Featured image of post Pro vs. Anti

Pro vs. Anti

Many political issues end up being framed as “pro vs “anti”. Pro/anti immigration. Pro/anti drugs. Pro/anti choice. Pro/anti life.

But a pro/anti framing is almost always subtly dishonest. When you say you are pro-life, do you really believe people who disagree with you are against life!? When you say you are pro-choice, do you really believe people against you are against choice!?

Obviously not. You are pro/anti legalized abortion. But by calling yourself pro-life or pro-choice, you imply that the other side is anti-life or anti-choice, which sounds bad. It is a subtle, but effective, way of manipulating people’s opinions.

That’s the nature of politics, of course. Each side uses language that makes themselves look good and the other side look bad.

But I think it’s good to remind ourselves that people on the other side of the issue are often rational and well well-meaning, even if they are wrong. They are not anti-choice, they just really believe in the value of a life before birth. They are not anti-life, they just really care about the right of women to choose whether or not to give birth.

If you just want to win the debate, by all means make the other side look bad. But to actually change minds, it’s sometimes more effective to acknowledge the merits of the opposing point of view.

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