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I am not an expert on Republicans, but I know a lot of them. Say what you will but if you want to "move" them talk to their pocketbook. There are a couple examples of this I will use below the fold, but just a story to start.

Joan wrote a diary about the Republicans in the House looking to go after light bulbs again.

Well years ago my father, who is nothing close to a liberal, went with me to Home Depot. They had like four energy efficient light bulbs on sale for $2.99. I was in my late 30s at the time, my father knows I am a liberal, but we know each other well. He knows when I tell him something I am not making it up. He can bet on it I am right. Said we ought to buy them all, great price and they will SAVE HIM MONEY. So we did. Changed every light in my house and his.

That was six years ago and only one of the bulbs we bought has failed. On the front porch of my dad's house, which is on a timer and runs like 10 hours a day.

My dad would not have bought these bulbs and used them if I told him he was saving the world. Instead it would save him money, and it did.

Where we don't debate well, we don't understand what "buttons" to push with moderate Republicans.

The Affordable Care Act. It would make your insurance less. You pay less when everybody is paying. Even better it might make this little company you founded better able to compete against a firm in a nation with government provided health care.

Food Stamps. SNAP. For every dollar spent on SNAP gives us back $1.57 to our economy.

You don't need to debate what we often do. That everybody should have health care. Children without food is a bad thing. I totally think those are amazing goals. But IMHO Republicans don't think that way. They don't react the way I might. You have to talk to their pocketbook.

We are better on all these issues. Yet we don't talk about it.

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Comment Preferences

  •  That Light Bulb Story Is Key For Me (7+ / 0-)

    and I hope folks get it. If I told my father buying them would change the world he'd laugh at me. I was kind of thinking that but didn't say it. That it saved him money, well that is something he cares about.

    •  I've Quit Buying Them. (3+ / 0-)

      A good 1/3 to half that I've bought don't last any longer than incandescents because of the cheap Chinese construction, LED lights too. 2 of my 3 desk LED lamps I bought last year are flickering too badly to use any more.

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Wed Jul 10, 2013 at 03:55:08 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I Guess I Got A Good Batch (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        commonmass

        I have a five bedroom house and not changed out a light since I bought these. Not a one.

      •  BUY. . . (0+ / 0-)

        only CREE LED'S, available exclusively at the Home Despot.

      •  Don't buy 'em at Walmart (0+ / 0-)

        Quality is the key to durability and total cost.

        look for my eSci diary series Thursday evening.

        by FishOutofWater on Wed Jul 10, 2013 at 06:52:04 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Walmart's Dirty Little Secret (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          TracieLynn, blueoasis

          Walmart gets the manufacturer to change the specs in order to meet the price points specified while the packaging remains essentially unchanged.  They change the numbers on the item only enough to identify the product as having been distributed through Walmart.  Of course, to meet the price points, the manufacturer reduces the overall quality of the products - they just don't tell you that they've done that.  The consumer thinks they're getting a deal when in realtiy they're really just getting the shaft.  Unfortuanately in this world of global commerce, "caveta emptor" applies more than ever.

          "Love the Truth, defend the Truth, speak the Truth, and hear the Truth" - Jan Hus, d.1415 CE

          by PrahaPartizan on Wed Jul 10, 2013 at 08:16:07 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Yup. 's why (0+ / 0-)

      my father switched to them too.

      Irony takes a worse beating from Republicans than Wile E. Coyote does from Acme. --Tara the Antisocial Social Worker

      by Youffraita on Wed Jul 10, 2013 at 04:27:11 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The Republican Obamacare Ads Are Now Running. (4+ / 0-)

    You lose choice of doctor, you'll pay more, and your salary will be cut.

    Unfortunately it's not really a debate at all.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Wed Jul 10, 2013 at 03:53:52 PM PDT

  •  We do debate well. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jan4insight

    Take, for instance, your use of "us" in your title. Remove "liberals" and the sentence is "us can't debate well." It should be "WE liberals can't debate well."

