[I]n psychology, we are presented with people who have been told a thousand times their ideas are crazy before they get to our facility. They've been told but they haven't believed the tellers. Our job is to get them to accept, however partially and grudgingly, a set of facts that everyone around them can see (even other psychotic people) without effort.It's a question AVI has raised before, and repeated recently. He presumes the lefties are exposed to conservative syllogisms, which is questionable.
Play that out in political persuasion. I contend that liberals simply do not understand conservative arguments. They think they do, but they cannot accurately repeat them back. They are usually unable to describe them without caricature. Yet even in an MSM saturated subculture, they must have heard the opposition arguments a hundred times. What prevents the hearing?
But ignoring that, my brief response is: equating progressivism with progress. They presume an a-historic, near infinite mutability of man. This makes lefties careless about facts, suspicious about time-tested policies, and heedless of unintended consequences. That's why the left tends to mistake reality for what they wish it were.
All this yields profound differences between liberal and conservative world views, especially the source of the perceived threat -- the state for conservatives/society for liberals -- and the ranking of freedom vs equality -- freedom preferred by conservatives/equality by liberals. But my point here is that liberals rarely will drill down to the level of such fundamental assumptions. Rather, they presume their premises are shared by all--even conservative opponents. Righties, by contrast, understand this departure, and ache to debate it.
Without a shared understanding of reality, discussion is doomed. So, since disputing facts doesn't seem to work, would it help to question the left's bias toward change and concomitant distaste for the present? (It might merely be a cry for attention.) Or asking whether they understand that some aspirations may, even over the medium term, be impossible?