We talk a good deal here about analyzing words and ideas. We know that persuading people with facts and logic is possible -the problem is that, given what’s known about how people think it is very unlikely. This is not a value judgement, it’s the way brains work; yes, even yours and mine! Bottom line: the human brain’s default state is not formal reasoning.
However, being able to logically deconstruct what your opponent is saying will often uncover the real issue obscured by your opponent’s language. Logical fallacy -and it’s evil twin propaganda- are explored in expert and humorous form at David McRaney’s YouAreNotSoSmart.com.
For example, a common propaganda technique is the “straw man” -defining your opponent’s position and then arguing vehemently against it. “Liberals want to take our guns away” is heard often despite the fact that few if any common sense gun law advocacy groups want to ban or confiscate all guns.
Bookmark McRaney’s site and check in often!