I am writing this letter to not only rally the faithful, but to educate the masses on how we can bring home victory in the mid-term elections in ‘06, and of course the granddaddy of them all in ‘08. I think the principle reason for our losses has to do with our collective ability to argue points. You see, I argue very well. Ask any of my remaining friends. I like to think of myself as the Socrates of the Democratic Party. I can win an argument on any topic, against any opponent. Interviewers and evil conservatives know this, and steer clear of me at parties, and are afraid to have me on their talk shows. More often than not, as a sign of their great respect, they don’t even invite me. To all the faithful, hear me loud and clear, you too can win arguments. Simply follow these patent pending Howard Dean’s rules for winning arguments and crushing your opponent.
Rule #1 Drink Liquor.
Suppose you’re at a party and some stuffy, churchgoing, designated driver Republican is expounding on the greatness of the American economy, a subject you know nothing about. If you’re drinking some health-fanatic drink like carrot juice, you’ll hang back, afraid to display your ignorance, while the evil conservative enthralls your date. But if you drink several large shots of Jack Daniels, you’ll suddenly discover you have STRONG VIEWS about the American economy and how oppressive and mean it is. You will be able to expound on the necessity to raise taxes, greater government involvement in our lives, universal heath care, etc. You will be a WEALTH of propaganda. You’ll argue forcefully, offering searing insights and even possibly upsetting furniture. People will be impressed. Some may leave the room.
Rule #2 Make things up.
You are trying to make the argument that our economy is in disarray, Americans are underpaid, the economy is not growing at all, and actual unemployment in the United States is 78%. This is a position you are trying to prove based solely on the fact that YOU are unemployed, live in your parents basement and are damned if you’re going to let a bunch of hardworking conservatives be better off. DON’T say: “I think the unemployment rate is wrong.” Say: “The average American’s salary in 1981 dollars adjusted for the revised tax base is $1,452.81 per annum, which is $836.07 before the mean gross poverty level, which in turn puts the unemployment numbers essentially at 78%.”
NOTE: Always make up exact figures.
If an opponent asks you where you got your information, make THAT up, too. Say: “This information comes from Dr. Krugman T. Soros’s study for the Jedi Commission published May 9, 1982. Didn’t you read it?” Say this in the same tone of voice you would use to say “You left your soiled underwear in my bath house.”
Rule #3 Use meaningless but weighty-sounding words and phrases.
Memorize this list:
• Let me put it this way
• In terms of
• Per se
• As it were
• So to speak
You should also memorize some Latin abbreviations such as “Q.E.D.,” “e.g. and i.e.” These are all short for “I speak Latin, and you do not.”
Here’s how to use these words and phrases. Suppose you want to say: “Americans would like to order appetizers more often, but they don’t have enough money.”
You never win arguments talking like that. But you WILL win if you say: “Let me put it this way. In terms of appetizers vis-à-vis Americans qua Americans, they would like to order them more often, so to speak, but they do not have enough money per se, as it were. Q.E.D.”
Only a fool would challenge that statement.
Rule #4 Use snappy and irrelevant comebacks.
You need an arsenal of all-purpose irrelevant phrases to fire back at your opponents when they make valid points. The best are:
• You’re begging the question.
• You’re being defensive.
• Don’t compare apples to oranges.
• What are your parameters?
Here’s how to use your comebacks:
You say – As Abraham Lincoln said in 1873…
Your opponent says – Lincoln died in 1865.
You say – You’re begging the question.
You say – Liberians, like most Asians…
Your opponent says – Liberia is in Africa.
You say – You’re being defensive.
Rule #5 Compare your opponent to Adolf Hitler.
This is your heavy artillery, for when your opponent is obviously right and you are spectacularly wrong. Bring Hitler up subtly. Say: “That sounds suspiciously like something Adolf Hitler might say” or “You certainly do remind me of Adolf Hitler.”
You now know how to out-argue anybody. Do not try to pull any of this on people who generally carry weapons.
Viva La Revolution
Dr. Howard Dean