    Your rebuttal? ;)

    Facebook
    If you say "gullible" real slow, it sounds like "green beans."

    by weatherdude on Wed Jul 10, 2013 at 03:55:11 PM PDT

  •  I'd add (5+ / 0-)

    there is even a weird effect where if folks start doing the right thing for selfish reasons, they often start doing the right thing for unselfish reasons.

    I don't know why, but I think it has something to do with learning that it doesn't hurt to do the right thing...it can even feel good.

    "Empty vessels make the loudest sound, they have the least wit and are the greatest blabbers" Plato

    by Empty Vessel on Wed Jul 10, 2013 at 03:56:01 PM PDT

    •  ^^This ^^ (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      starduster, Empty Vessel

      should get a lot more discussion! imnsho.

      "I don't love writing, but I love having written" ~ Dorothy Parker // Visit my Handmade Gallery on Zibbet

      by jan4insight on Wed Jul 10, 2013 at 06:50:40 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Maybe, but there are people (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Empty Vessel

      who are so wedded to being anti anything liberal that they will pay any price to avoid doing what they believe liberals do.

      My Republican brothers, for example. The younger one was horrified by Sarah Palin and believed that she would ruin the world if she got near the White House. But guess who he voted for- cause he could never vote for a Democrat.

      The older one got fined regularly for not recycling. He just paid the fines, cause he was not gonna recycle like some hippie liberal.

  •  Two pronged (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    webranding, commonmass, codairem, grollen

    The short term stuff you can argue this way.  Efficiency saves money and what not.

    But some of what needs to be moved is how we all think about big-picture stuff.  And some good stuff is gonna cost us more in the short term.

    Sometimes, on issues like infrastructure spending or education, you've got to appeal to competitiveness and patriotism with these guys.  You've got to say "We need to stay the best damned country in the world, goddamit!  And that means don't let those Germans beat us in the Solar race."

    •  efficiency saves money (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jan4insight, VClib

      investment makes money. That's the big picture talk. I've had my best success (mild, admittedly) by casting things that cost now as investments that will pay off in the long haul.

      That also gives space for talking about investing in multiple avenues. Everyone understands that not all investments pay off.

      47 is the new 51!

      by nickrud on Wed Jul 10, 2013 at 04:07:29 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I agree. We don't frame our arguments well. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nickrud, webranding, matador, grollen

    Common sense suggests that your utility bills should trump politics. Except that our utility bills are totally connected to politics.

    Anyone who chooses to destroy the environment on purpose is not my friend. But I have plenty of people who do it and don't know it.

    I resent that. I demand snark, and overly so -- Markos Moulitsas.

    by commonmass on Wed Jul 10, 2013 at 04:03:12 PM PDT

  •  People tend to act in their own self interests. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    matador

    The key is convincing people that something will be of benefit to them. Unfortunately, reasoned arguments are usually drowned out by cleverly constructed spin—repeated ad nauseum.

    "The human eye is a wonderful device. With a little effort, it can fail to see even the most glaring injustice." Richard K. Morgan

    by sceptical observer on Wed Jul 10, 2013 at 04:21:59 PM PDT

  •  Failing to address self-interests (0+ / 0-)

    more or less misses the point of politics entirely, doesn't it?

    "Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel" ~Dr. Samuel Johnson

    by ActivistGuy on Wed Jul 10, 2013 at 04:39:52 PM PDT

  •  LED lightbulbs (0+ / 0-)

    Yank those old bulbs out and change everyone with CREE bulbs sold exclusively at Home Depot (gag, gag). They are the most effiscient and have the best light (dimmable) on the market. It's likely you will NEVER have to replace them. It is also likely that they will use one half the electrity of even you most effiscent curly cube bulbs.

    •  Blue LED (0+ / 0-)

      Cree has been in the solid state busniess for a long, long time.  I remember reading about how they were one of the first to develop solid state devices which could be used as active memory.  Those devices are now sold as solid state hard-drives.  Cree came up with a good LED which includes the blue sprecrum.  That makes them viable as a light source for general usage, because bulbs exclusivley in the red and yellow spectrums will annoy many people.

