Early Morning Open Thread - [Niedermeyer's Dead Horse] | Main | Great Moments In Leftist Logic
July 26, 2014

OT Thread-Emotions in Motion Edition [Weird Dave]

Last week, at the very end of the Freemen vs Serfs thread, phaedrus made a few posts musing about the "unbridgeable divide" between Progs and Conservatives when discussing issues. He attributed it to differing types of logic-their position is logical to them, my opposing position is logical to mestalemate.He's not wrong, but I think he's missing the forest for the trees here. It's much simpler than that, and understanding what's going on requires going right back to basics.


Fact is, there are all different types of people, but for the purpose of this discussion, lets look at what I see as the biggest basic difference between us and the left, and it has to do with what drives people. What gets their motor running, what's their motivation, what really resonates with them? On our side, intellect rules the roost. Read any of the political threads here. You'll see different people passionately disagreeing with each other, but it tends to be disagreement of a rather bloodless sort. We're like a bunch of engineers trying to solve a technical problem. One person says of course we should do X because A,B and C always add up to more than D; another counters no, M, Q and F have been shown to produce K, so we must do Y. We're trying to solve the problem, because it is a problem

The left, OTOH, runs on pure emotion. Something makes them feel intensely, and their reaction is centered around dealing with that feeling. They may try to attack the problem that caused that particular feeling, and they may succeed in solving it, but the problem itself wasn't what got them off their asses to try, it was the need to alleviate or satisfy the feeling that the problem stirred in themselves. So which way is superior?

Neither.

We're all human beings, and we all operate on both an intellectual and an emotional plain at all times. They're intertwined. You can't function without both. You may be able to tell me in great detail and with great logic why you should give your wife a bowling ball named Homer for your anniversary, and I may agree with you, but you'll still be sleeping on the couch. Your wife might paint flowers on your '69 Camaro that are so beautiful that everyone who sees them literally claps their hands and laughs for joy, but she'll be out in the driveway tomorrow with a can of rubbing compound and a buffing rag if she wants to stay married. Everything we do, every day, is a balance between intellect and motion.

So how does this translate to politics? Progs aren't stupid because they see the picture of a 10 year old Honduran child dying of thirst in a Texas desert and react "We've got to do something for that poor child!" Conservatives aren't heartless because they see the same picture and think "We have to enforce the border!" We both see a problem: dying child. We both have a solution: They want to scoop up the child, give her water and shelter and clothing-problem solved, and everybody feels great about it. We want to give her water and shelter, but we also want to close the border so the coyotes never get the chance to bring that child to that desert, because That child shouldn't be there in the first place-problem prevented from happening again.

Our approach has one glaring weakness, lack of unity. We're busy in circular firing squads all day long. Try and broach a serious proposal for immigration reform that includes any type of legalization for illegal aliens and see how far you get. The left, OTOH, is pathetically susceptible to manipulation. Since their emotions are vibrating for somebody, anybody, to just DO SOMETHING, unscrupulous or just plain evil people have an easy time leading them around like puppets on strings for their own benefit. Listen to Lieawatha talk about, say, minimum wage sometime. She'll go on and on about how we MUST raise the minimum wage to HELP those POOR, POOR, UNFORTUNATE people who are WORKING their fingers to the BONE for GREEDY corporations! She uses that as a carrot to manipulate Progs to support her. Thing is, I know that raising the minimum wage hurts young workers and the working poor, costing them jobs and opportunity, you know that too, and Fauxcahontas knows it as well. She doesn't care because it benefits her politically. Actively seeking to harm people while making them think you want to benefit them for your own personal gain is evil in my book.

So what's the solution? Are we at a stalemate, as phaedrus hypothesized? Not really, and the good news is that it's rather easy for us to adapt our arguments to reach lefties and difficult for them to do the opposite. You're not going to emote me away from a position I arrived at logically, but all I have to do is wrap my intellectual argument in an emotional coat and I can get you to fall for it hook, line and sinker. It's not even that hard. Take the border situation. If I realize that I'm arguing with someone ruled by their emotions, I'll give them to them, nice and thick (it's not even hard to do, I'm as horrified by that little girl dying in the desert as they are). Agree with them. Remember, emotions are what triggers them to want action. Pull that trigger. Lament about the deaths. Sympathize with the plight of the real kids. Agree that no kid should go through that. Really get those emotions humming. Then drop a fact to steer the argument towards a solution to the problem, and suggest a action; with immigration I'd probably use "And you know what's even worse? They've discovered that lots off gang members and human predators are preying on these kids as they travel through Mexico. Did you know that something like half of those little girls are raped on their way to the US? Some as young as 12 or 13 years old! 12 year olds! Raped! We need to get those girls to safety, but we also need to make sure that those gang members can't get into the country to keep hurting those kids.". I've never gotten any disagreement from the Libs, and they don't even realize that they're agreeing that we should control who crosses the border! It's not a long leap from that to something that they would have rejected out of hand if I'd just started the conversation by proposing it, like I would in a conversation at a MoMe, and they think it's the greatest idea since sliced bread!

It's kind of fun.

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posted by Open Blogger at 10:00 AM

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