Lesson 1 — How to defeat any argument
The key is not to actually defeat the opposition’s arguments, but to appear to defeat them. To do this, you must fool your audience into thinking your argument is reasonable and logical, even if it is not.
- Begin by labeling the opposition as whichever category is most reviled, and has the greatest negative stigma and public sentiment at the time of the argument. It does not matter if the derision for that category or group is accurate. It also does not matter if your opposition even falls into that category or not. Use the label anyway.
- Restate the opposition’s arguments in the most superficial, simplistic terms you can. IMPORTANT ! Do not cite valid concerns, only use those concerns which are the most fickle, even in cases when these concerns are not the main point of the opposition’s argument. This is called a “Strawman.”
- Assume smugness. You will need to feel mightier than your opposition if you are to complete step 4 properly.
- Make fun of your opposition. This is where step 1 matters most. Poke fun at any and all unrelated negative associations the Label conjures. This will ensure your audience takes you seriously and finds your points to be valid.
- Attack the “Strawman” you constructed in step 2. You have constructed a weak argument for your opposition, now attack it with less weak counter statements. To make your argument seem even stronger, use humor — Nothing fools audiences better than humor.
- When possible, shroud your entire argument and the Strawman in humor. Use humor to dehumanize your opposition and yourself. This farce acts on audiences much like a film or book, and makes it easier for them to temporarily suspend disbelief, thus making your argument stronger and hiding the weakness of your Strawman.
- Lean back from your keyboard and smile, knowing you have successfully created a diversion from the true topic at hand. People will be so amused and enamored of your wit they will forget to discuss the central issue at hand.