1. Lie. All the time.
[One morning, for example, I commented on Powerline about the health care issue, advocating deregulation. Not long after, one came back with:2. Make broad claims and make no effort to substantiate them. That forces the opponent to argue against a case that has not been made, tying up his time and resources.
"Sure, more deregulation, that always works, worked well with Wall Street and the banking industry.... United Healthcare reports record profits and revenue, based on charging more in premiums and delivering less care. Great system, need more like UH to squeeze more out of the middle class....."
The usual lies. I linked to Reisman's Myth that Laissez-Faire is to Blame... but I doubt the creature read it.]
Case in point: [name redacted] who frequently comments on Pajamas Media articles and HotAir posts, the very prototype of a Progressive.3. When the opposition makes an unassailable point, simply ignore it, and switch the argument to another point.
"AGW deniers generally share a common financial interest in promoting their views. That’s why I was not surprised that the first “reference” in the article is to a commercial outlet for Plimer’s book. Ian Plimer is a Professor of Mining Geology with a background in the mining industry. His expertise in climate science is questionable, to be generous – his financial and career interests are transparent.
Although his book has proven popular with a certain segment of the public, it has been widely panned in the scientific community, simply because the “science” content is nothing but a series of cherry-picked primary sources, selected without regard for accuracy or veracity.
The “technological revolution” that is needed to halt global warming is not “unimaginable” except to those whose imaginations have ceased to function. Without engaging in the work to bring about this revolution, we are doomed to a future of dwindling fossil fuel resources, ongoing climate disruption, and eventually a very nasty and rapid rise in sea level worldwide due to continued carbon emissions.
There is no downside in moving to a sustainable, carbon-neutral economy – it is in the end a cleaner and more cost effective way to power an economy once the investment in infrastructure is in place. Wholesale rejection of mainstream scientific thought (”I will never believe the British Medical Journal again, and I have real doubts about the Lancet. The journals Nature and Science have become shockingly corrupt and dishonest on global warming.”) is one of the sure signs of late-stage global warming denial.
If the GOP continues to ignore the overwhelming evidence of AGW, and relies on the pseudo-scientists of the world for support, it truly is one of the worst times for science. Peer-review and broad consensus are the basis of scientific knowledge, and AGW deniers fail miserably on both counts. There is no peer-reviewed evidence that refutes the well-documented long-term warming that has been observed since the beginning of scientific measurements, and the broad consensus supports theories that recognize the impact of human activity on the global environment.
It is the best of times, in the sense that science can identify and propose remedies for the damage that humans do to their environment, and technology provides the tools to made these changes. It is only the political mechanism that is paralyzed by oligarchy. But even the biggest players in the fossil fuel game can see the their future will be very different. It is not possible to deny the science forever, as the consequences of warming are becoming more obvious every year."
[Note the sly character assassination in the form of insinuating that all "AGW deniers" are motivated by commercial gain, unlike Progressives who are "pure." The usual slander. Notice, too, the number of points made with no supporting links. Take particular note of the casual dismissal of any scientist who disagrees, characterized here as a pseudo scientist. Viz. Dr. Tim Ball, Dr. Fred Singer, Dr. Sallie Baliunus, Dr. William Gray, Dr. Patrick Michaels, and many more.]
4. When your arguments are shown several ways from Sunday to be flawed, wait a little while, then repeat the argument as if nothing had ever been said to demonstrate its flaws.
5. When an argument is made with six different supporting facts or sub-arguments, pick the weakest and focus exclusively on this.
[I call this technique "crawling through the cracks," a specialty of Progressives, but widely used today.]
6. NEVER acknowledge any fact or argument that in the least weakens your case, much less admit you were wrong. Winning, truth be damned, is the goal no matter the costs.
[The sure sign not only of a dogmatist, but one of the Pragmatist variety, which encompasses most Progressives.]
7. When you cite statistics, it doesn't matter if the source never supports your case, even when the numbers are from a Progressive-friendly site.
[The stats either bear another plausible explanation or are simply a non sequitur. (Popular in discussions of both economics and climate.)]
8. When caught advocating something blatantly injurious to freedom, the pocketbook, or an individual's well-being, affect a wide-eyed "Who me?" tone and pretend that the plain meaning of your words wasn't what you meant.
9. As needed, assert that "Republicans/conservatives/Mr. X" did evil, therefore, Y is good. In short, use the fallacy of false alternative liberally (pun intended).
10. To sound authoritative, generally display a completely unearned nose-in-the-air attitude that suggests anyone who disagrees is a flyover-country moron.
11. When cornered, play the victim card and whenever possible whine about ad hominem, while issuing plenty of them at the same time.
12. When needed, pull the sympathy card. Cry about how allowing freedom in this or that issue will lead to old women dying in the streets as capitalists look on and laugh. Ignore that this is historically untrue and morally irrelevant.
13. When someone makes a statement such as "Rand was insightful at times" with which you disagree, spend no time whatever considering whether it's true and what might show it or contradict it. Instead, seek out instances where it was not so and then act as if these constitute proof of a universal premise.
14. Substitute snark for argument and evidence. This is something of a restatement of the above, but bears repeating in this different form.
15. [Added 1/30/2010] When all else fails, whenever discussing science or economics, devolve the discussion as quickly as possible into technical minutiae. Ignore any ethical or political implications of any facts, unless they support your case.
16. Like the old-time Communists from whom you evolved (to become new-style Fascists), always promote government power at the expense of individual freedom. Trot out any facts that might be useful for your purpose, as needed, regardless of their relevance.
17. Like Fascists everywhere, pretend to be in favor of freedom, while assiduously working to undermine it at all times.
[Take the view, for example, that you don't want to nationalize industry, just regulate it... until there's nothing but the smallest difference of degree between the two. Ditto every aspect of individual freedom of action. Never tolerate the idea that anyone could be allowed to make a free choice that isn't in line with your pusillanimous ethical posturing.]
[It's particularly this last that makes Progressives so disgusting. They know they can't win openly by touting their beliefs in undisguised form. In this respect, the Soviets and Italian Fascists of the 1920s were more honest.]
Progressives, like Puritans, simply can not tolerate individuals living as they please, without these noble saints directing them. They invent all sorts of rationalizations, pretending bad things inevitably follow from freedom, in order to justify their fear and hatred of choice. No amount of evidence showing how unfounded are their beliefs will dissuade them, as it never does for the truly zealous.
I'm compelled to conclude that it's time for a Reformation.