Do you ever find yourself arguing with liberals on the internet? Are you tired of people telling you about how awesome free healthcare is for the economy? Or how you should just shut up and pay your fair share because crack whores need iPhones too? Or how we should ban the super ultra-deadly assault rifle AR-15 shotgun Glock? Or been asked why do you hate old people, you cismale gendernormative fascist, hatey-McHaterton-hatey-hate-hatemongering racist?
Have you grown frustrated because arguing with the willfully ignorant is like repeatedly punching a really dumb cactus?
Well, I’ve prepared a handy checklist so you can accurately predict what your willfully ignorant statist will spout next! Have fun with this, as you can follow your friends arguments and play bingo with these. If you are new to internet debate, just find any kerfuffle on Facebook and see how long it takes for you to check most of these off. It is fun for the whole family!
This may come as a shock to some of you gentle readers, but I am politically opinionated.
Okay, never mind, but as one of the handful of politically outspoken conservatives or libertarians working in an entertainment industry that is overwhelmingly left leaning, at some point I became the voice of an angry generation. (in reality authors are about as evenly divided as the rest of America, but most of the ones on my side keep their mouths shut, but we’ll get to that when we detail Concern Troll Threats)
Left wingers who can actually produce a solid argument are to be treasured and debated fully (that’s sort of the point of debate). Unlike many of my liberal contemporaries, I don’t “manage” my blog comments until I have an echo chamber and my self-esteem isn’t predicated on how many sycophants pat my tender head while telling me how brilliant I am for standing up for some straw man cause de jour. I’ve got a bunch of regular left wing readers who can bring their A Game. I love them. Arguing with them, and honing my points against them makes my arguments stronger for the future.
Sadly, for every intelligent, articulate Eric Flint out there, most arguments against liberal group think results in a legion of poo flinging monkeys showing up.
This checklist is intended only for the willfully ignorant, banally stupid, sound byte spewers incapable of thinking through anything more complicated than a Facebook meme. The lowest form of debater is the pathetic crap sacks that can only follow this checklist.
If you are on my side, but this is how you debate, shut up. You’re making us look bad. Good arguing should consist of compelling rhetoric which is backed up with facts and logic. If your tactics are to shut down debate, you are an idiot. It should never be to shut down or scare off, but to WIN.
THE LEFT WING INTERNET ARGUING CHECKLIST
- Skim until Offended
- Disqualify that Opinion
- Attack, Attack, Attack
- Disregard Inconvenient facts
- Make Shit Up
- Resort to Moral Equivalency
- Concern Trolling
- When all else fails, Racism!
So let’s break this down so you know what to look for, and you can have a good laugh as people who have zero substance, critical thinking skills, or facts make fools of themselves!
SKIM UNTIL OFFENDED:
A poo flinging monkey never actually reads their opponent’s article (That could introduce them to dangerous badthink!). Instead they simply skim down the page until finding something that they can loudly proclaim you were offended by. Remember, being offended grants liberals super powers!
True Example: I would go through this big gun control essay, but the author said that he made a state legislator cry. What a terrible person!
Fascinating, since in that particular case it was because I was testifying about mass shootings the day after a mass shooting, and as I described how disarmed and helpless people had no choice but to hide and pray, she became very emotional… But hey, #1 is satisfied! No danger of badthink here!
This one is hilarious. For example, if you are responding to something from somebody who self-identifies as a democrat or liberal and you use the term, democrat or liberal, they’ll be offended that you are “using labels”. (note, you never see conservatives or libertarians who mind being labeled as such. Go figure).
Today I was arguing gun control, and I put a link to my exhaustive essay on the topic. One poo flinger was a champion of skimming, clicked the link, only saw the covers of my novels, and didn’t like that they were “men with guns and big breasted females” and that was enough to disqualify my years of experience on the topic. I think that might be a new record. Interestingly enough, authors don’t even get much input on covers, as that is up to the marketing people at our publishing house, but whatever, I’ve sold a friggin’ ton of books with those covers.
The thing to get offended by doesn’t actually matter. Remember, liberals are all about claiming victimhood, so anything that allows them to claim that sainted status equals victory.
DISQUALIFY THAT OPINION
This one is lots of fun. Liberals never want to argue ABOUT a topic. They want to argue about why your opinion on that topic doesn’t count. It doesn’t matter who or what you are, there is some reason that your opinion doesn’t count, and it doesn’t have to make sense.
