What would you do? What would John Galt do?

Posted by dbhalling 6 years, 9 months ago to Politics
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You walk into a small beach bar on the ocean and a guy is sitting there. You have met him at this establishment before so you sit down near him and strike up a conversation. This is the sort of bar where patrons generally talk freely amongst each other. The man was in politics years ago in Kansas and occasionally brings up political topics. You know that his opinions are all over the map and have even moved to the pool table in the sand in order to not listen to him before. You try to steer the conversation away from politics, but he is not deterred. Then he says:
1) He is for raising the minimum wage
What would you do?
2) He states that minimum wage will not affect unemployment and the law of supply and demand has been repealed.
What would you do?
3) Then he says Obamacare is great.
4) After explaining that the only areas were the cost of medical has gone down are those the government stayed out of (e.g., Laser correction surgery), he says we are the only advanced nation without nationalized health care.
5) Then he says kathleen sebelius, who is from Kansas, is a wonderful women.
6) Then he calls you a racist, because you state Obama has the same philosophy Stalin, Moa, Hilter, etc.
7) Then he states we should get rid of the Constitution.

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  • 12
    Posted by $ rockymountainpirate 6 years, 9 months ago
    Say Who Is John Galt? and walk away. Counting the grains of sand on the beach is a more productive use of your time than talking to him. He can not be reasoned with.
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    • Posted by 6 years, 9 months ago
      Do you think it is important to let these sort of people know that there are people who disagree with them?
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      • Posted by $ Mimi 6 years, 9 months ago
        It depends on whether or not you see value in changing this person’s mind.That’s your choice. If so...
        I think that was the perfect time to attempt to change someone’s mind. The best time to interject an idea into a conversation is when someone is emotionally on a roll against it. It is brainwashing 101. A person is most vulnerable to subliminal messaging when they are most adamant and animated about resisting the message.
        You are at a bar:
        1. They are drinking
        2. The music is possibly being played at a 42 to 72 beats a minute (closer to their heart rate is good)
        You've got your set-up. Go for it. Let them vent and calmly say the opposite in between beats, like:
        “Yes, what I am saying is true” or “You need to believe what I am saying.”
        (Yes, I’ve been accused of being a little manipulating. Lol)
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      • Posted by CircuitGuy 6 years, 9 months ago
        I think it's very important. I would start with, "yeah, I hear you, but it's more complicated than that." That telegraphs you don't agree with everything. If he *asks*, though, now he's invited your opinion.

        If he persists with the "you're a racist" attack, I would just say, "I'm very sorry you think that," and then avoid the conversation b/c there's no point.
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      • Posted by $ jlc 6 years, 9 months ago

        Example: I had my hair cut today - by a little blond just-back-from-jogging California hair stylist. She mentioned that she was afraid to express her political opinions to most of her clients because they are flaming liberals (my term, not hers) and she disagrees with them. She particularly mentioned that we should not allow the illegal immigration that is not occurring and that we should practice 'charity begins at home' where our nation's finances are concerned. She is quite relieved to be able to talk about politics with someone with whom she agrees.

        I think that the liberals look more numerous than they are because the have held the podium for so long. So it is good to disagree in public, though I might not have made it past about #4 before I walked away.

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        • Posted by NealS 6 years, 9 months ago
          Be happy with that little blond cutting your hair. I'll bet she was cute too. The hair cutters up here in the Northwest are mostly all imports. They talk some but it's like talking to a Microsoft Tech, I usually can't understand a word.

          Getting back to the subject, I'd go to another bar or only come on the days that he's not there. Some people are just not worth saving from themselves. Besides there are a lot of cute blonds out there that you can talk to and maybe make a difference.
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          • Posted by $ jlc 6 years, 9 months ago
            I am straight. So the 'cute' is academic to me...As appearances go, she is archetypal for the 'ditzy CA hairdresser' (and thus expected to be mega liberal).

            I think the important part is that she knows that she is not alone in the way she thinks, which is why it is important to politely argue with liberals in public. You may not convince the guy you are arguing with, but you may let 3 other people in the bar know that someone else thinks as they do.

