Monday, March 21, 2011

Debate: How to Protect Yourself

How to ensure that debate takes the form of pointless posturing, and avoid the risk of actual communication:
  1. Deliberately misrepresent the other side: choose their most outrageous 'representative' and/or focus on any verbal missteps or outtakes - pretend that this is the crux of their position.  Ignore moderates or moderate positions.
  2. Make an impassioned, perfectly reasonable response to *that* position.  Slather on the self-righteousness, with plenty of smarm for added points.  Bask in the glow from your choir.
  3. When confronted by a reasonable person and/or reasonable argument, tar this person and/or argument using the brush from step 1.
  4. Radicalize!  Take an even more extreme position than the one you actually believe in!  This makes it easier for the other side to do their part!

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