Say that you are a man who thinks abortion is murder, well your opinion obviously doesn’t count because you’re a man! What if my wife said that? Well, her opinion doesn’t count because she’s biased because she has children. What if a childless woman said that? Well, her opinion doesn’t count because she’s probably religious. What if she’s an atheist libertarian who happens to believe that a fetus should be considered a human being and thus receive the same rights and legal protections as any other human being? Hurr… Derp… Don’t legislate my vagina! War on women! Quick, switch to another item on the checklist!
There are several subcategories to this one, as it is the most common tactic on the checklist.
Race, sex, culture, economic status. Say you want to comment on any social issue. Well your opinion doesn’t count because you’re not part of that race or culture or economic group. Usually the liberal you are arguing with isn’t part of that group either, but it doesn’t matter, because white guilt liberals are automatically exempt, and their soft racism allows them to feel good about themselves as they declare that other groups are too stupid to survive without their benevolent guidance.
How dare you say that gangster rap thug culture of single mothers on welfare isn’t the way to go! Your opinion doesn’t count because you didn’t grow up there. And if you did grow up there, well you’re not “authentic” or one of my personal favorites I’ve seen thrown around Twitter against black conservatives “house negro” which totally isn’t racist if it is said by a smug liberal.
The problem with that is that most poo flinging monkeys are white suburbanites, and when they try to disqualify you, and you stop them and say “but I’m not white” which is a problem for them. Obviously this is going to happen more and more as race is an artificial construct that really only matters so liberals can make you check a box on an EEOC form so they can continue to foist social programs on us. Since the poo flingers freak out when their opponent isn’t white, liberals invented the ultimate disqualifier of “privilege”.
Privilege is amazing. It is the new race card, because pick any topic and regardless of what it is or who you are, a liberal can say your opinion doesn’t’ count because you have privilege. What does that actually mean? Hell if I know. It is such a nebulous term that surely everybody has some form. It means whatever the liberal wants it to mean. It is the new Neo-Con.
So you are against some dipshit welfare program because you’ve seen first-hand how that culture of government dependence destroys the human spirit, well obviously you are privileged so your opinion doesn’t count. So wait, even if I was born into a family with dark skin and super crazy poor, and worked my way out of it rather than becoming a crack whore, I’m now too privileged to have an opinion? YES. It doesn’t matter if you were born in a 3rd world hell hole and were a boat person refugee, if you disagree with liberal group think it can only be because you have privilege.
YOU SOUND ANGRY: This is one of my favorite disqualifiers. Type up a 10,000 word essay going into a great deal of detail, with cites, and graphs, and research, and you could have done it completely dispassionately and some liberal is going to say “wow, you sure sound angry!” Boom. You’ve been safely disqualified. In reality, considering the shit we have to put up with, yes, I’m extremely angry, but I’m still right. What’s your point?
YOU KNOW TOO MUCH/TOO LITTLE: I love this one. My big gun control article was dismissed by many because I am an expert on the subject and was thus “biased”. I’ve seen doctor’s opinions dismissed on health care reform because they were “biased”. Gee whiz, wouldn’t you think that somebody who invested their life into a topic would have a strong opinion on it?
But this also goes the other way. Say you own a small business and think your taxes are too high? Well, you’re not a PhD in Economics from Yale turned democrat appointed Treasury Secretary, so obviously your opinion doesn’t count… So you can be disqualified for knowing too much or for knowing too little.
So how much do you need to know for your opinion to be accepted by a poo flinger? If you are conservative? The answer will either be too hot or too cold. If you are liberal? Well, then whatever you know is just right.
EDIT: It was just pointed out to me that I forgot one. The YOU SURE DID WRITE A LOT. Yes, because if you care enough to write something that covers all the pertinent information, that somehow proves that you care too hard, and thus your opinion should be dismissed.
ATTACK, ATTACK, ATTACK
The dumbest of poo flingers must find something, anything about their opponent and attack it rather than the actual topic or salient points. Too tall, too short, too fat, too thin, nothing is off the table. I watched one on Facebook where one of my fans disagreed with a lib about Obamacare, and was attacked because of their profile picture “your kid looks retarded.” And yes, their kid was handicapped, but that’s what you get with caring liberals.