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      • Posted by edweaver 6 years, 9 months ago
        I think it is important to let them know you disagree but don't argue with them. I used to but have found it to be so unproductive since most would not change their mind it reality hit them on the side of the head. I do offer a differing opinion if there are people participating that I feel have not taken a strong position one way or the other. I just try to give opposing views to get people thinking. My 2 cents.
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      • Posted by IndianaGary 6 years, 9 months ago
        Up to a point. There are many teaching opportunities around and this could be one of them. However, as soon as it is clear that your opponent has abandoned reason, the only thing this to do is leave. You are now talking to a wall.
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  • 11
    Posted by Zenphamy 6 years, 9 months ago
    1st temptation would be to get up and move back to the pool game in the sand. Then, i'd think, nah let's argue with this fool.
    1. I'd tell him, that's a great idea. How much of your money will you contribute to that effort.
    2. You're maybe right, but what would we do if you're wrong and you have to take a lay off.
    3. O'care must be great, but how do you afford these new high premiums and where do you find a doctor?
    4. Well that's true, but we're also the nation that has the best healthcare and the most advances in medical technology. How do we keep up to that under O'care?
    5. Did you date her when you were both in Kansas politics?
    6. Those other guys were white.
    7. Then how could you make sure that you could sit here and have this conversation?
    Then i'd simply say, We still have the 2nd Amendment and I took a solemn oath to defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic. Then I'd get up and go to the pool game.
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  • Posted by fivedollargold 6 years, 9 months ago
    Fivedollargold responds.
    1) Why stop there? Let's lower the maximum wage.
    2) You can't repeal something that never existed.
    3) Obamacare isn't great enough. It should be extended to all nations.
    4) What about the non-advanced nations? See point three.
    5) They play 6 on 6 girl's basketball in Kansas schools. Isn't this sexist?
    6) Hitler and Stalin were both socialists. Don't you support Obama's effort to bring European socialism to our shores?
    7) Yes, it was a racist, sexist, homophobic, specist document promulgated by fat, lazy, white male slave-owners. We don't need no stinking Constitution. By the way buddy. Fivedollargold is short on bread. And you've got a thick roll of bills. Help reduce income inequality. Share some of that stack, will ya?
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  • Posted by conscious1978 6 years, 9 months ago
    I agree that too often when people make outlandishly flawed public remarks, they count on the 'politeness' of others to not 'call' them on it. Whether there was an 'audience' to your conversation, or not, when he said "the law of supply and demand has been repealed", that would have been the tipping point for me.

    I imagine I would have stood and extended my hand to my wife; then turned to him and said, "with due respect for your age, sir, your many years of spending the hard earned money of others has left you without a memory of its origin." Then, we would move farther from him.

    ...at least, I hope I could come up with something similar at the moment. I have a hard time with pompous elitism.... :)
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    • Posted by 6 years, 9 months ago
      Of course they are too illogical to actually say the law of supply an demand have been repealed. They just ignore reality and refuse to admit facts (objective reality).
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  • Posted by Herb7734 6 years, 9 months ago
    I'm old and have had these conversations a hundred (seems like a million) times with drooling idiots even worse than the one portrayed. However, I am extremely gratified to read the responses from the Gulch. They were spot on and would demolish the knuckle-dragging moron's statements in a flash. It certainly gives me hope that there are those out there to whom the torch can be passed and that the numbers are growing. Keep it up. I love you guys and gals.
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  • Posted by Lucky 6 years, 9 months ago
    I just read thru all the replies, (185+) phew!
    dbh- your question has been answered by referring to the oath.
    But the answer to the real question is harder. I meet people like that all the time, I am not John Galt. These views are based on some emotional trigger, such lack of reality that evidence and logic have played no part in creating it. Maybe that is how the human mind works. You cannot influence a mind like that by presenting evidence and reasoning.
    Do not walk away too early. Give it a go. A false smile is more effective than a harangue however sensible. Irrationality cannot be countered with rationality.
    Counter irrationality with irrationality.
    (Similar to Ashby's Law of Requisite Variety in control systems theory)
    Some suggestions on these lines have been given.
    Eg. But what should the minimum wage be? $10ph? $50ph? would that be enough with increasing inflation? Who should decide? Who should pay? Not the same people then! Are you paying enough for your beer or are you exploiting the low paid?
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  • Posted by CTYankee 6 years, 9 months ago
    1) Ask him to defend raising the minimum wage to $100/hr then watch him squirm.
    2) Call over the server or bartender and ask him/her what they would do if they were earning $100/hr? Would they shop differently? Watch guy squirm.
    3) Ask him who will actually pay for O-Care Watch him squirm.
    4) Ask him if he knows anyone who travelled abroad to a nationalized healthcare country, and why not? travel is cheaper than hospital bills. Watch him squirm.
    5) Pfft. No comment.
    6) Look up 'racist' in dictionary; watch him squirm.
    7) Tell him I will respect his right to talk about getting rid of the Constitution bu not calling the cops, because the 1st amendment protects his right to say it in public.
    7b) Then I'll explain to him that I can swim like a Navy Seal, and if he persists I will drag him out into the ocean where he can explain his defective arguments to Davy Jones, and not have to bother the rest of us anymore. As I watch him squirm.
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  • Posted by johnpe1 6 years, 9 months ago
    I would explain that the goose laying the golden eggs,
    like the original bill of rights, is financing his freedom.

