Why Political Debates are Pointless – and How to Change That

If you frequently find yourself in the middle of political debates, this post should be helpful for you. At least I hope it will be.

I’d like to discuss why directly debating political candidates is less effective than taking a more idealogical approach if you’re trying to prove a point. As with the majority of my posts dealing with these things, it has more to do with the nature of human psychology than anything else.

Trying to debate someone on why their political candidate isn’t the right way to go about making your point. The reason for this, as fickle as it may sound, is essentially because human beings are stubborn. Yes – that means all of us. Nine times out of ten (probably even more than that), political views are held dogmatically with very little room for open-mindedness. By that, I mean most of our political sway (whether right, left, or in between) is hard-wired into our very being. For some odd reason, we simply refuse to be open to the fact that we might be wrong about our candidate.

So how do we go about proving our points? Or at least having somewhat of an effect on the individual(s) we are debating? The answer, in my humble opinion, is to work backwards.

Rather than taking a political approach, i.e. saying “this is why X is a better choice”, we should instead talk about general ideologies without the mention of anyone by name. This way we can use a different, less directly conflicting route of conversation. Being able to ask “Do you agree with X ideology? What about X policy on immigration? Or perhaps X view on taxes?” gives you the ability to then, on the back end, correlate (or dispute) your “opponents” answers to whichever candidate supports said answers. This way, you can find out if there’s an idealogical reason as to why they support their candidate, or if its simply out of ignorance or because they heard somewhere that their guy/girl is the right one. In my experience, the vast majority of people I’ve spoken with really have no idea why they are voting for X. They simply hear and read things, which may or may not be true, and base their opinion accordingly. Very seldom do many people actually have deep-rooted convictions on most issues. This is sad, of course, but hey – that’s the world we live in.

Hopefully this made at least some amount of sense. I think the ever-increasing number of such arguments popping up on social media is likely what sparked me to write this. Perhaps this will actually help some people gain a better understanding of why they are voting the way their voting.

I just hope when this political storm has blown over we can all start getting along.


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