Urbin Report

Thursday, November 04, 2004

One democrat's advice to his party members...

The Back Seat Philospher says:

Our error is that we Democrats are far less understanding than we think we are. Our version of understanding the other side is to look at them from a psychological point of view while being completely unwilling to take their arguments seriously. "Well, he can't help himself, he's a right-wing religious zealot, so of course he's going to think like that." "Republicans who never served in war are hypocrites to send young men to die. " "Republicans are homophobes, probably because they can't deal with their secret desires." Anything but actually listening and responding to the arguments being made.

And when I say 'responding,' I don't just mean 'coming up with the best counterargument and pushing it.' Sometimes responding to an argument means finding the merit in it and possibly changing one's position. That is part of growth, right?

Everybody should read this. It's good advice to the entire political spectrum. He's not afraid the nail the left's sacred cows either:
Whatever the UN was, might have been, or should be, it now isn't. Genocidal tyrannies are on the Human Rights commision. Saddam Hussein funneled over 1.7 billion dollars to various decision makers and world leaders to weaken his sanctions program. One out of every three votes is about Israel. Until the UN is significantly reformed, you shouldn't take its decisions seriously.

Just because it says something in the Bible doesn't mean there are no ancillary arguments supporting it. And just because someone uses the Bible as a source of their morality doesn't mean that any particular view of theirs is wrong. Actually, stuff that's lasted for thousands of years is more likely to be useful than stuff that was dreamed up in a French philosophy book.

I am not saying that all these arguments should win. But I do not hear enough Democrats elucidating reasoned counterarguments to these positions. "Bush insulted our allies and the UN," "Bush lied, people died," "We have become the aggressor," "Homophobia," "Religious nut." These are not responses, these are dismissals. When Democrats start actively responding, we will succeed. Until then, we will be increasingly ignored as irrelevent.