Why I Avoid Arguing with the Far Right (PART 1)*
I used to try to debate things with the far right. There are some OBVIOUS things that I thought we could agree on. There have been SO MANY times when their “leader” said far-fetched to RIDICULOUS things, that I thought, “surely we can agree on some obvious facts.”
Then I came up against the far right SIMPLISTIC attack on the media, (the “mainstream media” or “MSM,” to those in the know.)
Their attacks got a huge boost when Trump took them up and attempted to re-purpose the term “fake news” to apply to any media critical of HIM or his agenda.
CHOOSING THEIR OWN REFS:
Though imperfect, the media has as their most important function the reporting of FACTS. Good media outlets make us aware of what’s happening in the world. They work as ARBITERS of what has has happened and help us to EVALUATE CLAIMS–especially those made by public figures.
This is analogous to referees telling us whether a ball was inbound, resulting in a score, or out of bounds, resulting in some other outcome.
REFEREES ARE SO ESSENTIAL TO COMPETITIVE SPORTS THAT ONLY AN IDIOT WOULD CONSIDER DOING WITHOUT THEM IN ANY CONTEST OF SIGNIFICANCE.
A similar dynamic is at play in the sphere of public policy. Objective information is so important in business that people GO TO JAIL for falsifying facts.
We don’t get to choose our own facts in public policy any more than we get to choose our own refs competitive sports.
OF COURSE, all referees are not created equal. Some don’t like certain types of people, or even inadvertently treat folks differently based on criteria that should be irrelevant. In the modern world, these referees are sometimes disciplined or removed.
CHOOSING NOT TO ACCEPT REFEREES THAT RULE IN A WAY YOU DISLIKE WOULD BE RIDICULED IN MAJOR SPORTS.
It deserves to be rejected in public policy discussions of fact.
I try not to waste my time with people who, for example, won’t accept OFFICIAL AND OTHER LEGITIMATE pictures of inauguration crowd sizes that show a significantly smaller crowd at Trump’s inauguration compared to Obama’s first inauguration. (Common sense confirms the “referees,” as well, in this case. It just wouldn’t have made any sense for such a controversial figure–one who lost the popular vote, for Pete’s sake–to have more people at his inauguration than the first African American president of the USA. The latter actually DID have a sweeping victory, winning the popular vote by 10 million voters and the Electoral College 365-173.)
* Similar logic applies to people of other persuasions who think “alternative facts” applies to preposterous propositions, and