Making the Argument

In political discourse a give and take necessarily occurs. People take stands on issues and seek to persuade or dissuade other points of view. This would appear on the surface a simple, perhaps moronic statement given our political system. But, it seems the process of political discourse is not as understood as evidenced by our current national debate. Too many Republicans are conceding too many ‘facts’ and that is allowing the collectivists traction in their arguments. During the course of any exchange, the sides present arguments that lose ground as the process concludes. Republicans are not starting from an advantageous place and therefore have allowed the debate to skew leftwards. A principled stand on philosophic grounds needs to be made that will skew the argument closer to the real center.

If a good haggler goes into a negotiating situation, they realize from instinct and practice they must ask for more than they can possibly get from the other party. For example, when negotiating on a car, the seller begins his positioning by pricing the vehicle more expensively than the wise buyer will pay. It cannot be too high because that would scare off and eliminate too many buyers from the beginning. The price must be set so the it is an enticing proposition but one that has some ‘wiggle room.’

On the other side, the buyer realizes the dance is about to begin and engages. They want the car but also know that if the price is too high it will not provide as much pleasure and utility as the cost demands. Therefore, the buyer, understanding this interchange, will ‘low-ball’ the offer. That low-ball offer cannot be too low or the seller will not even consider it as legitimate. But, this doesn’t occur in a vacuum. Other people are selling cars and there are other kinds of cars for sale. The buyer has the market on their side; the seller has the product on theirs. Political argument is analogous to this dynamic.

Take the carbon debate as an example. Environmentalists have been making a case for over a decade that carbon dioxide is a man-made emission that is warming our climate. Most people are ambivalent about this debate. They concede emissions are not good for the environment, and carbon dioxide is an emission, but they are not sure that curbing it is either wise or possible. The collectivists have made this extreme argument to enough people that they have created a political group that accepts these emissions as dangerous and there is a need for a man-made solution.

This whole time, individualists have not made the argument. They have conceded the points are possible. They have admitted something must be done. They have simply allowed the collectivists too many concessions so when the debate about the solution begins, they are at a tactical disadvantage. They have ‘made an offer’ that is far too close to the collectivist side as to give them much ‘wiggle room’ in the debate. In fact, there are far too few people making the case that there is no man-made climate change and that climate change is simply a natural mechanism that occurs regardless of man instead of because of man. In the words of the analogy, there are so few other cars and car sellers, the buyer has less to bargain with. The seller can say ‘we’ve got all the cars in the world so you’d better buy from us or you get no car.’ Climate change advocates are saying, ‘we have all the answers on climate change and so you’d better deal with us.’ The individualist bargainers are in the center where the result should occur. They can’t make a fair bargain because all the concessions have forced the right into the center and the left is the only place to go.

We need to catch up. We must provide arguments and points that balance these radical proposals and suppositions. We must move the debate back to bargaining positions that are advantageous to the bulk of the American populace and economy. We need to question these concessions and find alternative arguments to the debate. We need to get our negotiators back into a position where they can move the argument back into the middle and not into the far left’s domain.

This is true concerning all the political positions. It is not just climate change. It is about the economy, our national security, our health care industry, education, government’s role in society, and the budget. We cannot concede so many arguments and positions that we have no ‘wiggle room’ left. When the collectivists make a wacky argument about giving animals civil rights to sue in court, we need to counter those arguments. When they say ‘we all agree,’ we must say ‘no we don’t.’ Force them to make the painful arguments based on actual facts and evidence and not on social acceptance. If we look more closely, we can see the facts do not bear out their arguments. Some of the arguments may have some merit, but there is no reason to go to the bargaining table after having stipulated all the points. In fact, we may be able to make some good social acceptance arguments if we have a sound group of questioners as to the facts.

When looking at the climate change data, it is obvious they have been manipulating the data. Why would they have to tweak data if it is so obvious and concrete? Why haven’t the climate models worked? Their predictions of ocean levels and rising heat and increased extinctions have borne no fruit. Since we’ve conceded so many points so far, at first the population will be resistant. However, once we make these points and get them to reexamine their belief, they will begin to question on their own. It is especially telling that once these questions are posed, few can answer them. They respond with the position ‘well, we all know’ which only makes a social argument and not an evidence based one.

Once people begin to question and find flaws and deceits in these arguments made by the collectivists, they will question other positions as well. But first we must make the basic arguments without concessions. Many of us will be ridiculed and mocked. But, if we get people to actually do a personal cost/benefit analysis on the price of these programs, we will begin to get some traction. We will move the bargaining position into some kind of parity. If we just allow them to frame the debate, we will lose it all. If we concede the arguments, we will have to pay the inflated price for the car. It will not be easy, but it has to be done.