The 2018 Election Is Not Between Hitler and Stalin

The 2018 Election Is Not Between Hitler and Stalin

2018-08-06 – I went “deep canvassing” yesterday. Deep canvassing is distinguished from regular canvassing by our mission to spark dialogue. That means that we stand on a voter’s porch long after regular canvassers would have taken a hike. We want to hear what people have to say.

One of the techniques we use to spark conversation is to tell a personal story about a person we love who has been affected by changes in public policy. We each have our own story. Once we open up to the voter, we ask the voter to tell us a similar story. Yesterday was my second time going out, but the first time I went I was just an observer, learning the technique. Yesterday was my first time going it alone.

So I was deep into a political heart-to-heart with my first at-home voter. (I say “at-home voter” because at least 90 percent of the voters on my list were not at home.) I tell my heart-rending story. The voter expresses sympathy and then I ask for his story.

He, of course, was unprepared. So he didn’t have a story. But he told me that he didn’t think that public policy should be made in consideration of people’s lives. He told me that people’s experiences are all over the place—a statistical normal distribution. He says that a normal distribution has extremes at both ends and we shouldn’t consider those in making public policy.

If we do consider people, he continued, that’s socialism. And socialism is the most monstrous system in the history of mankind. (Don’t tell Norway.) Stalin killed more people than anyone in history with his socialist system.

I wasn’t aware that Stalin was on the ballot.

Nor is Hitler.

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One response to “The 2018 Election Is Not Between Hitler and Stalin

  1. Nor is Lar Daly on the ballot, unfortunately. Chicagoans of a certain age may remember him. NPR host Scott Simon recalls in his memoir that Lar was his first political interviewee. According to John R. Schmidt on the WBEZ blog, Daly was a South Sider who had five kids and operated a business that sold bar stools. He also ran for public office about 30 times and lost.

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