I WOULD RATHER MAKE THE POINT THAN WIN THE ARGUMENT | 2003-11-15
When I was in graduate school, people learned to beware when I made an argument too easy for them.
I would say things like, "Every Communist country has to kill people to keep them in." Well, that was a big statement, and it gave them a chance to show Whitaker up. Everybody knew I was a notorious ass, but it was frustratingly difficulty to beat me in an argument, so the temptation was great.
One fellow told me Yugoslavia was the exception to my rule. I asked him if Yugoslavia didn't require an exit visa. Like most people who argue with me, he claimed that he knew the answer to this obscure question right off the top of his head: "No."
I then let him win. "If Yugoslavia doesn't require any exit visa, then they don't keep people in like the other Communist countries do."
He got his win, but he later regretted it, because I got my point. You see, during the entire generation that the Berlin Wall stayed up and escapees were being shot, if you mentioned dictatorship everybody talked about Hitler. But everybody who listened to that argument remembered that Communists were killing escapees while we discussed it.
The left wants to think about Hitler, not the Berlin Wall. I never let this guy or his listeners forget the Wall.