Is anyone in the U.S. persuadable? An author talks to AOC and other ‘Persuaders’ about the role of identity in politics and the rise of AI-powered political activism.
By: A.J. Lang
I once met a young man at a gathering who went on to be a Senator. It was, I thought, about time to leave my job at the U.S. Capitol and join a political campaign, preferably the Republicans.
He was a very bright young man and a student, and I was impressed with his focus in pursuing and pursuing the Republican cause as it related to policy. He had spent five years going to school and working and had graduated with a degree in history. He had also worked in the U.S. Senate and, before he became a Senator, worked on the House Ways & Means Committee during the 90’s.
He was also a Christian. To quote the film, “Spotlight”: “…he was passionate and he was passionate about this cause.”
He was an African American male, and I wasn’t surprised his politics were conservative. He was also concerned with the racial injustice in this country, and, in fact, the racial injustice was his cause.
That was the man who I would have taken a few steps to see. The real question was why I would even consider going to the polls and voting to be a black man who believed his cause was going to make the difference in this country. I thought I needed to ask him some questions to gain his perspective on the race issues in this country.
You can’t just take a survey saying you’re interested in this issue and then run for the state office with the promise to fix the race issues in the country by the time you get there. I couldn’t simply drop in and demand a conversation with the next Congressman. I’d have been laughed at.
What if I found someone who didn’t believe he needed to go to the polls to be seen to be an advocate? What if I found someone who could see the same things I did but hadn’t yet decided to cast a ballot in the race to get elected?
What if one particular, young African American male I connected with said something that stopped my heart