How To Be Right: The Art of Being Persuasively Correct (2015)

12

LINK REAL LIFE TO FATUOUS BELIEF

As the only known conservative at my previous magazines, I worked among successful liberals. Until they talked to me, most had never realized how quickly they will abandon their liberal beliefs in their quest to be successful.

I often tangled with dedicated runners, incredibly disciplined musicians, and vicious publishers who enforce deadlines with military precision, even bosses who ruthlessly prune their herd at the first sniff of a bad sales quarter, but who were all namby-pamby leftists when they turned off all the other stuff that requires standards. You can’t win a race as a liberal. You cannot win a sale as a liberal. You cannot perform an amazing version of “Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap” as a liberal. All successes in life are based on conservative principles—and if these liberals applied their no-score, no-winner, no-loser belief systems to their hobbies or professions, they would fail miserably.

Success relies on absolute truths, supply and demand, work and reward, achievement, not identity. As the old saying goes, it doesn’t matter if the cat is black or white, as long as it catches mice. Conservatives catch mice. Liberals apologize to them. And want you to buy them cheese so they don’t have to chase mice.

It’s interesting that people who participate in professions that require conservative values are often so very liberal. Here are three examples of such types, and how to expose their inner right-winger. Chances are they will never think of themselves as liberals, ever again. (Or at least they will hate you and go away.)

Example One: The Musician

You’d think all of them are liberals, but surprisingly it’s only the successful egomaniacs who can afford to be. The musicians who last the longest operate a business dependent on incredibly stringent conservative principles. If you hire a backup band, for example, they must show up on time to practice. They must be disciplined enough to understand that perfection requires attention to detail and have a basic understanding of economics to justify a grueling tour schedule (even Mick Jagger went to the London School of Economics. It’s true—“Satisfaction” was about the joy of capital gains). When you go see your favorite metal band, you can bet that the whole tour is mapped out not as some hippy-dippy road trip, but as a meticulously planned endeavor to wring every penny of profit out of it. Smart musicians are often the most conservative people on the planet. Someone had to pay for the gas, the guitar strings, and the antibiotics.

Example Two: Fitness

As a former health editor, I can attest: the government cannot give you six-pack abs (unless you get them to pay for the implants). Exercise is perhaps the best example of conservative/libertarian thinking at your disposal. For the amount of effort you put in, you reap the reward you deserve. If you pump iron for two hours, three times a week, your body will change as a direct result. There is nothing as concrete or as fair as this. It’s the one bank where you deposit effort and you build a portfolio of reward. There is no affirmative action in exercise. One muscle doesn’t get special dispensation because it’s smaller or weaker. There is no minimum wage, safety net, or unemployment bennies for your glutes—you’re either in shape or you’re not. No one is gonna redistribute my awesome pecs. To quote Obama, “You didn’t build that.” Sorry, but I did.

Example Three: Cooking

There are buttloads of cooking shows these days, populated by spiky-haired women and tattooed love-patched beardos from Brooklyn. They all look so Occupy Wall Street—but when they enter the kitchen they become the Wolves of Wall Street. There are no feelings behind that butcher block; there’s no room for “if it feels good, do it.” A recipe is a recipe for a reason: a dictum designed to make sure anyone can repeat this nutritional equation. If you can make baked Alaska with these ingredients and instructions, then so can I. Conservativism is all about following directions. Cooking is really just building a successful enterprise, with food. And it must taste good, not fulfill a greater good.

Liberals are bad cooks but great eaters.

BEST JOBS FOR A LEFTIST

Who needs standards if it feels good? These are dead-end jobs for dead-end brains:

•symbolic die-in coordinator (previous experience in shouting at tourists)

•concerned protester—entails facing off looming police officer during march (only young, hot females with rich parents need apply)

•euphoric anarchist (entails brick throwing, and rocking cars back and forth—ideal for male with daddy issues)

•sign manager (distributing identical placards to jobless people who are paid to hold them)

•mob extra—must look angry, but frightened, as cops approach (females preferred, but will take minorities of either gender)

•Guy Fawkes mask wearer—experience in gesticulating wildly at local news affiliate anchor (all ages welcome; ideal for professors)

Following recipes is the opposite of liberalism, where demanding excellence (that requires objective measures) is seen as hurtful.

Restaurants that require reservations weeks or months in advance got that way because of reliance on a diligent work ethic that led to a reputation for great food. You cannot reach that pinnacle without being a competitive, results-oriented asshole, in other words, a capitalist. It’s a very tough business. Fact is, the beauty of capitalism is that it moves hand in hand with quality. Do something great and great things happen to you. You put in the hours in the kitchen, you make a great taco. While this seems so obvious, it’s no longer so in schools. Instead our children are taught that identity is more important than industry. This may work when teaching gender studies, but not when cooking a seafood gumbo. It’s why gender-studies majors can barely toast a PopTart.

Example Four: Sports

There are no progressives in locker rooms. There are no liberals on playing fields. The goal is to score, to beat your opponents, to defeat them. Not just degrade them, but demolish them. You want to crush the adversary. That’s about as conservative as you can possibly get. And about as lovey-dovey as a head on a stick. Is there a sport that is progressive in philosophy? Yes. It’s called tag. Liberalism is tag in which the successful are always “it.”

BEST LIBERAL SPORTS

•tag

•musical chairs (as long as there’s a chair for every player)

•unfunded mandated volleyball

•anything not for “keepsies”