The Kavanaugh hearings have certainly shown the tremendous challenge our country is facing. We are on the verge of a dramatic loss of liberty and the rule of law. The left clearly is intent on the end of America as we know it. The French Revolution is eating up the American Revolution.
What can we do?
Job one is voting and encouraging other like-minded people to vote as well. But we can do more.
Talk effectively by considering the interests of others (Phil. 2:4). The first key to effective talking is to know who you are talking to, and what motivates them. Many conservatives just don’t do this. But we should.
Start with feelings. We tend to assume if we present enough facts, everyone will agree with us. Well, like it or not, the fact is that many people today base their actions on feelings, not facts. Many just use facts to support a position they came to via intuition, emotion, etc. Facts are important, of course. But if you want to get to facts, you usually need to go through the feelings. To help me remember how people work, I have a sign in my office, which reads “Feel Think Act”.
Know the hearer’s moral taste buds. In Jonathan Haidt’s best-selling book The Righteous Mind, he convincingly asserts that people’s actions are driven by six focal points of morality. Helpfully, he uses the analogy of taste buds. Just as some people like sweet, and others sour or salty, different people tend to focus on different moral factors. Many, for instance, are far more concerned with care (compassion) than with liberty.
For example, a major group opposed to Measure 106 calls itself No Cuts to Care. Who would want to cut care? That’s talking effectively. That doesn’t mean we abandon that issue. But it does mean that we might want to focus on the harm (opposite of care) done to the baby and the emotional and psychological harm done to the mother. We care deeply about these moms and their babies, and we should let that show. You might also talk about the harm done to the conscience of those being forced to pay for what they believe to be evil.
What about the Sanctuary State ballot measure? The fact is that illegal aliens are harmed in multiple ways by choosing an illegal way to enter the country. They would be much more cared for if they just get in line and do it right. Care for immigrants is one reason to oppose sanctuary cities and states, which tempt illegals to their own detriment.
Here are Haidt’s six moral taste buds, with their opposites.
Haidt’s massive research reveals that of these six, liberals overwhelmingly tend to use only the first two (care and fairness) while conservatives tend to use all six. So, if we talk to an independent or democrat voter, we need to try to understand what he finds “tasty” or appealing, and then speak in a way that involves that “taste.”
Talk to the reasonable. Kavanaugh made appeals to fairness and compassion in his testimony. It did no good with the astonishingly slanderous Democrats. That might be called casting pearls before swine, who can’t distinguish between a pearl and a rock. He knows that. He was talking to a few Senators and hopefully most Americans who, we might say, are still reasonable. We need to do the same.