How To Argue Leftists Into A Corner
The Culture War is hot, and it continues. The furor over Critical Race Theory seems to have died down a bit (perhaps on purpose?), but don’t think we have won. This is likely to continue for quite some time and we know for sure that the leftists will not quit, and neither should we.
I can hear the groans now: “That’s a great way to ruin my family dinner or my pool party barbeque, dude.…” Indeed, it is a risky endeavor, and the decision is yours alone. However, in the culture war and in the battle to preserve America, we may need to fight the good fight at a time not of our own choosing.
I had a recent excursion against CRT and a familiar leftist tactic after viewing a friend’s shared Facebook post:
After a few days of cautious consideration, I replied, “Typical. CRT cannot be argued on its merits because it only divides and tears down and has no merit. Therefore, call opponents to CRT Racist.”
The skirmishes may begin in just this manner and opening volleys will be a shock.
There recently has been very effective public pushback against Critical Race Theory. Therefore, I interpret the post’s author lamenting the lost ground and resorting to what every leftist does as a result – ad hominem attacks against the opposition’s credibility (“Nazi/Fascist/Racist!”). It is an entirely predictable leftist non-answer to opposition on any issue, and an attempt to deflect from addressing the issue on its merits.
Be prepared for it and don’t get distracted. You will be ridiculed in every possible way (more on that later) and shown “rabbit holes” to take you off-track and off-topic. One must be well-armed with the weapons of the truth, factual analysis, and a willingness to employ them as best one can.
Armed and confident after months of research and learning the nuances of CRT, I waded in. The conversation continued on what might have been a productive track: I was asked to “clarify… what is it you understand critical race theory to be? Because I am fairly certain what you think it is and what it is are two different things.”
Aha! The leftists’ initial reply contained the charge that I was ignorant about the subject at hand. I responded by defining CRT as a Marxist, identity-based theory that describes the interaction among individuals as primarily influenced by race; and as an extrapolation of the Marxist theory of oppressor vs. oppressed, including the tenets of white privilege, white supremacy, and the claim that all white people are irredeemably racist.
The return-fire began from other commenters and consisted of the preeminent leftist argument, which is that America was founded on racism, slavery, and has a “400-year” history of oppression, inequality, and subsequent forfeiture of generational wealth for African Americans. Therefore, CRT is only teaching an “accurate” history of the United States. One of my opponents concluded by asking, “If we teach only those parts of history we like, we aren’t really teaching history, right?”
Obviously, we know the truth and should not hide from it. There have been some horrific things committed throughout the history of our nation. It is best to acknowledge these truths and to remain engaged with what I believe are some very strong counterpoints (the reader can likely think of others):
- America was not the first to abolish the international slave trade, but American abolitionist movements pre-dated the Revolutionary War. Once the ideals of “created equal,” individual liberty and freedom were codified and incorporated into the Constitution, abolitionists and future civil rights leaders routinely referred to the founding documents and their self-evident truth to fortify their arguments.
- As the United States followed other nations’ leads in turning away from slavery, we fought a terribly costly four-year war among ourselves. That we had to do so speaks to the evil of which a fallen human race is capable, not to America’s illegitimacy.
- What speaks very clearly to the wisdom of the founders is that the government they formed and the Constitution that serves as its foundation provided the mechanisms needed to forever abolish slavery in the United States
Since the backlash against CRT has made headlines (where the news has been accurately reported), there has been a deliberate effort to rebrand it or tell opponents to CRT that we don’t know what we are talking about. I encountered the latter. I was told that CRT is not meant, “to divide or to categorize, but to understand that there are nuances to the systems and institutions that do the dividing for us.” Moreover, “The division already exists.” And the most incredible assertion of all, that “the whole premise is to care about other people.”
Wow. At this point, I openly questioned whether these Facebook combatants accurately understood CRT or the people behind it. Challenging another’s opinions and beliefs is hazardous enough, but to question the accuracy and authenticity of a young adult’s “actual CRT college course,” or the content upon which that undergraduate degree and college credentials is based (because leftists were all young college graduates) is apparently strictly prohibited, and the penalty for my egregious offense was swift and harsh blow-back.
Be forewarned that today’s college-educated young adults – along with their peers enrolled in graduate- or doctorate-level studies – will likely never allow you any ground or credibility whatsoever to question them or their closely held and guarded credentials (such as they are). The intolerance, arrogance, and condescension rose to apparent delusions of omniscience. From a college course? A college degree? Sheesh!
Responding to their attempt to re-brand and re-define CRT, I posed a question: “Which system of government and accompanying economic system would you prefer in the United States, that would also provide comparable opportunity, prosperity, and innovation? Every Marxist, Communist, Socialist government fails, has failed, or is in the process of failing... CRT does not lead humanity toward a more just society, only one in which we are all further divided. Please tell me how that is aspirational? How is that a better and more desirable outcome for America?”
Maybe there was a sense that my argument was resonating, I do not know. But what followed was a flight to victimization. I was at fault and it was improper to treat others’ opinions as I had. A bully arriving late to the fray informed me that my opinion and input were NOT welcome.
Expect this. Leftists cannot tolerate any dissenting points of view and will resort to personal attacks, claim they are victims of our “angry” or “unhinged” comments and contrary opinions, and will bully us to stifle meaningful conversation. Enter their camp anyway and leave all the nuggets of truth you can.
Confirmation Bias is commonly defined as “the tendency to process information by looking for, or interpreting, information that is consistent with one’s existing beliefs.” It is a powerful psychological force and one that is not easily countered. We need to be able to recognize and counter it in ourselves, and we must attempt to counter it in the arena of ideas among family, friends, and others with whom we disagree. Human biases are so deeply ingrained we must tread carefully and respectfully. But that does not mean that we should withdraw from the fray when a leftist says something wrong.
Be a happy, honest, respectful, and unapologetic culture warrior.
Jeff M. Lewis is a Christian, a husband and father, a Veteran, and a small-business owner in South Texas.
IMAGE: Confirmation bias meme.
To comment, you can find the MeWe post for this article here.