By Chris Rossini
The above question is a very good one. Debating liberals (or even warmongering conservatives) can be unpleasant if not approached the right way. The reason being that the actual debate gets tossed aside almost immediately. Once a typical person is confronted with a fact or axiomatic principle, the immediate reaction is to shift away into attacking your character somehow.
You simply state that 2+2=4 and out-of-the-blue you're accused of being a xenophobe, or misogynist. Or the liberal finds out that you once smoked a cigarette in the 8th grade, so who are you to claim that 2+2 has to equal 4!
It's Marxism 101, and the tactic goes back to Marx and Engels themselves.
So how does one avoid falling into their trap?
First, as strange as it may sound, real power comes from peace and composure. Once you become reactionary or emotional, you might as well pack it up. You're through, and you can take your facts with you.
But in order to remain composed, you need to have the right mindset going in.
If you believe that you must change the other person's mind, you're setting yourself up for disappointment. Chances are excellent that you'll do no such thing, no matter who you are.
No one has that kind of responsibility. We all have free will, and the ability to think what we want to think, even if the thought happens to be in error. The person you're debating is interpreting the world through their eyes, not yours.
It's not your job to set anyone else straight. Your job is to set yourself straight! If you believe that you must convince others, or that you're going to try to force them to think like you, than you're really not much different than the authoritarians you're debating with.
Once you lift that weight off your shoulders, debating becomes much easier. Now you can present your case without the pressure of having to convert anyone.
Your job is with you.
Your measuring stick is you.
Always upgrade your understanding of the world and of truth. Always fine tune how you present what you know, and present it often.
And then...let go.
Your job is done.
You removed the stress out of the situation. You don't have to convince anyone.
Let's say you take a handful of seeds. You head out to the field and toss them as far and as wide as you can. Some of the seeds will be washed away in the rain. Some will be pecked from the ground by the birds. But then there will be the ones that take root and make it.
How are you supposed to know which seeds are which?
You just do your job in tossing those seeds....and then let go.
When it comes to spreading the ideas of Liberty, the same principle applies. Know your stuff ... Speak it clearly ... Speak it often ... Do it like a champ and stay composed.
2+2=4 ... You have nothing to worry about.
Let the mockers mock ... Let the laughers laugh ... Let the boo birds boo.
You did your job.
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