It’s always encouraging to see millennials discuss how to reach out to Americans.
It’s inspiring to see them drop the confrontational style that plagues politics.
Thanks to one breakout session, during CPAC 2016, I got to hear five millennials discuss how they engage with their friends, family, and coworkers.
These are just some of the issues the speakers covered. So here’s a few pieces of advice from five millennials at CPAC.
Lawrence Jones: Find Commonalities
Lawrence currently works for TheBlaze, and has had the opportunity to meet with Black Lives Matter activists. Finding similarities with the Black Lives Matter group and others is something he focuses on.
No one is going to agree with you on 100% of the issues. You’ve got to see the differences, but also the similarities.
Connect on those similarities.
Lawrence pointed out that millennials focus on shared views. It’s what makes us an effective outreach group.
Zuri Davis: Create a Message that Connects
Davis currently works on the Rare editorial team. At college, Zuri found that she didn’t agree on much issues with the conservatives there. Instead of pushing them away, she decided to find the commonalities and address those issues.
Zuri said that at Rare, they get both conservatives and liberals to share their articles. It’s because they work on messaging. You should position your writing so it connects with those who would otherwise disagree with you.
Politics doesn’t have to be an always polarized arena.
Most people don’t have their foundation in ideology. Emotion is usually the basis for most people’s views.
Anthony Rodriguez: Ask About Who They Are
Anthony talked about how he grew up republican. He grew up thinking he’d always be and vote as one. But he didn’t have a solid grounding in it.
He stated that “My ideas matter more than party,” and “No party owns us.”
Because of how he grew up, not feeling like he had any real principles behind his views, Anthony pushed the fact that we need to ask why someone believes what they do.
Find out what they believe, and then dive deeper into the emotions and reasoning behind those views. Also, ask them about who they are. Because who they are has influenced what they believe.
Iris Somberg: Moving Past Social Media
On her way to CPAC, her Uber driver assumed she supported Hillary Clinton because she’s a woman. This surprised Iris, but also opened her eyes to the fact that you can’t assume what and why someone believes.
You’ve got to connect with them via personal stories and your own reasons for your views.
Getting off social media and interacting with people in the real world is the next step.
She stressed the point that you’ve got to connect with people on the ground.
Kirk Higgins: Use Stories
Thanks to others helping him become engaged and involved in politics, Higgins came to conservatism.
Because of this, he views stories as one of the most powerful tools you have to engage with others.
You have to get people to understand why the issues are important before you try and convince them that your side is right.
Share your excitement, your interest, and why others could feel that way too.
What do you think about their advice? Anything you disagree with, or feel they left out? Leave your comment below.