To Convert, It's Not Enough to Be Right. We Must Be Persuasive
Too many debates with moderates and the left consist of each side listing the things they believe to be self-evident. We on the right may be correct in most cases, but what does it matter if they are still voting for the other guy? In persuasion, it's often ineffective to list truths, even with supporting evidence, and expect to garner results.
In my field of physics, some phrases we use may not be true in an absolute sense. It is sometimes difficult to convey a point, even if one is using exactly correct language. Thus, on occasion, we must use somewhat ambiguous or technically incorrect language that will cause the listener to understand the underlying truth we're trying to convey.
I think we should employ this technique with those who disagree with us. Our goal is to persuade, not to be exactly correct. This requires formulation of arguments where we appear to say things that we don't actually believe. This can be more effective than a frontal assault, which would cause reactionary fervor.
I employed this approach yesterday during a heated argument on Facebook concerning Obamacare. I'll paraphrase the strong liberal who tried to appeal to the consensus against the law. She argued essentially that, "Health care is run by insurance companies, and they are "bad" for various reasons, and all the law tries to do is force the insurance companies to stop being bad. Sure it's an imperfect law, but it's a start and we can make it better."
This led me to respond in a way that I hope caused her to rethink her position.
Healthcare being run by insurance isn't a market consequence. It's a consequence of government regulation. Companies aren't allowed to offer "insurance" unless it meets regulations. Now, thanks to Obamacare, there are more regulations. And a regulation for everyone to buy an overpriced product that not everyone needs. It's not just the insurance companies fault. It's the government and insurance companies colluding to siphon off as much of our wealth as they can. And you're letting them do it by buying into the evil insurance/good government fable. They are both evil.
To her, I seem to agree that insurance companies are a source of evil, but so is the government. By phrasing it this way, I may have lowered some of her defenses. Of course, the technically correct reason is that it's all government's fault and the insurance companies are only acting in their best interests. But by buying her premise of "evil corporations" and shifting the blame equally to her beloved government, I hope to have initiated a change in her mindset.
It's not enough to be right about everything, we must be convincing, even if it means occasionally pretending we agree with the left's prejudices.