Here’s a new tactic – well, not a new tactic, but a certain one. Excerpt:
American gun owners are beginning to respond with a fresh, powerful argument when facing anti-gun liberals. Here it is, in its entirety. Ready?
“Screw you.” That’s it. Except the first word isn’t “Screw.”
It’s not exactly a traditional argument, but it’s certainly appropriate here. The fact is that there is no point in arguing with liberal gun-control advocates because their argument is never in good faith. They slander gun owners as murderers. They lie about their ultimate aim, which is to ban and confiscate all privately owned weapons. And they adopt a pose of reasonability, yet their position is not susceptible to change because of evidence, facts or law. None of those matter – they already have their conclusion. This has to do with power – their power.
Or, as the old saying goes, “you can’t polish a turd.”
Now, a qualifier; I’ve had many a long, interesting discussion on the pros and cons of many a left vs. right policy, including guns. One of my very best friends is a guy that you wouldn’t think I’d even be able to stand being around; Paul is a classical East Coast urban progressive who likes to criticize the Obama Administration from the left (yeah, really!) but we remain very good friends.
It is possible to have civil disagreements on fundamental issues without either party taking it personally. On various issues Paul and I are both certain that the other is full of shit, but as men we realize that there are plenty of issues on which we are both full of shit anyway, so, fine. We agree on other fundamental issues (good food, good beer, good smokes and the Feminine Aesthetic) so we get along.
But the reaction described here isn’t about civil disagreements.
Look over the comments section on any news story where gun control is mentioned. You know the kinds of comments I’m referring too: Demonizing legal, responsible gun owners as “crazy,” “stupid rednecks,” and much, much worse. I’ve been called those names, and any True Believers who engage in this issue have likely been called those names as well.
In those cases – in that kind of discourse – “Fuck you” is the only applicable response. And, yes, I do think that people on the Left are far quicker to resort to insults than most on the Right. Some years ago, back in the UseNet era, a friend of mine speculated as to why that is the case:
The reason you do it (block conservative replies) is because you’re intellectually intolerant.
In fact, that absolute unshakable conviction of moral truth applies *far* more to leftists. Leftists just *know*, for example, that people have a “right” to free health care and forgiveness of their student loans, and they simply don’t want to hear – *refuse* to hear – arguments to the contrary.
This gets back, as this debate so often does, to a well-known bromide that oversimplifies the difference between conservatives and liberals, but nonetheless contains an element of truth and goes a long way toward explaining the inherently uncivil behavior of leftists in civic discourse:
Conservatives think liberals are stupid; liberals think conservatives are evil.
The implications of that are huge. Conservatives may think liberals are stupid, but as long as the liberals aren’t brain damaged, they may be amenable to instruction. Thus, conservatives generally don’t naturally start off being uncivil, as doing so would make the listener unreceptive to the lesson. Conservatives tend to see civility as a virtue.
But liberals, with their reflexive belief that conservatives are evil, *start* with incivility, and given their assumption, why wouldn’t they? Liberals see incivility as a virtue when dealing with those whom they sophomorically see as incorrigibly evil.
Lefties aren’t unique in being quick to resort to insults, but they are normally quicker to do so; I think the passage above presents a pretty good summation as to why.
As for me, I believe it is always appropriate to employ good manners and consideration as a default – until someone demonstrates that the do not deserve courtesy and consideration.
At that point, I will engage Fuck You mode.