Why it’s impossible to argue with Progressives *UPDATED*

Father and son shoutingI said yesterday that we have to confront Leftists, because they will never go away.  Today, though, I got a perfect example of why it’s so gosh darn difficult to deal with them.  To understand this point, I need to take you back to the post I wrote about a killer who is about to be released from prison in Texas.

Here’s the brief run down:  In 1996, Bernie Tiede shot and killed 81 year-old wealthy widow Marjorie Nugent.  He hid her body in a freezer and spent the next few months running through her money before he was caught.  He confessed to the murder and was sentenced to life in prison.

At this point, we need to be clear about a couple of things:  First, Tiede is not facing the death penalty.  Second, no one is arguing that any type of prejudice played a role in Tiede’s conviction.  He was convicted the old-fashioned way:  he confessed to a premeditated murder and got the time for doing the crime.

Since Tiede’s conviction, a few things have changed:  Texas Monthly, a reliably Progressive publication, wrote about Tiede, saying he’d remembered that he’d been sexually molested as a child and that he revealed that he was a closeted gay man in East Texas.  The magazine article led to a 2011 movie starring Jack Black, Shirley MacLaine, and other big name stars.  And lastly, the prosecution and defense have agreed that Tiede’s recently-remembered childhood sexual abuse and the stress of being a closeted gay man in Texas were such that he couldn’t be held responsible for his well-organized murder and equally well-organized spending spree.  Tiede is therefore set to walk free.

I think this is a travesty.  It would be one thing if Tiede had been an innocent man railroaded because he was gay.  It’s another thing entirely saying that childhood molestation and being gay are mitigating factors to a life sentence for cold-blooded murder.  Mike Devx neatly parsed what happened:

“Stress made him do it”, is what this comes down to.

Well, the stress of being a soldier in war often leads to PTSD, and that stress must be worse than this stress.  So the way I see it, every soldier who has been or will be diagnosed with PTSD is now free to kill anyone they want to, and take the dead person’s money and live on it.  It’s only fair.


To get to my point about the difficulty of arguing with a Leftist, let me repeat the core matters at issue in the Tiede case:  Tiede is a self-confessed murderer who got a life sentence, but is about to be set free because he has successfully proven himself to be a member of the official victim class of the 21st century, relieving him of any responsibility for his evil acts.

So what does one of my reliably Leftist friends say when I politely (very politely) pointed out on Facebook that a cold-blooded, self-confessed murderer will get released from a life sentence because he was stressed? My friend says this:

I don’t know what to think. The movie made me feel sympathy for him, but I also think he wouldn’t have been released from his life sentence if he was black. Since our system is inherently racist, we must abolish the death penalty.

Did you see anything in Tiede’s story about either race or the death penalty? I didn’t. But in response to my politely expressed surprise about a murderer walking because it’s tough to be gay in Texas, she makes a bizarrely disjointed statement about sympathy for Tiede because of a Hollywood film, which she somehow contrasts to the fact that black people would be treated differently.  And then, having inserted race into the matter, she speeds ahead to announce that the death penalty is inherently unfair to blacks so the institution should be demolished.  I’m dizzy and confused.

Because I pick my battles, I don’t feel inclined to waste my time pointing out to this “well-educated” Progressive that, not only is her statement confused, random, and illogical, but she’s also wrong when it comes to data about blacks and the death penalty.  Because all of you care about facts, though, I’ll share the actual data with you:

2. [From ABC:] “Some states . . . for the same crime [are] three times more likely to sentence an African-American defendant to death. I think that’s very, very troubling. . . . Race is an issue.”

This is simply false. In murder cases, whites are executed much more frequently. Nationally, from 1977, when the death penalty was reinstituted, to 2011, the last year for which the FBI has compiled data, 64.7 percent of those executed were whites, but whites committed only 47 percent of the murders.

Nor do individual states stand out in the way this statement claimed. I went through the totals for each individual state over the seven years from 2005 to 2011, and none have the imbalance the ABC News panel complained about. Missouri was close, with five blacks and two whites executed. Only three other states, including heavily Democratic Maryland, executed more blacks than whites, and in each case only one more black was executed. (To see state-by-state data for a given year in this range, search for “capital punishment [insert year] statistical tables.”)

An honest evaluation has to start with explaining why white murderers are executed at a greater rate than black murderers.

Just like adolescents, Progressives won’t stick to the subject, ignore the facts, and are willing to repeat their unfounded statements ’til the cows come home.  It makes for very difficult arguments, because you have to ignore the red herrings and resolutely and repeatedly bring your errant Leftist back to the main issue.

UPDATE 2: The twitter image below, in my original update is false, says Sturmtrooper. I got pwned. Bad me! I did buy into my own biases, since it so perfectly aligned with the actual Facebook comment that a genuine friend of mine actually made.

The twitter picture is fake. The real moms demand action handle is @momsdemand note the D at the end. The one in the picture is momsdeman without the D.
If you look on the actual momsdemand twitter page they even mention it.

