Doubling Our Votes
If each of us can flip just one voter to our side we can double the power of our vote on election day.
Don't start rolling your eyes and typing a comment about the impossibility of changing the mind of a liberal or about feeling fed up with anyone who is in the squishy middle.
I used to be a liberal. And a very far-left-leaning one, at that. But like countless others out there, I woke up and began a journey that has led me to conservatism. I am proof positive that minds can be changed.
The question I often ask myself is how to inspire this kind of transition in others. Why do some people change while others don't? Does it take a major event to jolt them awake? Do some start a slow but steady evolution in their thinking sparked by a tiny seed? There's probably no single template for how a shift in thinking occurs. But the point is, it does occur. And we need to keep those ripples going so we can expand our base, win in November, and continue to make our voices heard beyond Election Day.
I'd love to hear readers' stories about their own transitions from liberal to conservative and/or interactions you've had trying to wake up a sleeping citizen. And as for the latter, I have a few ideas.
First, have your talking points honed so you can stay focused and not overwhelm the other person. Have printed materials prepared, including a few choice articles as well as links to some outstanding websites. Keep materials on hand, in the car, etc.
Second, if possible, try to focus on an area with the other person that you think might resonate. If they seem like they may be getting fed up with unions, go down that path. If they are religious, go down that path, and connect their religious values with your point. And so forth.
Third, remember that many people get defensive during face-to-face political discussions. A few articles (or a link to a compelling video) that target a relevant area can go a long way. After your verbal exchange, you can leave the other person with something to read in private, without feeling compelled to defend themselves.
Fourth, employ the Socratic Method. Focus on a handful of crucial issues and develop a simple talking point followed by: "Why do you think that is?" For example, "Obama has kept so many records about his background sealed. Why do you think that is?" This can be a great way to engage the other person and put them in the position of trying to explain something they may have difficulty explaining. This creates an opening for you to gently make a point. The interaction may leave them reflecting.
Try striking up conversations with complete strangers, such as in the laundromat with a bunch of bored folks waiting for their clothes to finish drying. A lot of people don't think long and hard about what's going on in this country, and it may not take a whole lot to inform them about a few things, get them fired up, and influence their thinking.
Don't waste energy on people who are seriously dug in. It will be a waste of time and more aggravating than it's worth. Focus on folks who are unsure of where they stand, who seem pretty clueless about what's going on, and/or whose core values contradict their political leanings.
Remember, if each of us can get just one more person on our team, we double our vote. And that is powerful.
And if in your travels you come across another conservative whose only game plan is to vote on Election Day, light a fire under him and get him to take action.
Keep the ripples going until we form a gigantic wave on November 6!