It’s the popular opinions, not the right ones, that are winners in debates.
A popular opinion is a dangerous thing; it will never be challenging and will always be reactionary. A wide base of popularity for an unestablished truth should raise all the flags.
The right decision is probably never a popular one; they take far more nous and courage to make. The whole process around right decisions also wears the decision takers down because it is a constant battle — a battle against other, more popular and less controversial opinions.
Some opinions are based on fact; these opinions are worth paying attention to. Others are based on short-sighted emotional responses bolstered by the consensus of the vocal; these should be ignored.
There is very often no consensus as it is founded on a lack of knowledge and understanding. How do I feel about X? I hate it, just don’t ask me to define it.
I started to think “don’t debate, do things” a while back; there’s little point in talking to those who hold firm convictions and even those who don’t are unlikely to be swayed in the face of “consensus”. Seeing is believing, however, and arguing gives credence to un-think.
Ignore too those that argue their point in terms of their standing and time served. They’re the problem, not a solution.
Look rather to people moving and achieving things; look for radicals, the ones with the unpopular opinions.