Convincing People

As I said recently, if we want to move the country in the direction of more liberty, we need less “electing the right people” and more “creating a climate of opinion” so that whoever is elected will find it politically profitable to support liberty rather than tyranny.

As someone said, politics is downstream of culture.  It’s the “culture war” we need to win.  Which is why it is so important for those of us who believe in the value of a free society to get out there and use whatever influence we have to try to persuade others. Persuade. And may I suggest to some of the die hard “Big L” Libertarian types that insulting anyone who is not 100% in agreement with you is, perhaps, not the best strategy for doing that.

Encourage folk in points of agreement. Educate in those where they don’t. Recognize that there are areas where reasonable individuals can legitimately disagree.

Do not drive away people who want to move in the direction of greater individual liberty just because they disagree on how to accomplish that or on just how far that move should go. Even if you think they don’t go far enough so long as they’re helping move things in the right direction they are potential allies.

It will be difficult.  The opposition holds the media, the entertainment industy, and the eductation-industrial complex in a stranglehold.   Add in the “deplatforming” by big social media sites and the deck definitely seems stacked against us. That just means that personal contacts are that much more important. And it’s important to use the platforms we do have.

What we need is modern day “committees of correspondence.” (If you’re not familiar with that term, look it up.)

Try to find concise, pithy ways to convey basic ideas.  If you can come up with a clever, catchy expression–a “meme”–that conveys an idea of liberty, use it.  Spread it.  Some folk dismiss memes as oversimplifications that ignore the complexity of the real world.  This is true.  However, when much of the population has the attention span of a goldfish, you need something short and “punchy” to reach them.  Memes are tools.  They can be (and often are) used to oversimplify bad ideas and make them palatable by appealing to the stupid.  They can also be used to render the “high points” of good ideas and reach people who would simply respond (at best) “TL:DR” to a more thought out rendering.  After all:

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You may get discouraged and think that there’s no point, that the person you’re arguing with won’t possibly change his or her mind.  That’s okay.  The “true believer” on the other side is not your target.  Your target is the person on the sidelines watching your argument.  Argument and debate, particularly Internet Argument, is a spectator sport.

Consider, about 300,000 people are born in the US every year.  That means that that on average of every thousand people who see your arguments about one will be seeing it for the first time.  A larger number will be people who may have seen it but aren’t yet convinced one way or the other.  The more you speak out, the more people who hear your side, the more people you have to convince.

You may not see them, but they’re there, and they’re listening.  And every person you convince is one more person to help spread the word to others.

It’s a hard struggle and it won’t be over quickly.  We didn’t get where we are in an instant and we won’t get out of it in one either.  And while there are no guarantees of success, nothing is ever certain (except death and taxes).  Still, “no guarantees” applies to the other side as well–that is, unless we simply give up and roll over for them.  Yes, there will be setbacks.  Don’t take them as signs we have lost or that we cannot win.  As John Paul Jones is reported as saying “I have not yet begun to fight.”

To which a marine, lying bleeding at his feet, perhaps responsed “There’s always some poor sonofabitch that doesn’t get the word.”

4 thoughts on “Convincing People”

  1. I’m not so sure about death being certain – I’ve been dead twice. Didn’t take. (Trauma case, both times. Revived once, “just woke up” the second time.)

    But yes, the left having pretty much every version of mass media in a stranglehold makes personal contacts that much more important. Talk to people. Sound them out. You don’t have to be a “big-L” Libertarian – there are plenty of “small-l” libertarians out there (like me, f’r instance) who are probably interested in more freedom and personal liberty – and less government – than the Libertarians (at heart, I’m really a mild-mannered anarchist. But, I know we’re not grown-up enough as a people to sustain such a society. It’s workable, but you MUST have the right people! But, I’ll take a libertarian’s paradise in place of a free & easy anarchy, if that’s what I can get.)

    And a suggestion? Print calling cards. Carry them with you. If you talk to someone who is a likely convert (or who is on our side,) give them a card and ask them to keep in touch. My hit rate on that is about 50/50, but the 50% that keep in touch are also the 50% that will help spread the word, maybe print calling cards of their own, sound people out, &c, &c.

    You can find programmes to design your cards for free, you can get graphics (if you want them) pretty much anywhere online, and they’re cheap enough to print – I suggest at least 80# cover stock. It will run through the machine at Kinko’s easily, but be heavy enough to take some handling. I think I printed mine on 90#, they go up to 110# or 120#. They usually have a roller cutter there, so print ’em, cut ’em, rubberband ’em, and you’re off to the races! Keep the design, you’re printing these in small batches (100 or so, 10 pages of 10,) but you’ll more than likely need more.

    I can understand “fighting the Liberal machine” – I live in the San Francisco Bay Area. 7/10 people I talk to are diehard liberals who blanch at the mere mention of a firearm! But the other three are people I can reach, and those are the people that make it worth the trouble.

    JDK

    Liked by 2 people

  2. There’s some great ideas here. I was thinking of using something like EZTalks – http://eztalks.com – a hosting service that can handle up to 100 participants for free in a video/audio/text interaction, for up to 1 hour at a time.
    Anyone interested? If you are, send an email to lfox@3littlefoxes.com
    I’d add you to a list, and figure out a time to schedule the first online meeting.

    Like

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