Thoughts – The Tools of Argument

Tools for Argument2

While conducting this research project I got the sense there may be a few people who do not share the same opinions. Case in point, I am sure there are people who may not believe the U.S. is an Authoritarian National Surveillance state with respect to the natural law treatment of our human civil liberties (Part 1). There may also be people who disagree with my points on what the nature of technology and governance is with respect to their impacts on Constitutional rights, natural human rights, and economic advancement (Part 2). Moreover, there may even be people who don’t believe we all have a digital self and that our information is not sufficiently secure from theft and illicit use (Part 3).

I am always interested in gathering different points of view because ideas and writing can always improve.  The process for gathering those points of view is just as, if not, more important. The process is arguably the hardest component for a myriad of reasons, however it became clear that I was most certainly going to be engaging in debate/conflict with some formidable minds in the legal and intellectual fields.  I am always looking to sharpen and tune my argumentation strategies and finding credible and useful books is not easy. Professor Joel Trachtman at The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy published a book in July 2013 titled, “The Tools of Argument; How the Best Lawyers Think, Argue, and Win”. The author is a Tier 1 scholar, attorney, and human being. His book lays out the tools of argument lawyers’ use in plain lucid terms that have been honed through the ages in the discipline of law. This book is for anyone who enjoys critical thinking, persuasive presentation of ideas, and victory in argument. After all, winning arguments is much more fun than losing them.

One core strategy to winning arguments is to quickly learn, adapt, and utilize the rules of your opponent against them. Knowledge is power. You also must deploy multivariate rhetoric tactics, but that is also a component of learning, adapting, and again using the rules of your opponent where applicable and can be done so with potency. It is also important to know your own strengths and weaknesses when it comes to debate and argument. Not everyone is cut out for conflict but as a human you cannot avoid conflict to some degree so it is best to be prepared for it. If you have a solid inventory of your strengths and weaknesses, then you are already ahead of the game.

Lastly, the particular people I found who would be most opposed to my point of view and arguments are progressive liberal legal scholars. The prospect of arguing and debating this blue ribbon intellectual crowd on the surface didn’t sound appealing. In fact, with a crowd this gifted even if you have the right intellectual argument doesn’t matter because rhetoric matters.  This particular group of intellectual legal scholars are gifted in making pernicious ideas and concepts sound incredibly sweet and innocent.  Arguing and debating that crowd is a huge elephant to tackle, but the process of eating an elephant is done one bite at a time. Throughout my research I utilize the frameworks and research of these scholars, use their quotes, but lastly I had to learn the heart of their thinking and rhetoric. This led me to another book of argument and debate heralded by progressives. That book is Saul Alinsky’s “Rules For Radicals”. Hillary Clinton wrote her college thesis on the Alinsky model and Barack Obama in his community organizing days taught classes on the Alinsky model. Many credible people know ‘Rules for Radicals’  as the devil’s rulebook because Alinsky dedicated the book to Lucifer. While Alinsky may have dedicated his work to the devil as a joke, I personally don’t find it funny when those who worship these rules are in positions of power and influence.  Tools are important, having the right tools is important, but the way those tools are employed is what makes the difference.

In my next post I will go through the main points of “Rules for Radicals.”

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One Response to Thoughts – The Tools of Argument

  1. Pingback: Thoughts – What do America’s top liberal legal scholars think about surveillance, governance, and their own ideas? | @The Heart of Big Brother

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