what you meant,” and that he was blowing the racist dog whistle. I kept characterizing him as grossly racist and asking why he thought those terrible things about minorities that I had adduced to him, asking if his Klan dues were paid up, etc. I ignored any attempt he made at counterattacking or defending himself, but just continued reiterating the original canard and calling him a racist.

    In short, I gave him the full liberal treatment. It drove him nuts. He was totally on the defensive, and feebly trying to justify himself and correct the record to reflect what he’d actually said (as I continued to pummel him with accusations of racism). In short, he responded as conservatives usually do to getting “liberaled.”

    The whole exercise was quite instructive.

  38. Oblio Says:

    OB, if you still live in academia, you must be encountering a Target Rich Environment. I like your technique for inducing moral panic. Its success points back to the emotional wellsprings of the “progressive” attitude and hints at why progressives are so insecure.

  39. Occam's Beard Says:

    Oblio, I’m not ready to come out of the closet yet. My employment history is sufficiently unusual as to be distinctive (perhaps unique), so that with the identity of the university and and information from previous posts those in the field could easily identify me.

    So before coming out of the closet I’d have to reflect on whether I’ve said anything impolitic using this handle!

  40. Oblio Says:

    Welcome, Piercello. Nice contribution.

  41. Oblio Says:

    OB, understood. I think through the same questions and make every comment with the idea that one day my identity will be revealed by people who wish me ill. Perhaps I have given you enough information to figure out at which university I was a snotty and ignorant undergraduate. We’ll leave it there.

    All I can say is, I wish there had been more instructors like you.

  42. Occam's Beard Says:

    Oblio, for my sanity’s sake I left academia quite a while ago now. One example: a former colleague waxing rhapsodic about the greatest American President of the 20th century…Jimmy Carter!

    Seriously. I didn’t have tenure at the time, so I was in a quandary. If I kept a straight face and he was joking, he’d think I had no sense of humor. If I guffawed and he was serious, he’d be offended.

    Turns out: he was serious.

    Political discussions were the least of it. Few were sufficiently intrepid as to debate me, as I’m pretty formidable in debate (as several found to their cost).

    The problems arose with respect to departmental policies and procedures, where my colleagues invariably wanted to implement moronic leftist ideas that didn’t work, when a sound and definitive solution was at hand. For example, they considered it “fair” to split administrative scut work evenly, although some of us were working seven day weeks (I rarely left before 9 pm), while others came in at 11 and left at 3. That sort of thing. They exalted the idle, and exploited the industrious. As I was once told, “We expect more from you because you can do more.” (“From each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs” was not a platitude they mouthed, it was something they lived).

    After a while, I’d had enough.

  43. I R A Darth Aggie Says:

    “dark secret” and “dark side”?

    Come, now, embrace your inner Sith. It is your destiny!

  44. Richard Aubrey Says:

    Once in a while the opportunity arises, which is to say the circumstances are just dandy, to move into the other person’s space and ask, “Do you have a problem with that?”

  45. Occam's Beard Says:

    All I can say is, I wish there had been more instructors like you.

    Thanks, Oblio. I truly appreciate that.

  46. matt Says:

    I love #1, but I think women do that better than men. I’ve used #2, but I start out a little differently. I say, “You know a lot about this. Where do you get your information?”

  47. Army Mom Says:

    Thanks for all the tips on how to talk to a liberal. I have too much of a temper to be able to debate with a liberal. However, I am so very sick of hearing liberal talking points coming out of people that I nearly want to scream. I have to really bite my lip while in the elevator at our office building and people talk about Obama. I have gotten to the point that as I drive down the road and see someone with an Obama\Biden sticker on their car, I want to roll down my window and yell “Do you REALLY know what you did when you voted for that Marxsist!!” I never do it though. I just cannot fathom how so many people can abandon facts and common sense and have voted a disaster into office.

  48. kungfu Says:

    Funny, living in a blue state I often use these same techniques. When I lived in a red state I used them too, just in the other direction.

  49. Occam's Beard Says:

    Army Mom, the bumper sticker that sets me off is “Coexist.” Vapid, moronic, and completely out of touch with reality – a liberal trifecta. I can almost hear the owner simpering “give peace a chance.”

    Ask the imbecile who jumped into the polar bear enclosure in the Berlin Zoo how that “coexisting” stuff worked out.

  50. Come on, Please Says:

    1) I’m surrounded by Obamabots. Yet, their silence has been deafening in the past 3 months.

    2) In social settings especially in gatherings more than 8, I’ve found there’s always of few of “us” in attendance regardless of location. Best thing to do is remain calm once a BDS/ObamaisGod rant starts.

    Then at the end of said rant: “So, buddy, got any P and E?”
    “Huh?”
    “You know, proof and evidence.”
    ….
    “Any proof or evidence to back any of that up, chief?”
    ….
    ….
    “So, uh, the bean dip is good.”

  51. ConceptJunkie Says:

    I participate in a music discussion mailing list where off-topic conversation is allowed. Most of the members are hard-core liberals, but the conversation is generally civil and we share a lot of interesting discussions.

    One person stated something (positive) about religion placing Jesus and Mohammed on the same footing. When I pointed out that Mohammed was nothing like Jesus, and this is objectively provable, he became very defensive. (The person is not a Muslim.) We took the discussion off-list and while I was polite and factial, the person sent me the most vicious, hateful e-mail that I have perhaps ever read in my life. And of course, he always signs his e-mails, “Peace and Love”.

