David Horowitz/reparations for slavery

Nathan Newman nathan at newman.org
Sat Mar 3 12:54:53 PST 2001

There is only so much you can do about outright lying, but this is where the power of anecdote matters. Grab a specific millionaire by name, point out there tax cut under a flat tax, then compare them to a particular person you know making $30,000 or $50,000 per year and how a flat tax would hit them.

Aggregate statistics are nice, but there is good reason why Bush parades lots of average folks across the stage in support of his tax cut and why the muffler versus Lexus demo by Gephardt/Daschle caught the media attention.

And always use the "bad motive" argument, as in noting that since the wealthy support the flat tax, there has to be something in it for them. Over time, I've always found that nothing convinces people more than invoking their suspicion in the self-interest of those promoting an idea.

One reason the Billionaires against the Estate Tax salvo was so devastating is the reverse corrolary- if someone obviously winning out personally on a proposal is against it, then the public interest loss must be substantial.

-- Nathan Newman

----- Original Message ----- From: "Doug Henwood" <dhenwood at panix.com>

Dennis wrote:

>All the above is a long-winded way of saying that the right is easy to
>debate. Most of them are idiots.

In my experience, the most frustrating thing about debating them is that they'll just lie outright. It's pretty hard to debate opponents like that. If you call them the liars that they are, you risk alienating the audience. If you correct them, you risk sounding like a dweeb. They'll say things like "A flat tax wouldn't be a giveaway to the rich," and you say, "Well, yes it is," and quote some numbers, and it risks looking like a he said, she said thing that defies conclusion.


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