One of the things I have been thinking about a lot lately is how hard it is to communicate complex ideas in a simple way. The most difficult thing about politics and about communicating with other people about morals, is that sometimes, we are unable to get across what we’d like to. Policy and the world it is made in, are rarely simplistic and are often more complicated than most people realize or understand. The easiest way people find to get around this is to judge the character of people before trusting them to do policy. This is why politics is often a battle of personality and values. It comes down to whether you trust the person or not. The down to earth fellow is popular partially because you trust them. The right wing has generally had a pretty good handle on being able to market themselves and their ideas. They often use simplistic ideas and slogans and appeals to morality to sell themselves. It matters not that the opponents cry foul or try to show how the actual policies hurt people, they don’t need to be listened to because they are untrustworthy. Why listen to your enemy? If you can’t trust your opponent no need to give them any sort of benefit of the doubt. However, the true left wing ideas are often very complex and require explanations that are less simplistic. Whenever a slogan appealing to the left appears, it is mostly about caring for each other and protecting minorities. These are important things but they rarely are able to counteract the appeal of simple solutions.
If I were to make any suggestions to people I’d first say we all must learn to communicate our ideas in a more concise manner but to do that, we must first convince people to listen. The more complicated parts can wait until we have a willing audience and there is no reason that we can’t convince even some conservative minded people to listen to us.
- Be humble and be willing to admit mistakes. I know that many people see admitting fault as weakness, but I think you’ll find more people appreciate that than don’t.
- Identify those people who are too indoctrinated in right wing hate and do not engage with them. I know it is unpopular not to talk to the extremist right and rebut their idiotic ideas, but their ideas are only useful if they are allowed to be discussed. It is not immoral to choose what ideas are morally acceptable. We can decide as a community.
- We should talk more about the different types of freedom. We should identify the difference between positive liberty and negative liberty. This has helped me a lot and I think the more people know what this means the better. Nebulous terms like freedom, democracy, liberty, free-markets etc are not helpful.
- Positive liberty is the amount of agency you have in your life to act upon your own will and the negative freedom is the freedom to agency without interference from external restraints. Negative liberty is the general conservative mindset.