Tenther Radio 08-10-11. Guests, Gary Marbut, Will Stewart-Starks

Please join us for TRX: Tenther Radio on August 10, 2011 right here – listen live by clicking the play button at that time on the right. Join the conversation with your comments and questions by calling (323) 843-6008. We’re honored to have as the show’s guests, Gary Marbut and Will Stewart-Starks. Add to iTunes…

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Can I Ask You A Question?

cross-posted from the Tennessee Tenth Amendment Center

Can I ask you a question?

Do you remember the junior high prank that starts with that phrase? It would usually be followed with a request to restrict your answer to a simple “yes or no”.  For maximum effect, this prank is usually done in front of a large group of people.

The question would usually be along these lines:

Does your mother know you are pregnant?
Does so and so know you have a crush on them?
etc..

How does the prank work?

Most people freeze like a deer staring into headlights coming right at them.

The hesitation comes from the realization that no matter which way you answer, yes or no, you lose. The stunned hesitation makes the prank even more effective as people wonder why you won’t answer the question. The other common response;  arguing, includes a defensive tone which allows the questioner to climb up on the superiority seat and repeat the question condescendingly “ don’t get so excited, just answer yes or no”…

Aren’t you glad you aren’t in junior high anymore so you don’t have to deal with deceptive “no win questions?”

Alas, that was a trick question as well…

This same technique is actually used by media pundits every day as they frame issues for your consideration.

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