Since the average political candidate has no trouble at all when it comes to losing arguments, the following post might seem to be unnecessary. Under normal circumstances this would be true. But, since there are at least a dozen morons running loose under the delusion that they are qualified to be President of the United States, I feel obligated to provide the following information as a public service to these candidates.
1. When not even your own family (much less the members of your political party) will swallow the twisted reasoning that you use to justify you position on any given topic, you can always resort to the most widely used argument in modern political science: the Reductio ad Hitlorum.
Despite its impressive title, this argument is actually quite easy to introduce into any debate, press conference, position paper, bumper sticker or any other modern media. All you need do is identify anyone that disagrees with you as a Nazi, a fascist, or even (if Israel happens to be involved) a “Holocaust Denier.” Since the average American voter’s understanding of history is only slightly better than that of an albino prairie dog you may rest assured that no one will challenge you on it and, in fact, such a pronouncement will probably get you some free “face time” on the evening news.
2. Never claim “victory,” to have “won” any debate, or to have “proven” anything. Make your opponent prove that you have been bested, defeated, etc.
Since the probability that your position makes only slightly better sense than the Sunday comics is rather high, under no circumstances should you claim that it is worth anything other than a footnote in the NYC Yellow Pages. Always force your opponent to refute your claims. This will be of immediate benefit to you in that 1) it will make your opponent look like a fool and 2) make you look like a latter-day Aristotle.
3. Make up anything that you need to quote in support of your position and then attribute that quote to someone that the average voter, by pure random chance, may actually have heard of.
Let’s face it: it is very unlikely that George Washington or Abraham Lincoln ever had anything to say about the Patriot Act or Islamic terrorists. Such a minor technicality should not stop you from quoting them extensively at every opportunity, particularly when you “discover” that their words sound suspiciously like those in your most recent press release or some other variety of partisan propaganda.
As an additional safety factor, be sure to attribute your quote to someone that is dead (whether from natural causes or after the application of due process of law). Always remember this: if you made it up, it isn’t plagiarism.
4. Never make a promise that you intend to keep! Never! Ever!
Jimmy Carter was the last President of the United States to keep his only campaign promise, which was “I‘ll never lie to you.” He kept his word, was elected, and was un-elected at the first opportunity. Need I say more?