    I would explain that mother goose is pissed, and that
    she doesn't like people telling her how to make eggs.

    she wants him to understand that she loves him as
    a gosling, and that she wants him to do well in life,
    to the best of his ability.

    and she wants him to give her credit for the eggs,
    but to stay out of her way as she makes more.

    I'm not Grimm, but he deserves a fairy tale, since
    he's distributing one. -- j

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  • Posted by $ blarman 6 years, 9 months ago
    My reply, "Ah, so you're in favor of high unemployment, gangs, theft, government cronyism, and are content to go without toilet paper. That's an interesting way of life to choose, but I'm not interested."

    When he turns to look at me with a stupified look, I'd just grin before walking away.
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  • Posted by LITTLERED1977 6 years, 9 months ago
    I would ask the person what their parents did for a living. My father was a very successful businessman. At an early age, he instilled a strong work ethic. At age 60, I could retire and kick back but I'm having a good time. The person you have described would more than likely fall into the category of my child and my niece and nephew. The eat the fruit but have no interest in the "tending of the orchard". More to your point of how to argue with an idiot. People who don't actually earn their living don't understand why we are upset about all the "giveaways".
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  • Posted by $ Temlakos 6 years, 9 months ago
    1. Try to explain the flip side that he's missing or ignoring. And if he won't listen:

    2. Leave.

    I've seen a few other recommendations here already. Frankly, they're perfect. I can't improve on any suggested method of argument.

    One thing, though. The question is incomplete. Does this other person hope to benefit directly from a higher minimum wage, socialized medicine, etc.? Or does he think it a painless method of charity?

    Your arguments, if you can reach him at all, are going to be radically different.

    Recall, however, that John Galt "wrote off" only one group of people: the "mystics of science" who did their research work on government grants, and let the government weaponize their science, and either didn't care, or didn't bother to watch out for that or find out about it.
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  • Posted by radical 6 years, 9 months ago
    I would answer all 7 statements with this comment,
    I see that you want to give up control over your life."
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  • Posted by wmiranda 6 years, 9 months ago
    1- Really? Do you work for minimum wage? Are you running for office again?
    2- Really? I understand that's what they did in communist countries? Would that work in a free society like ours?
    3- Really? Hasn't it been the greatest full time job killer in American history?
    4- Really? Isn't that why so many people from other parts of the world come to the U.S. for treatment of difficult medical cases?
    5- Really? Is it because she's from Kansas also? Aren't all women just "wonderful" too?
    6- Really? Isn't Obama a white guy passing as black? Isn't the mother who determines the culture or race of the offspring?
    7- Really? Wouldn't that create a dictatorship, anarchy, totalitarianism? What would you replace it with, your own? What if other people want their own constitution? You couldn't be a politician anymore, would you?
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  • Posted by CircuitGuy 6 years, 9 months ago
    This is all assuming you have any interest in talking to him. I probably would just avoid the topic. But if I wanted to talk about it, you need to get him to look up the facts on his own and come to his own conclusion. It's unlikely he'll change his mind on the spot if he starts out so dogged. The fact he's thinking about it may mean he'll change his mind later.
    1) Ask him for anecdotes when he worked for min wage. Ask him if he's ever managed min wage people. If he talks about a low-margin industry, talk to him about how their margins related to min wage. If he talks about a high-margin industry, ask why he thinks they pay min wage? Ask how low he thinks they'd pay if it weren't for min wage and how high min wage could reasonably be. Listen and respond to human non-policy-related aspect of his anecdote.
    2) Ask him if he thinks there is some point where it would affect unemployment? Maybe he says $20/hr. Resist the urge to respond. He'll want you to argue or validate his claim, but just suggest maybe someone will think of a way to test his hypothesis. Don't give him the data of places that have tried it. Say nothing, and maybe he'll look it up for himself.
    3) PPACA: Just ask why. If he gives an example of one person who's better offer for it, acknowledge it. Ask how he would improve it from where it is? Ask about the nuts and bolts. If he says something like, "It just feels meretricious to have markets involved in life and death,." you could try a philosophical tack about how someone saving money by living a few stops farther from work is selling time with his family for his money, so not every time life and scarcity coincide is meretricious. That probably won't work. If he persists in emotionalism, just drop it b/c you're wasting his and your time.
    4) If he's intelligent, tell him that's an interesting point but you don't see what it has to do with the topic.
    5) I have no idea who she is, but I would ask if he's met her. Tell him about an anecdote when you met her or someone who worked with her.
    6) Ask him why. Racism is when you lump people of the same race together. Those people are different races, so on the surface this seems un-racist.
    7) Ask him why and what it would be replaced with. I think we have sort-of gotten rid of it b/c we don't follow it closely.

