Top Ten Ways to Talk to a Progressive

  1. Find a point of agreement i.e., “Oh! You’re for gun control! So am I! I think it’s extremely important for gun owners to know how to control their weapons. “
  2. Talk to them like adults. Many progressive ideas are based on kindergarten reasoning like: “Everyone should have a nice house, let’s buy everyone a nice house!” “You don’t want a baby? That’s okay, we’ll just make the baby go away.” “The president is like our teacher, he just wants the best for all the kids.” But remember, they are grown human beings.
  3. Invoke Thomas Jefferson (the founder of the democrat party). “My favorite democrat was Thomas Jefferson who said, ‘The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as they are injurious to others.’”
  4. Bring them back to Reason. Inevitably the Progressive will turn to the realm of Feelings. Gently persuade them to look at the argument reasonably: “I would feel better too if every child in America had three hot meals a day and a warm place to sleep every night, but rationally, is that possible?”
  5. Reverse the argument. Most progressives see themselves as altruistic. Ask, “How much of your paycheck should go to people in need?” “50%? Great! So you would have no problem writing a check for your favorite charity for half your wages on payday!”
  6. Muh roads! I concede this point (although I think privatization is a good idea). “I’ll give you government control of the roads, you give me deregulation of the free market system and no involvement in foreign wars.”
  7. Avoid derogatory terms. We all know they are statists and libtards, but they really don’t like those names.
  8. How much is enough? The progressive only sees the answer to this as “more.” Stay on point, “How much should a teacher make? A lunch lady? A janitor? How about an administrator? How about a member of the Board of Education?” Show them that more taxes do not equate to better service.
  9. Lead them gently in the way of voluntary participation. Show them that rich people are not the beasts they perceive. Explain that the wealthiest people are the greatest philanthropists, and the greatest statists are the least.
  10. Smoke a joint. If all else fails, and you live in Colorado or Washington, fire up a spliff and forget your differences. Elsewhere, beer also works.

About Author

Dave Jones

Dave Jones has been an active Libertarian for 30 years. He currently resides in Northern California, Murica's regulationland with his lovely mate Diane. He is currently working toward liberating the Northern California region from the State through the State of Jefferson movement.

  • Linda Gonzales

    I’m from Colorado, and I can definitely attest to the effectiveness and legitimacy of including a delicious locally brewed beer or spliff into the conversation.

    • Buck Stodgers

      Especially if you pay for said product. 🙂

  • pyrodice

    Why give them the roads? I like to make them a little wager, and ask that they keep score next time they pass a road construction site: $50 my way for each company vehicle doing work to build the road, $50 his way for each government vehicle doing such work. He gets the traffic cop, free.
    Strange though, I don’t recall any of them ever taking me up on it.

    • mike

      didn’t the company doing the work have to rent the traffic cop? so is he really government at that point?

      • pyrodice

        I’m absolutely unaware of their internal arrangements. If the cop is salaried though, he remains paid by government throughout the duration. Up to bettor’s discretion?

    • Death ToTruthers

      I love it.

  • Ben Franklin

    Roads are from bond taxes that are locally voted on. Our income tax goes to the elite 1% Federal Reserve. It steals money from the poor, and gives it to the rich.

  • muckeypuck

    next time you are tempted to give them roads pull out this link

    roads the government arent building funded by a site the government didnt build either!

  • Roger Northup

    I read somewhere that a great way to get them off their game is to ask them to explain, step-by-step, how their government plan is better than my free market plan. Eventually they get to a major sticking point and the subject changes…or they wave their hands, say “something happens” and then continue…

  • Thales

    Here’s an idea… why not only those with degrees in political science and/or political philosophy make the arguments instead of people with just opinions on what they “think” is best. Who would go to a doctor and trust their diagnosis just because that physician has a strong conviction that heir diagnosis is correct? No, a rational person would want an doctor who is well educated in the field.

    • maniacprovost

      Unfortunately there is a selection bias at work in every field. Journalists are those who want to manipulate public opinion; political scientists want to run the country; etc. Also, there are multiple contradictory theories of economics and political science, so you have to decide *which one* is in charge. You will get different results from a Marxist political scientist and a Libertarian.

  • KingAdrock

    God damnit, this is a list for how to talk to a LIBERAL. Progressive and liberal do NOT MEAN THE SAME THING. Nor is progressive and libertarian mutually exclusive. A person can easily be libertarian AND progressive.

    • Noneya Biness

      Read further down on your wiki link where it defines “political progressivism”. It’s one and the same with liberalism and the complete opposite of libertarianism. You can NOT be a libertarian and a progressive!

      • KingAdrock

        Except that if *you* actually read it you’d read that liberalism was created FROM the progressivist movement, not that they are one and the same; which they unequivocally are NOT. Feel free to take a further look at . Note the first thing listed, even before the article is “Not to be confused with *Modern liberalism* in the United States.”

        But more importantly: if you think progressivism (or liberalism) is the opposite of libertarianism, then you’ve objectively demonstrated that you are completely ignorant of the meaning of libertarianism in the first place. The ACTUAL opposite of libertarianism is *authoritarianism*. The opposite of liberalism is conservatism, and the opposite of progressivism is traditionalism. (or perhaps conventionalism) These are three distinct and separate political and philosophical spectrums, and EVERYONE falls somewhere on all three of them.

        • maniacprovost

          Yet strangely, every progressive I have met is a liberal authoritarian. Do you claim to be a progressive libertarian?

          • KingAdrock

            Actually yes I do. Personally I didn’t think of myself as such until taking an online political test which described me as a “radical ultra progressive” which is a mindset “normally associated with someone such as a journalist”. It also flagged me as a lasse faire capitalist and a libertarian.

            I never thought of myself as progressive, but after thoroughly looking it up I agreed the label fit.

  • Derek Jude Tallman

    Sorry, but I have children. You cannot validate irrational thoughts in children. It just encourages them to be brats.

  • Stewart

    ON #4, I think you’d do better like this:

    “I would feel better too if every child in America had three hot meals a day and a warm place to sleep every night. Free markets have brought our society closer to that ideal than any other in history, certainly much more so than socialist states like North Korea and Cuba.”

  • Total Legend

    For #6, The Roads, there’s a government monopoly on roads. Regressives who bring it up in an argument are always in a position to lose this argument. And they always resort to power-gaming when it comes to roads. It’s their last stand in anything they argue for, so don’t let them have it.

  • maniacprovost

    This is completely wrong. You can’t reason with an irrational person. You can’t treat mental children like adults. You can’t provide facts to change their opinions, because their opinions are not based on facts; the facts they believe are determined by their opinions. The only thing we can do is reintroduce some kind of literacy requirement for voting, Honestly it should be easy to trick idiots into giving up their right to vote. We just haven’t tried hard enough.