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Day 2: The Art of Persuasion


RUSH: Late in the program yesterday we had a little discussion on the art of persuasion, which, by the way, I got a lot of feedback on.  The most response I got was when I said that the power persuasion -- I've made this point a number of times over the years, but the least effective way is to get in somebody's face and just wag your finger at 'em and then try to overpower them.  It's the least effective way.  So the most effective way is to establish set of circumstances to which the conclusion is obvious and lead the intended persuade in that direction. 

I said you do that with a series of questions that they answer, and the ultimate question they get, they convince themselves.  They never admit that you persuaded them, and if you're in it for that reason, you're never gonna be satisfied.  Anyway, they got a lot of responses; and that led to something I wasn't gonna mention yesterday, but I did because it dovetailed with the discussion on persuasion and the divide, culture and so forth.  That LA Times piece that ran, I guess it was either Saturday or Sunday.  It was the woman who didn't agree with a thing that her father agreed with.  Her father was a big fan of this program.  It came time to put him in an assisted living center, and she thought that I was just the devil incarnate, hated women, hated gays, hated blacks.  I mean, every cliche. 

Yet her father, who she described as brilliant, multiple degrees, psychiatrist, very intelligent, her father was a big fan.  And again, what must she have thought of her father is the overriding question. If she has this attitude of me and yet this guy loved the program, what must she think of him?  That he's an idiot?  No, because she detailed how brilliant he was.  He passed away at age 87.  Anyway, it came time to put him in an assisted living center, and they're going through his stuff and she finds a bunch of Rush Limbaugh caps, and she said, "Dad, can we just get rid of this stuff?  Come on, now, Dad." 

And finally her dad said to her (paraphrasing), "Look, yeah, I like Rush Limbaugh.  But I love you more, and if it means that much to you, we'll ditch the caps."  And then she wrote about how tough it is to come together and what can we all do.  Well, that piece apparently generated a tremendous amount of letters-to-the-editor response in the LA Times, and they gave it its own segment.  Every letter to the editor that the LA Times published yesterday was somewhat critical of the author of the story. 

Here's one from guy named Wayne in Santa Monica, California.  "The opinion piece makes a clear point that conservatives have known for a while: Liberals are closed-minded and will never compromise or even consider anyone else's beliefs but their own. The author's story made it clear that her father had to compromise by giving up the hats (and how silly was that?) but she never made any offer to consider his point of view. Why didn't she agree to sit with him on the porch sipping tea while giving the show a listen to see what it was her father liked about it so much? The only way for peace in that family was for the conservative to abandon his beliefs, not the liberal. And they call conservatives closed-minded."

That was one letter.  It was from Santa Monica.  The next letter was from Tom Bunzel from Los Angeles.  The woman is Madeline Janis.  "Note to Madeline Janis: You and your father did not transcend the ideological divide -- only he did.  I actually share many of her progressive leanings," meaning this guy's a lib, "but it never would have occurred to me to insist that my father give up a prized possession without at least trying to understand his point of view with sincerity. She makes the unfounded assumption that her father is wrong politically but condescendingly 'forgives' him to show her love -- and then wonders why we have political polarization and gridlock."

Now that is a particularly good point.  Actually, all these letters are good, but that was a particularly good point.  The point about condescendingly forgave him.  One-way street.  It's her own father, who she obviously loved very much.  I mean, you got that reading the piece. 

And then the last letter that was published, Miriam Jaffe of Thousand Oaks.  "Where's the humanity? Would it have hurt to reach across the gulf of ideology she touts and offer comfort to a dying man to say: 'Dad, even though I can't stand Rush Limbaugh, his caps mean a lot to you, so take them along because you mean more to me than my ideology.'"

But her ideology trumped everything.  Her ideology had to dominate. It had to triumph over her own father.  Now, I'm sure the LA Times got some letters in support of the author, but they published these three, at least on the website.  I don't actually have the dead-tree edition.  So they must have felt the need to balance it or something.  Anyway, I found it interesting.


RUSH:  By the way, Madeline Janis who wrote the LA Times piece about her father, I did a little research, and she is a radical socialist activist.  She is 60 years old, or thereabouts.  She is... As best we can tell here from what we learned, she is obsessed with "economic inequality."  She did an interview with Bill Moyers just a couple of days ago in which she proclaimed, "Everybody deserves a good job and a decent life. And that our government, our democracy has the tools to ensure that."  No, it doesn't, unless equality equals misery spread equally, because that's the best the government can do. 



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