Tips For Conservatives: How To Be Better Heard By The Other Side
I don’t know about you, but I see our politicians on the news and I have friends from both sides of the political spectrum in my social media feeds. So many times, I see a conservative say something that I think makes a good point. However, the point is lost because they leave out an important detail. While they may think the point is understood by everyone, I can assure you the other side doesn’t. Our tips for conservatives will help you have a more productive conversation with your liberal friends, and it’s things we wish the politicians would say to remove any confusion, too.
General Tips For Conservatives
Acknowledge the problem up front. While you may think this is unnecessary and is a given, to outsiders, it often seems like you are accepting the status quo. In many of these cases, the status quo seems obviously flawed. By acknowledging the problem, it opens up the dialogue for possible solutions, instead of appearing like you have your head in the sand.
Recognize if there is an underlying premise that you need to address first. Many times in these political discussions, your conservative perspective assumes a certain role of government in society, a certain point that life starts, etc. The other side’s argument may seem nonsensical to you, but it’s often because they view one of these underlying premises differently. You will never make progress on the issue you want to address until you change the underlying premise.
Don’t just shoot down the other side’s solution, propose your own. If we acknowledge that there is a problem, the status quo shouldn’t be acceptable. That doesn’t mean you have to accept the liberal solution, but if you don’t you should explain why, and put forward your own solution. To skip this step again makes it seem like you are throwing your hands up and reluctantly accepting the status quo.
Related: The Question Conservatives Get Wrong
Tips For Conservatives on Specific Issues
Tips for Abortion Discussions:
- At the very beginning, admit that many of these pregnant women are in difficult situations where they feel they have few other options. Also, if the discussion involves rape exemptions or lack thereof, acknowledge that rape victims are in a difficult position by no choice of their own.
- This shouldn’t be done to be manipulative or pander to the other side. We should all feel empathy and compassion for anyone that is in a situation where they feel the need to consider an abortion. If you don’t, maybe you should examine yourself before engaging in the conversation.
- Underlying premise that is important to remember – The other side doesn’t necessarily believe that life begins at conception. In fact, most probably don’t. You can try to tackle this and convince someone that they should move all the way over to your side. That’s going to be tough. Instead, can you find a point that you agree on? Is there some type of middle ground that would be an improvement to where we are today?
- What would you do to improve the situation for at-risk women that you now want to carry their babies to term? Financial support, educational support, adoption support, etc. You can’t just outlaw abortion and leave them on the street to fend for themselves. If you are pro-life, it is a whole life ethic, not just at birth.
Tips for Gun Control Discussions:
- Make it clear that you want people to be safe in schools, churches, shopping centers, concerts, etc. – While you may think this is a given, so far in the discussion, it seems like many conservatives are willing to accept these events as a necessary evil to “Keep muh guns”. This is the stereotype that you want to avoid. Acknowledging the problem up front along with proposing solutions will help. Again, not to be manipulative. It shouldn’t be hard to mourn the victims of these tragedies and sincerely mean that we want our innocent citizens to be safe in their daily lives. If you can’t be sincere in this, reconsider having this discussion.
- Underlying premise that is important to remember – The other side doesn’t believe that the 2nd amendment is unlimited and unrestricted. Also, they may be OK amending the constitution to get rid of the 2nd amendment altogether if it ensures people are safe. It’s OK to be Pro 2nd Amendment. However, trying to convince the other side of our 2nd amendment rights is probably a waste of time.
- What solutions do you have to keep people safe as they go about their daily lives? If you don’t agree with an assault rifle ban, that’s OK. Explain why, but don’t stop there. Explain what your idea is to keep people safe, since we agree that that’s a problem and the status quo is unacceptable.
Tips for Health Care Discussions:
- Make it clear that you want people to have healthcare and that you don’t want people dying in the streets. Does this sound funny to you? Then you may be out of touch with the other side, because that’s often how you sound to them. Cold-hearted, unsympathetic, and willing to let people die in the streets. Check out “Tea Party Crowd Cheers Letting Uninsured Die“. Ron Paul went on to explain it pretty well, but he didn’t make it clear enough. People still walked away thinking that Republicans want to let people die in the streets.
- Underlying premise that is important to remember – The other side often thinks if government doesn’t do it, nobody will. Remind them of other options – charities, making care affordable to start with, and treatment is already provided at hospitals. However, you should also address this in your solutions.
- What solutions do you propose? This has been above, but almost everyone recognizes there is problem in the health care system. If you aren’t going to pay for everyone’s healthcare…If it’s not the role of government to provide health care…How do you propose we make health care affordable for majority of Americans? What is the solution for those that would like to purchase it, but can’t afford it? This is a complicated situation, but again, don’t shoot down the other side’s solutions and not put forward legitimate ones of your own.
This will probably be a living document that we update from time to time with more tips for conservatives. If you are a conservative, what do you think of these tips? If you are more liberal, what would you add to the list?
Let us know your thoughts on these tips for conservatives in the comments below. (In a way that inspires civil discussion, please)
Greg Martin is a contributor for Independent Florida. He is independent, but tries to promote all 3rd parties. Outside of politics, Greg enjoys playing disc golf, kayaking, and hanging out anywhere with live music.