I am all but certain that I have never persuaded a single Republican in my life. But I think the problem might be with my vernacular, rather than with the elegance of my arguments. I don't speak with a Republican vernacular. I don't talk like Republicans talk. And if I'm going to sound alien to a Republican how can they ever hear the discernment lurking cleverly in the heart of my arguments?
So I am trying to learn to speak with a Republican vernacular.
It goes something like this (We join not too far into the conversation):
"Yeah, but how are you going to pay for all that? I don't want my taxes going sky high just to give away a bunch of money to free-loaders."
"Wait. You're a Republican?" I ask.
"What?" They scoff. "Did I burst your liberal bubble?"
"No." I reply. "It's just that like ten minutes ago you said you weren't a Republican anymore."
"What? I did not. What are you talking about?"
I look at them oddly. "I gave a beautiful speech." I say. "It was persuasive. A lot of people are talking about it. They're saying it's one of the best speeches of all time."
They look at me like I'm crazy.
"No. Seriously." I say. "I talk about this stuff all the time, make arguments and stuff, and people say "Wow, you really know your stuff!" You probably think I hate Trump and everything, but you know he wrote me?"
"Get out of here."
"Yep. Trump wrote me. I have the letter. I can show you. You can ask anyone. Lots of people are talking about it. He said "I don't agree with most of what you say." He said. But then he said "But you're amazing at talking about stuff." "Amaaazingg" he said! Then he said "Who knows, maybe you're almost as good as me." I laugh. "I'm really good at convincing people of stuff. I hear it a lot" I add.
"Your so full of it." They say.
"I'm full of it?" I shrug. Who can account for such nonsense. "You're the one who said I convinced you and now you're not so sure you're a Republican anymore, and that you're probably voting for Biden, and now you're just pretending it never happened, and I'm full of it?"
"I've had enough. This is nonsense." They say, turning to walk away.
"That's what they said about Jesus. "Jesus's nonsense" they said." I remark. "Who, and I don't know, but I've heard this a lot, who I have a lot in common with. It's eerie. Smart people, priests and Reeevrends, smart people, like you wouldn't believe, say they've never seen anyone so much like Jesus as me. It just comes naturally to me I guess. People say it. All my grandparents were Jewish just like Jesus. Amazing. People get amazed. What can I say."
Of course they're gone at this point, and I'm just mumbling it all to myself, but I've given them something to think about. Amazing stuff. Stuff to think about like they've never seen anywhere before.