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Learn More

in From Me To You, Liberator Online by Brett Bittner Comments are off

Learn More

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As 2016 comes to a close, we’re looking at what our New Year’s Resolutions are going to be for 2017 and beyond.

I’d like to offer something to you that may make you a better communicator of libertarian ideas and someone who better understands the ideas of liberty, and that is to learn more. Make an effort to educate yourself as you work to persuade others. You can do that in three ways:

  1. Read more. Did you know that the average book length is 12-20 chapters, and if you read just ten minutes a day, you would end up reading about a book per month? That would mean reading twelve new books a year that you’ve never even cracked? Wouldn’t that be a fantastic way to learn more about the ideas of libertarianism and how to communicate them?
  2. Listen more. The average podcast length is 40 minutes. The average American commute time is about 25 minutes each way. That means you could listen to one podcast episode per day on your way to and from work.
  3. Watch more. Incorporate more documentaries, documentary series, and other non-fiction works into what you’re watching. Just replace a sitcom with something that offers you an opportunity to learn, rather than letting television rot your brain.

More important than the option(s) you choose is to seek out things that offer a different perspective. If you read, listen, and watch things that are different from what you already believe, you’re going to gain a better understanding of how other people think, and how they’ve reached the conclusions and opinions that they hold. Knowing their positions and how they came to them is going to make you a better communicator in how you talk with them about why the libertarian solution is the best.

These are a few things I hope that you consider as we move into 2017. Maybe adopt one for 2017, one for 2018, and one for 2019 to truly make yourself a more learned, well-listened, well-read, knowledgeable libertarian?

Making an Opportunity

in From Me To You, Liberator Online by Brett Bittner Comments are off

Making an Opportunity

This article was featured in our weekly newsletter, the Liberator Online. To receive it in your inbox, sign up here.

The Internet is abuzz about the Netflix documentary series Making a Murderer, in which a Wisconsin man and his family’s experiences with the criminal justice system are chronicled from his arrest, conviction, and exoneration for a 1985 rape case to his trial for a 2005 murder of a freelance photographer.

While not completely one-sided, the viewers’ reactions seem to be strongly in favor of Steven Avery’s defense, as well as that of his nephew Brendan Dassey, eliciting both WhiteHouse.Gov and Change.Org petitions with hundreds of thousands of signatures aimed at garnering his release.

making a murdererI watched the series in three to four nights, quickly moving through the 10 episodes. As a libertarian, the series drew me in with its focus on alleged misconduct on the part of government prosecutors and law enforcement and the possible miscarriage of justice for both the defendants and victims.

Once the “water cooler discussions” commenced and writers returned from time off over the holidays, the enormity of the opportunity that Making A Murderer became apparent to me with article after article populating my social media newsfeeds and my “must read” websites and news sources with perspectives, refutations, and commentary on the series.

The opportunity that libertarians can, and should, seize is one where we can discuss important aspects of libertarian thought by pointing to the alleged corruption of these government officials, the inability for them to follow their own rules, and how the presumption of innocence until proven otherwise fades with each passing day that the pop culture phenomenon features. While many libertarians know their rights and “flex” them frequently, the series uncovers that many who aren’t well-versed in such discussions will easily acquiesce to requests made by perceived authority figures to their detriment.

One key to persuasion is to find openings and moments that can be an opportunity to reveal someone’s “inner libertarian” as you find common ground. Often, we talk about the importance of building rapport with those who do not yet identify as libertarians, yet hold many libertarian beliefs without knowing it. As with our World’s Smallest Political Quiz and the opportunity to “break the ice” that it presents, pop culture phenomena like Making a Murderer can be the opening you need to start building that rapport for those aren’t ready to call themselves libertarians… yet.

If you are not interested in the true crime documentary series, don’t fret. Libertarianism continues to permeate popular culture as we find ourselves more in the mainstream of everyday life than ever before.