I’ve touched on this a couple of days ago, but I thought this deserved its own posting.
Over on the Book of Faces someone said that one of my posts made some good points but “too bad the people who need to hear it won’t.” He then went on to point out that the people on the “other side”, and particularly politicians, are simply not interested in the facts of the argument.
This is true. True Believers aren’t going to be swayed by any argument I can make here (or elsewhere). They’ll reject anything I say out of hand. Even, if as has happened more than once, they accept an argument that I present they’ll be back the next day (if indeed they wait that long) stating the same positions that they had just acknowledged that I had refuted. It’s all in one ear and out the other to use the old metaphor.
So, I was asked, “why bother? Those who need to understand this won’t listen.”
Here’s why I bother.
Since at least 1990, on the order of four million babies have been born in the US every year. Sometimes a little more, sometimes a little less, but in that ballpark. that’s four million brand new people that haven’t “picked a side” yet. And since it will be some years before any of those “new people” settle into unpersuadable “true believer” status, that means there’s a large pool of millions, tens of millions, of people who might be reachable by arguments such as those I make. That’s more than enough to sway future elections if we liberty-minded people can reach them.
For a long time the Left has had control of the media. Oh, back in the day they played pretend that they were “objective” but they could only get away with that because there was no one else to refute them. Time and again I sat and watched Walter Cronkite, “the most trusted man in America,” lie about Southeast Asia. I have no reason to believe he was any more truthful about anything else simply because I wasn’t familiar with the material he was covering. They’ve had control of Education, of Entertainment, and much of both major parties. (People forget that “Neocon” came to describe more hawkish leftists disenchanted with more pacifistic leftists who switched parties, bringing their other leftist views with them. When people started using “Neocon” as meaning some “arch” or “uber” conservative, well, that just showed how far “left” even the “right” had gone.)
While that was the case it was easy for folk like me, folk who believed in ideals of Liberty, to think they were alone or in a tiny minority. But as the stranglehold on the media got broken, that became less the case.
So, there are three reasons why I “do it.”
- To attempt to reach some of those tens of millions (at least) of people who haven’t become “true believers” in the other side, the ones who are amenable to persuasion.
- To provide others on “my side” (at least partly–“I’m not altogether on anyone’s side because no one is altogether on my side.”) with facts and arguments they can use to persuade others.
- To show those on “my side” that they are not alone. They’re not the tiny minority of “extremists” that the media portrays.
So that’s why I do it.