My only surviving sibling, my half-brother John is 87 now. He is my favorite of all those discovered family members. He is the one I have turned to in times of distress, a fatherly element in my life.
John is also one of my proudest “accomplishments”: I personally turned him from a die-hard Republican into a ticked off Republican who turned Democrat. To the extent that he really wanted Hillary Clinton as President.
But it was not easy. I’m not a political activist other than participating in a few demonstrations here and there for things I feel are very important, but the administration of George Bush #43 got my attention: it was clear that other interests were running the Bush White House.
I believe oil was his reason to rid the world of Saddam Hussein. I won’t go into the transcripts of the Downing Street Memos other than to say PM Tony Blair was his chief back-up man. It can all be found online or in the many and profitable books explaining it all.
For me the screeching in the back of my brain began the evening Colin Powell, a great and good man, stood before the American public and said weapons of mass destruction were being manufactured and stored in Iraq. He just didn’t walk his talk. I became frightened, for I knew we would attack eventually. And so we did.
I was greatly disappointed when George W. Bush took office, and alarmed when he was voted in for a second term. I knew I had to get off my duff, so I protested, I wrote letters, yelled at my congress reps. And I called my old Bro John frequently, and when he answered his phone with his customary “Hullo” I always responded with “Well, are you scared yet?”
John just laughed and said “Awww, Sis, you know I’m a straight ticket Republican just like my old man !” Then we would both laugh and go on to our sharing of non-political gossip.
For three years our conversations were like that. I was “fogging” him deliberately, no arguing, no insisting, no questions, just ask and move on. After a couple years of such phone calls I suppose he got off his duff and investigated what I was hinting at. The day came when I asked if he was scared yet and there was heavy silence. And then he let it rip: he finally realized that Eye-Rack war was a trumped up……and so on.
He told me he re-registered as Democrat and he thought Hillary Clinton would be the best candidate for President. And he converted all his friends and extended family who lived in the tough farmland of the California Central Valley, told them they must watch what goes on in political and corporate America much more carefully now.
I’m certain they understood the timing of the financial collapse of the world and America’s part in it, and quite probably they helped President Obama get his second term.
The “fogging” technique is something I learned from my therapist years ago. It works very well over extended periods, a quick and light hit at the subject then move on. Combative persuasion rarely works, but piquing curiosity on an issue invariably works if one is willing to spend the time.
Fogging is exactly what commercials on media do. It’s what Hitler recommended when he said:
“Make the lie big, make it simple, keep saying it, and eventually they will believe it.”