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Articles

Extremism First? No Thanks!

Published in Communicating Liberty .

Barry Goldwater told us that extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice. I agree.

I’d like to suggest to you today, however, that perhaps we shouldn’t lead with the most extreme example. As we discussed recently in Hyperbole is NOT Your Friend, we have common everyday examples at our fingertips of government force, ineptitude, and roadblocks to freedom that are relatable and real. These examples don’t require that we take an extreme position or talk about some of the extreme ideas we may hold right away.

Freedom is dangerous. That’s one of my favorite points made by Thomas Jefferson. He preferred the danger of freedom to the peace of slavery.

When we begin a conversation about liberty in an extreme manner right away, we don’t have the opportunity to bring people in. We don’t get them to listen to what we have to say, because we’ve turned them off by leading with an extreme position.

My suggestion to you is to keep things relatable and real. Make it something that others can engage with you about, rather than something that is too far outside their comfort zone to really have a strong rapport and be able to embrace the ideas of liberty.


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