Bookworm’s advice on how to talk to liberals — if you want to be persuasive to them — is at her blog and American Thinker. She took a shellacking in the comments at American Thinker from conservatives who do not suffer fools gladly. I am sorry to see that. She replied by politely pointing out the advantage of her methods is that they work and if we want to start winning elections again, successful persuasion skills are the way to go. I’m with her.
Based on my own intuition, I see I have been applying a couple of the approaches she recommends because I am in the vexing position of having to reach out not only to liberals but also to social conservatives, who believe I do not deserve equality as a U.S. citizen because I am a lesbian. I also realized that my behavior sets the tone for my blog — and I want my blog to be a respectful and compassionate place where thoughtful people can exchange views, even when they disagree. So I don’t call names — well, hardly ever, I think I said some mean things in strikeout text about George Will, which I will not retract because the main reason I never understood conservatism before the fall of 2008 is that he’s been the columnist explaining it to me.
Mainly I look for the good in my readers and try to call it forth by shining some light when there are gaps between their intentions and their actions. I genuinely love my social conservative readers’ love of God and desire to do right. That’s our common ground. I suppose if I have one thing to add to Bookworm’s list, it is to remember that truth and dogma are two separate things, but dogma always poses as truth. Remembering that is the foundation of learning to tell them apart. My theory is that people will drop a dogma that is dividing them from their values once they feel the constriction of the dogma and see their way to the higher truth that is consistent with their ideals.