Nurturing seeds of doubt in leftists

With the mid-term elections coming up, many of us are working hard to ensure we win as many races as possible. Toward that end, I continue to rack my brain to figure out how to move people from left to right.

Having made that shift myself, it is an ongoing source of curiosity and reflection as I wonder why some people make this change. What are the elements that enable them to do so? And how can I replicate those factors to increase my chances of waking others up?

No doubt among prominent conservatives who’ve made this journey, everyone’s story is different; from David Horowitz to the late, great Andrew Breitbart to AT’s own Thomas Lifson, among so many others.

For many it seems there was a seminal moment that started the process of awakening. Once that question, doubt, or epiphany occurred, then what? What, if any, factors needed to be in place to nurture that journey?

If I had to generalize about the primary elements that came together that helped me grow, I would say it was the following four things.

  • A seminal moment that put me at odds with a specific aspect of long held political beliefs and impressions.
  • Observing that I was not alone in this moment of uncertainty.
  • Involvement of a highly trusted person who gently nurtured seeds of doubt with a light hand, often using the Socratic method.
  • Exposure to conservative blogs that I’d never been aware of in the past.

I cannot overstate the importance of having a person I was extraordinarily close to and who I trusted implicitly encourage me in subtle ways. No one ever hammered me over the head with lengthy, heavy-handed lectures. Instead, my friend often used the Socratic method, posing occasional questions woven seamlessly into conversations that further stirred specific doubts. These exchanges were not about over-arching values, but were focused on the initial event that raised questions within me. In this way, psychologically, it made the start of the journey more contained and therefore more manageable.

In addition, my friend (who was also, by the way, newly conservative) forwarded links to articles and recommended specific conservative authors and blogs (AT being one of them). Again, I was not bombarded with information. It was occasional, but persistent.

Soon enough, I was off and running, feeling increasing confident about what I was doing in shifting from left to right. I remain ever-grateful to all of those who were there during the initial months of awakening, helping me (even if I didn’t realize it at the time) grow up.

I wanted to share this as we approach the mid-term elections should any readers be inclined to help us win by shifting lefties to our side. Certainly I don’t claim to have any magic answers. How I wish I did.