      "Love the Truth, defend the Truth, speak the Truth, and hear the Truth" - Jan Hus, d.1415 CE

      by PrahaPartizan on Wed Jul 10, 2013 at 08:22:09 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  CREE (0+ / 0-)

        The CREE product line is varied and expanding. They have developed not just the blue LED's you speak of but have a patent on an arrangement with red ones that results in a wonderful light. I am excited about this company and that it is US based. I fear they may switch their manufacturing to China as so many other companies have done.

  •  Nice diary. (0+ / 0-)

    I think sometimes they listen and sometimes they don't.  Your dad was a reasonable man.  

    What we need is a Democrat in the White House. Warren/Spitzer 2016

    by dkmich on Wed Jul 10, 2013 at 05:11:37 PM PDT

  •  The problem is twofold (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FishOutofWater, blueoasis

    part of it is that a lot of people do what you describe. The other problem is that very few people actually debate conservatives on their core issues. What you're talking about isn't debate, it's persuasion, which is completely different.

    You're saying we should appeal to self interest to persuade people to do things, which makes sense. But I don't see anyone out there confronting the conservatives on a more base level of ideology. And I don't mean the nonsense that people throw out about how conservatives want us to go backward or whatever. No one looks at what conservatives believe as individuals and explains how that actually lines up with actions other than what they advocate for. The problem with your method is that it only works when practical concerns align with money saving or self interest, but that isn't always true. So if we pander to the cult of self interest then we lose in the long run.

    What you're advocating is part of what got us into this mess in the first place. It's classic third way thinking.

    If debt were a moral issue then, lacking morals, corporations could never be in debt.

    by AoT on Wed Jul 10, 2013 at 05:13:33 PM PDT

  •  Unfortunately , I think (0+ / 0-)

    we increasingly lack good faith people with whom to debate , so the issue isn't whether we debate well, it's finding people who acknowledge the existence of logic.

    The examples you provide are ones that I believe we have used; appeals we have made; facts we point out. However, these things are lost on people who have fallen down the Gohmert/Bachmann/King tea-well.

    Not even Lassie can save them ( or us ) from that.

    We view "The Handmaid's Tale" as cautionary. The GOP views it as an instruction book.

    by Vita Brevis on Wed Jul 10, 2013 at 05:17:50 PM PDT

  •  Immigration reform. (0+ / 0-)

    Boosts the economy, reduces the deficit and adds money to Social Security and Medicare trust funds.

    •  Even if they cared about those things... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      blueoasis

      which they want to destroy...they know the immigrants will vote for Democrats.

      Republican tax policies have led to financial conditions which have caused Republicans to demand cuts to programs they have always opposed.

      by AppleP on Wed Jul 10, 2013 at 07:47:07 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Not sure if lying counts as good debate technique, (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    PrahaPartizan, blueoasis

    To be fair, they do frame things in short term, easily understood memes that are catchy. But much of what they spout are outright lies and much of their motive is pure obstruction or to sow confusion and cut out interference with their agenda.

    All in all, I'm not sure how much better they are at debating, but they sure are better at effective propaganda.

    Information is abundant, wisdom is scarce. ~The Druid.
    ~Ideals aren't goals, they're navigation aids.~

    by FarWestGirl on Wed Jul 10, 2013 at 07:03:29 PM PDT

    •  Framing == Propaganda (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      blueoasis, FarWestGirl

      Republicans have reduced the concept of framing to simple propaganda.  Choose the most outrageous statement and just keep repeating it forever.  When challenged, just repeat it.  When confronted, just repeat it.  Never acknowledge that you know you're wrong.,  Ultimately, the low-information voter will hear the same lie often enough they'll come to believe it's true, simply because it's been repeated so many times.  Mission accomplished.  

      I'd like to know how anyone can debate a lie which never gets unpackaged for review, because that's the situation liberals face when debating conservatives.

      "Love the Truth, defend the Truth, speak the Truth, and hear the Truth" - Jan Hus, d.1415 CE

      by PrahaPartizan on Wed Jul 10, 2013 at 08:27:48 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  With the SNAP thing, you'll get somebody who (0+ / 0-)

    will pull out some Heritage or Rush thing that says that those numbers are all made up.

    "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

    by zenbassoon on Wed Jul 10, 2013 at 08:58:24 PM PDT

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