By request: These are the expanded notes I used in my speech to the Tracy Republican Women on February 25, 2013.
Hi Ladies, thanks for having me here today. Today I want to talk about something I face all the time as a young conservative. Bullies. Not the playground type that run around beating up other kids. The adult type that use dirty, false and misleading tactics to silence opposition. Aka the left. The biggest culprit of modern-day bullying is the Obama Administration. I’ll give you an example so you understand exactly what it looks like.
“There will be pundits and politicians and special interest lobbyists, publicly warning of a tyrannical all-out assault on liberty. Not because that’s true, but because they want to gin up fear or higher ratings or revenue for themselves. And behind the scenes they’ll do everything they can to block any common sense reform and make sure nothing changes whatsoever.” – Obama
See how he assigns 2nd amendment supporters evil motives contrary to the evidence and makes them out to be paranoid and ridiculous? We all know that organizations like the NRA just want to protect our 2nd amendment rights. But Obama doesn’t want to have that conversation because if it’s based on fact, he will lose every single time. This is classic example of bullying. Ignore the facts demonize your opponent and play the victim. You might remember that later he trots out a bunch of kids to play the victim in his little gun control scheme. There are lots more examples that I’ll get into a little later.
Ironically one of the Obama’s biggest social campaigns outside of Michelle’s eat tasteless food program is the anti-bullying campaign. You might have seen the commercials that always end with stopbullying.gov. Now don’t get me wrong. I don’t like bullying and there is nothing inherently wrong with this campaign. It’s just odd that they’ve launched this during a time when incidents of bullying are at an all time low and there is a heavy cultural trend of accepting everyone (except conservatives) for who they are. It doesn’t make sense in the real world, but politically it’s brilliant. Obama has set himself up as the face of anti-bullying so it lends him even more credibility to call the right a bunch of bullies.
This is what the left does. They refuse to talk about the issues, they bully the right, while playing the victim card all the while calling the right a bunch of bullies. And they get away with it. It works really well for them. So well, in fact, that they use this tactic pretty much always. I mean, when was the last time you heard a liberal argue for their policy based on its merits? It’s always oh look at these poor children that the Republicans want to go hungry or oh my gosh if we don’t keep spending trillions of dollars then a bunch of teachers will be fired. Seriously Obama said that about the sequester. That funding for teachers, firemen and police would be threatened. Last time I checked there was no federal police force or teachers’ union. Those are state organizations.
Conversely conservatives hardly ever bully and we always argue for our ideas based on their merits. Good for us right? Unfortunately, we get silenced by bullies all to often. It’s one of the reasons Romney lost the election in my opinion. Obama set him up as a horribly evil dude that straps dogs to the top of his car and fires people for fun. Romney set Obama up as a reasonable, good guy that just doesn’t know how to run a country very well. Now if an uninformed voter walks into this he’ll pick the reasonable incompetent over the evil dude every time Romney didn’t call out Obama for his bullying, he played way too nice. The way to beat a bully is to punch back twice as hard. Romney passed up way too many opportunities to hammer Obama.
There are so many examples of leftist bullying that we hear all the time:
- You didn’t vote for Obama so you’re a racist.
- You don’t want to keep spending money we don’t have so you’re anti-teacher and poor people and probably an unpatriotic neo-nazi.
- You support the second amendment so you’re anti-children and pro murder.
- You’re pro traditional marriage so you’re anti gay.
- You’re pro business so you hate the earth and probably man kind too.
- You dislike taxes so you’re a greedy rich person.
- You dislike Obamacare so you want children with cancer to die.
- You’re pro-life so you’re anti-woman and are waging a war against them. **I wrote an article specifically about abortion bullies that you can read here.
I’m sure y’all can think of many many more. They don’t even make sense and none of them are even close to being true. But the left is so effective at messaging these things. Now you’ll see examples of bullying everywhere. Like literally everyday. You’re welcome.
This brings me to another point about how the left thinks institutionally. When the Obama administration/campaign decides they want to push a point to bully the right on, they call up their troops. They get the unions out to protest. They get the networks to cover the story. They get their Hollywood buddies to make a sleek commercial about it. Before you know it all of America has been told that Republicans are waging a war on women without any real evidence whatsoever. This is part of the problem we conservatives have. We think individually, which is great. But we need to be strategic about how we message so that we can defend and counter-attack the left just as effectively. This is why I love people like Glenn Beck, Ben Shapiro and the Republicans in Texas. They are building organizations that will be able to accomplish this.
So now we can see the bullying what do we do about it? Don’t let them get away with it. Stop being so dang civil. We’re good people I know. But we have to stop pretending that the left is playing by the same rules that we are. We have to punch back twice as hard. Here are 10 points I’ve stolen from Ben Shapiro’s speech at the Heritage Foundation to help you battle leftist bullies:
- Frame your opponent – Identify who they are. Don’t let them masquerade as objective when you know they are biased. If they are a liberal then establish that early on. Make sure your audience whether live or in a publication knows where the participants stand. If they’ve used bully tactics then call them out on it. Don’t let them get away with bullying. Don’t be rude but don’t hold back. Expose their tactics and their hypocrisy to your audience.
