The art of persuasion is a bit like billiards; finesse beats force. It’s easy to imagine the opposite is true. I’ll admit I’ve daydreamed about delivering a hard-hitting speech packed with statistics and elegant phases to family members or friends who immediately cast aside their long held beliefs convinced that my position is the one right path.
The Republican National Committee is out with a 100-page analysis
of how the party can revive its sagging fortunes. Doubtless many of the
recommendations are good ones -- more outreach to minority and women
voters, better candidate recruitment, fewer debates during the primaries,
openness to immigration reform, competing with Democrats in absentee and
early voting and much more.
The League of Women Voters boasts that it presents "unbiased nonpartisan information about elections, the voting process, and issues." Phyllis Loya always assumed that meant the organization believed in presenting both sides of issues to its members, but recently she discovered she was wrong.
Sandra Fluke's claim to fame, aside from provoking Rush Limbaugh's misogynistic ire, is that she chose to attend Georgetown Law School, knowing full well that the Catholic university's student health plan did not cover birth control, and then demanded that the policy be changed, under force of law, as a matter of "reproductive justice."
A sea change has washed over America since Sigmund Freud asked the question that forever perplexes everybody: "What do women want?" The question remains forever elusive because women are never of one mind. To the consternation of marketers -- political and otherwise -- women don't all think alike.
Campaigning is really hard work: running from one campaign event to the next, answering hostile questions from the press, kissing babies, and shaking hands. There is no room for mistakes and no time for distractions. Being a politician is a hard life. Don’t laugh; I’m being serious.
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