When we talk with voters about Bernie and his platform, each of us is the face of the campaign. The impression that we make matters, and we take that responsibility seriously. We treat everyone we encounter with care and respect, whether or not they agree with us. If we ever encounter disrespect or hostility from others, we walk away from the situation.
We’re interested in the people we engage, in their stories and experiences as individuals. Our canvass scripts invite people to share their thoughts with us. We actively listen and validate people’s experiences, even if we don’t always agree with them. Active listening allows us to find common ground that we can build upon.
Research has shown that when two people enter an argument or debate, both parties usually come out more committed to their prior beliefs than before. In other words, rational debate is not an effective tool for persuasion. That’s why instead of arguing, we always come back to sharing our own stories and motivations. (See below.)
We share what motivates us as individuals to vote and volunteer for Bernie Sanders’ campaign. This opens the door for others to resonate with our motivations. Sharing familiar and relatable parts of your own story is key. Talking about your own struggle with student debt or with the healthcare system is much more powerful than an abstract policy argument.
Our goal is nothing less than electing Bernie Sanders as president and transforming America to work for all of us. This is important work. No matter what, let’s stay positive and focused on what matters.
This isn’t about Bernie Sanders. It’s not even about the Bernie Sanders campaign. It’s about all of us — every single person who is part of America, regardless of their race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, or country of origin. Our job is to connect with people and to tell an aspirational story of America; a story about what we are capable of achieving when we join together; a story that the people we’re talking to will want to be part of.