Greg Gutfeld, co-host of The Five and host of The Greg Gutfeld Show on Fox News, released How to be Right. This comedic book breaks down the art of persuasion, and how a little bit of tweaking an argument can go a long way.
Here’s an excerpt from the book:
“Lessons are things you wish you learned before you learned them.”
—Greg Gutfeld, Deuteronomy 23:171 (December 21, 2014 [an accurate quote—I was there when I said it])
It’s not enough to be right these days. Especially when you’re Right. And outnumbered by leftists who think you’re evil or dumb because you happen to disagree with them.
You can be lawful, patriotic, decent, reasonably hygienic, and still be laughed off the planet by media snarks, academic snots, and government shills. Primarily because you’re lawful, patriotic, decent, and reasonably hygienic.
Being right offers no protection in a world where emotions rule logic, and feelings trump fact. Bring up an unspeakable truth, perhaps in response to a casual but political conversation at work, and you will likely be condemned as rude, mean-spirited, or bigoted. The trifecta of treachery.
The world is moving away from fact-based debate and drifting into fact-free rhetoric. Whether it’s about criminal justice, gun control, or economic inequality, a fact is never safe in the face of compassionate outrage. The truth, people, could use a little help here.
In the modern cultural terrain, we—the sensible—are the hunted. Which is why it is time to learn how to start winning a few arguments. It’s important not just to confirm normal, commonsense assumptions, but to actually convert the uncertain. To win over those who want to be won over, and sharpen the spear of facts and puncture the flatulent balloon of sanctimonious outrage. We better find them, soon, before America turns into one giant daycare center for dipshits.
In a war of ideas, the truth is the nuclear option, but only if you know how to load and drop the bomb. If all you can do is keep screaming at the other side, you lose. Because sooner or later, one of you will die. And you’ll be screaming to yourself. And then the only people who will hear you will be the pedestrians passing by the psych unit. Trust me, they aren’t enamored by your open robe. I’ve been there.
The country is divided. Not just in politics, but pretty much everywhere, it seems. We have two sides, a ping-pong of shouters and amplifiers, echoing talking points they know their audience will digest with unmitigated glee. A frustrated conservative could simply blame the current malaise on President Obama, his beloved, appeasing academics, and a slobbering, spineless media. Like-minded friends will nod, because you’re right.
A liberal will look at the current foreign policy mess and blame it on evil Bush, evil Republicans, evil global warming (high temperatures lead to more violence in unstable countries), evil trans-fatty acids, or evil women wearing sashes that say “Miss Florida.” And let’s not forget: evil Fox News. At this blame-fest the brain-battered liberal audience applauds.
Meanwhile, libertarians sit back, point, and laugh, and count themselves lucky they aren’t in any position of responsibility. They will always be right, because all they want is for the government to get off the backs of people selling weed. Also, ecstasy and some forms of crank. Who can argue with that? As the old saying goes, “It’s easy to be a holy man on a mountain,” especially when that mountain is on Rand Paul’s ranch.
In this carnival of barkers, how do conservatives always end up on the back foot? Sometimes this is a self-inflicted wound, as when a conservative bungles a simple question about women and abortion. (That’s why Todd Akin of Missouri ended up not only on the back foot but on the hind foot.) Meanwhile, the other side can shout at will, and for the most part, the media will embrace the message.
To survive and win, we must do better. This book is designed to show you how. Yes, it’s an uphill battle. With the mainstream media dominating the message, we don’t need another Akin. We need two Ronald Reagans and a Winston Churchill, but with better hair. We need our Obamas—young, attractive voices who can sell fracking to the Arabs the way Obama sold himself to America.
You have to be more prepared than anyone else in the room, even if you aren’t planning on speaking up. (Read two articles on a subject every morning and you’ll shine—trust me. It’s how I make my living.)
After operating in the narrow, repetitive fields of political posturing, I can attest that confirming your viewers’ desires is important. That is why I keep my shirt on but my hair combed. I think it’s important that I offer my viewers an oasis—where they find solace, humor, like-minded thinkers, Fiji water, and packs of Camels. I confirm what many in America think, and I think I’m right, as I think they are right, too.
Reprinted from HOW TO BE RIGHT: THE ART OF BEING PERSUASIVELY CORRECT. Copyright © 2015 by Greg Gutfeld. To be published by Crown Forum, an imprint of the Crown Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Random House LLC, on October 27.
Want to learn how to how to “be right?” Then buy the book here.