Why Conservatives Win EVERY Online Debate

Author: July 29, 2012 11:44 am

“Frightened though they were, some of the animals might possibly have protested, but at this moment the sheep set up their usual bleating of ‘Four legs good, two legs bad,’ which went on for several minutes and put an end to the discussion. ” George Orwell, Animal Farm

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To me, the words ‘liberal’ and ‘progressive’ are synonymous. I’ll happily agree, should you call me either one. In my estimation they both represent the single quality that enables society to exist:

A realistic worldview.

Because, whether you’d have it do so or not, the world is always progressing. As surely as the earth spins on its axis, it’s an irrefutable fact. The history of man, is the history of progression. Not just evolutionary progress; but cognitive progress, technological progress. And in our lifetime, technology has progressed exponentially. The fact you’re reading this now is proof of that. 100 years removed from the creation of AM radio, today each of us possess the ability to communicate instantly to an entire world audience.

So clearly, to be progressive is to accept that we live in a world moving forward rapidly, and to try and realistically address the social, economic, and ecological challenges we face. So where does that leave conservatism?

Conservatism, especially in its current form, is a baffling miasma of contradictions. Its dogma cries out for a return to a time that’s been overly idealized for its ‘values,’ while its leaders strip away every vestige of the power structure that created the prosperity they wax nostalgic for. It glories in the conceit of moral superiority, even as it spits contemptuously on anyone in need of assistance. It wraps itself in the American flag, but reviles all but a single group of Americans.

And it uses the most advanced technology in mankind’s history, to try to pull man backwards.

Conservatives online are an exercise in frustration; they sit with us at the very pinnacle of the progress of man, and they use our tools to tell us progress is evil. And as they’ve been trained to do, they use those tools to try to drown out the discourse that creates progress.

That’s how you find yourself arguing scripture with someone online, where you’d previously been discussing civil rights. It’s why you’re going back to Google again, to find out how many times Ronald Reagan raised taxes, or to prove that Thomas Jefferson didn’t coin the phrase, “Kill ‘em all, and let God sort ‘em out.”

It’s how you find yourself repeating the same words over and over, to every conservative who braces you with the latest right-wing outrage from whatever source they all seem to be gleaning their narrative. And it doesn’t matter how eloquent you are, or how iron-clad your proof may be; if you’ve told them twice, you’re already losing the debate.


Progressives progress. It’s our goal as well as our nature. Conservative leaders (at this point, we may as well just admit that term refers to the corporate oligarchy that has been strip-mining the American economy since the embezzlement scheme known as the ‘Bush Years.’), do not want us to progress, Their only goal is to inhibit a constructive narrative that might lead to us wrestling our way out from under their thumbs. That’s why people like the Koch brothers and Rupert Murdoch have spent such incredible amounts of money to frighten our least capable citizens into political action against their own best interests.

And that’s why instead of using this incredible technological opportunity to advance our society, we squander it by arguing with people who have somehow been convinced that the president is a foreign spy. And even though their argument is ridiculous, even though the same person telling you Obama is a Muslim today, was losing their mind over Reverend Wright three years ago, as long as they interrupt the conversations of people who genuinely want to discuss the world’s issues, they’re winning.

It doesn’t matter how inept they are; if every other word is misspelled, or if they’re confusing Ted Nugent with Thomas Paine. It doesn’t matter if their entire argument just some pre-digested cut & paste from World Net Daily, that drips with unintended irony or projection. As long as they slow you down for a minute, or distract you, they’re doing their job.

They’re the geek biting the heads of chickens; when you slow down to stare, your pocket is getting picked. They’re the belligerent drunk at the club whose girlfriend steals your money off the bar, while you defend yourself.

They are speed bumps. They are strewn across the internet like Lego blocks in a child’s room, to slow your trajectory and make you swear.

Having said all that, I also realize how irresistible they are; they are the slow pitch over the middle of the plate, that every batter dreams of hitting out of the park. The feebleness of their arguments, and the self-satisfaction they present them with, make them an oh-so-attractive target. I know this. I’ve taken more than my share of swings. And every now and again, it’s a fine distraction to dismantle some addled goober’s deeply (if inexplicably) held beliefs.

But if we’re going to take the next step as progressives, and come to term with the sources of our issues, we’re going to have put the fools behind us. We have the tools. We’re intelligent, inquisitive, and we’re committed. And they can’t distract us forever.

