I wrote the top portion of this before the NRA gave its press conference Friday. The update was added after the press conference.
Rush was talking about the Time Magazine writer who went on Charlie Rose and said Obama’s big contribution to our political system is that he has gotten the low-information voters to become the demographic which decides elections. Rush then wonders how we can reach the low information voter.
I want to beat this horse again, with an example of how the debate goes now. Suppose we had a debate on whether to pass more gun control after the last shooting, or not. Here is how it would go now.
Conservative : First, I would like to point out, Connecticut already has an Assault Weapons ban, and that didn’t prevent this tragedy. We passed an Assault Weapons ban in 1994, and it is widely accepted that it had no effect on crime. FBI Uniform Crime Statistics show Assault Weapons are used in less than .00002% of crime, so even if they were totally banned, it wouldn’t change anything, crime-wise.
This is a good factual argument. To any Conservative, this argument just won the debate. If you are arguing to convince people who think logically, you won. But you have surrendered the emotional, socially maneuvering demographic, by not emotionally/socially attacking your opponent’s status within the group. Now here is how the Liberal will argue.
Liberal : Assault Weapons are killing our children, and you don’t care. Look at those parents, and tell me how many would want you to give up your gun, so their child would have been safe from attack. Only a madman would want to own an Assault Weapon anyway, and all of us would feel so much safer, if they were banned. Any Patriotic American should support a ban, for the good of his fellow citizens. Why won’t you?
Notice, no facts or logic, but all emotional arguments, designed to out-group the opposition, and amass consensus of the group around them, through social means. This happens because Liberals “feel” the right answer, and any fact which contradicts them must be in error. Their defective amygdala tells them so, molding their perception of reality to their feelings, and indeed, creating the very non-fact-based feeling which drives them in the first place. Live in that mind long enough, and it is not long before all facts become reflexively dismissed, and all you do is feel your way to an answer, and try to help others feel their way to your answer as well, despite any inconvenient facts which might get in the way. Of course this also means, if you want the Liberal to adopt a different answer, you have to make the act of feeling their current answer unacceptably uncomfortable.
To a Liberal, the Liberal clearly won the argument above. It is a totally different form of argument, and by not using it, we surrender the Lemming demographic to a mentally damaged Liberal cohort we could bury politically, if we just met them on their own elocutionary battlefield. The idiots that Liberals are appealing to, with this argument are, in many ways, holding their finger to the wind, and waiting to side with whomever they think the group will amass around. They are not “low information voters,” they are “Lemmings.” If you don’t expressly seek their support by using this argumentative style, you will have lost all of them, for no reason beyond your own ignorance and apathy.
One of the keys to attacking them is to understand r/K selection Theory and it’s relation to politics. We have an innate respect for the K-selected model of human, and an innate revulsion at the sight of the r-type model of human. Simply highlight that your position is a K-selected position, by highlighting the drives behind it, and then highlight the patheity of the r-type’s position. Project strength, and in-group status. This will naturally lead everyone to amass around you. I suspect it works because from an evolutionary perspective, K’s only got aggressive as resources grew scarce, and conflict was in the air. Under such conditions, r’s who didn’t go to ground, quickly got culled.
For the Conservative position in the above debate, this argument should look something like this:
Conservative : Men with guns invading our schools and shooting our children is not something you are going to solve with a weak-kneed, pacifist policy, designed to make everyone in the school into helpless sheep – even if making everyone as helpless and impotent as the average Liberal is a fundamental Liberal policy desire. Americans have a long tradition, dating back to the minutemen, of normal citizens who are bravely willing to fight evil at a moment’s notice, to protect the innocent. Our teachers are no different from those great men. Victoria Soto stood her ground, and looked into the eyes of a man with a gun, and ultimately threw herself between the gunman and her students. Had Liberals allowed her to be armed, she could have fought him off, and prevented the massacre. She could have won, had Liberals not forced her to be unarmed and helpless. Instead,, after all of these massacres, Liberals passed a law forcing every teacher to be disarmed, and unable to defend their children. Victoria Soto was helpless precisely because of pacifist Liberal involvement in resolving this violent issue.
Armed madmen killing children is a wolf problem, and it requires a wolf solution, not the ineffectual, pacifist sheep solutions offered by Liberals, such as gun-free school laws designed to dissuade mass murderers intending to kill themselves after their massacres are over. Liberal solutions have done nothing but make the decent people more vulnerable to the madmen, and that is wrong, on a moral level. There is only one way to stop an armed madman, bent on mass murder at a school. It is to allow teachers to be armed and trained, and deal with him on the spot.
