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

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




Every battle requires preparation. Meaning, you need to do your homework. If you’re not interested in arming yourself for war, then you’re just like the people you’re opposing: lazy. You’re showing up for a gunfight with a water balloon, and common sense suggests that’s not a wise strategy.

So, on that note, here are the common smears you’ll hear from the left, and how to counter them effectively.

They say: “You can’t be serious.”

They mean: You don’t believe what you’re saying, do you?

Tattoo this response on your left arm: “Questioning my seriousness is not an argument.”

But what if they’re right—and you aren’t serious? What if you haven’t thought about your point of view enough? What if you’re weak in delivery? Then when they say, “You can’t be serious,” they’re right. Lucky for them, they never have to be serious, because they are rarely challenged.

Alternative response: Stick a spork in their ear.

They say: “You aren’t really a conservative, are you? You seem so normal!”

They mean: Why can’t you be more like me, so I feel less insecure about my own choices in life. It freaks me out that I might have made a huge mistake.

You say: “It beats the alternative.” Then cradle them in your big hairy arms like they really want you to do. That’s the God-honest hairy truth: liberals want you to save them from themselves.

They say: “Your [political] party is sexist.”

They mean: Explain to me you aren’t sexist.

You say: “I’m not sexist. Some of my best wives are women!”

If they call your political party sexist, then bring up their bunch: Anthony Weiner? Bill Clinton? Jeffrey Epstein? The Dems have more perverts than my fan club. Very few righties send dick pics, or bite the lips of frightened targets. (William F. Buckley Jr., for example, was never known to do either of these things. Or, if he did, likely he did it…elegantly.)

If they continue with the sexist blather, ask them about Bill Maher or Louis CK, two fine liberal comedians who call Republican women cunts. Be sure and use that word. So they know you mean business. I don’t think a single right-winger has ever used that phrase to describe any liberal woman—be it Barbara Boxer, Nancy Pelosi, or Jason Biggs.

Finally, if anyone calls you sexist, remember that it’s likely a compliment. Women love sexists. They won’t tell you that to your face, but if Fifty Shades of Grey is any evidence, women are sick of hollow men with no money and no pecs championing the rights of women to accept men with no money and no pecs.


A liberal or conservative? Settle this with birth control at twenty paces.

As a right-wing libertarian, you have no interest in their sex lives. You’re interested in bonds, not bedrooms. It’s the left that’s investing so much time in regulating sexual practices and demanding free products. In short: you don’t care about their pills, or their thrills. Add that you’ve never met a single person in your life consumed by sexual reproductive rights who has sex regularly. (That shuts everyone up.)

Then offer them a comparison of ideologies. One posits that individuals are free to make decisions about their health choices (a man can choose to buy condoms, or not); another demands that your choices be paid for, because the implication is that you cannot be depended on to take care of it yourself (you, Mr. Man, should cover all of my options for birth control).

Which one is sexist? The one that assumes you can handle your life, or the one that assumes you can’t—because you’re female? Isn’t the assumption that women need others to help regulate their basic biological functions extremely paternalistic? Who’s sexist now? Do women also need us to subsidize pills for menstrual cramps and tampons? Will women pay for men’s condoms?

FYI: If you feel strongly about Hobby Lobby denying two kinds of birth control out of dozens, how do you feel about sharia law? How do you feel about burkas, or flogging? What about women getting punished for being raped? Why is your cultural antenna only up for a peaceful family employing thousands—but not for actual death, rape, and misery? I doubt there are many Sandra Flukes in Syria these days.

And by all means, also argue that Hobby Lobby was a human rights issue, in that the most nonvocal minority on the planet—unborn children—might need some protection. That always gets a laugh. Abortions are easier to get these days than gun permits or EPA approvals. There’s just no need to force an unwilling party to pay for yours.

They say: “Your party is racist.”

They mean: I have no other line of defense.

You say: All notable KKK members were Democrats. Specificity in debate is vital, for it forces your adversary to use those muscles that have atrophied due to lack of challenge (which means: every muscle they have).

Feel free to point out the illustrious list of racist leftists, from Lena Dunham (where are the black characters in Girls), to the late senator Robert Byrd (a former grand dragon of the KKK), to Bill Maher (he condemns Muslims, per Ben Affleck). The point: you can smear them as they smear you—using shallow, lazy arguments, too. Fact is, Dunham isn’t racist, the Democratic Party isn’t racist because Byrd was in the KKK, and Maher isn’t a bigot for standing up against radical Islam. All you are doing is pointing out how easy it is to label anyone as racist. It takes no deep thought—only a relative distance from the person you are accusing.

They say: “You don’t care about the poor.”

They mean: We want more of your money because you suck.

You say: The party that’s kept the poor poor is yours.

