Sept. 7, 2022

579: Meeting People Where They're At - (On the Issues THEY Care About)

No matter what your political persuasion is or what your beliefs are on any particular issue, it's important to remember that if you're trying to persuade someone who doesn't agree with you, it's not enough just to tell them what they should be thinking—you have to meet them where they are, and ask them what they care about.

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Today on the podcast, I'm joined by Spike Cohen to discuss how we can do a much better job of speaking to the issues that matter to people if we simply ask them.

Listen where we discuss how we can do a much better job of speaking to the issues that matter to people by simply asking them.

No matter what your political persuasion is or what your beliefs are on any particular issue, it's important to remember that if you're trying to persuade someone who doesn't agree with you, it's not enough just to tell them what they should be thinking—you have to meet them where they are, and ask them what they care about.

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Brian Nichols  0:00  
Instead of focusing on winning arguments, we're teaching the basic fundamentals of sales and marketing and how we can use them to win in the world of politics, teaching you how to meet people where they're at on the issues they care about. Welcome to The Brian Nichols Show. Spike, if you watch the new movie, saw that new concern movie,

Spike Cohen  0:16  
I have not known it now.

Brian Nichols  0:18  
Okay, spoiler alert. It's not any crucial plot, revealing moment. But there's one part in the show where the guy who he's getting a second chance at life, his body is being taken over by another soul. And the other soul is experiencing his life. And he's at the barbers that He usually goes to. And in his talking to the barber, and he's told the person who's taking over his body right now, you know, there's the barber I usually go to is the best barber, he's always wanted to be a barber, his number one thing you can do is be the best barber out there. And you know, the person who took over souls now sitting in the chair, and they start talking to him said, hey, you know, it's, it's amazing. You've always wanted to be a barber and like, well, you know, I didn't really always want to be a barber. Like, really? He's like, No, actually, you know, I want to be a veterinarian, and then starts this progression of a conversation in which the main character gets to learn all about their Barber. And as they're leaving the barber shop is a hey, you know, I didn't know all about you. Well, you never asked. And, you know, I'm actually really glad you did today. And that established in the movie, a long lasting bond that wasn't there before. But all it took was a genuine asking, Hey, what's your problem? And, and that's the part spike that I think a lot of people don't realize is that when we ask people, what's your problem, they're gonna tell us.

Spike Cohen  1:36  
And they're gonna tell us their way. And that's okay. I had in Oakland, I had someone come out. And I was in an area, it was probably, I don't know, probably 70 80% Black. And and we had a lot of African Americans, a lot of Jamaican immigrants, actually, that came out. And they were asking me all these different questions. And it was interesting to see we had the libertarian crowd and the local crowd that that came out, and the libertarian crowd was stuff like, you know, on what day are you going to end the Fed? And I'm like, day one, and they're like, Yay, like, you know, that kind of stuff. But then the other so then I had many different questions, health care, housing, gentrification, all these different things. But one person asked me, and the reason I always point this out is because of the way that they asked it. He said to me, you know, he was talking about the fact that, you know, his children that are going to school here, almost nothing about African American history, especially local African American history, they hear about European history, they hear about Roman history, they hear about early American history, they hear, you know, Martin Luther King and Malcolm X and maybe one or two other people, but they're not hearing about like this apparently very rich history of you know, civil rights people and immigrant rights people in the Bay Area in Oakland, why are they not hearing it? And he said, So what are you if you get into office, what are you going to give us again, now think as a libertarian, what the sounds like what are you going to give us for us to be able to get you know, to be able to do the education

