"From a persuasion vantage point, (change) is a tall order. Decades of research indicate that once people have publicly committed to a position, it is difficult to change their minds, even if they know they were wrong. No one likes to be wrong, especially publicly so. Change is uncomfortable when it's not abhorrent. And human beings decline to engage in it. Doing something differently means stepping into the unknown or an arena inhabited by one's previously proclaimed adversaries. That's why fear works so well as a deterrent to change. It backs people into their mental cages.i heart kathleen. i think this is a great post (as always) - but i'm not sure that we are going to be able to get a whole lotta people over that 'change' threshold in 19 days. It's all about GOTV for the next three weeks. If you don't want to be submitting something to sorryeverybody.com on Nov 8, do whatever you can to make sure everyone you know is going to get to the voting booth on Nov 7.
Arnold Schwarzenegger seems to have exited his. If so, he's a rarity in public office, an enigma on today's cowardly political landscape. Is this a man who learned? Is this an exceptional politician who can be inconsistent without being buried alive by a press ignorantly promulgating the delusion that change is tantamount to lying or, worse, an embarrassing admission of having been wrong? And, if so, can other politicians, a la Schwarzenegger, change their minds based on new information and still win? Politicians who learn -- wouldn't that be a breath of fresh air?
What if we were to consider change a strength rather than a weakness, as adaptation rather than abdication? That's how voting is supposed to work - as an educated choice, not a banal routine. Rather than blind allegiance to a party or previously proclaimed positions, Americans could then vote their hearts and minds. What a novel concept!
To help this along, I have a persuasion tip for the Democrats. You need an Assisted-Voter-On-The-Threshold Program for those considering a change. Many Republicans, Independents and Democrats who believed the lies are now experiencing cognitive dissonance - a discomfort with their previous choices. They're standing on the threshold of change and need a hand across. Help them understand why they voted as they did last time, how many people like them were duped, and what they can say to people who criticize their new way of thinking. Otherwise, they're going to slip back into their comfort zones or not show up at all.
They need to hear from people like themselves who are deciding not to be lemmings. A good start -- people who love their country and would go to war in a heartbeat if the cause was just and the reasons honest, who are religious but don't want their love of God used to feed voracious corporate greed, who are sick of lobbyists silencing their voices to commandeer Senate and Congressional votes, pretense covering perversions in their own Capitol, and deprivation of the majority to feather the nests of the insatiable.
Change is difficult. A clear platform from the Democrats won't provide it. The world is too complex. But a moral political compass will. No more public relations sophistry of the types exposed in detail by Frank Rich in his new book. No more hijacking of our values for self-serving ends. Let's be stirred like we were by JFK, not by promising specific actions on problems we've yet to identify or completely understand, but by promising to represent Americans instead of resenting them.
Help people see that they were far from alone in not knowing they'd been deceived. Introduce us on television and radio to people who changed their minds, voters who are not putting the same people back in power and who are tough enough to take the heat for making a change, for learning, and for following their minds rather than the pack."
(btw - do me a favor - if you like kathleen's work and drop a note of support for her in the comments. i've previously said that she ' taught me everything i know')