Elements of Argument

Posted: March 16, 2007 in All, Blogroll, Controversy, Democrats versus Republicans, politics, rants, War

The art of words. Words can do so many things. Cheer, encourage, anger, engage, convince, belittle…words can be used as a weapon or to sexually arouse. When you let your emotion control your words, it can often lead to nowhere. In this post, I want to focus on the art of words used in argument. To be more specific, the argument between those who support the war and those who don’t.  The argument for and against the way we are fighting the war on terrorism.  (Notice how I separated the two, as it is my opinion that the war, and the war on terror are 2 completely different things.) Often times we get so lost in an argument, we end up defeating ourselves and our cause because we let emotion get the best of us. In the heat of an argument we get so caught up in trying to convince or change the mind of the one we’re arguing with, that we lose sight of our goal. Here’s a perfect example from yesterday’s episode of “The View.” http://youtube.com/watch?v=297vCuVNinQ     It was a 3 against 1 argument.  Rosie O’Donnell, Joy Behar, and I forget who the guest host was, verses Elisabeth Hasselbeck. Each side was so busy trying to convince the other side that they were right, no one was listening at all.  I have found the best way to get my point across is to ask questions.  The way I saw it,it seemed that RO was not saying that Khalid Shaikh Mohammed didn’t do it, but she was saying, let’s stand back, take a look and question the reason he has confessed.  She never once said that she didn’t think he didn’t do it.  But it came across that way to many, because she became frustrated that EH was not getting her point.  The argument then escalated out of control.  The best way to make a point, is to ask questions.  If RO had asked EH when EH said, “I think he did most of it”, “What convinces you he did most of it?”  Or, “What would it take to make you question the validity of his confession?”  Or better yet, what if RO, or JB had said something to the effect of, “You know, none of us and most of America will never know the truth because we were not there. No matter how much investigation, the only people who will know the truth are the people involved.  What’s wrong with looking at the evidence we do know.  We know that there has been torture at Guantanamo Bay.  We know that there are only 10 people at this camp who have been charged with anything.  We know that Sheikh Mohammed has been there for 4 years, and is just now confessing, and he is confessing to a whole list of things. And we know that because of the Patriot Act, he was not allowed to have an attorney present.  Maybe he did do some of those things, maybe he did all of those things. Is it wrong or unpatriotic to question what we have been told?  Are the way the POW’s are being treated by American Solider’s the way America wants to be seen by the non-terrorist world?” (I know, a lot of questions.  I have more, but I’ll stop at those.)   Questions give you  knowledge, the greatest weapon of all.   We need to hear and understand their point of view before they will open up enough to hear ours.  If we want to end this war, get our troops home safely, and bury this damn Patriot Act, we must stop yelling, pointing fingers, ridiculing, judging, and trying to prove we’re right.  Stop, think, listen, come to an understanding…and then talk.  The art of words is a gift we all can learn.

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