Saturday, May 21, 2005

Neo-Con Artists

If you, my loyal readers, could please do Doctor Biobrain one favor, it would be this: Whenever you're discussing politics with a Republican, please stop acting as if that person knows what the hell they're talking about. Because they don't. They're not really defending taxcuts for the rich, or torture, or extremist judges or religious intolerance. They've just placed their trust in the wrong sources and are getting bad information.

And here's the thing: They're just victims in all this. Hapless victims. They don't realize that they're repeating lies. They don't understand that they're victims. They think that they're getting the god honest truth from Limbaugh and O'Reilly and the Fox Gang; and that we're being fed lies by the "liberal" media. And if they knew the truth, nine times out of ten, they'd be on our side. Equally, if their facts were somehow correct, we'd be fools for not agreeing with them on almost all issues. And you just shouldn't forget that.

Ponzi Republicans

Think about it this way. Say you've got a friend who's invested a sizeable amount of money in some sort of ridiculous Ponzi scheme. And they tell you about it and how you too can get rich quick, and they're just soooo convinced that you're being a fool for not investing. And you're a smart person (you're at my blog, right), and you know that these are scams; so how would you react? Would you act like your friend is scamming you, and denounce them for being an evil liar who supports con artists? Or would you treat them as a victim of the con artists?

And of course you'd treat them like a victim. You wouldn't bother explaining to them why they shouldn't scam you, or believe that they like to be scammed. Hell no. You'd understand how they had been conned, and how their facts are just screwed up. And you'd gently try to explain to them how the con worked, and show the information which backed up your claims.

And that's exactly what's happened to our right-wing friends (a term I use very loosely). They're victims. They don't know what they're talking about. They hear a very select piece of each news story, and are given fake versions of what liberals believe; and then they just repeat what they've been told. But that's not their fault. They're not scammers. They're victims. And we need to treat them as such.

How to De-Con a Conservative

And here's how. In a conversational, non-confrontational way, just point out facets of stories that they're not getting, or basic facts that have been misrepresented to them. And stick with facts, and not let yourself wander into implications or blaming Republicans. And don't try to jam it down their throat, as most people are contrarians and will always take the opposite position from you if they think you're trying to dominate them. And this can't work in the middle of a heated debate. But you just need to start dropping tidbits and info that you know they're not getting. As if you're doing them a favor. And you are.

And the intent is to get them to start distrusting their sources of news, just as the righties have successfully gotten the sheep to distrust the "liberal" media. And you absolutely must do this in a way that won't get them to defend the people who've been conning them. People will defend their own kidnappers and abusers if you approach them in the wrong way. You can't let that happen. So you can't be smug or condescending, no matter how much fun it is.

And if you're the cool-headed liberal that you believe you are, you shouldn't have any problem with this. But don't get baited into an argument. It's just a defense mechanism on their part to protect themselves. And you shouldn't even tell them that their news sources are conning them. They need to come to that conclusion by themselves. It just won't work otherwise. You can ask rhetorical questions about why they hadn't heard of this stuff, or how they got the facts so wrong; but they need to answer those questions for themselves.

And that's it. That's what you need to do. It won't be easy, but I have faith in you. And I'm confident that if all of my loyal readers agree to band together to do this, we should have Republicanism licked in no time.


jammypie said...

"Or would you treat them as a victim of the con artists?"
While on the whole, your thinking is exactly right. However, you missed one vital point. It is extremely difficult to scam a person with genuine integrity--s/he who refuses to gain at another's expense/desires fairness for all, even if there doesn't seem to be any personal benefit from it. Therefor, if our conservative brothers and sisters have been scammed, it is because their lack of integrity made them easy marks.

Doctor Biobrain said...

No, I can't disagree with that at all. Almost all scams involve the victim trying to scam someone else; usually the scammer. In fact, I think that shows the honest nature of most scammers; that they'll primarily target people who are greedy and trying to scam others. One of the big exceptions to that are con-artists who scam the elderly. But that's certainly not the case here.

But the reason our conservative foes fall for these lies and tricks is simply because they want to believe in them. They've fallen victim to their own wishful thinking. But that still shouldn't excuse us from treating them like victims. Too often in life, people are their own worst victims.