General Question

littleguy101's avatar

Can anyone recommend articles/essays/websites with clear and concise talking points against "tea partiers"?

Asked by littleguy101 (81 points ) October 9th, 2010

I live in a semi-small town in the middle of nowhere where I have to put up with a lot of super conservative tea-party types who talk about president Obama being a socialist, a liar, and a number of other completely histrionic accusations without much fact to back themselves up. I would love to know about articles/essays/resources where I can strengthen my talking points against these tea party types who constantly get on my nerves.

What I’m really looking for are specific articles that deal with this topic rather than extremely general answers like “Huffington Post” or “Media Matters” – essays or pieces of writing that deal exclusively with this topic are more what I’m looking for.

Thanks for helping!

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30 Answers

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MyNewtBoobs's avatar

Jon Stewart takes them on at least once a week. But it’s important to remember that when you’re dealing with irrational people, you can’t reason with them.

Exactly what talking points are you looking to debate?

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bob_'s avatar

I thought this piece was pretty good.

The Economist FTW!

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laureth's avatar

First, you might need to clarify what you’re arguing about. The person you’re arguing with might call himself a Tea Party supporter, but “Tea Party” seems to mean different things depending upon who you’re talking to. This is one example (listen to the audio, it’s comedy gold). Once you know what your favorite Tea Partier believes in, you can better learn how to talk with them by looking up their pet issues.

1. If they’re saying it’s a diverse movement with people from all over the spectrum, you might bring this up to deny that.

2. If they’re against things like stimulus and TARP spending, you can mention this (written by a conservative – one of GWB’s old speech writers). In fact, the TARP program is basically paid off and made a profit, but many Tea Partiers still believe it was all money down the toilet.

3. If they’re arguing FOR keeping the Bush-era tax cuts, you can point to these results about how they were not the boom-causing wonder that people thought they’d be, and were a net loss for the economy. In fact, they’ve increased the divide between the haves and have-nots.

4. If they are against expensive bank bailouts, this is a good thing to mention. When credit dries up (as it did when the mortgage crisis caused a freeze in lending), it can cause the economy to go into a death spiral. Getting money flowing again had to be one of our top priorities.

5. If your Tea Partier is a Republican under a new label, you might explain how this Reagan insider says that the GOP has ruined the economy. Not will ruin – ruined. In fact, the current Right wing makes Reagan look a bit like a bleeding heart liberal. (Good article here, too.)

6. If your Tea Partier is afraid of “rampant inflation around the corner!!!”, you might point out that even the American Enterprise Institute (a Conservative think tank) is finally talking out loud about the even likelier spectre of deflation – something “liberal” economists have been calling for a while.

7. If they’re comparing the current financial situation in the U.S. with that of Greece, this will help you explain why we’re not at all like Greece.

8. Interestingly, the original Tea Party (we’re talking 1773) was all about a protest against a tax cut – that ought to shake them up a bit. And if you just want to poke a little fun, ask them about Teabonics.

9. Tea Partiers, in general, believe we are Taxed Enough Already. But most of them seem to think we pay more in taxes than we really do. Here’s a breakdown.

10. If they’re upset about “big government,” then here’s a good point to drive home that this anger is an illusion as well.

11. So, you know how self-described Conservatives have been objecting to the government’s expansion of the money supply as part of keeping us out of a replay of the Great Depression? It turns out that the most prominent economist who agreed with them was Karl Marx. Spring that one on them!

12. They’re often misled about health care reform, too.

13. If Glenn Beck is their hero, here’s a piece about how he distorts stuff.

14. Do you live in a “Donor” or a “Recipient” state? Your Tea Party pals might not realize that they’re on the receiving end of OMG! Socialism!

Essentially, if you know the issues that your opponent is ranting about, that would be where to start looking for facts to present in your next debate. However, be aware that presenting facts can backfire and cause your pet Tea Partier to cling even more strongly to his position. Good luck!

lillycoyote's avatar

@laureth Do you rock or what? Awesome! Don’t forget though, that Christine O’Donnell is privy to classified information that shows that China has a well thought out and strategic plan to take over the United States. There have got to be some talking points there.

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littleguy101's avatar

Just a reminder (and not to be blunt), but this is the General section and not the Social section. I’ve specifically asked for resources, not your opinions. If you have articles, please share. If you want to advise me or tell me your opinion or try to start a debate, I’m not interested and will be flagging your answers. Sorry.

To everyone else, thanks for your help.

littleguy101's avatar

@laureth Completely awesome. I wish I could “Great Answer” your response a thousand times and give you an internet hug.

perg's avatar

@laureth did a good job with this specific question and I can’t add anything. But for general rhetoric-cleaning information that treats all sides equally, check out www.factcheck.org.

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augustlan's avatar

[mod says] Please stick to answering the actual question, folks.

mammal's avatar

However on a slightly different angle, Noam Chomsky argues that the Tea Party protestations are reasonable.

BarnacleBill's avatar

Thomas Friedman’s NYT column on the Tea Kettle Movement

John Maynard Keyes said “When facts change, I change my mind. What do you do, sir?” Nothing you say will have an impact because of the points raised in this article..

littleguy101's avatar

For clarification about what I would be arguing about, mostly it’s people crying of “socialism” and “marxism”, which I know are just completely paranoid hysterics. Hating the Obama administration is one thing – yapping about communism and impending socialist doom is another.

laureth's avatar

@littleguy101 – you may also enjoy this blog post, or especially this one where they ask an actual Socialist how close Obama is to Socialism (the answer: not very).

Jaxk's avatar

I’m not sure if this post will stand. It seems there is a distinct dislike for any counter argument. Nonetheless, if you expect to argue effectively, you need to know what the other side is saying. Obama has been moving us towards European style socialism. That has been his goal for everything from welfare to health care. I don’t think there is any debate about that. The debate seems to be whether the European model is a good one and whether we should jump on that bandwagon. There are good arguments against it here, and here.

jerv's avatar

@littleguy101 One thing that you may find interesting is that many of those people know little/noting about what Socialism and/or Communism really are; they merely use those words to incite the same reactions of fear and hatred that they did during the Cold War era. Accordingly, I would also add the true definitions of Socialism and Communism to my arsenal if I were you.

I would also ask whether their aversion to the European system is because they feel that being different is more important than being right. I mean, many people I hear from are convinced that the reason that the US is the best nation on Earth is that we do everything differently, therefore doing the opposite of what is done elsewhere will make us even more successful. If you are dealing with that type of “logic” then no facts will help you.

@Jaxk ”...if you expect to argue effectively, you need to know what the other side is saying.”Very true!

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