You Can’t Win an Argument. You Can Win a Debate.

Stop with the angry arguing; it’s pointless.

Rant / Politics - You Can't Win an Argument
Photo by Heather Mount on Unsplash. Text added by author.

I know. I’m about to talk about politics. That’s asking for it. I do not want to offend anyone. I do not want to have an angry argument (that’s kinda the point of this article). You are welcome to flame back and forth in the comments, but I will not be joining in. I can say for certain that I will not be checking the comments on this one. I’m not putting my head in the sand, but I’m tired of the political arguments. You are welcome to email me with any of your thoughts. If you are going to email me to yell, I will not be replying.

I welcome open discussions with an open mind. I have an open mind. If you do not, keep your opinion to yourself.

Just FYI. Now buckle in, kiddies. Did everyone go to the bathroom before we left? Don’t make me turn this bus around!

My mother has a saying:

You catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.

If you’ve heard the saying, you probably know the meaning. Being angry doesn’t attract the other side. You’re not going to change anybody’s mind by yelling at them. A smile and a kind word can start a dialogue. A dialogue may become a debate. Thoughtful debate and questioning can lead to a change of mind.

It can lead to a change of heart.

When I woke up this morning, I would consider myself a democrat. By lunchtime, I was planning to vote conservative and Republican.

Here’s how it all went down.

Photo of a smirking fox.
Photo by Qijin Xu on Unsplash. Fox is amused at how easily we are whipped into an angry frenzy. Dance, my puppets! DANCE!

Fox News is doing us bad

I am very aware of the Glen Becks and the Rush Limbaughs and the [insert angry sputtering fool here] on Fox News. My dad listens to them non-stop. Sorry to “out” you, Dad. But he would be proud that he listens to Angry Man Radio (“All angry… all the time… Watch out, hippies. We’re bringing angry back”). I, on the other hand, don’t tell people that my dad is, you know, one of “those people.”

Mom and I started a discussion this morning. She holds many of my father’s views, but in a “softer” way. There is less vein-bulging and foaming spittle. She wants to know my argument. When asked, she delivers her argument without anger and a mind receptive to a better argument.

We are both conservative Christians.

Now you know where I’m coming from. I’ll wait while the angry liberals click away, muttering under their breath. We didn’t want them here, anyway.

I am nice and polite. I don’t rock the boat. I gave Fox News and Angry Talk Radio a chance. We were all going for a road trip and Dad was blasting the Angry Talking Heads. I’m not saying they are wrong. I couldn’t tell, because there was no substance. There was no argument.

This is the reason that I identified as a Democrat.

Because of Fox News.

I wasn’t an angry, screaming Fox News guy, so that meant I was batting for the other team, right? I’m not with Team A, so I must be with Team B, right?

That was the assumption I was under this morning.

When asked, my mom laid out the arguments on her side. I started things out with an accusation.

She had said something about being against abortion. I am against abortion, as well. That’s not the point.

I said, “Why do Republicans toe the party line? You agree with their anti-abortion stance and so you agree with all of their policies.”

That was my error.

She blinked.

“So what do you agree with on the Democrat side?”

It was my turn to blink. I am not political. I don’t really know what’s going on. I’m ill-informed. That’s one of the reasons I don’t vote.

All I know is that I’m not an angry, blood-pressure-raised, gun-toting fan of Fox News. That seemed like the source for all Republican Propoganda.

Are you a Republican? Yes? You must love Fox News. Here’s your tin-foil hat and your gun.

You don’t like Fox News? Welcome! You’re a Democrat!

I was surprised to find out that Mom is an independent. She thinks that most politics are corrupt. So do I. #drainTheSwap.

Did she vote for Trump? Yes.

Does she like Trump? No.

Does she think he’s kinda silly? Yes.

It was the lessor of two evils for her. She did not want Hillary to be president.

American flag blowing in the wind.
Photo by Jonathan Simcoe on Unsplash

What’s Wrong with Hillary?

The evil of Fox News has heavily influenced me. It has gotten to the point of crazy. In my mind of all that is angry and illogical.

My mind is repulsed by their whole way of doing things. I have never heard a sensible debate on Fox News. I have only heard angry, bitter words.

This is repellent. Can we turn back to war documentaries? At least they are more humane.

Since that side (Fox News) was “horrible” in my mind, I never even considered the other side. What if there were “horrible” things on the Democrat side? Here’s a very basic question:

Do you believe that US politics are fair and free of corruption?

I would answer with an emphatic NO!

So I listened with careful and calm consideration. Mom laid out, point-by-point, what she believes on her side of politics. This was more “independent” than Republican. She is the first to admit that. She votes Republican as being the lessor evil.

When she had asked about my views on the Democrat side, I had been at a loss. I don’t know what I am. I need to find out before the next election!

This morning, I didn’t want to vote. After my discussion with my mother, I did a mental turn-around.

Man pointing at the camera.
Photo by Adi Goldstein on Unsplash

What’s the Point?

Mom laid out her plan. In my head, every Republican was a fan of Fox News. Fox News is full of angry blow-hards. My first inclination was to think that Republicans were reactionary and lacking in planning.

I’m sorry, Mom. I’m sorry for dismissing your ideas without first listening to them. That’s horrible of me (not to mention disrespectful).

Besides, she is independent. Dad was always a free-thinker. He raised me to question what I was told.

That’s why I am surprised by his fascination with Angry Talk Radio.

Huh?

When did you stop thinking for yourself?

I’m going down a bunny trail here.

I was about to lay out Mom’s plan.

1 All politicians are corrupt. I agree.

Politicians become more corrupt over time. I agree.

People have free will, and are free to choose corruption. Begrudgingly, I agree.

2 If we really are a democracy, we should do what we can to fight this corruption. For this reason, she votes against every incumbent, regardless of party-affiliation. A Republican who can’t be fired is just as dangerous as a Democrat who can’t be fired. If they stew long enough in money, power, and greed, they become an old, sour pickle.

We have too many old, sour pickles in the US government. I would wager we have too many old, sour pickles in all governments. Absolute power corrupts absolutely, and all that.

3 When it comes down to President nominations, she usually votes Republican. She may agree with the Independent nomination, but she doesn’t want to throw her vote away. When’s the last time a Tea Party nomination became president? That would be cool. I like science-fiction.

In a world… where politics make sense… and a Green Party candidate wins the presidential election… comes a zany movie where anything can happen!

Where was I?

Oh, yes. The president. He doesn’t have a ton of actual power. He can veto bills, but that’s kind of the opposite of “getting things done.” It’s “stopping things from happening.” What the president can do is elect new justices to the Supreme Court.

That’s why Mom votes Republican. They may be messed up in a lot of ways, but they still claim to be conservative. If we want good morals in our judicial system, it ends at the top—the Supreme Court.

And so I’ll open the floor to comments. Leave your angry flames in the comments, below. I won’t read any of them, but you are welcome to leave them.

Ready?

Fight!


Matt is a Christian trying to be more like Jesus. He is not perfect, but he is trusting God to make him into a new creation. He tries not to watch the news, and he does not like to argue. As a result, he knows very little about “what’s what” on Capitol Hill. He has an open mind. He just doesn’t like to argue. Did he already say that?

Want to read more articles like this? Click here to join the MWMcCabe newsletter.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.