Coffee with Frank

Discussions about responsible leadership

For those of you on Twitter, you know that there’s no shortage of political conversation. It’s absolutely overwhelming – and comforting – and maddening! Whatever your political leanings you can find a lot of others who share similar views – for Trump, for Biden, for no one or nothing in particular. But I had trouble finding anyone who was able to, or had even tried to, influence another voter to lean the other way; specifically, anyone who had been able to persuade a Trump supporter to NOT vote for him. Are we so confident in Trump’s defeat that we don’t think we need to even try to influence others wherever and whenever we can? I think that’s dangerous and pretty fucking stupid considering what happened in 2016. [not sorry for the f-bomb]

I have a family member that I’ve tried to persuade. I’ve failed, but I can’t give up. I feel like I have to be doing everything that I can to make sure Trump doesn’t spend another day in our House. Trying to convince this person to drop their support for Trump is not the only thing I will do. But how can I not try to influence someone I’ve known my entire life? I spend plenty of time “tweeting” to total strangers. The only problem is that most of those “tweets” are directed at people who already appear to share my opinion. It makes me feel good but is it going to change anything? Probably not, but neither will me getting one other person to change their vote. But what if we all made an effort to get someone we know to reconsider their support for the most dangerous President we’ve ever had? What if we all try to influence an undecided voter?

In the absence of any advice from the Twitterverse, I did some research and came across this interesting article. VetsForward is an organization that’s making an effort through personal conversations, through listening and sharing. The author, Harry Cheadle, cites a recent study showing that this type of “deep canvassing” is one of the few things that works.

Our country ended up in Trump’s hands for a number of reasons. One of those reasons is because a significant portion of our nation felt like they weren’t being listened to. We have to talk to one another to find out why. We can continue to fire off our angry tweets – I have not intention of stopping – but we have to find some space to share our stories; the stories that help others understand why we can’t let Trump win. And if you have had luck changing a Trump supporter’s mind, please share. We need to hear how you did it. Time is running out.

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