Run a search on how to win political arguments and you will come up with different tactics. Most assume people have taken sides and try their best to help the reader best their opponent. Some list some good ideas like listening without interruption, empathize with people’s values, appeal to hearts and minds, etc. However, not one mentions changing the game entirely.
What do we get when we win?
Winning a political argument reaps what type of reward for you? You wouldn’t believe how many people have not asked themselves this very question. Draw up a list of 10 things you win and see if you can even fill it. Can you get to 5 even?
What is to consider is what happens to someone who loses. Think about what is actually in a political loss. Humiliation, the perception of being intellectually inferior, giving the opponent a reason to be smug, etc. If you think about it, there is a lot on the line here. Ask people to provide detail about the last time they lost a political discussion. You will soon find out how many undefeated people there are in this country.
The thing is, if somebody wins outright, this could leave a bad taste in the mouth of the person who loses. I’ve seen people lose before and it got nasty. I myself have participated in political conversations that went completely sideways before I started this project. It really affects people when it gets too heated. A lot of people just don’t want to hang out with people after that goes down.
Win something of value
When I get into arguments, they aren’t arguments. They are discussions and information gathering missions. I win when I keep my friends. I win when I have more information that is gained during the conversation or at least something I can research later on my own time. Most importantly, I win when I don’t get angry.
A loss that’s easy to admit to
When I lose, it is very easy to admit to it because it’s an entirely different loss than what a traditional argument typically results in. When I lose, I walk away from a conversation with no new information. This could happen for a variety of reasons. I could have heard the information before, a person was being stubborn, etc. For whatever reason, I left a conversation and got nothing to better my outlook.
So make your political arguments into discussions. Make the value inward facing rather than a competition against other people. By taking in information, we grow intellectually and are able to accrue numerous different angles to approach even one topic in politics. The more you have, the more you can build a core of original thought. Something that is unique to you and you alone. If you lose, no biggie. There are so many other sources out there that it really isn’t too disappointing.