We all believe in the importance of liberty. But how can we best sell these ideas to others who might not be so sure?
Here’s a transcript of our conversation:
Connor: Hey, Brittany.
Brittany: Hey, Connor.
Connor: You know, obviously, with this podcast and with the whole Tuttle Twins projects, that we do all the different books and curriculum and materials, you know, we’re huge fans of Liberty here, and this is why you and I do what we do. But I think there’s a challenge with these ideas. They’re not always received well by others. And so I wanna spend a minute talking today about how we can be good ambassadors or spokespeople, teachers, missionaries, preachers, right, about freedom because the message is so important, but I think it’s also important that we find a good way to deliver the message. Obviously, if you go up to someone in the street and you shout at ’em and you say, you are wrong, you know, you’re a socialist, you should be supporting Liberty instead, that’s not gonna go very far. You’re not, no, gonna be effective. So, Brittany, how can we be more effective at promoting Liberty in your mind?
Brittany: Oh, man. I mean, where
Connor: Where to start?
Brittany: There’s, yeah. Where to start? I think there’s a few problems. One, I think the way we convey our message needs to get better. And I’m not picking on anyone in particular here, but I think that we are not always great communicators. And I think part of that problem is we get really excited. I know that I was insufferable when I first became a libertarian because I thought anyone who didn’t see how wonderful this new thing I found was just stupid. They were dumb. They didn’t know anything. I knew better than everyone because I had read Ayn Rand and I lost a lot of friends. I didn’t convert anyone to liberty. And I mean, I did later on once I calmed down, but what’s that expression? You get more flies with honey, not vinegar. Yeah. and I think that’s really important. So I think as far as ways we can go about it, there’s a few ways, you know, you can have a little sales pitch, you can, you know, that you can do that also, but I think we need to be careful that we’re not scaring people off by starting off a conversation with, you’re so stupid cuz you don’t agree with me on this. Right. That’s not gonna get anybody anywhere.
Connor: I think about with kids, for example, if you say, Hey, read this book, you know, the why, I don’t wanna read that book. I wanna read what I wanna read. But if you put a book out on the table and it looks interesting, and the kid comes across it and starts flipping through it and develops their own interest, right? That totally changes the situation because there’s a desire to learn. And I think when we promote the ideas of liberty to others, we often get preachy, right? We often are like, oh, you need to know about this and you need to believe in this view. But I think one way that we can be helpful to other people is not trying to cram it down their throats. You know, not trying to tell people what to read and what to watch, but just kind of, I call it planting seeds, you know? just being gentle and saying like, oh yeah, if you ever have time, you should check this out. You know? And maybe they won’t, they probably won’t, but maybe, you know, a month later they’re having a conversation with someone on a related issue and then they’ll think, oh yeah, you know, Connor mentioned a video. Let me go find that link. And then they watch it because that seed was planted and it wasn’t, you know, watch this tonight, or I’m gonna call you tomorrow and make sure you watch this. You know, you just plant these seeds like, Hey, have you ever read this book? Or, Hey, sometime we should talk about this issue, or here’s this, you know, documentary. I really enjoyed it. I thought you might enjoy it too. And just kind of inviting people to, you know, listen to learn. And as long as you do it gently and show that you care, I think that’s really important, right? You gotta, you people have to believe that you are wanting them to learn about these ideas because they will benefit them because you care about them. If you approach it from you are wrong, and you know, you need to stop saying these things and believe in these things, right? They’re gonna perceive that to be kind of an attack on them. And they’re not gonna like that. They’re gonna put up their defenses. They’re gonna, you know, have this kind of wall around their mind where they’re like, Nope, I’m not letting go of my beliefs. But if instead you’re friendly and you’re like, Hey, I think this was really interesting, we should watch it together. Or, you know, Hey, I got you, you know, this book. Or Hey, this new Tuttle twins cartoon episode came out, you know, once that comes out later this year, like there’s a lot of opportunities where you can just suggest things, to people and plant those seeds that honestly, like this is a good question for you, Brittany. I’ll share it and then I want you to answer it. The question would be, how long did it take you between when you were like first exposed to, we’ll call them the ideas of freedom, be between then and when you finally kind of, you know, took the red pill as the parents might understand? Or when you really embraced these ideas and, and when things kind of clicked, when your, when your mind kind of like woke up to these ideas? For me, it was several years. It, you know, it wasn’t until kind of my college years that I started to be exposed to some of these ideas. And it wasn’t until after I graduated college when things really clicked, for me. And so it took a while and I had to kind of learn why I was wrong about a lot of ideas and I had to read a lot of different perspectives until finally, I was like, oh, okay, you know, like, now I get it. But, you know, people had to be patient with me. People who believed in the I these ideas already, you know, that was a process that I had to go through that that took me a little while. How long was it for you? What was that process like?
