Conversations can spread leftwing ideas. Right now we have a lot of time for conversations. People are looking for an explanation of what’s going on. People are newly impoverished. People are yearning to connect. So now is a better time than any other time in my lifetime.
Over my life I have moved at least a score of people significantly to the left. Some of these people I moved from social democracy to socialism. Some I moved from very mild left-liberalism to social democracy. Others I moved from the right to centre-left. I regard each of these as a success.
In a handful of cases it was because they followed my FB status updates, blog posts etc, but in most cases- or at least most of the cases I know about, it was because I had one on one conversations with them about politics.
These conversations were most successful when I was honest about what I stood for, while also exercising discretion and not grandstanding. When I listened as much as I spoke. When I articulated how the person’s already pre-existing sentiments were reasonable- and were part of a larger whole.’
I have an idea I’d love to see someone take up. You can do it without me, or I’m happy to help. A sort of campaign to encourage people to talk to others about leftwing ideas. I’m thinking a bunch of corny stuff. A hashtag like #talktome. A frame for Facebook and Twitter profile pics. Advice on how to plan to systematically talk to your friends about politics.
Maybe it’s silly, but now feels like a terrible time to stay still. Better to throw things at the wall and see if they stick, then watch on in cynical silence.
Send me an email at sumdeponyATgmailDOTcom if you want to work on this with me.