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4 Comments

  • It is pointless to argue with narrow-minded people who refuse to listen to the facts. Their Jesus was definitely right about one thing. “There are none so blind as those who will not see.” I’ve been called “a bleeding heart liberal” by these haters and my response is usually “I’d rather have a bleeding heart than none at all which, seems to be your problem”. But, I also believe that those of us who are progressive and liberal should always take the high road. I prefer to maintain my dignity and not let these people pull me down into the muck they roll in. I refuse to sink to their level because that is their main goal. They want to drag us through the same crap they wallow in.

  • There isn’t really “debate” between liberals and conservatives on the internet. Conservatives don’t debate, and, as a rule, can’t. They can be extremely ugly and are always angry, aggressive, hostile, faux superior, and generally humorless, but as a rule, they know virtually nothing beyond the prepackaged ideology foisted upon them; many of them know nothing but what they’ve heard on Fox News or some other brainless far-right outlet; neither, or any gradation between, is even remotely sufficient to understand anything, much less rationally discuss it. So they mostly just fume and rant and can’t think for themselves. Newsbusters, which always comes immediately to mind when this subject is raised, is one of the darkest places on the internet. There are probably places dealing with sex with animals that are less bleak. It’s not just a far-right circle jerk; it’s like a far-right grudge circle-jerk, among people who know absolutely nothing, are openly hostile to ever learning anything, and have no problem at all furiously raving against some liberal for doing something one day, while furiously lionizing some reactionary for doing the same the next.

    Liberals, as a rule, are piss-poor debaters, because they fail to recognize most of what I’ve just outlined; they think reason is sufficient to prevail, merely because it is reason, and don’t realize they’re dealing with people committed, in their every cell, to the most animalistic breed of unreason. They’re usually of much milder disposition, and unused to the ugly, dog-eat-dog pit-fighting they’ll face when trying to discuss even the slightest thing with online righties. They don’t understand that, to a reactionary, merely being labeled a liberal will be treated as not only discrediting everything they have to say, but will result in their being treated as an enemy of humanity, no matter how civil they try to be.

    • Pretty much everything you stated, and I mean everything, from my point of view as a person with mostly Libertarian views I genuinely feel could be accurately summed up replacing the ‘Conservative’ with ‘Liberal’. Everything. And it’s crazy people on the “other side” think of us the exact way we see them.

      I’m sure there are plenty of Conservative a**holes who act like they are all knowing, but every time I come across large quantities of Liberals on the Net, there is an extreme amount of anger and insolence as the hallmark of defending their opinions. Instead of telling me how I’m wrong, I’m given a petty list of “words I used incorrectly” or declarations of my ignorance, not discussion or trading of thoughts. And it’s painful, because I’m sure not every Liberal minded person just copies everything Obama or some other politician spouts, but a hell of a lot of them do. Again, I’m sure Conservatives do, I’ve seen it, but everything you state bad about one side comes from yours as well.

      Since delving into politics at 18 and learning what made up Democrats And Republicans and all the jazz, I’ve learned that the best of Liberals is emotion and wanting to help, but the bad is a LACK of reason. Lack of future thinking. And the worst, is when this lack of thinking leads to the ones they’re trying to help being hurt worse down the road. The heart talking and the brain taking a backseat. The Liberal wants to feed the homeless, because it’s the right thing to do, unknowingly keeping them around to subsist on what you give them, instead of being forced into action for themselves. There are conservatives who think “Those pieces of sh*t need to get a job like the rest of us!”, but most I’ve seen would love to help the ones that *need* it, but see the reality that their giving of money and food would only make said homeless dependent on it for survival, so they try other means. I don’t associate Republicans as honest any more than Democrats, but I’ve seen too much to believe Democrats as purveyors of reason and logic. More like the romanticists. Which isn’t a bad thing, but can be a bad thing. It should be noted I don’t include the religious tyrants of sexual rights and the freedom of a woman’s body as Republicans at all, that is scum, and it’s prevalence in the Republican party disturbs me as well as every one mingling with Lobbyists, which is quite a lot of them.

      I hope this wasn’t too long. Lots of thoughts, registered just to reply. You have a good day!

  • I stopped arguing with willfully ignorant people approximately 3 years ago. I don’t have time for them anymore and they’re boring. I stopped watching mainstream media in the year 2000, actions speak louder than words, and the actions I saw, nowhere near matched what the common ‘taters were trying to convince me was true … my current motto is “We’re burning daylight, we have work to do, so let’s do it”. Love the article and … you have a new twitter follower =)

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