Train the teachers to shoot, and allow them to be armed, or the next massacre will be entirely the fault of the pansy Liberals in this country, who know nothing of how to survive in the real world, where massacre-producing madmen ignore the very fantasy laws the Liberal thinks will control them. Unless Liberals want our school personnel to be unable to defend themselves, more children to die, and the next massacre to be clearly their fault, they need to support the arming of teachers.
Notice the first sentence is an immediate amygdala shock, using a common Liberal “pansy” stereotype, which everyone buys into, (because it is true) to diminish the Liberal’s status and authority. After that, the Liberal can try to argue that teachers aren’t akin to the minutemen, or brave enough, intelligent enough, and capable of defending the children. But to do so, they must insult them – something a mind focused on social maneuvering will be less likely to do – it’s a catch-22 for their thought style, and only off-balances and confuses them more. Then by citing Victoria Soto, you ally your position with her – the hero. You are on her side, and the Liberal is opposing her, and trying to get her killed. Bring in the cost to children.
Then use the wolf and sheep analogy – Liberals recognize r/K on a very primal level that they are helpless prey psychologies, and they hate seeing it pointed out, even tangentially. Now it’s decent people verses the Liberal. Highlight blatant stupidity in gun-free school laws to diminish their status. Decent people vs Liberals again. Now it’s killing time, and the populace is at war! (Primal amygdala shock!)
There will be no avoiding seeing all of this laid right at the Liberal’s door, if they oppose us. Liberals are pansies, again. Finally, emphasize opposition to us will have harsh social consequences one last time.
To a Liberal, lemming, or a low-information idiot voter, this argument is a thousand percent better than the first. It quotes no facts, requires no thought, and there is little in the way of a logical argument. But it makes it look as if the masses have no choice but to ally with the Conservative, and that is what you want. This is how Liberals think differently, and it is how you co-opt their argument style to demotivate them, while grabbing their support at the same time.
Again, this type of argument would have leveled Mike Wallace, while the first argument wouldn’t have even registered with him. Mike Wallace was afraid of nothing, so much as seeing himself portrayed to the masses as a tool. Your objective needs to be making support of Liberalism a mark of being a tool. Once you do that, the Liberal is backed into a corner that they cannot escape from. Advocate for Liberalism and look like a tool, or shut up, and avoid the fight.
As I have said, we already own the logical debate. This is how you own the emotional debate as well.
Update : So how did the NRA make its case at the press conference, and what was the anti-gunner’s response?
NRA, synopsized : ‘We use armed guards in all of these different places to protect things and it works. We need armed guards at schools – that will work. The only way to stop a madman with a gun is with a good guy with a gun (said by Wayne La Pierre in a pleasant, peaceful, pleading voice). All other measures have proven to be failures. Gun prosecutions are down 40%, etc. etc. Then he actually lists the numbers on how many murders and how many acts of violence kids see growing up.’
It’s a great factual argument, guaranteed to appeal to the type of intelligent people who already agree with him. Unfortunately, while the practical strategy of offering a real, immediate solution is sound, what the NRA hasn’t realized, is it is also capable of affecting Liberal motivation to oppose, and Lemming support for, their proposals, through modifying how these proposals are presented. The NRA already has the intelligent, fact-based voters- they are already NRA supporters and members. What it needs to do now is appeal to a cohort of the uninformed, and the idiots. It needs to publicly cow Liberals into rhetorical/social submission by presenting emotional arguments which demonstrate how Liberals are opposed to the will of the masses. La Pierre’s perfectly constructed, fact-based argument won’t do this.
Mike Bloomberg’s reply, synopsized : That is paranoid, crazy, and dystopian. (said in a disgusted, demeaning voice). From a guy with no history of attacks on him, but who still has six to ten heavily armed security protecting him, in the most disarmed city in the country, while in a room full of reporters. The only logic this idiot will recognize is an enemy who humiliates him, and makes him feel out-grouped, for being an impotent pansy.
Liberals and the lemmings in our society both think differently. We need to modify our rhetorical tactics to draw the Lemmings into our fold, and humiliate the Liberals to the point that they are afraid to espouse Liberalism.