Attacking The Left Where They Are Vulnerable

A note on the psychology of modern liberalism vs. that of libertarianism–and a suggestion regarding “winning the argument” moving forward…

I’ve found that for many on the left, their thinking is heavily funneled through their feelings, leading to decisions & beliefs that are overly based on emotion. This often presents a stumbling block to the libertarian mindset, which (while capable of being idealistic about certain things) has a much harder time, say, simply dismissing manifest realities for the sake of other beliefs one holds dear.

For example, I have no qualms with holding up the ideal of the non-aggression principle (NAP), which declares the initiation of force (unsolicited aggression against person or property) to be morally unjust. So this makes a morally normative claim on how the world ought to be (how people ought to behave), rather than how it is. Idealistic? Perhaps, but the NAP is based specifically on the principle of self-ownership, which the libertarian interprets not as a principle/ideal about how the world ought to be, but a fact about how the world is.

My suggestion is that we apply such brute principles to emotionally-driven arguments that will be coming from the left (if not the right) during the upcoming election season. When politicians decry spending cuts & entitlement reform by appealing to the plight of their beneficiaries, we might counter by appealing to the plight of our posterity whom we’re saddling with debts they cannot repay (and shouldn’t have to).

So far as pro-liberty candidates find themselves having to defend their positions on cutting spending, contracting the size of gov’t, etc.–they should go on offense. Aggressively challenge more defecit spending on moral grounds, and paint the opponent as the proponents of a gross moral hazard (which they are). Say, “It is unjustifiable to continue doing this.” Ask, “Have you NO CONCERN AT ALL with transferring our debts to our innocent children?”

Lay the responsibility at their feet, noting what it reveals about their moral character.

“I question your moral compass, senator, if you think it’s ethical for us to take on spending with no real intention (or hope) of repaying what we’ve borrowed, knowing full well that these debts will be transferred to our own flesh-and-blood, for them to deal with after we’re gone.”

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One thought on “Attacking The Left Where They Are Vulnerable

  1. I doubt you’ve elaborated a position that makes much psychological sense. Anyone who frames the world in political terms (no matter where you place yourself on the artificial right-to-left construct) is equally vulnerable to emotion-driven arguments, since politics itself is an allegiance-based, rather than fact-based philosophy. It’s all about persuasion, as opposed to science or logic. Charisma trumps all.

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