It takes a nation to protect the nation
Since Christmas is coming up, we are going to be talking to more family and friends, and its inevitable that some of those discussions will segue into political ones. I've been having discussions with leftist friends over the course of the presidential election, and already identified a few scenarios where we need to respond intelligently in order to have the right effect. I will give my ideas, and I welcome other people's conversation scenarios, and suggested solutions, from their own experience.
1. The En-passant Insult
En passant is French for 'in passing'. So the other person throws in an insult to one of your political icons, whilst talking about something else. For example:
"I saw that the racist Trump yesterday was struggling to get into Trump Tower, with all the demonstrators being outside."
What's happened here is the assertion "Trump is a racist" has been thrown in, with the discussion about demos outside Trump Tower. Not only is the other insulting Trump, he is also insulting you, implying that you support racism.
Suppose they don't know whether you are a Trump supporter or not. In that case, you must not reveal that you are, but instead attack them for gratuitously throwing out insults. You can say:
"Imagine if I were a Trump supporter, then you've just insulted me. That is not the correct way to start a discussion between two friends."
But if they know you are a Trump supporter, then attack them with:
"Do you think its fair to start a discussion by insulting me? How would you feel if I did that to you?"
When I did this they backtracked and said that they didn't mean to do that. Then they were chastened and a lot more careful about those throw-away remarks.
2. The Implied Insult
In this case they say something which subtly implies that you support a bad person. For example:
"I'm surprised to find that you are a Trump supporter"
On the surface, this is a simple expression of new knowledge, like "I'm surprised to find you do trout fishing, I thought playing the piano took up all your spare time!". But it is not. What they are actually saying is:
"I'm surprised to find that you support Trump, because he is an evil fascist racist xenophobe, and you are not"
So you first have to force them to reveal the hidden insult by something like:
"Why are you surprised? Is there some part of his values which you think are bad and which don't correspond to mine"
The point being that he has tried to foist onto you the premise that Trump is bad, so that then you squirm to show that you yourself do not exploit women or whatever, instead of attacking the implied assumption that Trump does. By saying he is surprised, he avoids having to make the assertion about Trump, which you can then contest in a normal manner. Instead he slips it in under the covers, and tries to get you to run around trying to dissociate yourself from it.
3. The Direct Insult
This would be something like this:
Self: "Apple/Foxconn says there aren't enough skilled workers in the US if they bring the iphone assembly back from China"
Other: "Well Trump won't get them from Mexico because he's a racist"
Replying is a problem in these ways:
So instead its best to just ignore the allegation and attack straight back at them.
Try the following interchange.
Self: "I guess he is a racist, just like you"
Other: "I'm not a racist!!"
Self: "Really? Why should I believe you? Prove it"
When they deny being a racist, they have acknowledged it is a serious political discussion. Then when you ask them to prove it, obviously they can't. For example, if they say "But I'm married to a black woman!". You reply that they just did that to cover up their own latent racism, or that the black woman is an Uncle Tom and doesn't count.
When they finally say its ridiculous to prove that they aren't a racist, you can say its similarly ridiculous to expect you to prove to a hostile listener that Trump isn't a racist.
Compliment them on their good behaviour. You know where this has come from. Just watch any BBC program, any CNN report, read any Guardian or NYT article, its just a mass of lies and indoctrination. And that's all these people read. They don't read Breitbart or watch Fox News, they live in a bubble. So try this:
"Well done! Yes, Trump wouldn't take any Mexicans because he's a racist. You've totally assimilated the indoctrination program given by the mainstream media. Your narrative is spot on, like a perfect drone, just the way they want you to give it"
Nobody wants to be thought of as a mindless drone, blindly repeating the messages stuffed into their brain. They like to think they've "carefully studied the media and made a balanced decision" in the matter. But the truth hurts. Then you can probe deeper and ask what news sources they use. You can bet they are all of the same type!
For example, I think we should all use at least one news source that makes us vomit. I go to the Guardian and Independent thanks to you guys here posting their articles, and I go to the BBC several times a week. All those make me vomit. I also use Breitbart, Sky News and RT News. Some of the RT News articles - written by some local Leftie - are also disgusting, but some of their other news is excellent. It's not an ideal mix, but its certainly a more diverse set of input than your average Leftie-Liberal is absorbing.
Well, I'd be interested to hear other people's experiences of interacting with friends and family, and dealing with all the slips and hidden tricks. Is it still possible to stay in touch with them? Or is it all going to end in acrimony, tears, and final separation? We shall see!