Friday, August 31, 2018 by Ethan Huff
The art of persuasion is rapidly becoming a lost art. Many people now resort to name-calling or even violence in an attempt to prove a point – which, ironically, only ends up proving nothing at all, and oftentimes galvanizes the target of one’s persuasion.
In a recent episode of “The Civil Right” that aired at REAL.video, host Stephen Clay McGehee uses a 2012 political ad for Roger Williams, a then-political candidate for Congress, to illustrate how humor and mockery done the right way can be powerfully persuasive in swaying voters towards conservative ideals.
“Sometimes humor and mockery is the best way to get the point across,” says McGehee. “With safe spaces, political correctness, and hypocrisy being business as usual for the left, they make it oh so easy for us.”
As part of his “The Art of Persuasion” series, McGehee plays a clip of a political ad for Williams, entitled “The Donkey Whisperer,” that won Williams, a conservative Republican, 58.4 percent of the vote in an otherwise liberal district of south-central Texas. Williams easily beat out both his Democrat and Libertarian opponents using this ad.
You can watch the full 90-second ad by viewing the REAL.video clip with McGehee below:
As you can see from the ad, Williams used simple, down-home imagery, language, and humor – as well as real, live donkeys – to illustrate how many liberals these days simply don’t listen when people try to tell them things. Williams is seen trying to reason with the adorable donkeys in his field, which served as a powerful “ice-breaker” for on-the-fence, centrist voters who ended up warming up to him.
“Breaking down mental defenses is a critical step in getting your message through,” says McGehee about this powerful tactic, which is he says represents the first step towards successful persuasion.
Another key element in the ad is Williams’ use of personalization, meaning he presents himself as just another average “Joe” who can relate to the average man and woman. This helped potential voters to feel like they actually knew Williams, which swayed them to vote for him and help him win the election.
“Creating the impression that the person knows the speaker can help break down those mental defenses,” says McGehee.
Finally, the use of actual donkeys was brilliant in that it allowed Williams to make his points without actually getting negative or nasty towards the Democrats they were supposed to represent.
“Using a metaphor allows you to attack your opponent without looking like you’re attacking him,” McGehee emphasizes. “Outright negative ads can work, but they can be a real minefield and backfire if you don’t get it right. Using something else to symbolize your opponent removes most of that risk.”
Whatever you do to try to persuade your left-leaning loved ones, or even left-leaning strangers, to see the light, just be sure to actually engage them. Remind them of what our Founding Fathers fought to preserve, and point out how the Democratic Party is often attacking the core elements of our foundation and culture as a nation.
“Find ways to persuade people to appreciate the great culture that we’ve inherited, a culture that is under constant attack by the left,” stresses McGehee. “Help them realize that it must be protected and defended, and it is the cultural right that stands between order and chaos.”
You can also keep up with the latest news about preserving our freedom and liberty by checking out Liberty.news.
Sources for this article include: