If you’re a conservative who has, at one point in time, expressed any remotely conservative view, you’ve probably been met with backlash from those on the left. Receiving backlash isn’t necessarily a bad thing. A well reasoned rebuttal can actually spark an interesting debate and promote healthy discourse. When people stoop to unfounded name calling and ad-hominem attacks though, it can be difficult to defend yourself, let alone have a productive discussion.
As an outspoken conservative and proud Trump supporter, I’m no stranger to ad hominem attacks. I’ve been called just about every name in the book – racist, homophobic, bigoted, and yes, even sexist. Like most well-meaning conservatives, I don’t enjoy being on the receiving end of such insults. Being called names like racist invalidates my entire argument in a moment and forces me to defend my person rather than my positions.
I know I am not the only conservative that has been smeared during an argument. Everyday, I see other well-meaning conservatives struggle to defend themselves after a leftist opponent resorts to name calling rather than sound arguments. It’s their weapon of choice when “debating” conservatives. Support Trump? You’re a racist. Don’t like abortion? You’re sexist. Won’t bake a cake for a gay wedding? Homophobic. The left has a derogatory term for almost every right-wing position.
This might seem counterproductive but the left’s goal isn’t to be productive, it’s to beat the right. There’s no easier way to do that than resorting to wildly inaccurate and demeaning ad hominem attacks.
If someone is losing an argument, they are on the defensive. If they call you racist, that immediately flips the dynamic, while also invalidating your entire argument. You’re suddenly forced to defend yourself, which is difficult to do as it’s nearly impossible to prove that you aren’t actually racist. While you’re busy struggling to come up with reasons why you are not a racist, your accuser can dismiss your other arguments because who would listen to a racist? It’s a foolproof way for a leftist to win an argument when their logic inevitably fails.
So, you’ve been called a racist while arguing against a leftist about Trump’s immigration policy. Congratulations, welcome to the club. Now, how do you respond? You can’t just simply deny that you’re a racist because they’ll insist that you are to which you will respond that you aren’t to which they’ll respond that you are and the two of you will go around in circles without actually discussing anything of any remote importance.
Rather than getting defensive, flip it onto them. Make them get on the defensive. We live in a country of innocent until proven guilty. Don’t attempt to prove your innocence, make them prove your guilt.