E minus 1 – If one actually wants to persuade people, advises a South Carolina sage, ask carefully chosen questions instead of serving up the usual talking points for your viewpoint. It doesn’t hurt to ask, Trey Gowdy, 2020.
The art of persuasion: Ask questions versus hurling opinions and insults, set realistic goals (wholesale conversions are few and far between), master the facts, be open to other views (you could be the one who is wrong), and avoid making things personal.
This approach clearly has some advantages, and it’s also relatively easy to execute. We have included some thought-starter notes, but will leave the conclusions up to readers. If you feel disposed to share your thoughts re any or all of the questions, please drop a line to firstname.lastname@example.org.
1. Are you glad the 2020 elections are about to end?
Annoying political ads – endless requests for money – phony claims – interesting claims (that may never get investigated if the other side wins) – doubted your side would benefit from more time – anxiety about the outcome – etc.
2. Did the 2020 elections remind you of prior elections, or were they distinctively different in some respects? Scope: Presidential primaries – national conventions – presidential debates - congressional and state races – political ads – etc.
Features: Incumbent president running as the “outsider” – first impeached president to run for reelection – challenger would be oldest president to ever take office – COVID-19 effects on campaign activities – unprecedented volume of early voting – massive campaign spending - widespread civil unrest – foreign interference in the elections – etc.
3. What should voters pay the most attention to, their impressions of the candidates or of the issues? If Trump loses, it’s on Trump, Ben Shapiro, townhall.com, 10/7/20. To all those who “vote for the man, not the party,” Dennis Prager, townhall.com, 10/6/20. 4. What did voters see as the biggest issues?
Front burner (per polls): Dealing with COVID-19 pandemic – rebooting the economy – healthcare – global warming - taxes – law and order – racism - etc.
Less noticed: Foreign policy – deficits & debt – prospective bankruptcy of Social Security, Medicare, etc. – US going Socialist - US political system on brink of collapse – etc.
Looking for virtues in both Trump and Biden, Quin Hilyer, Washington Examiner, 10/30/20.
8. Which party had the best agenda and campaign strategy?
Election issues: Congressional agenda, 9/21/20. (A review and critique of the House GOP effort, which was considerably less robust than the Contract with America campaign in 1994.)
Numerous position papers were posted on the Biden campaign site under “Joe’s vision,” but not necessarily tracked during the campaigning.
9. Which presidential candidate will win, and how will the congressional races come out?
Pre-election polls generally had Biden and Dems winning both houses of Congresses – polls were wrong in 2016 - polls are currently tightening – Biden is doing better than Clinton was four years ago – reports that some Trump supporters are switching sides, e.g., suburban women – reports that Trump is gaining ground with black and Hispanic voters.
Due to heavy mail-in voting and other factors, the election results may not be determined expeditiously after the polls close.
8 states in voting lawsuits with elections less than a week away, Zack Smith & Hans von Spakovsky, deailysignal.com, 10/28/20. Americans worry about 2020 being another 2000, but the real worry is another 1876, Rachel Shelden & Erik Alexander (WaPo), chron.com, 10/20/20. 10. What does outcome of the elections portend for future of this country, and why?
Killing the filibuster would be a power grab by Democrats, Washington Examiner, 7/24/20.
Assuming Democrats won both the presidency and both houses of Congress, big changes appear likely: “Election mandates imposing ballot harvesting and mail-in voting on states would be likely. Democrats could also expand the size of the federal appellate courts and even the Supreme Court with a mere 51 votes. The only restraint would be public opinion, but Democrats (unlike Republicans) would have a cheerleading press corps behind them.” The more important election, Wall Street Journal, 8/26/20.
Biden says he’ll set up commission to study Supreme Court reform if elected, John Bowden, thehill.com, 10/22/20. No matter who wins, there is no exit from the roller coaster anytime soon, Salena Zito, Washington Examiner, 10/11/20. George Soros’s Plan B if Biden loses, Frank Wright, townhall.com, 11/1/20. Pelosi says Biden will win “whatever the end count on Tuesday,” Jim Hayek, americantruthtoday.com, 11/1/20. White House Adviser Jason Miller hints legal battle to stop counting ballots after Election Day, Tyler Van Dyke, Washington Examiner, 11/1/20.