Very good Brandon. I enjoyed the podcast. For my 2 cents, I would add that some people today, especially in light of the last administration think that ad hominem attacks are a valid form of criticism and need to be heard, if not respected. I would opine that as soon as someone puts forth an ad hominem attack that they have lost the argument. End of story! How do you view such comments? And, more importantly, how would I respectfully argue with someone who attacks the person, not the argument?


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Thanks Dan! Glad you liked the first episode of the podcast and I appreciate your comments/questions. It's actually a great topic and I'll probably do a deeper dive later... but here are my initial thoughts:

The "argumentum ad hominem" - the argument leveled against the person instead of what the person is saying - was definitely the favorite tactic of the prior POTUS (especially the abusive ad hominem). By definition, any form of ad hominem argument is irrelevant because it avoids the real issue(s). HOWEVER, before I'd claim victory, I would try to answer two questions in my own mind:

1) What do I hope to get out of this argument (i.e. what's my goal)?

2) How do I want this argument to end?

If someone is trying to be a Progressive Leader, then the answers to these questions need to be constructive. (I'll admit that I've been in arguments where my goal was to prove the other person came to a battle of wits unarmed and the ending I wanted was them sputtering in frustration. That's NOT what a PL should want!)

You can approach it from a place of respect by refocusing on the issues. You may have to tactfully point out that the ad hominem attack is irrelevant - I mean, even an idiot or a thief can have a good idea. Remember that as soon as WE focus on the ad hominem attack - especially if we fall into the trap of defending the person being attacked - then we've actually lost... because that's the GOAL of an ad hominem attack! Don't fall into that trap. Know your goal and your desired ending, then refocus on the issues and refuse to engage with the irrelevant arguments.

Not a perfect strategy but it has worked for me in the past.

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