Brittany: It happened, I was, it both happened so quickly and took a lot of time. Now, the reason was cause I was experiencing what we call cognitive dissonance. So the second anybody tried to change the worldview, I already had, it’s so funny cuz I look back at that 22-year-old, I’m like, you knew nothing. but it was, and it was about FDR. In fact, I was just talking to Emma about this on another episode, where somebody challenged me. I thought FDR was the bee’s knees, as they say. I thought he was great. and someone challenged me on that and explained to me how the New deal harmed the economy. and we’ve talked about all this before, so we have other episodes if you’re wondering what we’re talking about. and that was really hard for me because one, I was like, no, my college professor said this was true, so why would they have told me this if this wasn’t true? How little I knew. so it took me a while because the fact that somebody would call me out and expose me to a different set of beliefs was very jarring. It was very kind of like, whoa, this is not, how could this be? Right? My whole life has been a lie kind of thing. So it took me a couple of months to even hear it. Like I didn’t even wanna hear another side for a couple of months. And then slowly I was, I started realizing like, okay, you know, there are some points to this, but one thing I think that is really important is I saw people having fun for the cause of liberty. There’s a great documentary called Four Liberty, and it is about the 2008 Ron Paul movement, and we’ve had him on our show before. We’re both big fans. And I saw these people having fun, like realizing that the government was, you know, oppressing them. There was a lot of problems, but they were having fun fighting for liberty. They were doing it the right way. They were singing songs, they were dressing up as, what is it, Revolution, you know, founding Fathers every now and then, which is a little cheesy, but it was still cool. And you know, walking down the streets with signs, I mean, this was something I wanted to be a part of. And it reminds me there’s a great book called How to Win Friends and Influence People. Yeah, I believe it’s Dale Carnegie. And one of the things he says in that book is that you have to show somebody the value and what it is you’re telling, like ideology wise, like, why should this benefit you? Like, why is this important to me? And when I saw people not only standing up for what they honestly believed was right, but having a good time doing it, I honestly wanted to be a part like, what the, what do the kids say? FOMO. Maybe they don’t say FOMO anymore. Like the fear of missing out. Yeah. I wanted to be a part of this party. Like I didn’t wanna miss out on the fun of this new movement. So that’s kind of how, how I got there.
