When employing these strategies project a sense of optimism and hope.
Each item includes hyperlinks to more information on the topic to help people add substance to discussions that arise. When using a slogan in conversation, put it in a sentence, for example: We need to Export Products, Not Jobs. Use slogans as drive-by rebuttals in blog comment sections. Add them as ‘signature files’ to emails and forum posts and on Facebook. Use one as a text message to a friend or as a "tweet". See what happens.
- Export Products Not Jobs
- Get America Wired
- Hire Veterans
- Support Small Businesses
- Win the Future
- Tomorrow’s Energy Today!
- Keep America Moving (High Speed Rail)
- Be a Nation Builder: TEACH
- Expect Excellence (Education)
- Invent Invest Rebuild
- ObamaCare = Health Security
- ObamaCares for us
- America The Optimist
- Think Big Dream Bigger (Entrepreneurship)
- We Do Big Things
Another form of ‘talking point’ is the Conversation Starter. These come in the form of complete sentences meant to elicit responses so the speaker can learn more about the beliefs of the people around them. These can be dropped into a conversation at the water cooler, dinner table or after church. The idea of the conversation starter is to LISTEN to what people are saying as a learning experience. Think of it as gathering intelligence or conducting a mini-focus group.
These conversations do not need to be guided and the objective is not to persuade anyone to change their beliefs. The impulse is to educate or debate, but the goal is to emulate President Obama and just listen. Next, take into account all points of view and craft a persuasive message which is used at a later date. This is an exercise in self-discipline, patience, and acceptance.
- We need to invest in infrastructure. (look for data on both crumbling infrastructure and on Stimulus-based construction programs—show the contrast)
- Corporations need to pay their fair share in taxes in this Country. (There’s an AP article somewhere about something like 62% of companies paying zero taxes)
- Where are the private sector jobs? (Big business sitting on 2 trillion in cash) (Startup America)
- “So instead of subsidizing yesterday’s energy, let’s invest in tomorrow’s.” (direct quote from SOTU)(information about repowering America and subsidies for Oil, Gas and Coal)
- Our kids should all have the best schools in the world. (focus on the best schools and the schools that have made radical changes like the one in Colorado mentioned in the SOTU)
Using casual get togethers such as a backyard BBQ, swim party, or potluck can be an effective way to reach out to neighbors and friends. Here is one man's strategy:
What I do is make sure that I have a handful of friends/neighbors who are well informed and ready to help deflate the Fox News media machine. We have a meeting at my house a week ahead of time, and discuss how we are going to handle the neighborhood picnic. Our instruction is for them to move between groups who are talking, listen to the conversation, and join in. When somebody starts to complain about jobs, health care, deficits, government spending, etc., that's their cue to make sure everyone understands how the Democratic program is working toward those goals. They can then deflate any of the false statements made by the Republican rumor mill. Our goal isn't to convert those who are in the 1/3 Republican/Tea Party group no matter what the facts. We are going after the other 1/3 who are "independents" or who are swing voters depending upon what's happening at any other point in time. We don't say anything to endorse a specific candidate, because we don't want to fall within fundraising rules for contributions to a specific candidate. We are talking about issues, not candidates.
As for the BBQ itself, it's easy. We just pass out an invitation to a neighborhood BBQ, which is easy to do in the summer or early fall. We buy a couple hundred dollars worth of hamburger patties, hot dogs, buns, and condiments from Costco. Somebody else brings some pop, ice, and an ice chest. I make a big pot of baked beans, my wife makes a huge potato salad. Often other people from the neighborhood bring things as well, we don't ask them to but they contribute anyway. Because it's a neighborhood BBQ, sponsored by us as members of the neighborhood, nobody thinks much about it as being a "political gathering".
But it gives us a chance to get the facts out. It's surprising what people think is true, thanks to the Fox noise machine, compared with the facts. Sometimes it takes about a half hour of discussion before the realization starts to come upon them that they've been scammed by the GOP. Once they realize that they are being manipulated, they start seeing everything through different eyes. Soon they realize that Democrats are much like them, concerned about the same things they are concerned about, and are making a genuine effort to change things. That's all it takes to turn a neighborhood which was apathetic or GOP controlled into the beginnings of a strong precinct which will ultimately vote Democratic.