When you argue with a liberal online, no matter what you do, you’re doing it wrong. This is a personal pet peeve of mine. I make my living as a novelist. I get paid large sums of money to write books. I’m rather successful. But whenever I argue with a liberal on Twitter I’m not a “real” novelist. And because I write sci-fi/fantasy, I’m no longer allowed to have an opinion regardless of the long and varied career I had before that, which takes us right back to #2. I have witnessed this with many conservative or libertarian authors.
You’ll note that once any of my political posts go viral and it hits the lib blogs, there will be a deluge of posters all feeling the need to point out what a shitty writer I am (which is really funny since they’ve probably never read any of my books, but obviously, a conservative is going to write bad novels!)
And it isn’t limited to my field. I’m friends with some well-known actors. Same thing. Follow Nick Searcy or Adam Baldwin on Twitter for a few days. You’ll see. Doesn’t matter if you’re second billed on one of the top shows on cable, you’re a conservative, so you’re not a “real” actor. Doesn’t matter if you go to DragonCon and there is a line a thousand people long wearing Jayne hats wanting your autograph, you’re a conservative, so you’re not a “real” actor.
You’ll note that I just fisked a cartoonist. Note. I made fun of his ideas, his misconceptions, and his general idiocy, but I never made fun of his art, because the quality of his artwork is totally irrelevant to the worth of the ideas.
Another fun part of this one is the following scenario:
Liberal 1: Attack, attack. ATTACK!
Liberal 2: Attack attack, attack attack!
Liberal 1: How rude.
Liberal 2: Indeed, how rude.
Liberal 1: You Sound Angry.
DISREGARD INCONVENIENT FACTS
This one is really self-explanatory. It goes hand in hand with our next item on the checklist of Make Shit Up. So you see a liberal post something false. You post the truth. They ignore it. Say that you post a link to an article. They will find a reason to dismiss it. “The Drudge Report? That’s not a *real* newspaper!” So you post the same story from when the WaPo got around to finally copying Drudge a month later. They ignore it.
A subnote on disregarding inconvenient facts. You can be the leading expert in the world on some topic, but if you are arguing with a liberal then you will get “That’s anecdote, not evidence!” or “Link or it didn’t happen!” But the minute that you are quoted in Salon or Mother Jones, it magically turns into evidence. Crazy how that works. While arguing about Obamacare I could truthfully cite the regulations and hoop jumping I had to do for my company of 200 people, and how my equivalent at the company across the street was cutting all their 500 employees back to 28 hours a week because of Obamacare. That’s anecdote. A liberal comedian makes a video about how awesome Obamacare is with emotional music, totally evidence.
So let’s say there’s a new study showing that Japan has fewer violent crimes and fewer guns than America, so the liberals cite that these apples and oranges prove gun ownership equals more crime… They disregard the fact that we’re so socially different that you could flood Japan with AK-47s and their crime rate probably wouldn’t change, and then they’ll disregard any apple to apple comparison like El Paso’s crime versus Detroit’s’. Large cities, similar in population, both ethnically, economically, and socially diverse, only El Paso (right across the border from one of the deadliest crime cities on Earth) has lower crime, but more gun ownership than Detroit (right across the border from big peaceful Canada) with its draconian gun laws… Ignore. Or do Houston versus Chicago. What? I couldn’t hear you. Jamie Foxx was talking about his expertise in use of force laws.
MAKE SHIT UP
This one can get pretty crazy , but if they’ve made it this far down the checklist things are getting desperate, might as well go for the gold.
There are a few levels of this. The easiest one is taking the most absurd batshit insane person they can on the right and putting them as our poster child “Republicans don’t believe in dinosaurs and think the earth is flat and religious people hate science and homeschooling will make children into racist bigots who wage a war on women stay out of my vagina!” This is your usual straw man stuff. Fairly typical.
Then you’ve got the propaganda accepted as fact. Here we are years later, the ACA is going into effect, and millions of us have already had to deal with it, we’ve seen costs skyrocket for three years in a row, we’ve seen the doom and gloom come to pass, we’ve seen the jobs switching to 30 hour work weeks, yet still, STILL you run into people on Facebook ignoring reality and telling you about awesome stuff the ACA is going to do, even though they are talking about hype from when it was getting passed, which never made it into the actual bill.
