The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Disagreeing Agreeably

Posted on | March 30, 2011 | 31 Comments

by Smitty

American Power links Levin noting the Ron Paul people being intolerable. It’s a variation on the douchebag theme. Anybody can identify the faults in the logic of others. In Alinsky mode, you need to find that flaw and just pack it with every round of rhetorical artillery available. Or, as Genghis said:

The greatest pleasure is to vanquish your enemies and chase them before you, to rob them of their wealth and see those dear to them bathed in tears, to ride their horses and clasp to your bosom their wives and daughters.

Contrast the Khan job we’ve seen from some of the Ron Paul followers, or the union in Wisconsin, with Reagan:

The trouble with our liberal friends is not that they are ignorant, but that they know so much that isn’t so.

Twenty years ago, in the struggle to survive college, it occurred to me that “If you give your detractors ammunition, they will shoot it at you.” Thus, the question mark is the more powerful form of punctuation when engaged in a serious argument. Trotting out the exclamation point and the CAPITAL LETTERS is handing the other side a few more rounds to fire back.

Another lesson to share is: “Never argue with a drunkard, or a fool.” If you want to practice your arguments with an ideologue, fine, but understand that you could get the same aerobic value on the treadmill. A final thought in this brief meditation is that being gracious is a cheap investment that pays off with honest people. The younger me was all about running up the score in the argument by pointing out technicalities, or going for the Fool’s Mate when the interlocutor missed an obvious point. Now that I’m the bald old bastard forgetting things, a gentle mention without so much triumph helps the understanding so much more.

So, to that Ron Paul fan who once accused me of ‘spreading lies’ when I referred to Pauls ‘non-interventionist’ foreign policy approach as ‘neo-isolationism’, a difference that still makes precious little difference to me: you did little to advance your game, sir.

* * * UPDATE * * *

This is not the evil neocon Bushbot blog you want to hate. From the very beginning of this blog, it has been my policy to avoid direct criticism of Dr. Paul or his supporters, whom I view as potential allies in the long twilight struggle against the goddamned useless GOP Establishment. Exactly why Smitty decided to pick this particular fight at this particular moment, I don’t know. Being deployed to Afghanistan can do weird things to a guy’s mind, I suppose. But we are still not the evil neocon Bushbot blog. That’s called “Hot Air” and the guy you want to argue with is called “Allahpundit.” Go argue with him. Don’t Blame Me, I Voted for Bob Barr. That is all. Thank you. — RSM


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