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Hometown: Florida
Current location: Orlando
Member since: Wed Nov 10, 2004, 09:49 AM
Number of posts: 20,958

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How to persuade: getting past "they think we're stealing from them"

So, I was at the Florida Democratic Convention yesterday, and listened to a wonderful presentation on messaging, or "how to talk to people who don't yet agree with you." The presenter, FLDems Comms Director Joshua Karp, provided this illustration based on a circle, a square and triangle.

CIRCLE = Circle of trust. You must establish trust before you can persuade.
SQUARE = Logic and facts.
TRIANGLE = The Delta or difference that pushes the opposition outside of their current circle of trust toward yours.

When we skip the first step and try to persuade using only facts we're opening ourselves up being called elitists, because we're kinda being elitists by expecting people to just recognize the inherent greatness of our arguments. That also kinda makes us assholes. Elitist assholes. See how this works?

It's about the trust.

So, in the entire thread "They Think We're Stealing From Them," we've made some good observations and asked some good questions about persuasion, but ultimately we miss the point by asserting that white working-class heartlanders don't vote their pocketbook because they're racist. They vote that way b/c they feel outside of our circle of trust... and painting all white working-class midwesterners as racist isn't helping. Regardless of whether this is the case, if we believe this, we will never persuade them.

Plus, I don't think we believe that. I think we know better.

White working-class midwesterners are HURTING because our party exported their working-class jobs to other countries so they can buy super cheap crap from Walmart. Then we post pictures of them on the internet and point and laugh. Is it any wonder there's no basis for trust?

I'm guilty of this too. In 1993 I thought that "globalization" sounded like a great post-modern idea, and recently I've gawked at some of the People Of Walmart photos. But I know better now. Those photos never fail to send me into a deep depression and globalization was a terrible scam.

Here's the truth: White working-class midwesterners' pocketbooks have been hurting for decades because of Clintonian free-trade policy coupled with trickle-down economics we saw accelerated throughout the Bush Jr years, and that continue today... but with growing resistance from OUR party as seen in holding the line against the shutdown.

The shutdown resistance has shown that we're indeed more trustworthy than the GOP and at the very least won't sink the country like they would. So how can we continue to persuade white working-class midwesterners that our party is better for them? How about holding the line on these issues that hit middle- and working-class people in the gut:

Protect Social Security
Raise the Minimum Wage
Make Sick Days Mandatory for wage earners
Raise Corporate Taxes and End Tax Loopholes

We're seeing the beginning of what could be an unstoppable coalition. We just have to continue doing what's right for the people, and persuade them that we're worthy of their trust.

Posted by nashville_brook | Sun Oct 27, 2013, 03:18 PM (23 replies)
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