“If you don’t wear a mask then you want your grandmother to die.” “Follow the science.” “Capitalists just hate poor people, that’s why they don’t support the minimum wage increase!”
Raise your hand if you haven’t seen these arguments made on social media. Heck, raise your hand if you HAVEN’T seen one (or all) of these made while you were scrolling Facebook in the past few hours. I’m willing to bet there are very few hands in the air right now. Even funnier is that our newest libertarians can do a decent job of dismantling these arguments. In a few posts with decent logic these bromides are blown away in the wind.
Then why are those arguments winning the war while libertarians end up a minor side show if we get any notice at all? The problem is that we don’t generate the emotional reaction that people crave.
No one cares what most of us have to say!
Until we accept the fact that perfect logic isn’t working then we aren’t doing any good. We aren’t drawing people over to our side and preparing them to accept our ideals. No one is going to follow your logic while grandma is dying in the streets and the rich are exploiting the poor to buy a bigger house.
Take a step back and think about who you’re going to convince with your approach. How well does your argument stack against dying grandmas? If your grandma was dying right now, is what you’re about to say enough to change your own mind? Would you care?
We need to start digging a little deeper and find ways to get people to care about what we have to say. We need to connect people emotionally from our libertarian ideals to the issues at hand. We need to show them a reason to care.
I spent over 3 years as a military training instructor for Air Force boot camp (go watch Full Metal Jacket for a taste of that). No amount of yelling and screaming about how to fold a t-shirt properly ever made the difference for a trainee. That was merely one tool I could apply. The first and final factors were always establishing trust and doing everything in my power to get the trainees bought in to the system. After graduating each flight I pushed through I was emotionally drained. The biggest shock of my tour as an instructor was just how much emotion would be required of me.
We need to reevaluate how we speak with people who question the good of liberty. They don’t care about stats and logic, nor should they. We need to ask ourselves how much people trust our words, and how far did we get them to buy into the righteousness of liberty.
This is difficult. I know exactly how difficult it is. But if we aren’t willing to put in the effort then why should we expect someone else to put in the effort to change their mind? And if we’re not putting in that effort, then who is?
Dig deeper. Find your emotions and show the world the good that freedom can do.