16 February 2007
One way to get the upper hand in an argument is to recast your opponent’s position. As an example I offer the following cartoon:
















Opponents of the resolution presently being debated in Congress say that the resolution itself (among other tactics) will embolden the enemy. We do not say that the simple act of questioning the wisdom or advisability of a strategy will embolden the troops.

Besides, a resolution is not an interrogative. Saying, “We oppose the troop surge” is not a question. It’s a declaration. And one is hard-pressed to see just how making such a declaration can not embolden the enemy.

Let’s say you’ve somehow managed to get yourself into a fight in a bar. At some point in the altercation you inform me of your intention to employ a knife hand on your opponent’s jugular. As you approach your opponent to do precisely that, I yell out, loud enough to be heard by your opponent, “Hey man, I don’t think that knife hand to the jugular is going to work. Knife hand is your weakest move!”

How do you think your opponent feels upon hearing that? Relieved? Confident? Emboldened? The one thing he probably doesn’t feel is frightened.

More importantly: How do you feel? As you approach your opponent, how’s your morale?

H/T: Center for American Progress

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James Frank SolĂ­s
Former soldier (USA). Graduate-level educated. Married 22 years. Texas ex-patriate. Ruling elder in the Presbyterian Church in America.
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