A few weeks ago I earned the nickname Mr Demagoguery (why not Mr Demagogue, you must ask the pleasant female debater who dubbed me such). This is because I managed to befuddle a debating partner using demagoguery, a mere day before having to debate with the young lady. I managed to detain myself from resorting to such tactics the next day and was allegedly successful. However, I had already had a bite from the dark side, and had messed with another person’s mind. Demagoguery is a powerful weapon because it is very hard to resist or defend against.
Oftentimes deflecting strikes of demagoguery boils down to ignoring the fact that it is, in fact, demagoguery. This means responding to all ludicrous claims and ridiculous questions with calm logic and reason. It is effective because it foils the plans of a seasoned demagogue while strengthening your own arguments. Alas, some forms of demagoguery are just about evil enough to be ‘killers’. That is to say, there is no good way of answering to a specific claim or question, any answer would bring consequences not to one’s liking. Avoiding the matter leaves a kind of vacuum, an empty space where the opponent can weave his or her nest in. And a viper’s nest is harder to remove than merely a viper alone.
In such cases, one has about two choices: either submit to having an argument with holes in it, which can later be ever so slightly patched up, or revert to playing dirty. One skilled in the art of demagoguery rarely knows the proper methods of addressing a hostile demagogue. If one gets lucky, the demagogue loses his or her solid ground and becomes easily proven to be mistaken. If not, at the very least, the demagogue’s demagoguery will prove to be elegantly insufficient. Against asking stupid questions, creating a lack of stupid answers is surprisingly effective. The stupid answers remain stupid, hence weakening the asker. The lack of stupid answers, by substituting them for counterdemagoguery, can cause little damage to one’s own respectability, all while taking down the enemy strategy. Using fire against fire may work, but one should always remember that the fire department prefers water. Hence wisdom and a cool head is a better alternative to demagoguery.
“Zathros wants nothing, Zarthros gets nothing. Such is life.” – J.M.Straczynski
Also, if someone can find a way to post comments, please do, explaining how. This new layout looks aesthetically pleasing but I appear unable to find the option to post comments. If nobody figures it out, then a new change is also in order.