Talkers on the political right love the straw man technique. That’s where you invent an opponent easy to knock down and then you knock them down. You define Liberal arguments in such ridiculous terms to make them sound completely wacky or scary so your counterargument appears reasonable and even more, the only path to save the listener/viewer from the calamity of the Lefty worldview.
Here’s the thing. Liberals don’t believe or advocate for any of these scare bombs you throw. You know how I know? I know because I, Charles Bursell, DO advocate for all of those – to your mind – doomsday positions. You thought you were inventing a straw man, but guess what? I’m your straw man – in the flesh. I’ve been arguing with my Liberal friends all my life and none of them agree with me – none of them. I’ve got a handful of online radical buddies who might agree with some of this but you could fit us all into your man cave and still have room for your poker buddies.
Let’s look at the hits you keep playing. None of the millions of Liberals in this country, certainly none of the Democrats (the very definition of a Centrist party) are anywhere near the straw man platform you thought you were inventing. Here’s what you say they want:
Confiscate all of your guns. Nope. Not even close. Liberals in this country (and the great majority of Conservatives, by the way) want reasonable gun laws like universal background checks, waiting periods, age limits, and a ban on assault-style weapons. Do they want to ban all guns as you say? No. Do they want to confiscate all guns, as you say? No. Again, you’re describing MY position. I DO want to ban and confiscate all guns. I don’t defend hunters and their “culture” like virtually every one of my Liberal friends does. I think shooting animals for sport is seriously fucked up and I don’t give a damn about your culture. Some cultures threw virgins into volcanoes.
Repeal the second amendment. Nope. Me, again. Yank it and toss it out like 3-week old potato salad.
Open all borders, unlimited immigration. Out of the nearly 400 million people in this country you might find a half dozen who actually advocate for this. I’d be their president. Yep, get out a big eraser and rub out the borders, let everybody in and out. Check ‘em for terrorism, but then put out the welcome mat.
Liberal calls for diversity will eliminate the “White Race.” Nope – nobody I know has this particular agenda. But as for me? Yeah, sounds pretty good. I’m a white guy who can’t wait to share a sane, friendly country with all sorts of different folks with a cornucopia of languages and accents and styles and music and food and traditions. Nothing I’d like better. And if my grand kids and their kids are a mix of many cultures and colors, why the hell would I care about that?
Liberals want to tell us what we can eat. No, Liberals just don’t want giant corporations poisoning us – which is exactly what is happening as we speak. The crap you get at fast food joints, chain restaurants, and most aisles of the grocery store is filled with enough sugar, salt, and cancer causing chemical additives to ensure we see those annoying commercials from Saint Jude Children’s Hospital for years to come. But there’s no outcry from the public. There’s been no serious initiative by “Liberal” legislators to address this issue. Your charge is an invention. At least you thought it was. You didn’t know you were talking about me and my little single-digit membership club.
Liberals want to tell us where we can live and what to do with our own land. My Liberal friends cock their heads like a dog when I bring this up. They are with you on this one. The very idea of private ownership of land is insane to me. But again, I’m alone. You guys made up this fight – unless you want to have the fight with me, personally. I’d be very happy to put on the gloves. What you really want, of course, is to scare people into voting for you. On that score I wouldn’t be much help. I’m not very scary. I’m just a guy. And in this particular debate the Liberals will be in your corner.
Anybody can marry anybody …and as many anybodies as they want! Liberals love the gay marriage SCOTUS decision but you should see their faces when I advocate for free sex or expanded marriage equality. They think I’m as nutty as you do.
Liberals want to take your money. They want to go back to ninety percent income tax brackets like during the Eisenhower Administration. You think Liberals want this? You’re crazy. You don’t realize, since the great Reagan tsunami of 1980 you guys have been winning on most fronts and this one is right up front. When you make up this crazy shit to frighten people, it doesn’t apply to any Liberals I know. They LOVE their money. I, on the other hand, would love to see the 90 percentile bracket back again. In fact, I’d like a tax system that incorporates a negative income tax and is so progressive that every single man, woman, and child ends up making the same annual salary. From the highest CEO to the teacher, the cop, the kid with the paper route, to the lowliest homeless junkie on the street. Go scare your flock with that idea. But be sure to tell them it came from me and… well, no one else.
Liberals hate the military. You gotta be crazy. Ever since the end of the Viet Nam War Liberals bend over backwards to kiss the military ass. This is another big win for your side. Take some satisfaction. Take a bow. Accept victory. Nowadays you gotta love, love, love the military. Everybody does. Even the athletes who kneel for the anthem. You totally made up that “they hate the military” bullshit. That was never, ever, for a single moment, the point. You just made it up and repeated it until half the lunkheads in this country believed you.
Liberals want to take away all our freedoms. Well, if you mean the freedom to pollute the air and the water, the “freedom” to legislate women’s bodies, the freedom to discriminate against my LGBTQ friends under the guise of religion, the freedom to pay slave wages to workers who then have to rely on food stamps – which you’re also trying to take away… Then yes, I and my liberal friends want to take away your freedoms.
You made up all of this crap. At least you thought you did. But as it turns out, you pretty much wrote my platform for me. Liberals and Democrats aren’t anywhere near these positions. I know because I’ve been arguing with them all my life. You are describing my positions. That’s how I know you’re full of shit. I am your straw man.
Charles Bursell has been heard nationally on SiriusXM, National Public Radio, and The Pacifica Radio Network. He currently hosts the podcast Charles Bursell Presents.