The Rabid Conservative

Think Right, Act Right, Be Right.

TRC – Just Not Listening

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This past week, a would-be stirring debate between a Harvard law student and Representative Barney Frank (D-MA) ensued when the student asked one question. Frank then responded with another question and for the first part of the exchange, was nothing more than two people asking questions without the other hearing and/or listening to what the other had to say.

Harvard Law Student: How much responsibility, if any, do you have for the financial crisis?

Barney Frank: What do you think I should have done?

Harvard Law Student: I’m waiting for you to answer my question, how much responsibility, if any, do you have for the financial crisis?

Barney Frank: And I’m waiting for you to answer my question, what do you think I should have done?

Frank then proceeded to change the student’s question around into a straw-man by saying “happened on my watch” rather than “[personally] taking responsibility”.  Frank refused to accept (and has from the start) any responsibility for the entire Fannie/Freddie mess.  Frank made statements in September 2003 saying there were no financial problems with Fannie/Freddie.  He said in July 2008 that it “wasn’t a good investment, but it would be solid going forward”.

Out of the archives is a favorite clip of mine, when Frank appeared on Bill O’Reilly, tap dancing around the very words he said back in July 2008.

But even during the second clip, Frank and O’Reilly (mostly Frank here) weren’t listening to each other.   Instead, both were firing at one another (with O’Reilly more in control here than the twitching Barney Frank who was getting garrotted by his own words.

So what do we learn today:

1) In this day and age, we stand to learn more by listening rather than shouting and yelling in hopes we’ll win arguments by blasting and/or shocking the other side into submission.  Barney Frank shows us that if you want your opponent to shut up, just keep interrupting him and not let him get a word in edgewise.

2) Screaming and yelling at your opponent, even if justified, doesn’t do any good to convince him of his mistakes, but rather, raises the spin factor and puts him so far on the defensive that he feels justified in his mistake, even if he sees it as a mistake.

The grassroots way to crush the liberal discourse is to cite facts and figures, stay logical and calm, and let the liberal hang himself with his own ignorance.  Liberals live in a world of delusion, forsaking reality for self-serving idealism.  If we, as conservatives, fall into that trap, our message won’t get heard by those who haven’t yet made up their mind.


Written by The Rabid Conservative

April 9, 2009 at 11:42 am

Posted in Political

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