Then you get into things which are simply flat out lies. As a gun guy, pick any argument involving the technical and legal aspects of building, buying, or using firearms, as reimagined by somebody huffing paint. But if you’re a liberal, and you just believe hard enough, then reality doesn’t matter, just how hard you feel about something. I saw where one recently where a particularly dumbass sci-fi author actually told an audience in Australia that Stand Your Ground laws were to make it legal for white people to just shoot blacks whenever they felt like it…
RESORT TO MORAL EQUIVALENCY
Find something, anything bad as done by a liberal? “Well, republicans did it too!” Did the president do something stupid? “It is Bush’s fault.” So? Was it okay then? No. Then it shouldn’t be okay now, hypocrite. And of everything on the checklist, this is the one that I’ve seen people on the right be guilty of the most often. Do republicans suck too? Hell yes. They’re pathetic (most often when they’re trying to be democrat lite, oh, freaking retire already, John McCain). So sometimes this is totally true.
But the interesting thing is that this goes hand in hand with Make Shit Up, in that oftentimes it isn’t even true, and they’re not the same on that issue, but it is parroted so often that it has become an accepted truth. Even well-meaning people fall for this trap. Though it can be fun when they automatically regurgitate “well, both sides are the same.” And you come back with “Okay, name one time the republicans have done that.” And they sit there and go “Uh…. Hmm…. Uh… Oh, look Jim Carrey made another gun control video!”
So it now looks like Treasury Secretary Geitner was briefed on the IRS specifically targeting opposition conservative groups prior to the election, so this scandal goes straight to the top. “Bush did it too!” they bleat. No… No, actually he didn’t. And if he had, the stupid press would have done their stupid job and actually exposed it, rather than just being a propaganda mouthpiece for the administration, you dipshit. To ether party, you can’t whine about statist 1984 nonsense when the other guys do it, and then do the same thing bigger when you end up in charge.
But that check isn’t as big a deal, because elected democrats mostly suck, and elected republicans only half suck, so half the time it’s true.
A personal favorite. There are two types. The classic Concern Troll and the Boycotter.
Concern Trolling is a tool to enforce the illusion of monolithic group think where the liberal responds like they care. They care so hard about you, poor misguided right winger, and they care that you are saying these horrible, nasty, awful, racist, mean, things. What will everyone think of you? What would your friends think if they knew that you don’t like giving a third of your income to support crack whores? Why, they’d think you were a horrible person.
One of my favorites is “I read your article, and it like totally would have swayed me to your side, BUT the way you called liberal ideas liberal and talked about people who are liberals by using the word liberal just ruined the whole thing. You’d be more effective if you used no labels.” Or substitute whatever bullshit there you want, but the important thing is that this combines dismissal and offense, all wrapped up in the fact that they’re not a mindless poo flinger at all, but are rather motivated by how much they care about you.
These drip with self-righteousness. But it is rather effective, especially on people new to the whole debating thing, or who are easily frightened and don’t want to rock the boat. You see this when you happen to be a relative or coworker of the poo flinger, and they try to scare you on Facebook. Because of course, nobody is a better arbiter of what is correct and good than people who subscribe to the same political philosophy which eventually spawns gulags, purges, and concentration camps.
The Boycotter is rather specialized Concern Troll that usually only gets used on those of us who have some sort of public persona, like entertainers or business people. Because the left absolutely hates dissent, they will try to squish anyone who gets out of line.
“I came to your blog/facebook/twitter because I’m SOOOO very interested in your book/movie/product, but then I found out what a horrible, awful person you are, so now I’m never going to buy any of your stuff ever again. You should totally never share your badthink again because it will totally scare away the legions of people like me and you’ll starve in a ditch.”
Uh huh… How about I just keep on producing the best quality work I can and keep on sleeping on a giant pile of money? The thing is this type is super effective. I’ve been shocked how many conservative Hollywood people I’ve met who keep a low profile about their beliefs out of fear of getting blackballed. For every openly conservative writer like me there are probably half a dozen who share my opinion who won’t talk.
That’s what the poo flingers want. Screw them.
WHEN ALL ELSE FAILS, RACISM!
The most obvious one of them all, because if you are going to argue with liberals you WILL be called racist. It is inevitable. However that is good, because it means you just won. It is the final line on our checklist for a reason. Just keep in mind that you’re in good company. Charlton Heston marched across the Selma Bridge with Martin Luther King, and he was smeared as racist for believing that the 2nd Amendment applied to everyone equally.
The topic probably doesn’t even have anything to do with racism. Don’t matter. You disagree with liberals, you’re a racist. The clever poo flingers will snidely insinuate it, while the dumb ones will screech it at the top of their lungs. This one has been epidemic since we elected Barack Obama, and obviously the only reason you could hate a weak foreign policy, stupid gun control proposals, a shitty economy, a ridiculous bloated monster of a healthcare law, and the general corruption of our federal apparatus, is because you don’t like a black president.
