My mentor Ed Osborne always advised that when in debate, especially with a liberal, always go for their premise, their underlying proof or evidence. More than not there is none, just an accumulation of wacky emotions, biases, and mental instability.
I’ve done it myself recently to someone who called Trump a racist. I asked them to give me one example of something racist he said. The individual who made the charge then gulped air like a choking guppy.
Of course, your target will try to change the topic or launch an ad hominem attack on you. Merely simply and calmly tell them, “Nice try. But we’re not talking about that. Though, given you have no proof or evidence, I can see why you would want to change the subject.”
In parliamentary debate the Brits used to be masters of this. Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher sliced and diced a lot of Labour members from her perch at the front bench podium. I was present for one of those performances in the 80s and I can confirm it was a beautiful thing to behold.
That’s why it is ironic that Britain, nation of Thatcher and George Orwell, should embrace the Orwellian concept of evidence-free “hate speech” so strongly. Last week Elon Musk took down a BBC reporter who tried to ensnare him on the topic.
Here is a woke BBC propagandist after accusing Musk of the usual allegations, admitting he doesn’t read Twitter after Musk asked him for one example of “hate speech” on the forum.
“What hate speech are you talking about?” Musk asked. “I mean, you use Twitter. Do you see a rise in hate speech? Just a personal anecdote? I don’t.”
“Honestly, I don’t … I don’t actually use that feed anymore because I just don’t particularly like it,” James Clayton said of Twitter’s “For You” feature. ” And actually a lot of people are quite similar. I only look at my followers.”
Musk replied: “I’m asking for one example and you can’t give a single one. Then I say, sir, that you don’t know what you are talking about. You cannot give me a single example of hateful content, not even one tweet. And yet you claimed that hateful content was high. That is false, you just lied….You literally said you experienced more hateful content and then couldn’t name a single example. That’s absurd!”
Set, game, match, Musk. As he knows, always go for their premise. You’ll generally find it barren of proof or evidence. There are 2024 presidential candidates and prospective candidates on both sides of the aisle who would do well to be careful in this regard. If they try the proofless argument, a Ron DeSantis or a Tim Scott, perhaps even a Bobby Kennedy, Jr., might nail them to the wall and make their debate night quite depressing indeed.