Is it still possible to change minds in politics?

My conversation with Maurice Mitchell and Dorian Warren


Earlier this week, I got to take part in one of those conversations that stay with you. Hosted by the Brooklyn Public Library, the conversation was about the possibility and the difficulty of persuasion in a time of polarization, disinformation, conspiracy theories, political violence, and more. Is it still possible to reach people?

Joining me onstage was Maurice Mitchell, who leads the Working Families Party, which has been growing its clout in New York and across the country, and who is the author of a recent, much-discussed essay titled “Building Resilient Organizations,” which argues that the entities that make up the American political left need to move toward a “powerful posture of joy and victory” if the country is to be spared the dangers of hate-fueled authoritarianism. Our moderator was Dorian Warren, who runs Community Change, a progressive advocacy group in Washington, D.C.

This was a really great conversation: Should the left go after the white working class or focus first on its base — or is that a false tradeoff? Does the neo-fascist right have the upper hand right now, or is it better understood as a movement of reaction and last gasps? Can you ever win someone back from the cult-like manipulation of Fox News? Above all, what does it look like to build a pro-democracy movement that can seize the age?

Check out our conversation in the video, and tell me what you think in the comments. (If the video won’t play in your email, visit The.Ink to watch it on the web.)

And if you want to go deeper, and you haven’t yet checked out my new book, THE PERSUADERS, today may be the moment!