You may not have had a racist thought in your life, but it won’t matter. A good author friend of mine was smeared as racist because he was against some stupid liberal nonsense even though he’s been married to a black woman for 20 years and has biracial children, and worked with every ethnicity there is during a career in the military.
I mentioned Nick Searcy above. He fights with liberals on Twitter for fun and has made it into an art form. At least a couple times a day, Nick will be called racist—usually for not being an Obama fan is enough—and he always posts the same thing. “Don’t tell my adopted son that because he’s black and thinks I love him.” Outspoken conservatives get uselessly tarred as racists so damned often that you can have the response ready as a cut and paste. Shit. I used the word tarred. I guarantee some liberal just thought that was racist (probably because they don’t know history).
Back in the olden days calling somebody racist was the liberal nuclear option. It was what they would use to instantly squash dissent, because most people are decent human beings who think actual racism is repulsive, so their opponents would recoil and backtrack, desperately trying to avoid giving perceived offense. The problem was that they overused it. It lost all its meaning. And people like me got sick of their shit and transformed it into a joke.
For years and years they kept calling people racist for things that clearly weren’t racist even if you squinted at them really hard, so now when real racism occurs it is lost amid the noise of poo flingers crying wolf. The definition of racist turned into anybody who has won an argument with a liberal. They were so used to the word having such power that they pulled it out at every opportunity. 1/8th black Peruvian Obama supporter who’d never done a racist thing in his life shot a young black man in a fairly obvious self-defense shooting? You’d have thought it was the second coming of Robert Byrd (D).
You think every law abiding citizen should have the right to have a gun to defend themselves? RACIST. You think Eric Holder illegally shipping thousands of guns to Mexican drug cartels in an illegal effort to frame gun dealers to promote more gun control is bad? RACIST. Because obviously I only dislike felony gun smuggling when the Attorney General is black? EXTRA RACIST. But what if those guns were used to murder hundreds of Mexicans, including innocent women and children? RACIST. Because obviously liberals only care about Mexicans when they are an easily exploitable near slave class with no rights brought across the border, and made dependent upon democrat social programs so that they can be used to fraudulently increase democrat voter turnout. HOLY SHIT I CAN’T BELIEVE HOW RACIST THAT IS!
And off topic, but that reminds me that I really need to write a blog post about the most racist term still in use, People of Color. Man, I hate that term so very much. It is just Colored People backwards, but of course, liberals are all about grouping people into easily manageable victim blocks and don’t really give a crap about the content of anyone’s character, so this shouldn’t exactly be a surprise. And they love individuality, as long as you totally agree with them, because otherwise, out comes the Check List!
THE MORAL OF THE CHECKLIST
I often get people who agree with me posting stuff like “well, you wasted your time on that doofus!” Ah, but you miss the point. You don’t defend your beliefs in the hopes of convincing the willfully ignorant. That’s a lost cause. The willfully ignorant aren’t to be convinced, they are to be mocked. Their flaws are to be pointed out until everyone around them realizes how full of crap they are. Remember that argument is theater, and your performance isn’t aimed at your opponent, but rather at the audience. If you choose to follow the Fisker’s Path, your goal is three fold.
Give ammo to the people already on your side.
Convince the undecided .
Allow your opponent’s to display their petty ignorance to the world.
EDIT 2: WARNING! Somebody suggested making this into drinking game… If you do that, YOU WILL DIE! If you took a shot each time you saw one of these on Facebook you’d be dead in less than twenty minutes.
EDIT 3: Some fun new ones were pointed out on Facebook that I forgot. These all happened in a single thread! They fall under Dismiss. If your profile picture has you holding a gun? Instant Dismiss! A PFM actually looked at my bio and pointed out that I only went to a state college! Dismiss! (by the way, if you are an adult and you are still listing going to college as some sort of achievenment you probably suck at life).
And a particularly vile one, if you are active duty military or your profile pic shows you in uniform, then you probably must have PTSD or a Traumatic Brain Injury, you poor Bush tool victim. Dismiss! That’s really disgusting, but not surprising.
EDIT 4: Read through the comments. Hilarity ensues as a PFM comes in, hits all the points, and then calls me racist. We’ve even got object lessons.