Use this one clever trick to save your friends and loved ones from voting for Trump!
A Socratic approach to turn Trump voters into Johnson supporters
Don’t worry, this is not click-bate. This is a guide to convincing your friends and family not to vote for Trump, not by arguing with them, but by using questions to understand their motivations. The goal is to let them show themselves how little they either know or support their candidate and then offer them an alternative in Gary Johnson, the Libertarian candidate.
How it works
Bombarding a Trump supporter with facts and figures won’t work, they will ignore them. Impassioned argument is also pointless, that will simply lose you friends and make a scene. The best way I know of to change someone’s perspective is to try to understand them, and then use questions to help them come to understand you, essentially the Socratic approach.
The first step is to ask a question. Something like this. “What is it that most appeals to you about Donald Trump?”
Then listen to them, and once they have finished agree with them. For example “Yes, I could see how Trump’s business success would help him create jobs if he won.”
You don’t need to agree with the whole statement, just carve out some part you can agree with. It will keep them open to more.
Next, ask them a follow up question which will allow them to begin the walk to where you are standing. For example “I don’t know much about his business career, how did he make his money?”
Now you can use the facts listed below each follow up question to doubt, but not disagree with each of their responses. For example “Oh, I think I read something a bit different the other day, have you seen this article?”
Keep going, be patient, be interested, and look for the right opportunity to suggest Gary Johnson as a more rational Trump alternative. Conversion to Hillary is unlikely but at least a vote for Gary is not a vote for Trump.
Why it works
The idea behind this technique is that if a person feels their point of view is respected they are more apt to allow it to be changed.
Unless someone is consciously lying, they believe what they are saying to be true. Every issue has multiple sides so what they are saying is true from their point of view. What you need to do is make it pleasant for them to walk to your vantage point and see things the way you do.
The questions create engagement and invite your interlocutor along for the journey with you, rather than dragging them kicking and screaming.
This is not a new technique.
Socrates gave the concept a name, Socratic debate, in ancient times. Benjamin Franklin used it to great effect during the formation of our country. It’s a personal favourite of Charlie Munger. Modern psychologists including Edward de Bono continue to develop it with new research.
Today you are going to use it to ensure that America walks away from this election with a rational leader.
The Questions & Responeses
What is it that most appeals to you about Donald Trump?
A. His personality - Says it like it is, honest, passionate, cares about America… - Go to follow up question A1 or A2
B. His success - He is a self made man, a good business man, deal maker… - Go to follow up question B1 or B2
C. His plans - The wall between the US and Mexico, Banning all Muslims, Returning Manufacturing Jobs, Veterans… - Go to follow up question C1 or C2
D. I am only voting for Trump because I don’t want to vote for Hillary - Go to follow up question D
Yes, but… ( says something else they like about Trump) — Go to A, B, or C as appropriate
Oh, I didn’t know that… (looks like they are wavering on Trump) — Go to D
Follow up questions and supporting information
A1. I don’t know. Don’t you feel like Trump sometimes stretches the truth a bit?
According to the political fact checker Politifact Trump is the most dishonest candidate by an order of magnitude.
“We’ve fact-checked Trump about 160 times. We have rated 76 percent of those statements Mostly False, False or Pants on Fire. As we noted when we awarded Trump our 2015 Lie of the Year award for his portfolio of misstatements, no other politician has as many statements rated so far down the dial. It’s unlike anything we’ve ever seen.”
Some of his favourite lies include:
“We’re the highest taxed nation in the world”
Data from 2014, the most recent year available, shows that the United States wasn’t the most highly taxed by the typical metrics and actually places near the bottom or around the middle of the pack.
“The unemployment rate may be as high as 42 percent.”
Getting a percentage that high requires believing that being a full-time student, a senior citizen, a stay-at-home parent, a job-training participant, or having a disability is no excuse for not holding down a full-time job. The highest alternative unemployment-rate measure we could come up with that had any credibility was 16.4 percent.
A2. He has been pretty derogatory towards women though, right?
Trump first wife Ivana divorced him on the grounds that he raped her after her plastic surgeon did a poor job removing Trumps bald spot with scalp reduction surgery. She had also caught him cheating with Marla Maples, his next, and now ex, wife.
In a 2015 statement however Ivana recanted claiming that she meant “raped” in an emotional sense.
Source: US Magazine
He also apparently believes that sexual assault is a natural state of affairs between men and women.
“26,000 unreported sexual assaults in the military-only 238 convictions. What did these geniuses expect when they put men & women together?”
Source: Twitter, @realDonaldTrump
B1. I don’t know much about his business career, how did he make his money?
Trump has had some success in real estate, but almost all his other ventures have flopped, including four casino, Trump Steaks, jewelery and retail clothing lines and the now infamous Trump University.
Business Week estimated Trump’s net worth at $100 million in 1978 (including $40 million inherited from his father that year). If Trump had merely put that money in an index fund based on the S&P 500 index — — the kind many Americans use to save for retirement — — he would be worth $6 billion today.
Bloomberg News has estimated Trump’s net worth at only $2.9 billion, while Forbes put it at $4.1 billion. Since Trump’s businesses aren’t public, the true figure isn’t clear although he claims his total net worth to be $10 billion.
Source: The Washington Post
B2. Haven’t some of his business deals been a little unethical though?
During the construction of his casino in Atlantic city Trump entered into long legal battle with an elderly widow who refused to sell him her family home, which he wanted to turn into a private limo park. In addition to dropping debris from the building site and setting her roof on fire, his lawyers threatened her with eminent domain. The courts eventually ruled in her favour.
He knowingly employed illegal immigrants (200 Polish Workers) in the construction of Trump Tower, and cheated them of their pay.
Trump University was an unlicensed educational institution which claimed to teach Trump’s real estate secrets, but which in fact provided substandard material at exorbitant rates — in some cases students paid up to $35,000. It is currently the subject of a major class action lawsuit.
Source: The National Review
C1. Do you think he can really do all the stuff he is promising?
While Trump would likely be able to prevent Muslims entering the country many of his other promises are not within the power of the executive branch.
Even with the support of Congress repealing the Affordable Care Act would mean leaving at least 12 million Americans uninsured, and replacing it (as Trump suggests) would likely be a very slow process.
Forcing companies to return manufacturing jobs to the US by introducing high import tariffs would require conversational support and would also likely result in serious repercussions for our existing manufacturing sector a another countries raise their tariffs in response.
The sweeping tax cuts Donald has suggested would require conversational support and would create an very large budget gap.
Source: NY Times
C2. Wow, I didn’t realise he cared so much about veterans. Has he always done that?
Forbes’s Emily Canal found that the billionaire property developer donated only $57,000 to veterans organisations through his foundation between 2009 and 2013. To put that in perspective, the Trump Foundation donated nearly $5.5 million in total in that period, including between $100,001 and $250,000 to the Clinton Foundation.
Source: The National Review
D. Do you know who Gary Johnson is?
He is presidential candidate for the Libertarian party. By recent polls he already has a substantial portion of the vote, and this would be an ideal election to shuffle the current stagnant party system.
He is a strong fiscal conservative, who will work to reduce taxes and government spending. He supports the right to bear arms, is focused on jobs and proved all of this during his 12 years as governor of New Mexico.
He is also tough man, a competitive triathlete who has climbed Everest, as well the the tallest mountain on every continent (the seven summits). A baptised Lutheran, he is personally a strong believer.
Source: Johnson/Weld Campaign Homepage