Hang on, because the Czar is going to let both sides have it today.
Do you like to comment on people’s blogs with your own opinions?
You do? Well, at least you understand why we have that turned off here.
The Czar gets annoyed right away with commentators on both sides. In that respect, here’s a wee guide to being a smarter commentator on other people’s blogs.
If You Are A Liberal
1. Stick to the topic. A post about Climate Change does not require your opinion on healthcare, gun control, or the Bush administration. If a conservative asks you to explain why a congressman you support clearly screwed you over two months ago, answer the damn question instead of jumping to a new topic.
2. Do not TYPE IN CAPS. We understand you shout a lot. But shouting down doesn’t work in print.
3. Read the post. Usually comments like then how do you explain… or you’re conveniently neglecting to mention… are a tip off that you are going to present an objection answered quite obviously in the preceding post. Usually, your objections are all addressed in the several paragraphs you skipped.
4. Something is not true because you say it is. This is a big sticking point when liberals try to claim that they represent the majority of Americans. You do not. You represent a third at best. Rather than mock conservative views as out-dated, remember that you, in fact, hold the less popular opinion and need to sell it to us.
5. Avoid accusations like racist, denier, fascist or obstructionist unlesss you know what you are talking about. Hint: people who drop these accusations usually accompany them with a horrific gaffe that indicates they have no experience with, research time on, or examination of the topic.
6. Consider the very real possibility that the person you are arguing with is indeed basing an opinion on experience, historical precedent, buisness expertise, or considerable research. Conservatives, by a huge margin, do not rely on visceral gut-calls but on things they have actually looked into for quite a while.
If You Are A Conservative
1. Skip the whole et tu quoque rationale. Pointing out that the Democrats or liberals or progressives did it first is a waste of time. Sure, there is a double standard. But on the one hand, some liberals have no concept of hypocrisy and will be unswayed by their own lack of historical knowledge. On the other hand, many liberals know this is wrong, but they did not support the guy who did it. That is, they know their side screwed up, and that it was wrong; it does not mean they endorsed it. Consider: many of the liberal scandals have been fully matched by stupidity on the conservative sidejust as you consider conservative failures as jerks, dunces, and morons best thrown out of the party, many liberals can easily dismiss their guys the same way. Pointing out such instances of hypocrisy is not always productive, and most often sounds like trivia.
2. Remember that liberals are by nature a diverse bunch. While millions and millions of conservatives are different only by social security number, it can be hard to define a liberal by any one belief. Liberals usually have the upper hand when they refer to all you conservatives… because, quite frankly, a conservative belief is usually shared by 99% of conservatives. Liberals are like trying to nail jello to a tree: when you argue with all you liberals, you’re likely hitting only 5% of them. So no surprise that they think you are immediately wrong. Instead, critiques of liberals must be on policies more than individuals, on positions more than logic.
3. Nit-picking is a waste of time, and is a common complaint by liberals about conservatives. It is counter-productive to leap on tiny events even if they might seem to have major implications. Because a liberal politician mispronounced a word, it does not follow that he or she is a complete idiot. Focus on the big issues, where liberals have less wiggle room. A Democratic senator slips and says which when he meant that? So what! Go with the fact that he claims to support social programs but avoids paying his taxes, or that he opposes the rich, yet squirrels away millions on off-shore accounts. That is vastly harder to the liberal commentator to swallow.
4. Liberals often hate the person, not the deed. Conservatives hate the deed, not the person. For example, most liberals loathed Bush as a person. They hated everything he said, everything he thought, and even cheered when he nearly choked to death on a pretzel. The fact that Bush built a strong economy for 7.5 years, established a fledgling democracy in Iraq, prevented further terrorist acts on American soil, lowered taxes, etc., all benefited liberals but means nothing to them. Rather, he was Bush, and therefore evil. Likewise, if you criticize Obama for a blown policy move, a critical domestic mistake, a lack of this or a lack of that, you must be racist because you must hate him as a person. It stymies a liberal to learn that nearly every conservative who protests at a town hall meeting, writes an excoriating blog, or votes Republican would be thrilled to have the Obama family as neighbors, bump into them at the grocery store, or have them over for a barbecue and pool party. It positively blows the liberal’s mind that despite his inability to run the country, he’s probably a funny guy who would keep his lawn neat and his sidewalks shoveled and not crank music really loud at 3am except maybe once or twice a year. The liberal usually cannot comprehend that most of us do not hate they guy, just the way he does his job. Welcome to identity politics: you are seen by who you are, not what you do.
5. Avoid party lingo. Liberals usually cannot help this, and you realize it’s unproductive, right? To them you are not a conservative, you are a tea bagger. Glenn Beck is not an entertainer who asks tough questions; he is a traitor. You do not oppose misguided policies, you are an obstructionist. You do not vote Republican, but belong to the Party of No. You do not object to the Presidents progressivism, but are a birther. You are not fact-based, but are a denier. Yes, obviously, these terms probably do not remotely describe or represent your attitudes. But they serve as a simple retort to dismiss your argument without needing to rely on rationale or logic. You know it backfires, so avoid it yourself. These are words and phrases invented by liberal committees for that reason, and because they are simple, catchy, and cute, the liberals like to use them. But they are ultimately a substitute for real rationale.
6. The liberal is visceral, not intellectual. No matter how carefully you lay out your arguments with points, counterpoints, alternative corrolaries, frameworks and historical support…the liberal may easily reject all of it because it feels wrong. Remember the famous maxim that you cannot reason someone out of a position that he did not reason himself into. Try it once. If it does not work, do not bother to hurl more facts or structure or cohesion. If the first elements did not work, avoid firing more at them. A satirical but probably practical piece of advice came out a while back that Sarah Palin would have won more liberals to her candidacy if she refused to answer debate questions but simply burst into tears and demand they treat her as a woman. This is actually quite astute: a reaction of outrage or hurt can do more to back a liberal down than a cooly reasoned argument.
Божію Поспѣшествующею Милостію Мы, Дима Грозный Императоръ и Самодержецъ Всероссiйскiй, цѣсарь Московскiй. The Czar was born in the steppes of Russia in 1267, and was cheated out of total control of all Russia upon the death of Boris Mikhailovich, who replaced Alexander Yaroslav Nevsky in 1263. However, in 1283, our Czar was passed over due to a clerical error and the rule of all Russia went to his second cousin Daniil (Даниил Александрович), whom Czar still resents. As a half-hearted apology, the Czar was awarded control over Muscovy, inconveniently located 5,000 miles away just outside Chicago. He now spends his time seething about this and writing about other stuff that bothers him.