Yep—all the right wants to do is make money, and then keep it. Which, by the way, is a universal desire among all people, except Belgians. But the simpler response to this charge is to reveal the failures of their own party. And those failures keep blacks down more than does anything the Aryan Brotherhood could come up with in their wildest fantasies. Those who have tried to wage war on poverty have made it worse, through damaging government programs that have exacerbated dependency at the expense of initiative. You want cause and effect: when unemployment benefits last longer, unemployment lasts longer.

The left knows that once the poor realize what works is what has always worked (independence, not dependence), the left will no longer be needed. So turn the argument on them. They hate the poor, not you. Then demand that they clear themselves of that accusation. Let’s see them claw their way out of that.

The argument that Republicans, conservatives, and libertarians hate the poor is used as a cudgel to pound you into subservience—to agree to more, bigger government. If you come out against a program—any program—you must hate the poor. But in fact, what you hate is the incompetence of the public sector, and the squandering madness by which they handle your money. What you’re really saying is, “I’m not ceding you any more power.”

They say: “You didn’t build that.”

They mean: You owe the government for all this awesome stuff, so stop bellyaching about paying more taxes, you rich asshole. (Note: rich asshole is actually a struggling small businessman.)

You say: Look at my blisters. Look at my debt. Screw you, asshole (sorry, I get emotional).

You should really say: Do you think the government could have created Apple?

A tried-and-true example of public waste is, literally, public waste: the state of a public bathroom. If no one cares for it as their own, then it’s a horrifying place. It’s no wonder Starbucks is now the official restroom of New York City. New Yorkers will pay four bucks just to pee into something that doesn’t resemble a smellier Mount St. Helens.

Private means investment; public means “who cares.” Which leads to the primary reason why the right cares more for the poor than the left does: The right wants you to have an investment, not just a job. The right wants you to own something, not just to live in something. The right wants you to care for something, not use something.

They say: “We’re all immigrants.”

They mean: You hate brown people.

You say: “I’m just for a line. Stand in line, asshole.”

Compassion will always be the Achilles’ heel for the right—mainly because we’ve never learned how to respond when people tell us we’re big meanies. And we are jerks. For good reason. Jerks make sure assholes don’t steal from everyone else. Jerks are the adults. Without jerks, the world would be a big kindergarten with nukes.

The Left-Wing Smear Trick




wonder why environmentalists are trying to sell their discredited theories as part of their fundraising campaigns,

a dumb flat-earther out to destroy the planet.

think owning a gun in a city filled with armed criminals makes sense,

contributing to a culture of death.

think people should be allowed to keep most of the money they earn—even if they make a lot of it,

a greedy, selfish bastard.

think e-cigarettes should be allowed in bars and taverns,

someone who wants barmaids to die of lung cancer.

favor a border, with guards,

a person who hates little Central American babies.

The problem with conservatives is that we’re the adults—we are the people who say where compassion begins, but also ends. And in a liberal world, compassion never ends. That makes us—and me—the bad guys. But the limits of compassion must be explained, or else there is no real compassion to be had in this rotten little world.

Our lives are constructed simply as concentric circles of concern—like a horizontal dartboard. In the middle reside you and your immediate family (and for some unbalanced types, your dog). Each outer ring contains people of immediate interest—but each outer ring is less important. Sorry, it’s a fact of life. We prioritize by locality, and love. The rings work outward like this: family, distant relatives, close friends, coworkers, your community, your city, your state, your country. To preserve those inner rings, however, you must put your country first at times—invading hordes will do that to you.

The Concentric Circles of Concern

In a debate over immigration, compassion is used as a weapon. How can you not let these “dreamers” stay? To which I ponder, why are Mexican families allowed amnesty and not Syrians, who would also die to be here (and probably need to be here more than Mexicans)? Compassion, for the left, seems to be a bigotry of location—which is racist, since one cannot often divorce ethnicity from place of origin. However, it’s really about voting blocs. Mexicans get amnesty because the assumption is they’ll vote Democrat in return (which seems odd—they aren’t coming to America for dependency, but opportunity). Why do compassionate liberals call Hispanics “dreamers” but not the Chinese? Do Nigerians not dream of a better life in America? The ones fleeing Boko Haram sure do.

A conservative should only operate on taking care of those people we can take care of. Then we can all, together, take care of the rest.

They say: “You’re religious nutcases.”

They mean: I’m smarter than you because I read Dawkins.

You say: “So?”

First, you need to get over using religion in debate, because there are just too many vying for supremacy, and they all operate from faith. Even the Scientologists and Wiccans have a point—as long as it works for them and nobody gets hurt. And there is no arguing with someone’s conception of the divine—it’s like a caveman arguing with the weather.

The universality of religion is in fact the best argument for religion no one’s considered (or at least, no one I get drunk with in smelly dives missing doors on their restrooms). But that same universality means it shouldn’t be a competition. And it’s never persuasive in a debate.