President Donald Trump’s appointed ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley spoke to high school students at a Turning Point USA summit at George Washington University on Monday with an inspirational message that is absolutely necessary in today’s political climate.
Haley kicked off the summit by telling students, “Raise your hand if you’ve ever posted anything online to quote-unquote ‘own the libs.’”
“Own the libs” refers to posting provocative content that makes liberal Americans upset or aggressively sends a message that conservatives are better than liberals.
In response to Haley’s question, numerous hands went up in addition to loud cheering seemingly in support of “owning the libs.”
But that’s when Haley exposed the problem with this philosophy:
“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? 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. Not by shouting them down, but by showing them how it is in their best interest to see things the way you do.”
Haley is so right. Conservative policy aims to be based on data. It is supposed to be empirical rather than emotional. Therefore, conservatives ought to persuade liberals of their viewpoints rather than ostracize them.
Insulting and embarrassing liberals will push them even further to the left, ensuring they will never keep an open mind and maybe one day come to an agreement with the conservative viewpoint.
It’s also much easier to insult someone and “own” them, especially if the surrounding environment gives you the support that makes you feel intellectually superior. But as Haley asked, what does this really accomplish?
The answer is nothing except for personal satisfaction. True leaders and thinkers are not provocateurs; they are respectful debaters.