Thanks to my experience debating the left, I think Fearsome Pirate is correct in this assessment:
In an argument, we use logic. We test principles against each other. We marshal facts. We criticize and respond. Leftists do little or none of that because they are instinctual Marxists, and Marxism is an assault on everything we take for granted.
Let's pull apart one example that tends to befuddle the right: single motherhood.
There are three incontrovertible, incompatible truths:The rest of his post is very interesting.
- Leftists adore single motherhood when conservatives attack polyamory.
- Leftists do not practice single motherhood (poor Democrats aren't leftists; they're just a bought constituency).
- Leftists abhor single motherhood when conservatives attack homogamy.You can find similar incompatibilities on any issue---guns, welfare, the working class, you name it. Conservatives tend to attack liberals along the vector of "hypocrisy." (Libertarians don't care; whatever ends up in more sexual license and less obligation on the part of parents is fine by them.) But this doesn't actually work, because it is based on the assumption that the leftist is arguing, and will attempt to bring his thoughts and beliefs at least into line with themselves if not with actual facts. However, this isn't what the liberal is doing. He's simply trying to promote the "oppressed class" du jour and simultaneously trying to shred the established civilization, and will grab whatever argument is most handy at the time to accomplish that. If we switch topics, he will switch arguments as fluidly and easily as a Pentecostal changes doctrines.
"Hold them to their own standards."
I suspect that the best way to debate a leftist is to understand their thinking and hold them to their own standards.
When I debated them in the past I often tried analogies, and pointing out how hypocritical they are. This didn't work becasue analogies distract their small minds, and they don't care about being hypocrites.
I shall try to read more stuff from progressives and less from conservatives and libertarians. Once I've done this I may try to debate them again.