Thursday, March 7, 2013

The Premise Thieves

     Have you ever found yourself in a discussion and half way into it you realize that you are arguing for or against a position based on a specious premise advanced by your opponent in the argument? This is a diversionary debating tactic which involves stealing the premise of the argument to shift the discussion in a direction that is more favorable to your position. This tactic is used by high school and college debate teams, teenagers wanting to borrow the car and community organizers. Anyone who has raised a teenager knows the frustration of premise theft, when the discussion turns from being about the reasons the teen can not borrow the car to you defending a speeding ticket you received two years prior.
     Maybe it is the close association between the Liberal mind and the teenage one that makes the Left so successful at the premise theft tactic. The most recent example is the Sequester debate in which the Left was successful at defining reductions in the rate of growth as cuts. The fact of the matter is that the federal government is going to spend more money this year than they did last year, even with the implementation of the Sequester. And the worse part is that Republicants accepted the premise advanced by Democrats that the Sequester growth reductions were cuts.
     The left has replicated the tactic of premise theft in the climate change debate. Republicants have allowed themselves to buy the premise that man-made climate change is a forgone conclusion and the only argument is just how much government is required to "solve" it. In this way the Left steals the premise that the activities of man are causing the earth to warm, setting up a disaster at some point in the future. The premise theft affords the Left the luxury of never having to support their position with real facts and reasoned arguments. This is an effective tactic because once the premise is accepted by the general public, as is the man-made climate change premise, even proof of subterfuge by the Left does not derail the false premise. This was best illustrated by the revelation of emails between "climatologists" at the Hadley Research Center which showed collusion to advance the man-made climate change theory even in the face of contradictory evidence. Hadley is the main fountain of the world-wide global warming movement.
     The theft of premise in this country is a tactic that has been successfully executed by the Left with everything from tax cuts (the premise that tax rate cuts reduce revenue to the government is believed by many, but just the opposite is true) to the problem with our education system is a lack of teachers (since the 1970s we have doubled the number of teachers while student enrollment has only increased by eight percent). Democrats and those on the Left are aided in their theft of premise by Republicants who do not argue effectively against the premise, but instead focus ineffectively on how best to solve the specious premise advanced by the Left. Until Republicant leaders are better able to focus the narrative onto the proper argument on a variety of issues and call the Left on their premise theft, this country will continue to inflict upon itself the instruments of its own destruction in the form of bad laws and regulations.


  1. So glad to see the debate tactic of the premise explained. It clears up how the discussion always erodes into the other sides advantage. I must remember "the premise" when the facts become muddled and I begin to lose the debate. Thank you,

    1. Thank you for reading and sharing your comments.