- Frame the debate – Set up their philosophical inconsistencies and then exploit them. For example in the gun control debate right now, the left want to ban “assault-rifles” because they are “killing-machines.” At the same time the left still claims to respect the second amendment. So we have two philosophical inconsistencies here. How do you respect the 2nd amendment but still make laws that clearly infringe the right of the people to keep and bear arms? How would banning handguns infringe the 2nd amendment but banning types of rifles wouldn’t? Which leads to the second inconsistency. If you want to ban “assault” rifles because they’re killing-machines then why don’t you want to ban handguns? Every year there are only a few hundred murders committed with rifles while closer to 10,000 are committed with handguns. So is it about the constitution or isn’t it? Is is about murder rates or isn’t it? Define the debate and then hold them to it.
- Don’t get sidetracked – Liberals love to randomly change the debate right in the thick of it if they feel like it’s heading somewhere they don’t like. We see this on the national scale all the time. If the economy is dragging then all the sudden Obama is talking about birth control. It happens in conversation too. I’m sure you’ve seen it. You’re in the middle of making a relevant point when all of a sudden the liberal offers some obscure anecdote that proves them right and they expect you to take them at their word and address their point. Don’t let them derail the debate. Bring them back to the point. If they refuse to stay focused then call them out for it. Another way the left likes to do this is rapidly changing attacks. They attack, you successfully defend, they ignore your point and immediately attack from a new angle. Bring them back to your point and make them squirm until they admit you were right.
- Don’t be intimidated – The left loves to intimidate and call names and berate. Don’t be intimidated by this. If you have the truth on your side and you effectively expose their tactics, there is a way you can come out on top almost every time. These hostile environments are opportunities to convince people. .
- Be fearless – This goes along with the previous point. Be on the offense. You have to know that you are a good person and be confident in the truth. Anticipate them calling you names so that you can come back at them offensively and expose them instead of reacting defensively. Attack them for their views. Once again, don’t be rude, but really go after what they claim to believe.
- If you don’t know something admit it – Liberals love to bring up out of the blue quotes, stats and stories in support of their points. They expect you to take them at their word and accept their bit of info as fact. There is no harm is saying “I don’t know what you’re talking about. You’ll have to let me do some research and get back to you on that.” This makes you look reasonable and humble and prevents you from falling into what ever trap they are setting for you. If they keep pressing the issue they will look like a bully.
- Don’t defend a position you don’t believe in – This is another favorite tactic of the left. In the middle of an argument they’ll randomly pull out a quote from Ronald Reagan or Abraham Lincoln that you’ve never heard of before and according to them is fully supports whatever their position on the issue is. The instinctual reaction is to sorta agree with this quote because it comes from a personal hero of yours. This is a trap. You are an individual and neither Reagan nor Lincoln is a god. The quote may be out of context or flat-out wrong or you may just disagree with that person on this issue. You don’t need to defend it. You won’t be a good spokesperson for a quote you’ve never heard of about an idea you don’t support. Just say you’ve never heard of it before and it doesn’t affect your stance on this issue. This immediately shuts down that line of attack.
- Let them have victories that don’t mean anything – Every now and then you’ll get a name or a stat slightly wrong or misspeak about something. Most often these little mistakes don’t affect your actual point but a liberal will still rake you over the coals for it. Let them. If you were wrong about something let them have their little victory. It doesn’t hold meaning and it won’t really affect the debate. It’s not a real win for them. It’s just superficial. It will make you look moderate and reasonable and they risk looking petty.
- Reverse the polarity – As fast as possible. If you let the liberal control the conversation they will try to lead you into all of these traps. They expect you to sit there and passively let them ask you whatever horribly leading question they want while you do your best to defend yourself. Take control of the conversation. Get on the offense. Start asking the tough questions and make them get defensive Corner them and make them squirm for their position or their bias or their bullying. A great way to start this is by following steps 1 and 2. This immediately takes away their advantage and sets the tone for the debate.
- Body language – This matters just as much, if not more than your spoken words. The right is historically terrible at this. We get on TV with a hostile host and we look like we’re in a war zone. All closed in looking like we’re expecting an attack. Relax. Look confident and calm and cheerful. This will help you achieve the image and the credibility you are trying to communicate with your words. This is especially effective in contrast with an opponent that has hostile body language. If you are planning on speaking regularly with an audience then it is definitely worthwhile to practice and train this skill.
This is just a short summary of ways the left bullies and how to fight back. For more, buy Ben Shapiro’s book “Bullies.”
Don’t let them silence you. Fight back.
Ben Shapiro’s speech at the Heritage Foundation: