The right wing will always try to weaponize your good faith against you. Never let them take away your good faith, but also never let them get away with this tactic. They know exactly what they’re doing, and after reading this article, so will you.
Ways This Manifests:
- Authority figures will feel free to brutalize you, because they know you desire peace and do not want to fight back. They will not do the same to people on the right, because they know those people are itching for violence and all bullies are cowards at heart. (And also for the same reason you never see Batman beating up Bruce Wayne, but that’s a different issue.)
- People will scream “SO MUCH FOR THE TOLERANT LEFT” at you when you call out their dogshit stances, because they know you desire to be civil. They will consider this a victory because they believe they have caught you failing to espouse that which you claim to represent.
- The “gish gallop” – spewing mountains of nonsense at you because they know you desire to argue from truth and accuracy. If you are unable to refute every single line of their lies due to running out of time or energy, or if you are unable to provide your point of view because you’re too busy with their nonsense, they will declare victory.
- No matter what they do, how heinous the act, they will expect you to forgive them and move on, because they know you desire thoughtful, reasonable justice. If you seek justice, they will call it revenge. If you act quickly, they will call it rash. Any punishment will be considered too harsh. This way they can never, ever suffer consequences for what they do.
Other Right Wing Techniques
Another technique right-wingers regularly use to argue in bad faith: first, they spout some nonsense. If it doesn’t get challenged, now it’s out there as a version of “truth.” If it does get challenged, they will say that they weren’t being serious. This way, they get their rancid ideas into the world, but never have to defend them or even stand behind them. Thus, they cannot lose.
For example, Tucker Carlson puts racist conspiracy theories on the air night after night. However, a court ruled that he “is not ‘stating actual facts’ about the topics he discusses and is instead engaging in ‘exaggeration’ and ‘non-literal commentary’.” Also, that “any reasonable viewer ‘arrive[s] with an appropriate amount of skepticism’.”
See that? He’s just joking, you guys. Only an IDIOT would think he’s being serious! So don’t worry, none of the people who follow Carlson are a danger because of course they don’t believe him.
The same goes for Alex Jones, another racist conspiracy theorist. His own lawyer argued that he is a “performance artist” and “playing a character.” What a relief, huh? So when he sent people after the parents of murdered children, they were just doing it ironically I guess?
Call ’em out
Remember: right wingers are constitutionally incapable of arguing in good faith. These techniques need to be recognized. Call ’em out if you want, but they don’t tend to have any shame so it won’t do anything.
Written By: Nick Rollins