There are a lot of great ways to win an argument. Some people say you shouldn’t argue. That’s bull. Arguing is what drives the marketplace of ideas. It fueled the rise of civilization. Arguing is great.
The problem is that most people are just too damned lazy to argue. They rely on slimy techniques to prove something they already believed in. That’s not arguing. That’s being a jerk
Yesterday, I showed you how people use questions to hide fact that they’re douchebags. But today, I’ll show you how you too can be a douche bag to win an argument.
#1 Take your opponent’s arguments and WAY oversimplify it
Let’s say your opponent is making a great case for immigration reform. You’re getting your butt handed to you. You can’t have that! What can you do? Easy. Simplify and refute.
Guy kicking your butt: And therefore, comprehensive immigration reform is vital to the economic stability of the American economy.
Douche: So, you’re saying that everyone who enters the country should be a citizen, right? (simplify)
(do not allow time for your enemy to answer)
Douche: If everyone who came into the US became a citizen, the US would go bankrupt, we’d run out of land, blah, blah, blah… (refute)
Watch him squirm now!
Or here’s another way that works more often than you think. Oversimplify the other guy’s argument and offer it side by side with yours.
The Method in Action
Yesterday, I saw a video by one 9/11 “truther” regarding WTC 7.
There are only tow ways that WTC 7 could have collapsed: either it was destroyed by a small fire or by controlled demolition. Which one is more reasonable?
Well, heck, we know that it wadn’t no small fire that took down that big building. It must have been controlled demolition.
Of course, NO ONE argues that a small fire took down a building. The truth is far more complex than that, but by simplifying the case, the “Truther” wins every time. Besides, no one’s going to read those complicated reports anyway.
#2 Ignore Evidence That Doesn’t Support Your View
This is VERY useful, especially when people start trotting out facts and figures.
Just ignore them.
But the report stated that I am correct.
Well, who made that report? The government? I don’t trust the government.
But every scientific journal supports it.
Science? You can’t trust those scientists.
Of course, you’ll need to find evidence that supports your view. If not, no problem. If you are stuck, you can just create a small web site to support you.
Well, I saw one internet site that said I was right.
But there are thousands of sites that debunk that one site.
Yeah..’cause they’re afraid of the TRUTH!
The Method in Action
Lots of people use this, but the best I’ve ever seen are Holocaust deniers. Famed denier David Irving wrote many books saying that the Holocaust didn’t happen. And how did he do that?
Easy…he ignored all eyewitness testimony as unreliable.
Now, we all know eyewitness testimony can be unreliable. So, maybe that was Irving’s method. WRONG! He was more than happy to use the eyewitness testimony of Nazis, if it supported his view.
Conspiracy theorists are big on this: they tout evidence that supports their view and then dismisses anything that doesn’t.
#3 Make Your Argument and Then Ask the Other Guy to Prove It’s NOT True
This one ROCKS! Make your opponent squirm as you make him do the impossible—prove a negative! Though those ivory tower philosophy guys will tell you that you sure can prove a negative, most regular folk have a hard time doing it.
Prove to me that gremlins are NOT making the toilet smell!
I can’t, but the fact that you don’t clean it is a better explanation.
I do clean it. It’s the gremlins that dirty it up right afterwards.
But I’ve never seen them.
Because they’re invisible.
But I’ve never even seen any toilet cleaner in the house!
Because the gremlins hide it.
Bonus Douchiness: Compare to Hitler (yawn)
Years ago, I read a hilarious Dave Barry column about how to win an argument. He said that when you’re really losing, just compare your opponent to Hitler. Unfortunately, guys like Glenn Beck really have no arguing skills and resort to the Hitler/Nazi thing—right from the beginning.
It’s so sad I’ve even blogged about how YOU TOO can be compared to Hitler.
The Hitler thing used to be funny. But it’s kind of old now. Douchebags use it so much that it’s lost its zing. I’m currently looking for more creative things to compare opponents to. Some of them include:
- My late dog’s testicles (your argument reminds me of my late dog’s testicles)
- Stalin’s moustache (that’s the kind of thing you’d find hiding in Stalin’s moustache!)
- The pinto (your argument reminds me of the pinto)
Any more would be appreciated.