Let’s say that I believe so strongly that jaywalking presents such an imminent threat to society that draconian enforcement policies must be put in place or America will be destroyed. I come to the table and present my evidence showing that jaywalking increases the number of pedestrians hit by cars, which increases the number of broken bones, which increase ER visits, which increases the number of people who get addicted to oxycontin, which increases crime, which increases…well, you get the idea. I present my case passionately. I show myself to be a true believer and I will not back down until I single-handedly save America…with, of course the help of the lobbies for the companies that paint crosswalk lines.
Many boring hours later, I wrap up the presentation and open the floor for questions. A gentlemen stands up and asks, “what do you think should be done to jaywalkers?”
“Whatever you think is best,” I answer.
“No. I’m asking what YOU would do,” he responds.
“I’m saying that I’m comfortable with the penalty that you would impose,” I say politley.
“So, you don’t have an answer to the question,” he frowns.
“I’ve GIVEN you and answer to the question,” I tartly reply.
“No, you haven’t at all. Let me ask again: what do you think should be done to jaywalkers?”
“And I told you, simply and directly, that I would do whatever you thought was best. Are you pro-jaywalking? Do you think people should be allowed to cross the street wherever they want when the overwhelming evidence shows that it could lead to the destruction of America?”
“Look,” he sputters, “I…”
“YOU’RE the one not answering the question! What do YOU think should be done?! When you can tell me what YOU think would be done with jaywalkers then you will know MY answer, but instead, you stand there refusing to talk civilly about this issue instead, preferring to berate ME and…”
This goes on for twenty minutes until the man finally walks away. And I declared victory.
It might be worth noting that what I actually suggested is that we impose the same sanctions on those who engage in homosexual behavior as we do on those who engage in intravenous drug abuse, since both pose the same kind of risk of contracting HIV/AIDS. I’d be curious to know what you think should be done with IV drug abusers, because whatever it is, I think the same response should be made to those who engage in homosexual behavior.
I must insist that you listen to the whole thing. Everything you need to know about how completely fucked up xtians are gets wrapped up in one tidy package. Fischer lies and then refuses to listen to the refutation of those lies. Fischer, as Colmes points out to him, makes grand statements and then lacks the courage of his conviction to back those statements up. He plays circular logic games like the one above and, of course, talks over Colmes while Colmes tries to get through to him that they are coming up on break…which is even funnier because Fischer chides Colmes for doing that exact same thing at the top of the segment…and THEN demands respect “as a guest on your show.”
If you’re a student of the rhetorical tricks and semantic games that wingnuts (and sometimes liberals) use to avoid having to back up what they, this piece of audio is really all you’ll ever need to listen to. I despise the word “primer”, but that’s what it is.
In any other context, this might be the funniest Bob and Ray sketch ever written. Sadly, though, Fischer, though playing games, is deadly serious.