    If he's starting from different axioms, you can maybe plant seeds. Esp if you can hint, without rubbing his nose in it, that you can derive contradictory propositions from his axioms. If he has the same axioms/values, then it's a question of getting him to look up the facts (for himself) and gently correcting his logical mistakes. It helps if you admit to a mistake or tell about a time when you accepted a logical fallacy by accident.
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    • Posted by IndianaGary 6 years, 9 months ago
      "The fact he's thinking about it may mean he'll change his mind later." Bad assumption - if he had actually THOUGHT about it he would not have these opinions. He's just regurgitating what he hears on MSM or in his college classroom. I doubt he can even spell "axiom."
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  • Posted by $ jbrenner 6 years, 9 months ago
    You have to ask yourself what your objective in being there is. If it is to enjoy yourself (perhaps with spouse and/or family), asking for a different table or leaving the restaurant would be possibilities. If your goal is to publicly win an argument, I would seriously doubt that anyone is going to win a public argument in a restaurant. Others will likely get involved. A fight will make everyone look bad. You could ask the restaurant owner to talk to him perhaps.
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    • Posted by Robbie53024 6 years, 9 months ago
      I like Rush's tactic on the min wage - How about $20/hr, or $30, or $50, ... Eventually they say that that is enough, and then you have them. How did they establish that was enough? It will nearly always come down to some issue of "fairness" in comparison to that particular person's own earnings (or if they're a moocher, then they will just get embarrassed at some point). Of course we know that the only rational answer is that it should be an agreement between the employer and employee. Anything else is an artificial construct.

      Similar arguments can be made for most of the other statements. Racist - then why did the majority of the voters (white) vote for a black man? etc., etc.
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  • Posted by LetsShrug 6 years, 9 months ago
    You sat there through ALL of that? lol (And Stalin and Hitler were white...so how are you a racist for the comparison? :))
    I would have argued too probably, until HE walked away.
    John Galt wouldn't have sat next to him in the first place. He would have left him alone.
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    • Posted by 6 years, 9 months ago
      What would the founding fathers have done? If more people had pointed out how evil Hitler's ideas were, would it have stopped him?
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      • Posted by LetsShrug 6 years, 9 months ago
        I think the founding fathers even learned that some people could not be reasoned with, but they were fighters and arguers (and good thing they were!) They also ran for office, Galt wouldn't do that, he would not be part of the corrupt. As for pointing out the evils of Hitler, or anyone else, it seems people can't absorb the truth. They reject it as an impossible....probably somewhat because public schools do not teach history in it's entirety, but rather in snippets of facts that aren't related to previous events and acts, that lead up to it all. In other words, evil is not taught in schools, or how to recognize it when it presents itself. Not teaching about evil is,... well, ...evil. Sorry, I went off on a tangent. Some people did know the truth about Hitler and they tried to tell others, but they WANTED to believe what Hitler said, the promises he made etc. People believe what they WISH the truth to be, rather than what it really is. And reality isn't taught in schools either for that matter.
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      • Posted by Zenphamy 6 years, 9 months ago
        Yes, Hitler could have been stopped. I think Chamberlain even had a chance, however slim, to slow him down. The founders after the revolution would have invited your man to leave.
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        • Posted by Robbie53024 6 years, 9 months ago
          Hitler himself may have been able to be stopped, but at the point where the Nazi movement became obviously a danger it was too late to stop it. Had Hitler been assassinated, another would have stepped in to fill the void, Goebbels, Himmler, there were plenty who would have taken the reins. No, the time to stop Hitler was in the 20's, but at that time, he wasn't yet an identifiable threat. In fact, he was actually sent as an infiltrator of the precursor to the Nazi party (the DAP) by German army intelligence. He found that he agreed with them and joined them and turned them into the Nazi's.
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