10 Ways to Out-Debate Highly Qualified Experts on Topics You Just Learned About

August is almost here, which means you’re probably planning to get as far away from DC as possible, so you can escape politics and enjoy a nice summer vacation.

While you’re sipping drinks on a beach, use this free time to sharpen your debate skills. Remember, your opponents never stop educating themselves on issues that you’ll never fully comprehend because it’s likely their profession. You’re just now learning about these issues because Karen complained about it on the listserv. It’s time to prepare yourself for the endless upcoming city council hearings this Fall.

Have no fear. We’ve narrowed down your strategy to 10 useful tips to win your next political battles against those pesky experts, and become a local hero in your community.

1. Age before Beauty

You’ve lived in this community longer than everyone else, therefore you have the upper hand. So go ahead, flaunt the fact that you bought your home at one-fifth of today’s average price. Let them know that your opinion should count more because you remember when gas was under a dollar, as if that has any relevance to the subject.

2. Cut and Paste

The internet is full of websites that prove your point of view to be the correct one. Simply Google the exact words you want to hear, read off endless out-of-context snippets from your favorite sources, and then watch your oppositions’ heads explode!

3. Unleash the Beast

Passionate speakers are always the most interesting. So make sure you yell extra loud and use ALL CAPS every other word. Get noticed!! (Bonus tip, let your hair go wild. The more crazy you look, the more passionate you can claim to be)

4. Strength in Numbers

Quantity over quality. You have more people on your side no matter what actual polls show. After all, your team managed to crowd into that 10 am hearing on a Tuesday when most people had to work. Even though 38 people on your side don’t make up the whole population, it certainly is a majority.

5. Play the Gentrification Card

Nobody wants to go there, so you better get there first. Drop this truth hammer on your opponent – even though it doesn’t even apply to protecting your white, single-family Historic neighborhood – and you’ll leave them speechless.

6. Create a picture of a bleak future

Your hometown is perfect the way it is. Don’t let these newbies come here trying to improve it. Describe in detail how their perfect, picturesque town will become a desolate, corporate dump-heap filled with Taco-Bells and gas stations if they allow that old parking lot to get converted into a usable building. It’s the end of your utopia as we know it!

7. Fight the Facts

Let’s be honest; fact-checkers are annoying. Don’t let them tell you that your repeatedly debunked claim is false. Repeat it. Then repeat it again. Then repeat it on Facebook. And then in comments section. The fact-checkers will probably block you by then, which means you win!

8. Reclaim your Time

This is your moment to shine, so don’t get drowned out. Talk loud and interrupt often. When they speak, you speak over them. And when you hear that warning beep telling you your 3 minutes of time is up at the podium, ignore it. The rules don’t apply when you speak the truth!

9. Embrace Change

Face it, some urban planner just schooled you on public policy and you have no other internet sources to fall back on. No problem! Just change the subject to something completely off topic. Throw them for a loop and create confusion. Then accuse them of getting off topic for the win.

10. Play the Trump Card

If all else fails and your back is to the wall, just compare your opponent to their worst enemy. That idiot who hasn’t subscribed to your extreme ideology is really no different than Trump. Let those words roll of your tongue. Checkmate. Now just sit back, relax, and enjoy the sweet taste of righteous, moral victory, you badass!

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