What I've learned thus far in my efforts to effect public policy is that if you really want to make your case you've got to have some facts on hand. Additionally, you must realize that people are busy and often they do not have the time to research the issue let alone take the time to engage in the battle. If I want them to help me I've got to go the extra mile and make it easier for them to understand the issue and participate. Usually, that involves many links to original documents, clarifying essays and contact information and tips to get them up to speed and able to effect change.
Yesterday's homeschooling post intended merely to correct misinformation being passed between MPASSa people has devolved into another useless back and forth between an anonymous anti-SSAer and myself. They make assertions, I ask for proof and they don't believe in the cause enough to provide it. This isn't an SSA post, it's a post about conversation and debate in an effort to improve their quality so we can understand one another and improve our city.
I wrote: "It'd be better for your point of view and the greater discussion if you provided some verifiable facts instead of just driving by and dumping a charge of lying here. Do you really expect anyone to believe the word of an anonymous poster?"And this is the response I get.
ding819go: "All you have to do is pull the data from MNPS (the third presentation of uniforms I believe) "All I have to do? I have to dig? The burden of proof is yours, ding819go. Here we have a great example of why the anti-SSA folks (and others) fail over and over again to make their case with the general public. They don't value their effort enough to actually do the legwork required to provide the community with the facts to back up their assertions. They actually expect us to just take their word for it. They've said it, so it must be believed.
ding819go: "Sadly you will have to dig through MNPS to find the uniform presentations."
And then ding819go exits with another unsubstantiated shot at SSA:
ding819go: "I forgot to add the first report of a gun found at school with bullets in the student's pocket happened yesterday. Let's see not even 10 days into the school year. Hmmm...uniforms were to stop this, right?"Where was this gun found? Under what circumstances? In a school? In the parking lot? What age child? Just 'cause you wrote it doesn't make it so. I might believe you if I knew who you are and I knew you had a track record of being a reliable source but you chose to hide your identity.
If this is the quality of the anti-SSA advocacy it's little wonder they lost their argument. They can go on and on about how the fix was in with the study committee, how the poll was a sham, how the Central Office is spinning the whole effort but until their debating skills move past the "Is not, is too" phase, they're not going to make any real progress.
What may be worse is that the children are not well served when one is too lazy to vigorously debate issues to ensure that all the facts are brought to the discussion. Decibel level and quantity of posts does not equal vigor. Completeness and accuracy are what we're looking for here. Convincing the other side that you're willing to listen and maybe change your position wouldn't hurt either.