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Knowles: Here's What Trump's Conservative Critics Don't Get

President's Trump's Oval Office speech is getting a lot of criticism from the Left, but it's also seeing some criticism from the "conciliatory" conservatives, as Daily Wire's Michael Knowles labels them. These conservatives think the president should only argue from a strict, logical dollars and cents standpoint, rather than discussing the morality of the border situation. He explained why this is a losing approach on Thursday's episode of "The Michael Knowles Show."

"They’re not arguing over what the facts are, they’re arguing over the meaning of facts, which makes perfect sense," Knowles said of the Left. "Again, this is another one of these errors that we are now grappling with in our modern politics that comes out of the enlightenment, that comes out of the fact-value distinction. It is entirely possible, I guess, that the Left just doesn’t understand this. The Left, because it has such shallow thinking when it comes to philosophy and politics and history, maybe they don’t quite get this. But if they don’t then listen up, guys; I hope you’re watching."

He continued: "We're arguing over the meaning of facts. We’re arguing over the meaning of things. This is why conservatives should always talk about the culture. We talked yesterday about the different reactions to President Trump’s Oval Office address and we said the people who are usually Trump critics, maybe they were #NeverTrump, they’re the fiscal-first conservatives I would call them. They just want to talk about dollars and cents."

Knowles argued that "nobody cares" about bare bones data on building the wall. Conservatives, he stressed, should focus on what "the facts imply."

"What we care about is not the facts, but what the facts imply. What they mean. The meanings that they carry," he emphasized. "So, for instance, if the sort of fiscal-first conservatives, or the 'conciliatory' conservatives want to say, 'Look, forget about the things we're disagreeing on, forget about these graphic, gruesome, grotesque images. Let's just talk about what we can agree on. Five billion dollars isn’t that much money.'"

He concluded: "When you talk about only what we can agree on, you’ve lost the argument because the Left has a much narrower view of politics than we do. If we come in and say, 'Okay we’re going to accept all of the Left’s premises, and we’re going to argue with them over the conclusions,' we've already lost. We can't accept those premises. That is a recipe for losing."

Video and transcript below:

I think most left-wingers will tell you: "yes, people are crossing the border but they should cross the border. Yes, there are millions and millions of people crossing the border but that’s a good thing. Yes, we don’t really have solid borders right now as a nation, but we shouldn’t have solid borders as a nation." They’re not arguing over what the facts are, they’re arguing over the meaning of facts, which makes perfect sense. Again, this is another one of these errors that we are now grappling with in our modern politics that comes out of the enlightenment, that comes out of the fact-value distinction. It is entirely possible, I guess, that the Left just doesn’t understand this. The Left, because it has such shallow thinking when it comes to philosophy and politics and history, maybe they don’t quite get this. But if they don’t then listen up guys, I hope you’re watching.

We’re arguing over the meaning of facts. We’re arguing over the meaning of things. This is why conservatives should always talk about the culture. We talked yesterday about the different reactions to President Trump’s Oval Office address and we said the people who are usually Trump critics, maybe they were #NeverTrump, they’re the fiscal-first conservatives I would call them. They just want to talk about dollars and cents. They think the speech should’ve been about how the border’s not that expensive and it’s not that big a deal and c’mon guys let’s not worry about it. And then the people who really liked the speech, such as myself, or maybe the people who wrote the speech or whoever, they’re the cultural conservatives. They’re the ones who say, “Go for the gore, go for the graphics, go for the moral arguments, go for the emotion, go for the faces of the victims of people of these awful crimes.” The reason we have to make those stands is because we’re not arguing over the facts. Nobody really is arguing over whether the wall will cost x billion dollars or x + 3 billion dollars. Nobody cares about that. That’s bean counting. What we care about is not the facts, but what the facts imply. What they mean. The meanings that they carry.

So, for instance, if the sort of fiscal-first conservatives, or the "conciliatory" conservatives want to say, “Look, forget about the things we’re disagreeing on, forget about these graphic, gruesome, grotesque images. Let’s just talk about what we can agree on. Five billion dollars isn’t that much money.” When you talk about only what we can agree on, you’ve lost the argument because the Left has a much narrower view of politics than we do. If we come in and say "okay we’re going to accept all of the Left’s premises, and we’re going to argue with them over the conclusions", we’ve already lost. We can’t accept those premises. That is a recipe for losing.

 
 
 

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