What NOT to say and how to start a speech has become as important as the speech itself if you want to maintain open dialogue.
So here’s my advice to liberals:
- Don’t get painted into the “weak on crime, big spender” corner.
- Start every conversation (to greatest extent possible) making it clear that you are tough on crime (especially the violent stuff). Infuse your argument with the mantra of “taking responsibility for your actions” and requiring “consequences for your actions”. Personally, I have no problem kicking off conversations on this note since I believe it and recommend it for others as long as you make sure this “tough stance” is being applied to everyone no matter what their race, religion, ethnic origin, income status, etc.
- Start every conversation with a focus on ROI (Return On Investment) and cost-benefit analysis emphasizing getting “the most bang for the buck”. Infuse every discussion with the importance of getting “results” for every dollar spent and make sure its clear that you are a zealot when it comes to preventing waste and mismanagement. As noted above concerning the “law and order” speeches, insist that implementation is conducted without any preferences concerning race, religion, income status, etc.
- If what you are proposing can not be justified in terms of “dollars and cents” and you can not identify a direct line between the spending and the result, you may want to re-consider the proposal.
So here’s my advice to conservatives:
- Start every conversation underscoring that everyone is entitled to the basics of life (food, clothing, shelter, basic medical care and safety). Make sure it’s clear that whatever you are proposing or discussing will NOT cause anyone to be cut from these basic needs. This will enable conservatives to escape from the corner that paints them as heartless, uncaring for the common person and sub-groups of society.
- Start every conversation and infuse every discussion making it clear that your proposals are cost effective while also presenting no harm to anyone. Make sure it’s clear that focusing on “dollars and cents” and results is not being done at the expense of any particular person or group. If what you are proposing causes harm, you might want to reconsider it.
Now this new way of conversing may not overcome ALL polarizing stumbling blocks (especially those cultural/religious values topics) but it might get some conversational traction where it currently does not exist. As I make this proposal, I keep thinking of those conversations which never get off the ground because of initial “sound bites”. I also think of those conversations in which 2 people agree on all topics up to the point at which it becomes known that a “liberal” or a “conservative” is the proponent and we revert to being at logger heads.
Looking forward to any/all thoughts and further suggestions. Also looking forward to sharing this sense of collaboration, communication and tough-love no nonsense policies in my upcoming novel.