Few Americans have heard of Stephen Moore but he is one of the extremists (are there any other kind) that serve on the Editorial Board of the Wall Street Journal. Mr. Moore occasionally dabbles in writing commentary himself, and his latest screed demonstrates what Conservatives have to do to win an argument. Here are the basic rules of Logic 101, Conservative style.
- Present both sides of the position: Rather than engaging in an honest debate with the representatives of the other side, Conservatives make an argument by taking it upon themselves to say what the opponents side is and then present their rebuttal. This is known as the Rush Limbaugh School of Design. It’s pretty easy to win an argument when you rather than the opponent get to present the opponent’s position. Here is Mr. Moore in classic Rush style.
“Electrical power is the central nervous system of our modern economy and our 21st-century lifestyles, and living without it for a few days reminds us how vulnerable we are to being sent back to a pre-Industrial Age. Yet every initiative by green groups is focused on reducing our access to electrical power—although they never admit that explicitly.”
Wow, Mr. Moore not only explains the other side, he interprets their position to be something which he admits they never said. Pretty powerful stuff.
- Take a quote from one person from the other side and attribute it to all on the other side: Mr. Moore uses a rather shocking statement from a NASA scientist to condemn all of his opposition. He says this about a leading opponent of coal fired electrical generation.
“This cheap and domestically abundant energy source is getting cleaner all the time, thanks to technological progress. But that doesn't stop a global-warming alarmists like James Hansen, a lead scientist at NASA, from likening trains carrying coal to the German "death trains" that transported the Jews to Nazi concentration camps.”
The clear implication, everyone opposed burning coal to produce electricity thinks burning coal is the equivalent of German’s shipping Jews by train to concentration camps and killing them. Yep, that’s what all environmentalist believe. Of course, it turns out not even the person quoted believes that.
the quotes from the opposition, after all nobody is checking on you if you
opine for the WSJ. Wehad a little trouble believing that Mr. Hansen really said or meant what Mr. Moore says he was saying or meaning. So we looked up the source.
"The trains carrying coal to power plants are death trains. Coal-fired power plants are factories of death. When I testified against the proposed Kingsnorth power plant, I estimated that in its lifetime it would be responsible for the extermination of about 400 species - its proportionate contribution to the number that would be committed to extinction if carbon dioxide rose another 100 ppm."
Hm, no mention of Jews, Nazi’s, Concentration camps on any of that. So apparently Mr. Moore just made this stuff up to strengthen his point. But then he would have to, wouldn’t he.
- Take a micro position, in this case the argument against coal, and turn it into a hatred of all energy by imaginary attribution.
“Of course, Big Green hates oil and nuclear power too. That's why we're not drilling for oil in many parts of
and on other energy-rich federal
lands and waters, and why we're not building the Keystone XL pipeline. This is
public policy that is not just anti-growth but dangerous to our health and safety.” Alaska
Exactly who “Big Green” consists of is never identified, although the Sierra Club is mentioned. And the reason we are not drilling for oil in parts of
Alaska is in large part to protect the
environment for our children. Mr. Moore
expressed serious concern about children in his piece, but apparently providing
them with clean air, water and ground is not in his area of concerns. As for “hate”, read Mr. Moore’s full piece
and see if you can determine where the hate is coming from. (Hint:
maybe Mr. Moore?).
Well, you get the picture. And yes Mr. Moore does win his argument with himself, but then of course he also loses his argument with himself. That’s what happens when you argue with yourself.