Tag: persuasion

Diplomacy Won the Cold War

 

General Donn StarryStrategic clarity plus skillful diplomacy won a Beltway battle, setting conditions for Cold War victory. This is a story of a star among senior military leaders, U. S. Army General Donn Starry. He was not alone, but was a key change agent when the armed services were floundering post-Vietnam. General Starry, an Army officer, had no power over his Air Force counterparts. Yet, over the course of several years, Starry both kept the scale of the Warsaw Pact threat clear and persuaded senior Air Force staff, with their congressional backers, that there was a win-win solution between the two services. He was one of the leaders at the heart of the AirLand Battle doctrinal shift. General Starry’s story offers lessons for successful leadership and organizational change beyond those rare occasions when orders command action. In addition to leadership lessons, we will have a brief cautionary tale about the dangerous power of a tale well told.

Post-Vietnam Conditions

Not just equipment

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It started with a phone call one April morning in 1995. Republicans, in the 1994 elections, had won historic victories during President Bill Clinton’s first mid-term election. The GOP recaptured control of the US Senate, led by Majority Leader Robert J. Dole (R-KS), and control of the US House for the first time in 40 […]

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Yascha Mounk is the founder of Persuasion, an online community and publication for people who believe in the importance of the social practice of persuasion, and are determined to defend free speech and free inquiry against all its enemies. They seek to persuade people who disagree with them, rather than to mock or troll them. He and Bridget discuss the rise of the populism, why status anxiety is the strongest predictor of populist movement in society, the idea of white fragility, and why exhorting whites in the US to take on a strong collective racial identity is not the way to build a fair, multi-ethnic democracy in this country. They look at how many authoritarian leaders have come to power in the last 20 years, share their hope for the future, and examine the idea that many Americans don’t want to win the culture war, they want the culture war to go away.

 

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Over recent years, I’ve notice that much political communication…ranging from formal statements by politicians down to off-the-cuff social media posts by individuals..has come to consist mostly of insulting one’s opponents. While there has always been a considerable amount of this, political insult has now become so prevalent as to drive out more rational forms of […]

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Harden Not Their Hearts (or Minds)

 

As states and localities figure out how to proceed on COVID-19, I’ve noticed a framing of the argument that I think is a mistake, at least at this point on this particular issue. The framing I’m seeing is one of liberty vs. tyranny. Stay at home, wear a mask, follow the arrows in the grocery store aisles, and so on. As someone who largely agrees with those who think the benefit of staying home is far outweighed by the economic damage, those skeptical that wearing a mask will do much, and those disdainful of traffic signs for stores, are using framing will harden the hearts and minds of the people on the other side.

Immigration restriction comes to mind. When someone tells me that I hold my positions because of racism, despite my having laid out my actual reasons, then my heart and my mind closes. There is no conversation anymore, there is no compromise, there is only strife. War. Pick your issue — abortion, same-sex marriage, gun control, whatever. When my interlocutor insists that I want to impose racism, control women’s wombs, or see people die, I stop caring what they say because they obviously don’t care what I’m saying. I stop listening to them because they’re obviously not listening to me. When that happens, there is no way we can have any sort of exchange or even come away with a mutually agreeable plan. On the other hand, people can and do change minds when we’re actually talking about the same things and not mischaracterizing others. At least we understand each other and can continue with love and trust.

The Geography of Reason

 

The Philosopher Aristotle divided persuasion into three parts: Ethos, Pathos, and Logos. Traditionally, we have thought of them as three separate modes of persuasion, I propose we think of them as three connected parts of shaping one’s geography of reason.

First, some definitions:

Ethos (Nature) is the word from which we get Ethnicity (natural group of people) and is traditionally thought of as persuasion by credibility. For example, doctors are credible so we are persuaded to take their advice on medicine. The criticism of Ethos is that it is an “Appeal to authority” which is a logical fallacy that lends people to say it is inferior.

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Reading an editorial in the Wall Street Journal last week (How San Francisco is Killing Its Restaurants, October 17) I found myself thinking that the author seems to assume that everyone agrees that more restaurants is an inherently good thing. [The editorial may be behind a paywall.] What if a person whom the author is […]

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I’ve been involved in enough discussions with lefties to know that facts don’t matter. I’ve got all the facts at the ready to prove: there is no “wage gap” between men and women that can be attributed to sexism. It is almost exclusively due to the career/job choices of individual women. My nieces (several of […]

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In this 30-minute video- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I3BQGwESVbU Scott Adams discusses Trump’s tactics vs. Hillary’s, argues, at the 29 minute point, that Trump is permanently changing the Republican Party, and points out that Trump was able to soften his immigration stance after he had first paced (i.e. matched) his supporters views. (At the 14 minute point, he almost […]

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Ricochetti love to argue. Lawyers love to argue. Therefore, it’s no surprise that many Ricochetti are lawyers. That makes total sense, right? Or maybe it doesn’t. It’s an example of faulty logic, even if it’s factually true. Very few of us are ever taught logic; most of what I knew before I started studying for the law […]

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In his post http://ricochet.com/respectable-positions-on-trump/ St. Augustine mentions “Trump’s promises to intentionally target civilians in the war on terror.” as a reason to not vote for him. Others have reacted to similar over-the-top remarks by Trump pertaining to illegal Mexican immigration, as well as his promises to make Mexico pay for the wall, save Medicare, Medicaid […]

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Luke, Chapter 5:  While the crowd was pressing in on Jesus and listening to the word of God, he was standing by the Lake of Gennesaret. He saw two boats there alongside the lake; the fishermen had disembarked and were washing their nets. Getting into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, he asked him […]

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Scott Adams, the creator of the ‘Dilbert’ cartoon, has a series of blog posts on Trump, analyzing the reasons for his success. Adams has studied persuasion and hypnosis (he’s a certified hypnotist) and after observing ‘The Donald’ in action, believes Trump is incredibly skilled in persuasion, going so far as to say of him “To […]

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Republicans, Give Me Something to Work With

 

I’ve been having some breakthrough conversations about politics and government with a Millenial who works with me. He’s an intelligent lad, and well-informed, though his limited life experience hasn’t chipped away at his idealism yet.

He has a number of conservative views and opinions — net neutrality, big data, TSA, etc. — although he doesn’t necessarily recognize them as such. But hey, it’s a start.

The Lost Art of Political Persuasion

 

Persuasion used to matter in politics. A good politician was someone with the inclination — and the skill — to convince people who weren’t among his supporters to endorse his preferred policy or legislation.

There are many ways to accomplish this. Lyndon Johnson operated at the retail level, so to speak. Johnson was a master at twisting arms in the Senate, and cajoling members on both sides of the aisle into forming a coalition to pass whatever legislation he wanted. In contrast, Ronald Reagan worked wholesale. He had a genius for convincing millions of voters he was right and — through them — convincing his political opponents that supporting the president’s policies was the best way to keep their jobs.