Thursday, February 9, 2017

Be the Adult in the Room

How we make our arguments, how we express our dissent, how we protest, is extremely important. Take heart in the words "when they go low, we go high'. It matters.
Over the last 8 years, I've repeatedly seen comments that pointed to a "visceral" reaction to the mere sight of President Obama and how horrible he was but never any sound reasoning behind what the "horrible" was. The closest to any specifics were that they hated having to pay for health care and food while other people were getting "free stuff'. I kept wanting to ask if they were offered health care and food for free, would they take it? If people can't afford health care and food, do you want them to be sick and hungry? What's the answer here?
They called him weak. What specifically was he supposed to do that would be considered strong? Go to war?
As we approach our thoughts about what number 46 is doing, we need to be specific. Don't use broad, sweeping, "visceral", reactionary language. Speak directly to issues and policy. Be specific about outcomes you would like to see instead. Don't insult. Don't generalize. Be specific and clear and focus on the issue.
Call lies, lies. Be specific and provide sources. If that isn't accepted, walk away. Don't argue. Don't descend into peripheral garbage. Be specific and stick on the specific issue. Don't insult. Don't generalize and don't descend.
Those entrenched in an opposing view are not the most important audience. Those on the fence are the most important people. They are watching. They are quietly watching. Your approach to the issue matters. You will be more credible if you are the adult in the room. It takes discipline and patience. It's going to matter a lot in the long run.

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