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Seriously.  I dare you.

Oh, not here.  In your non daily kos life.

We all encounter Republicans and Teaparty types in our daily lives.  Some of us live with them.  We know that they are the sad product of media manipulation and lies.  They have been taught that we are the enemy.  They have been taught to hate anything that Obama says, even if it was what they themselves were saying five minutes ago.

Arguing with them is futile.  Presenting facts takes a long time and they will not listen.  Calling them names is amusing for us, of course, but is hardly going to make them want to like us.

They got this way because the right wing media and their social groups told them what they wanted or needed to hear.  Then the right wing media added in a bunch of other stuff, such as democrats are demons, trickle-down economics, Benghazi and so on and because they like the other stuff that they were hearing they decided to parrot this too.

Before we can coax them out of this, we need to diffuse this.  

And the easiest, safest way is through individually-designed praise.

Nearly every human being craves praise.  We can't get enough of it.  We're even wired to accept and believe praise that goes over the top, which, if we were an outsider observing the situation, we would discount as ridiculous.

I'm not saying you need to go that far.  Praise should be grounded in reality.  (That should be the hallmark of our party - we are grounded in reality.)

Nearly every human being has something that they are proud of - that they want to be acknowledged for - for which they deserve acknowledgement.  Perhaps it is the car they drive, the dinner they cooked, the music they played, their singing, their dancing, their quilting, their garden, their business, whatever.  Find something and praise it. If you can find what matters most to them, then you will really make their day.

When they hear you praising what is nearest and dearest, because they want to believe that, they will want to believe the other things that you say.  

Still, I recommend that you don't get into a huge argument, although you can answer questions if they ask them.  Just a few suggestions here and there.  

I was getting my teeth cleaned this week when the hygienist and the new dentist partner started complaining about health care and blaming it on Obamacare, when I offered, rather mildly, "I don't know.  It seems as if the health care system was broken before he became president.  At least he's trying to fix it."

I had not deliberately praised them before, but the fact that I was a client and could easily take my business elsewhere is enough for them to want to like me - believe me, keeping customers is more important than complaining about Obamacare.

Although I enjoy diaries titled "They're even stupider than you think" and I don't expect the talking heads on TV (including the politicians) to stop insulting each other, we are at a different point now.  We have an opportunity.  Some of the anger has died down - kos isn't even receiving enough hatemail to keep up his weekly column - we can finally break through.

Start with praise.  Then some gentle facts, not too in your face.  You can agree with them that government spending is too high, but perhaps you think it's because we fought a couple of unnecessary wars.  You can point out that you'd like the local bridge fixed and you hope the FDA keeps inspecting the meat.  Don't push it too hard.  Don't expect instant conversion.

If you want to read more about these techniques, try the Dale Carnegie classic, How to Win Friends and Influence People.

I want to unbrainwash some of those on the right.  I want to win the midterms.  I believe this technique could help.

*
Tired of politics?  Need to escape?  Try my Greek mythology based novels, either the story of Oedipus from the point of view of Jocasta, or a trilogy about Niobe, whose children were murdered by the gods - or were they?

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