UPDATE: Another example of Progressive “logic” in action:

Rape versus guns

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  • lee

    I read that the murderer was very well liked in the town and that the victim, Marjorie Nugent, was very cranky and not particularly popular. The prosecutor wanted a change of venue. So it’s not like this guy was run out of town on a rail after the murder.
    Having grown up in a Midwestern town only slightly smaller than Carthage, and having a few very well like gay men who have lived there, I seriously doubt the murderer had a terribly difficult time of it as an adult. 

  • Mike Devx

    The way I see it, I *do not* argue with liberals.  It is a waste of time.  The main idea here is, do not waste your time trying to convince a liberal of anything.  It’s not worth your time.  It’s not worth your energy.
    But if there’s a moderate at the same table, I will argue *against* the liberal.  I will not remain silent.  I’m not arguing with the liberal.  I’m battling for the heart and mind of the moderate.  There’s a big difference.
    As the liberal gets redder and redder in the face, and starts to foam at the mouth, and eventually collapses and just calls you a racist, remain calm, smile a lot.  You can and must use ridicule; find a way to be Reaganesque: utterly withering but friendly still.  When the battle is done, pivot back to regular barstool conversation, as if nothing happened.
    If no moderate is present, feel free to present your side of it if you want to.  But if the liberal starts demanding some long-winded, endless debate, excuse yourself and go to the bathroom, or examine your belly button for lint.  Don’t waste your time.

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com Ymarsakar

    “I don’t know what to think”
    Hahaha, do you see what I’ve been talking about? These zombies have no original thoughts. All they do is Obey Evil, namely the necromancer of this century, Hussein O or his lackeys.
    As for Hollywood, you obviously see Hollywood’s influence on the propaganda war. They ain’t just making money to make money. That money goes straight into the war effort. If Hollywood says it is okay to rape children and sell them, because they are Muslims in Nigeria being colonized by Western prejudice, they’ll go “I don’t know what to do, but Hollywood tells me…”
    These livestock are the vast majority of the Left’s cannonfodder. Don’t expect human thinking or will from them. 

  • Robert Arvanitis

    “It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing he was never reasoned into.”  Jonathan Swift.


    “educated Progressive” – stop right there – it’s an oxymoron. It’s one thing to see one’s life through rose-colored glasses, but when it becomes looking through ‘rose-colored movie lens’ it’s officially emotional cataracts.
    I’ve haven’t been able to sort out the (lack of) thinking with Progressives. They’re pretty much like diabetics, who can’t stay away from candy.

    • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com Ymarsakar

      Think of them as zombies that can’t stay away from brains.
      Leftists long ago sold their soul and traded in their free will for welfare goodies and self righteous clap trap (Warming). Mephistopheles Does NOT give refunds.

  • Wolf Howling

    Your leftist friend is operating on emotional arguments – the sina que non of a leftist mind.  We do a piss poor job of making emotional arguments on the right.  Until we figure out how to tie rationalism with emotion, we will always be talking past the left. 

    • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com Ymarsakar

      Psychological manipulation, psychological warfare, propaganda, and various other arts of war are not taught and potential fighters for American patriotism aren’t exposed to it, except when surprised by the Left.
      Americans are used to thinking of themselves at the top of the totem pile, so prefer direct means of firepower. Insurgency methods are generally learned by the weak, not by the strong. And it is used against the status quo power holders, i.e. the leader of the free world. As the pendulum swings, the Leftist rebels will turn into the status quo power as they gain more success, thus forcing the people to learn the methods of the weak. Or die/be enslaved.

  • http://bkivey.wordpress.com/ bkivey

    Robert Arvanitis: 10 points for that quote.
    “Just like adolescents,. . .”
    You can stop right there. As I’ve noted on many occasions, Progressives are emotional adolescents. They’ve never made the transition from the self-centered to the societally responsible. I don’t argue with Progressives for the same reason I don’t wrestle pigs in the mud: I can’t win and the pig likes it. 

    • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com Ymarsakar

      It’s probably due to some of that wee weeding it up. Weed taken at early times for kids will freeze their emotional maturation. An ideology based upon Helter Skelter and Manson type cults, with Jim Jones coolkid, caps off the trip to fantasy land (Islamos call it jihadist heaven)

  • Sturmtrooper

    The twitter picture is fake. The real moms demand action handle is @momsdemand note the D at the end. The one in the picture is momsdeman without the D.
    If you look on the actual momsdemand twitter page they even mention it.

    Sometimes things are too good to be true, don’t let confirmation bias drag you down.

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  • tdpwells

    Looks like that twitter account was suspended and wasn’t the real thing – because I was about to go on a tirade about that tweet.  As someone who was sexually abused as a child, it doesn’t last for minutes, it lasts an entire lifetime.
    But apparently I now have free license to go rob a bank or whatever else I feel like doing without any repercussions…..

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