There’s nothing more gratifying than knowing you won an argument, and nothing more vexing than when the person with whom you’re arguing won’t admit it.
If this doesn’t describe what it’s like to be a conservative in America in 2019, I don’t know what does. (Particularly on Twitter.)
Conservatives take great pride in having a better mastery of the facts, of logic, and of the art of building a solid argument.
Yet how often do we find ourselves frustrated that the ill-informed, emotionally-driven SJW we encounter online or in real life seem immune to our watertight arguments and fully dedicated to their own narrative?
If you are fully dedicated to the conservative worldview; that there is such a thing as objective morality, that our rights are inherent, the Bible is true, and that our government is philosophically based on these things and it ought to stay that way, then what is more important to you: proving your intellectual prowess or helping others to see the light?
Because they’re not the same thing.
Last year, then-UN Ambassador Nikki Haley told a group of high school students at Turning Point USA’s Young Leadership Summit that “owning the libs” was not the end game.
“I know that it’s fun and that it can feel good, but step back and think about what you’re accomplishing when you do this — are you persuading anyone? Who are you persuading?” she asked the young conservatives. “We’ve all been guilty of it at some point or another, but this kind of speech isn’t leadership — it’s the exact opposite.”
“Real leadership is about persuasion, it’s about movement, it’s bringing people around to your point of view,” she continued. “Not by shouting them down, but by showing them how it is in their best interest to see things the way you do.”
This coming from a woman who stood on the floor of the UN and rebuked a room full of powerful leaders from around the globe for their despicable treatment of the nation of Israel.
The point is, that while you may often be technically right about something, if your concern is for how well you argue rather than how concerned you are about the one with whom you argue, you’ll never really win anything other than more puffed-up pride.
Yes, standing up for the truth and for what’s right often takes strong language and there’s no need to bend to PC notions of a hippie Jesus who was super loving and tolerant to everyone. We all know our Lord and Savior did not refrain from using proverbial or literal whips. But his end goal was never about himself. It was to give glory to God and spread the Truth of the Gospel which He told us would set the hearer free.
To be clear, I’m speaking from experience here. I regularly fall into the trap of arguing with the random trolls who pop up on my social media posts to call me racist/sexist/homophobic and doing so entirely out of my own pride. It is when their arguments are so incredibly weak that I become the most puffed up, and when they fail to admit to my obviously superior intellect that I become the most frustrated.
Does this sound like the heart of someone who is concerned about those being led astray by the lies of the world?
Um, no. Not remotely. This is the heart of someone who wants to bring glory to herself, not to the Lord.
Have you ever been guilty of the same?
It’s times like these that the Lord pricks my heart and shows me the pointlessness of pride. It’s never rewarding to know that I was “right,” but it is rewarding to rather address these situations by relying on the Holy Spirit first and foremost.
So the next time some troll provokes you online, take a moment to make sure you’ve got your priorites straight before engaging. Or maybe, just walk away, and focus on cultivating real-life relationships with those you’d like to “bring around.”
All I know is what we’re doing online does not seem to be working.