Mailvox: how to argue like a conservative

AA writes: How to argue like a conservative:

1. Pretend that liberals are more prone to use various forms of irrational argumentation that conservatives.

2. Pretend that conservatives are less likely to deny the facts when they do not accord with their beliefs.

3. Number things.

This is a nice little batting practice pitch. My experience is nothing more than anecdotal evidence, but nevertheless it does suggest that liberals are far more prone to use these methods of irrational argumentation than those of other political stripes, to the left and to the right. After all, you have to be irrational in order to believe that government involvement improves things, let alone all things. Has anyone ever heard a liberal argue for less government involvement in the economy? Ever heard a liberal group agitating for anything but more government money for their pet project? (Classical liberals and war protests aside.) You don’t have to be irrational to self-identify as liberal, but it helps.

But more importantly, conservatives, being conservative and historically more accepting of the status quo, are far less likely to open a conversation with something that is expressly designed to test the political views of the other person. Liberals glorify progress and dialectic, now suddenly I’m supposed to believe that they are no more interested in challenging those around them than your average non-intellectual worker bee? That defies both reason and experience.

I don’t actually think conservatives are less likely to deny the facts that contradict their beliefs, but then, AA is mistaken in assuming that this is necessary to either of the arguments I described. Nor am I surprised that he describes what is a systematic breakdown of the steps of an argument as a mere numbering of things, as it’s evident that the notion of a train of logic is foreign to him. And then, of course, there is his fundamental misstep, namely, assuming that I am a conservative.