Brian Nichols  2:59  
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Spike Cohen  3:32  
It's on it's up to me to answer it. Now, as he's asking this, I'm hearing the grumbling from the libertarian credit I'm gonna give you because what I'm supposed to say is I'm not gonna give you a damn thing. We're gonna take over the world and leave you alone. And by the way, when you say you're gonna take over the world and leave you alone, to the average American, what they're hearing is, I'm going to neglect you. I'm going to not meet your needs, you're going to be neglected. If I get an office, that scares the crap out of it. That's a whole other subject. So without skipping a beat, when he says, What are you going to give me? I said, I'm going to give you everything. Everyone was quiet. I said, here's what I'm going to do. Because what I heard are. So I said, I'm taken to Safarova. Step four, I said, I'm gonna give you everything. And I said, the reason your education that you're having the problems you are with education is because money is being taken from your community, and put in the hands of people to decide what your education looks like, who don't care about you or your children who know nothing about you or your children or your community and do not care. All they care about is getting your money and telling you how to live. I said our plan is to completely dismantle that and put all of that money. I said, Oh, as I said, I can't tell you how many 10s of billions of dollars have been taken from your community over the last 50 years since the Federal Department of Education has existed. But I know it's in the billions. And I can I can tell you that it's in the hundreds of billions that have been taken from other similar communities around the country over the last 50 years. Here's I can tell you that over $2 trillion has been taken and spent by the Federal Department of Education and things have been worse over that time. And they've been especially worse in the most marginalized communities like yours. My plan is to completely dismantle all of that, to take all of that money, and all of that decision making ability and all of that freedom and put it back in your hands so that you and your teachers and that your children in the educators can determine what the education looks like in your community, empowered with everything back in your hands, where it always belonged. I got a standing ovation at while everyone was standing outside. But I got cheers and applause from that immigrant community. And I just sold them on what could either be decentralizing education all the way down to the local level, not just taking the Feds out, but even taking the states out, or possibly even full privatization. But either way, I was selling them on a very, very, very libertarian thing that we are often told this is way too much to tell them right off the bat. But the way I did it was as a moral tale, right? Powerful people have taken this from you, they don't care about you. And if it and I also had expanded upon the whole school to prison pipeline thing, and how it feeds into that. And I said, by dismantling all of this and putting it back in your hands, we fix many problems, just starting with education. But moving on to economic issues, social issues, criminal justice issues, all sorts of things are solved, or at least greatly ameliorated when you and your educators in your community are empowered to decide what your education looks like, and the money is going to actually teaching your children. That's how you sell stuff. But it took me instead of wanting someone to ask me the question, or talk to me the way that I like it, because I'm a libertarian, and I like to talk primarily about philosophy and practice and ethos, and so forth. I let them say it the way they said it, I reflected back the way they said it to them. And then I brought it back to what I wanted to talk about, which was complete decentralization of everything.

Brian Nichols  7:01  
And you met more more of that. And then they can look at you and say, wow, you know, 10 days later, they're sitting there in their Cheerios, and they say, What was the guy talking about, you know, getting rid of all this new the schooling from from the Federal Department of Education and then put it back in our hands what, and then they start to buy more and then and then they go to the city council meeting, and they start asking some questions or they go to the school board meeting, they start asking some questions, and they start causing a ruckus. And that's when the change starts. Spike Cohen exact. There's so much more I looked at the time.

Unknown Speaker  7:33  
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Brian Nichols  7:40  
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Transcribed by

Spike CohenProfile Photo

Spike Cohen

Spike Cohen is a successful business owner, Libertarian activist, and media figure. After running in the 2020 election as the Libertarian Party's candidate for Vice President and coming in third place, Spike has traveled across the nation by plane and bus and met countless Americans to share the message of Liberty with them.

Spike started a web design company as a teenager in 1998. In 2017, he retired from web design to focus on Libertarian messaging, entertainment, and activism. This culminated with him becoming the co-owner of Muddied Waters Media, the co-host of The Muddied Waters of Freedom, and the host of My Fellow Americans.

Spike is a tireless advocate for freedom with a commitment to help grow the movement at the grassroots level, training Libertarian Party candidates and activists in positive and principled messaging to explain high concept libertarian ideas to everyday Americans, and working towards the Libertarian Party's goal of "a world set free in our lifetime."

Since the 2020 election, Spike has become a regular guest on cable news networks, nationally syndicated radio, international media outlets, and podcasts across the globe.