While it may sound like the title of a new sci-fi movie, it’s really a new phase in the battle to pass the FairTax. For those who don’t know, Myrmidons are individuals who slavishly obey the commands of their “masters” without thought or real understanding. In this case, we have a whole group of folks attacking the FairTax, not because they understand and disagree with it, but because they’ve been “told” the FairTax is “bad”.
Take our favorite, Mark, aka, FilmCriticOne, BullShipDetector, Mark Douglas (?), Seeker, and probably a host of other names. Real name, Mark Douglass Curran. Mark clearly lacks an understanding of the FairTax, but spends hours attacking it with passion, profanity, and vitriol. While claiming to have “proof” of horrible problems contained within HR-25, he seems incapable of clearly articulating exactly what those problems might be, or understanding the most elementary of explanations when clarification of his ignorance is attempted.
But we shouldn’t assume Mark is either misguided, or simply incapable of understanding the fundamentals of the FairTax. Instead, we need to recognize Mark for what he is and what he represents, namely a coordinated effort to undermine the FairTax in the minds of the public. While it’s unclear to which group Mark belongs, it’s clear he got his marching orders from someone. (From his posts, it’s apparent he didn’t come up with his fantasy by himself!!) But the who really isn’t important. The why is!!
Clearly, the FairTax represents a threat to many established power blocks in Washington. Those who view the tax system as their personal campaign contribution piggy bank hate the idea of losing all those lobbyist contributions during future election cycles. And political elitists, like Nancy Pelosi, who consider average American incapable of making rational decisions, and herself the leader to whom all should bow and pay homage, simply can not conceive of losing the power inherent in the failed Progressive-Marxist system we call the Federal Income Tax code. After all…. we NEED their benevolent guidance, whether we want it or not, regardless of how bad they have screwed things up to this point.
Personally, I suspect Mark is part of the MoveOn crowd. They have repeatedly demonstrated their intellectual arrogance and fascist proclivities on a host of subjects, and rarely bother with reasoned debate when vituperated and ad hominem attacks can be used. Mark’s irrationality seems to be right up their alley.
So, the question is, what to do when the FairTax is attacked such as Mark? If the “attack” is really a request for clarification, or due to a misunderstanding, we owe it to the FairTax to do everything in our power to educate and enlighten those who seek honest understanding. Even if the attack gets a bit personal, if the miscreant is smart enough, we should work to provide them with the information they need to make a better decision.
But what about the myrmidons? Those who aren’t capable of understanding, or who are simply carrying out the bidding of their “masters”, and are impervious to rational argument and discourse. Some would consul to just ignore them; that engaging them simply wastes time and gives them attention. And while there is some wisdom in this course, it ignores a couple of germane issues.
First, if ignored, the myrmidon will continue to work at undermining the FairTax. And second, we aren’t really concerned with the myrmidon, but rather with the dozens, or hundreds, of people who might read either their posts, or a FairTax response.
I suggest, instead of ignoring myrmidons, we engage them closely, but with humor and subtlety. This approach has a couple of important advantages. First, while myrmidons thrive on anger and vitriol, they absolutely despise ridicule directed at themselves. Their elitist attitudes brook no “back-talk” from those whom they consider to be their inferiors, so attacking them through their ego, intellect (when present), and personality defects (of which there are usually many) not only makes them uncomfortable, it makes them angry. And the angry opponent is more likely to embarrass themselves and hurt their cause. In addition, myrmidons usually lack the mental toughness to last long when they are being attacked in ways for which they lack defenses, so attacking them with ridicule and scorn usually drives them from the battlefield, which is good for the FairTax.
Another advantage of engaging the myrmidons is that it gives us the opportunity to continue promoting the FairTax with humor, perspicacity, and style. After all, nothing makes our cogent, reasoned arguments look better than a sputtering, cursing troglodyte who can’t string together two sentences without the use of profanity. And the casual observer is much more likely to identify with us, and our cause, than with a vapid troll suffering from verbal dyslexia.
And lastly, but not to be overlooked, is the fun to be had baiting the myrmidon. Rarely do they understand what is going on, or the task to which they have been set by their betters, so, in the greater scheme of things, it may be cruel to use them harshly as we promote the FairTax, but, after all, they have “asked” for it. We are working hard to make our Nation a better place and to secure a better future for the children….. even the children of the myrmidons, and there is no reason not to gather what enjoyment we can while we toil at our tasks.
So engaging the myrmidons has some advantages. They tend to withdraw from the debate when confronted and subjected to the ridicule they’ve earned. Those watching the exchange are usually entertained, and likely to learn more about the FairTax than if we just left the myrmidon alone. Those watching the exchange are also more likely to develop at least a subtle admiration for those FairTax supporters showing the courage to “take on” the myrmidons and the skill to best them in single rhetorical combat. And it can be fun!! While honing our rhetorical skills, we can toy with the opposition.
So, all hail the Myrmidons. For without you, the world would be a wiser, but far less humorous place. You can thank us after we get the FairTax passed.