By MARC McDONALD
One thing that has long been a pet peeve of mine is when I watch a Progressive get stomped on by a Conservative in a debate. Often, the latter happens not because the Conservative has the facts on his side.
Rather, it's that Conservatives appear to do well in debates because they simply spew an endless assortment of lies, often in a loud voice. If you repeat this formula over and over again against a wimpy, unprepared Progressive who's afraid to stand up to you, you'll appear to win the debate. And in our TV culture, of course, appearances are everything.
This sort of thing happens every day on right-wing talk radio and Fox "News." More often than not, the likes of Bill O'Reilly get the better of their guests by simply shouting them down and bullying them. Oftentimes, it doesn't even matter if the progressives who appear on his show factually have the upper hand. In our dumbed-down Rush Limbaugh culture, "victory" in a debate can often mean simply shouting down the other guy.
Wingnut hate-monger Ann Coulter has long excelled in the art of bullying people during debates. I've long watched her stand her ground and appear to do well in debates, even against great debaters like Bill Maher.
Coulter's formula is simple, but effective. She throws an enormous amount of right-wing bullshit to the wall, hoping that some of it sticks. She can utter one sentence and it's so misinformed that you'd need a month to respond. So when you allow her five minutes to speak, her bullshit can simply overwhelm the unwary debate opponent. Eventually, a progressive's brain short-circuits and he's at a loss for words (which can often be fatal during a televised debate).
In the video above, the brilliant progressive Cenk Uygur gives a clinic in how to dismantle the bullshit of Ann Coulter. During this 2015 debate, Uygur completely crushed Coulter. Coulter was so humiliated during this debate that I'd bet she still deeply regrets having ever agreed to participate in the debate in the first place.
Uygur demonstrates just how you go about successfully debating the Wingnut/Rush Limbaugh/Fox News crowd.
First of all, come to the debate well-prepared. Also, don't let your opponent slither away from giving answers to your questions. And don't fall for techniques like straw men arguments. Most crucially, give the wingnuts just enough rope to where they wind up hanging themselves.
Uygur is polite. He is humorous. He sticks to the facts. He doesn't get ruffled. Instead, he knows when to simply sit back and lets Coulter hang herself with her own words. I've never seen Coulter so utterly crushed and dominated during a debate.
Remember, fellow progressives: the facts are usually on our side. If the other side ever appears to "win," it's simply because the right-wingers are clever in using various debate gimmicks like straw-men arguments. If you want to crush a right-winger in a debate, Uygur shows how it is done.