We often complain here about the futility of arguing with someone who gets information and opinion only from the liberal media. Thomas Sowell attacks the same problem from the perspective of a parent trying to get through to a child whose entire education has been spent in the liberal school system. Rather than trying to attack one issue at a time, only to have propaganda spouted at you, Sowell offers this practical advice:
Another approach might be to respond to the dogmatic certainty of some young person, perhaps your own offspring, by asking: “Have you ever read a single book on the other side of that issue?”
Chances are, after years of being “educated,” even at some of the highest-priced schools and colleges, they have not.
When the inevitable answer to your question is “No,” you can simply point out how illogical it is to be so certain about anything when you have heard only one side of the story—no matter how often you have heard that one side repeated.
Would it make sense for a jury to reach a verdict after having heard only the prosecution’s case, or only the defense attorney’s case, but not both?
There is no need to argue the specifics of the particular issue that has come up. You can tell your overconfident young student that you will be happy to discuss that particular issue after he or she has taken the elementary step of reading something by somebody on the other side.
Elementary as it may seem that we should hear both sides of an issue before making up our minds, that is seldom what happens on politically correct issues today in our schools and colleges. The biggest argument of the Left is that there is no argument—whether the issue is global warming, “open space” laws, or whatever.
Some students may even imagine that they have already heard the other side because their teachers may have given them their version of other people’s arguments or motives.
But a jury would never be impressed by having the prosecution tell them what the defendant’s defense is. They would want to hear the defense attorney present that case.
Yet most students who have read and heard repeatedly about the catastrophes awaiting us unless we try to stop “global warming” have never read a book, an article, or even a single word by any of the hundreds of climate scientists, in countries around the world, who have expressed opposition to that view.
These students may have been shown Al Gore’s movie An Inconvenient Truth in school, but are very unlikely to have been shown the British Channel 4 television special, The Great Global Warming Swindle.