    After that horrendous attack the person insisted I not e-mail him back any more, so I responded on the mailing list, calmly and logically. Of course, the idiot was incensed that I “violated _his_ privacy” by showing to the group at large what an ass he was. He was very openly showing himself to be a hypocrite by insisting it was wrong for me to show what kind of person he was in public. I also pointed out that his “Peace and Love” wish at the end of his messages must clearly only be a front, since he intended neither peace nor love towards me, who never wished any ill of him in word or deed.

    No one else commented on the exchange, but one person thanked me in private for standing up for what is right. I have found when talking to liberals very often it is very easy to allow them to make themselves out to be rude, bigoted, or even entirely stupid, with no direct accusations or name-calling on my own part. If someone says something clearly bigoted, against conservatives or Christians (for instance), I point out that I must be misunderstanding them because only a bigot would say… and then restate their point. People tend to back down really quickly when you make them look bad in front of others. I never actually call anyone any of these things. I never have to. I can usually point out how they are acting, imply what it means, and give them an out by not specifically accusing them of anything. It’s very effective at getting all but the most knee-jerk bigots people to stop being obnoxious. It might not change any minds, but I never argue with liberals to change their minds. Most of them are too brain-washed and closed-minded for that. The other participants in the conversation are my real audience, and I’ve received many nice comments in private that show my tactics are effective in making my points and disarming my opponents, often without them apparently even realizing it.

  52. ConceptJunkie Says:

    Army Mom:

    I find it incredibly ironic how many people have the bumper sticker with the just the Obama logo without any wording* and it’s UPSIDE DOWN. Says it all really.

    Rick

    * I think it’s a nice design regardless of the evil it stands for.

  53. Portia Says:

    Army Mom,
    I’ve done it. Rolled down the window and YELLED. I know I shouldn’t. My “favorite” is the one with the date of the election, as though they were commemorating some great feat. Every time I see it, I wonder how much they cheated. I mean, no one would commemorate JUST winning at the polls that much, right?

    Occam’s Beard, the Coexist one drives me into foaming at the mouth incoherence.

    In an effort to stay civil though, I’ve started carrying around a sticky pad (like the one used in offices. Totally non-residue leaving, etc.) and attaching a note to some bumperstickers and/or the driver’s side window. The last one was “Imagine all the world/Living in Peace” — or whatever the stupid Lenon song says — my note said “Imagine you know history and understand human nature! Oh, wait. Too far fectched.”

    Yes, yes, I know “mean conservative” but maybe they’ll start thinking before plastering their car with this stuff. Maybe they’ll start thinking “Uh… I might sound like an ass. Better not put that one on.”

    In a way I can’t blame them for being as idiotic and aggressive as they are. Most of us are polite and feel a little sorry for them, so we shut up. So they assume EVERYONE agrees with them.

  54. Assistant Village Idiot Says:

    Exceptional post and thread. For those who, like me, have trouble keeping the irritation (yea, even unto anger) out of their voice, this is an excellent reminder. Liberalism is essentially a social, not an intellectual faith, and we cannot both persuade and teach logic at the same time.

    Progressives can be compared to bright highschoolers, able to imitate adulthood and logic at need, and understand it when willing, but driven mostly by their need to impress their peers. The sign/countersign comment was spot on, and I have referred to their motivations as primarily tribal. They are asserting membership in the tribe they have chosen for social, mating, and employment purposes. Being accurate is well below appearing accurate.

  55. SAB Says:

    I can’t bring myself to remove the “W’04” sticker on my car. Occasionally I’ll see another holdout on the highway and I have a momentary feeling of glee.

  56. Army Mom Says:

    Thank you Occams Beard, Portia & Concept Junkie for letting me know that I am not the only one like this. 🙂 btw…there is someone at my office building who has one of those Coexist stickers…and yes, it is vapid and stupid.

    I want to print off a PALIN 2012 bumper sticker just to see how many libs’ heads explode from the thought. Why does this bring scenes from The Exorcist to mind??? 😉

  57. Uncle Bill Says:

    Very similar to point no. 3, I like to ask: “What is the evidence for that?” For example, “What is the evidence that increased government spending will cause a sustained improvement in the economy? Can you point to a few examples in which this actually worked?”

    Usually I get responses like, “Well, everyone knows that,”, or “It’s obvious.” I point out that those are opinions, not evidence, and press for the evidence, data, historical facts, etc. Most people either get embaressed and change the subject, or stomp off in a huff.

  58. Boogliodemus Says:

    I suspect most of these responses are imaginary dialogues inspired by the blog post.

    One thing I have found to work is too agree with them while demonstrating a head tilt accompanied with a yoga smile while simultaneously giving a single nod of the head and being sure to close your eyes slowly on the down nod and opening them on the up nod. If done correctly it relly throws off their timing and is very distracting. How can they argue with you when you remind them of their yoga instructor?

  59. tygurr Says:

    It helps to understand lib/conservative dynamics if one remembers the following:

    Liberals feel-Conservatives think.

    Consider your interactions with the Liberals you know. Your mileage may vary.

    I think the statement is generally correct. Liberals don’t need evidence in order to hold a position. They only care about how it makes them feel. They probably haven’t even considered any facts in formulating a position. If we can calmly lead them to consider facts they MAY someday realize their logical failures. Then again, they probably won’t. If you are in a Don Quixote mood, have at them.

    I have followed most of these reccomendations for several years. It usually works out pretty well but you won’t be on the repeat guest list for very many parties. I don’t usually have repeat encounters with the same people. It is the very rare Liberal that likes to have a rigorous intellectual discussion with someone who holds a differing opinion.

    Very nice post Neocon and Oblio. I look forward to reading your blog in the future.

About Me

Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.
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