When I was a kid, my father told me to never shoplift — small items. “If you are going to commit the crime, it makes sense to Go Big. Don’t steal a candy bar — rob a bank.” Or when the Israelis allow people to build homes on land they have bought and paid for, it is going to be a condemnatory front page story on the New York Times anyway. You can’t avoid it — but there is not much more fallout from building a neighborhood than from annexing a region. So go big.
Say you have 10 toy cars, and are told to share them with someone else. You, being reasonable, suggest a five-and-five split. The other person, claiming poverty or special circumstance or simple greed, says they should get nine, and leave you one.
So there is a disagreement, and you go to a mediator/arbitrator to work it out. He, of course, being of Solomonic disposition, splits the difference: you keep three, and the other guy gets seven. The unreasonable party just won.
It astonishes me how obvious this is, and how, time after time, “experts” demonstrate their complete ignorance of this fundamental feature of any arbitrated settlement. And it applies throughout life.
It applies to today’s delicate SJW snowflakes. Since their position is entirely unreasonable, any discussion that tries to find common ground ends up with a laughably stupid result.
The same principle applies to North Korea. Their positions are as extreme as any could be. Any attempt to negotiate means that they win before we even start, since by negotiating, we have conceded that there is something valid and acceptable about the demands of a madman.
In divorce, the person with the unreasonable and unyielding position wins because the other person tries to be reasonable. Sucker.
Even in sports, it is axiomatic that the team called for the most fouls is usually the less aggressive team caught for acting out of character.
In international politics the Israelis are sucked down this rabbit hole time and again. Two thousand live terrorists in exchange for the body of one dead soldier who hitchhiked at the wrong time and place? That sounds fair.
In all of our conflicts with the Left, we concede the ground before negotiations even begin. And it is simple: they, with the help of the media and our own rank stupidity, pick the battlefield. We, being reasonable suckers, accept the field, and the arrows start flying: Why is the Right so intolerant? Will we condemn Nazis? How can we not understand that not using the right pronoun is violence? How could we possibly be against healthcare for the poor?
If we actually want to win, we have two choices, thanks to Sun-Tzu: either refuse combat on unfavorable ground, or accept combat on our ground. Shouldn’t people have as much freedom with their wallets as they have with their genitals? Why do you think the government is better to run a hospital, when they cannot efficiently run the DMV? Why do Democrats hate freedom? Why can’t people make their own choices?
To this end, we need to stake out very strong positions, and make the liberals attack us on defended ground: The purpose of guns, after all is to protect us from politicians. Not hunting. Not self defense. But protecting us from politicians. Own it. Make liberals argue that politicians are wonderful people and never endanger us.
Say it as we see it, and own that position. Force the other side to come to us, or refuse to engage. Don’t be reasonable. Go big.Published in