"Just like in negotiations, you and best most people once and leave them bloody in the road, but it won't happen twice. That person will always equate the person running with the way he or she was treated by you. Often times, that leaves a scar."
This morning, I addressed how important this midterm election will be for us. How important it will be to really turn out the vote. But as we know, the general election is not until November. There are things we can do before then - some easy, some not so easy. However, all are important. Here are some which I have been considering:
- Get Informed - The easiest one is first. Get informed on what? First off, brush up on our founding. Our founding documents. All are on-line and VERY easy to get. Not only to get, but also get different scholars input from historians and scholars on the whose and whats and whys of each one. The DOI (Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and so forth. Read up on the Founders themselves. What made them tick - why they felt, and voted the way they did. Then our history. Pre-Revolutionary War, the Revolutionary War itself, the War of 1812, the Civil War and the World Wars. Knowledge is POWER! It is power beyond belief when discussing politics. Trust me - I know some very, very smart people. Because of their knowledge of American history and civics, their political arguments are close to immutable.
- Get Involved - I am constantly coaching folks who are not involved the importance of getting involved. However, many are afraid of being "sucked in". I tell them not true. They can get involved in one inch of the pool or in the nine foot deep area. For example, the district conventions are coming up. INVITE PEOPLE. They don't have to be a delegate or an alternate - they can just be a guest. What a fun way to learn about what is happening in your area of the state. Meet people, introduce yourself to the representatives, and HAVE FUN. One thing - quite often when I am chatting with someone, they have no clue in what congressional district or senate district they are in. Many don't know who their reps are. I tell them how to find out, and ten I assist them using the search on my smart phone. Great way to make new friends as well as helping someone out.
- Get activated - This is the hardest one for many. We got into this mess of hyper-division by talking and not listening. By thinking that winning is only zero sum. Well it is not. And it is not compromising beliefs either. It is winning the day by winning the argument- the right way. I see many on our side lash out in anger at someone on the other side, and I cringe. All that results, are both sides getting deeper in their trenches. What I think is a better strategy (if the person on the other side is agreeable), is to first find the items that both sides can agree upon. Trust me - it is more than just one or two. This is not only an ice breaker, but also a table setter. Then when the items come up which are not in agreement, the chances of having a good discussion about them are much better. Knowing your history and civics will give you a much better chance of a convincing argument (or discussion).
One final thing. Treat the other side with respect, even if they don't deserve it. We don't know what their back story is - their back story might be the reason for the disrespect for you. When all else fails , kill people with kindness. Just like in negotiations, when you best most people, and leave them bloody in the street, it won't happen twice. That person will always equate the person running, with the way he or she was treated by you. Often times, that leaves a scar.
Winning the day. Often times more brain power than strength. The day will be ours - but first we need to know how to win the argument.