Flat White

Battling the pragmatic left: a five step guide

10 November 2016

7:01 AM

10 November 2016

7:01 AM

johnoliverThe Pragmatic Leftist is a dangerous beast. A rare phenomenon; this particular political animal differs from other leftists, who tend to be under-researched, over-zealous neo-Marxists afflicted with a sense of moral superiority. The Pragmatic Leftist, on the other hand, actually knows what they’re talking about. They can use their smarts to trick you into believing you’ve lost an argument when in fact you haven’t. 

This unique breed of leftie is well-educated. They’re obsessed with government and are attached to the mammary gland of the welfare state. Their ideas are limited by their preoccupation with politics, rather than culture. They won’t ask for your opinion. They won’t let you get a word in. They will tell you you’re unequivocally wrong without providing any evidence as to why. And like all leftists, they’re happy to attack your character, rather than your argument. Frighteningly enough, they disguise these general leftist bully tactics with reams and reams of facts. Therefore, they’re very hard to see through, and deadly when provoked. But they have one pivotal, crippling weakness; they’re still leftists.  

Similar to other leftists, the Pragmatic breed is still intellectually lazy. They are not big-picture thinkers and make judgements based on knee-jerk emotional reactions to the immediate situation. Their default battle tactic is to name-call, rather than deconstruct the opponent. As such, regardless of the facts they espouse, their style of debate is still as regressive as the Social Justice Warrior’s cries of, “Racist-misogynistic-transphobic-bigot!”  

This means no matter how they try to bully, insult, and degrade you, you can still annihilate them like you do any other leftist, if you have a game plan. So here are five steps to do just that. 

Step 1. Choose your battles 

Don’t ever pick the fight. Generally, battling the Pragmatic Leftist isn’t worth it, because you’re not going to change their opinion. It’s like banging your head against a cement-covered brick wall. But if they really won’t let up, you have to know the topic you’re arguing backwards, forwards, and sideways. However, the objective isn’t to beat them; they’re too stubborn. Instead, your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to publicly humiliate the very pants off of them. So make damn sure you have an audience. 

Step 2. Don’t interrupt 

Like it or not, the Pragmatic Leftist will forcibly get in first with an argument. After all, they’re more aggressive and less sophisticated than you. It is of pivotal importance you don’t interrupt them mid-rant; the longer you let them opine, the less likeable they become to those watching. This sways the neutral viewers in your favour, and you’ll have more dross in your arsenal to refute. Rest assured, they’ll inevitably just run out of puff. When that happens, you strike, ideally with something savage. “Are you done?” is one of my personal favourites.  

Then, in the words of Ben Shapiro, “Hit back twice as hard.”  

Step 3. Gird your loins 

It is a universal truth of the left that their idea of intellectual debate is to silence the opposing side. As such, they will try to cut in at every opportunity, because they don’t believe what you’re saying is worth listening to. Do not, for the love of all things holy and sacred, let them do it. Just keep on talking, but please don’t become hysterical. That’s their thing. If you remain irritatingly charming (and your facts are sound), you’ll own fifty percent of the argument right there. 

Step 4. Activate plan B 

Ordinarily, a leftist would probably lose around this point. However, the Pragmatic Leftist is smart. They’ll have a counter argument, but it won’t be as good as their first spiel. Why? By letting them rant, you allowed them to unwittingly blow all their best material. Still, they’ll use the same boorish tone to try and intimidate you, and couple it with fact. But don’t be fooled; you haven’t lost. 

This time, you can interrupt them. Find the chink in their armour, and bring out your own follow-up point. Yours is more effective that theirs, as they won’t expect it; nobody ever disagrees with them. Telling the Pragmatic Leftist, or any leftist, that you don’t agree is like a poisoned dart. They’re always told they’re correct. They never have to defend their opinions. And it’s hilarious watching them try. 

Step 5. Unleash hell 

By this time, the Pragmatic Leftist is exhausted. It’s doubtful anyone has ever challenged their moral core like this. Under ordinary circumstances, you could claim victory. However, as we know, the object of this exercise is not to win the argument. It’s not possible; so narrow-minded is this ideological specimen. Instead, your aim is to embarrass them so badly they want to dissolve into a slimy little puddle of self-righteous indignation. You want to make them hurt. And you’re very close.  

The very last bastion of resistance the Pragmatic Leftist has is to tell you, with quiet distress smeared all over their faces, “I think you’re wrong.” This is the basest argument a person can possibly offer. It means they’re done; kaput, terminado. However, you need to hammer it in. As such, when the Pragmatic Leftist insists they think you’re wrong, the correct response is not, “Well, I think you’re wrong.” Or, “No I’m not.” Or, “Let me explain.” All you really need is three little words: 

“I don’t care.” 

So why is this phrase so effective? Well, the sole purpose of the Pragmatic Leftist, the very mandate they live by, is to force everyone to succumb to their well-thought-through but ultimately deluded views. And the opposite of agreement isn’t disagreement; it’s indifference. The fact you’ve made it clear their opinion is about as influential as a nun at a frat party is the greatest victory you can ever have. So make like a banana and split. Your work is finished. Just be sure to relish the look of confused horror on their face before you do. 

Really, you should pity the Pragmatic Leftist. They’ve got a conservative brain; it’s just in the wrong body. They’d have much more fun if they joined the rest of us deplorable right-wingers. However, considering Pragmatic Leftists are amongst the most pigheaded, obnoxious, entirely unbearable people on the planet, it’s probably best they don’t. 

Illustration: HBO


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