Your Workmates: Friends, Neutrals, Foes

One of saddest truisms of political debate is that it is almost impossible for either side to convert the true believers of the other. Experienced polemicists advise us not to try; it is only the uncommitted middle that is worth talking to.

This requires us to accept the existence...of an enemy who can only be treated with destruction and subjugation. But it also reminds us that there is a vast public that is neither friend nor foe, which must be won over.

Holding this distinction clearly in mind is hardest for those who believe reason can settle any dispute. The words 'enemy', 'neutral' and 'friend'...have defined policy from time immemorial: destruction to the enemy, respect and punctilio towards neutrals, succor to friends.
via The Belmont Club

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