How to Argue with Skeptics


Rush gives wit out conservatively.
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Let me give you a little hint, next time you find yourself talking to one of these skeptics and people who have adopted skepticism as a legitimate intellectual position to take. One of the most effective ways of dealing, not just with people like that, but really anybody, is never answer their question. Always respond with a question, which puts them on the defensive. Even if the answer’s a slam dunk, even if they ask you a question that’s a hanging curveball that you could knock out of the park, return it with another question, questioning them, questioning their honesty, questioning their intelligence, because that’s what they’re doing with their skepticism. They’re really challenging you and your mind and your IQ, your knowledge, your belief system.

It’s amazing. It’s hard to do because most people think that the honorable thing to do, somebody asked you a question, answer it. And it is, in most cases, but it’s fun. Just never answer question. Your answer is always another question back at them. And therefore reverse the skepticism on ’em. And you become skeptical of them. You adopt what they think is the lofty perch, you take it from them, you become a skeptic right back at them. You’re skeptical of them, just skeptical of their question. Instead of deigning to answer.

This is the mistake I made when I was first being interviewed. When this program was very young, and I’d be interviewed buy a journalist, I made the incorrect assumption that they really wanted to know the answer they were asking me. They really wanted to know what I thought about something. And I thought it was an opportunity to really have them get to know me. That wasn’t what it was about. It was about them asking questions, trying to pigeon hole me so that they could structure me to their audience in ways they wanted.



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