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It’s that time of year when we (and I’m assuming that if you read my stuff, this applies to you) all lose a few friends due to political conversations. Choosing between the lesser of two evils is dicey stuff. Only the most loving or ambivalent of friendships withstand the test.
Good thing we have Gary Johnson & Bill Weld to save the day!
Worst case scenario, your friends will think you are overly optimistic for supporting the Libertarian candidates. That’s an indictment I will happily live with.
Governors Johnson and Weld came to Salt Lake City on 6 Aug for a rally at the University of Utah. We had an awesome turnout, a roaring crowd of 1500 people along with coverage from every news outlet in town. I had the privilege of photographing the event and participating in the press conference beforehand. The podcast episode attached to this post contains the audio from the press conference. Senator Mark Madsen (newly minted Libertarian, having recently left the Republican Party), joined Johnson & Weld for the media Q&A.
Gary Johnson and Bill Weld are well known for their ability to “reach across the isle”. Their political careers provide the evidence; I’m now beginning to see the mechanism behind it. They don’t spend time talking negatively about thier opponents. They understand that words have power, and choose to focus that power on THEIR ideas, principles, and plans. Not only that, they come to every conversation with an understanding that most of us have more in common than we realize. When you begin a political conversation by recognizing and discussing the points you have in common, it sets the stage for a truly open minded exchange where differing points of view may be considered. “Debate” is nearly useless as a tool for convincing people. How many times has your mind been changed because someone proved to you how wrong you are? That’s what I thought. 😉 A couple of thoughts from the unofficial Gary Johnson / Bill Weld playbook of sharing Libertarianism:
- Don’t waste time talking negatively about Trump or Clinton. It’s all been said. They do it to each other and themselves better than you or I could ever dream of doing.
- Realize that most of us have A LOT in common. Begin your conversations by talking about the things you have in common. (For instance, Bernie supporters and Libertarians are both very concerned about crony capitalism and VALUE ethics in business).
- Rather than attack other points of view, spend time sharing the positives of your own position and how it’s made a difference in your life / how you expect it to make a difference.
- Accept that not everyone is going to agree with your conclusions. Make sure you remain friends. Friendship is more important than being “right”.