Connor: Interesting. And yeah, these things can sometimes take time. And so I think we need to remember that others are going on their own journey and no one is gonna kind of wake up and learn these ideas in a day. And, as you pointed out with this cognitive dissonance where you believe conflicting ideas because you learn something new and it’ll take you a while to realize, oh, well wait a minute, that means this other idea I have is, is wrong or needs adjustment. you know, that process takes a little while and people are gonna go through that process on their own. And you know, sometimes I feel like our ideas are correct, that these principles of freedom are true, but it is important that we present them in a certain way. So, you know, if I, let’s say as the Tuttle twin’s author, I had tattoos everywhere and a green mohawk and, you know, 83 body piercings and all of my social media was filled with profanity, with bad words, you know, and all these things. Probably most of the parents out there would you know, find that when they’re doing their research about, Hey, what are these Tuttle twins books about? And they’d be like, yeah, I don’t trust someone who looks that way. Right? We, rightly or wrongly judge books by their cover, we have certain impressions. And so, that’s important because if I’m trying to reassure parents out there that, hey, this is, you know, I’m someone you can trust and I’m sharing these ideas with your kids, so you should get these books for your kids. Parents, of course, want to trust someone who is trustworthy. They want to make sure that someone that they’re sharing with their children, someone’s book, is trustworthy. And so the way that we present ourselves and our message is important, you know, for the kids out there, if you’re trying to give a speech or you’re doing a class presentation, or you’re trying to do a job interview, like if you’re slumped over in your chair and you know, looking bored, and if you are dressing horrible, right? That does not project confidence. That does not show that you kind of believe in yourself and you’re a hard worker and you want to succeed, right? If you’re grumpy and your eyes are kind of rolling in the back of your head, you’re just trying to get through life, right? no one’s probably gonna wanna hire you. But if you’re there, you give a firm handshake, you’re smiling, you’re looking in their eyes, you’re clearly interested in the other person. You’re, those tips alone are gonna get you very far in life. you know, because this is, there’s language and then there’s body language. And so as we go around presenting the ideas of liberty, I think it’s very important that we are the type of people who are, are believable, who are likable, who are trustworthy. Because those basic behaviors, Brittany, I feel like are the way we kind of get the foot in the door with other people so that they will then listen to our ideas. But if we turn them off, you know, with our behavior, our body language, our dress, the way we speak, we’re never gonna get that opportunity to probably talk to them about ideas. And so the way we present the ideas of freedom, the way we live our own lives, I think is really important too.
Brittany: I think you’re absolutely right. I wanna make two points. One is that you also have to meet people where they are and share a brief story. So I was in the middle of nowhere, Pennsylvania, western Pennsylvania for a wedding last week. Bunch of, you know, kind of blue-collar workers. I was a little overwhelmed cause I’m used to snobby people in DC but, somebody asked my friend and I what we do and we work for a nonprofit law firm that sues the government, right? And you kind of had to read the room. So she kind of read the room and realized that saying it that way, we see the government was gonna go over really well in this crowd. And it did. And we had people asking, you know, for our organization’s name and asking more questions and asking how they could help. And it was cool because it was like, you have to kind of say something different to your audience depending on who you’re talking to. And that doesn’t mean you change the story, that doesn’t mean you’re lying. You just have to kind of present it. You have to wrap it in a different package cuz everybody’s in a different place than you are. You know, everyone has a different issue that’s gonna get them in. Maybe gun rights is somebody’s big issue and that’s what’s gonna get them into liberty. Maybe high taxes is why right? So you’ve gotta figure out what that issue is. The other thing I wanna talk about that you kind of touched on is how we live our lives. If you’re a mean person, if you’re somebody who’s treating people poorly and is known for treating people poorly or known for, like you said, living your life in a way that is just not really appealing to people or you look or seem miserable, no one’s gonna wanna join that party. And I don’t mean political party, I mean, you know, whatever cause it is you’re fighting for, no one’s gonna wanna join that because they’ll see either that your life is not together or they’re gonna say like, that person treats people horribly. Why would I wanna do anything this person does? So a lot of people talk about leading by example, and I think that’s really important. Be the person that, like I was in 2010 or 20 2009 when I was watching this for Liberty documentary, be me watching these people being really great people and standing up for the cause and having a fun time doing it. And me sitting on the couch being like, I really wanna hang out with these people. And cool thing is I got to meet a lot of those people in the movie and are now friends with them. So be the person that you wanna hang out with, you know, act like you are somebody that you would look up to, I think is a good way to look at it.
Connor: You know, years ago I was a missionary for my church and before going to Honduras, I was, I think for like two months, went through a lot of training on how to be an ineffective missionary. And it’s so interesting that so much of what we’re talking today is similar, whether you’re sharing, religious ideas with people or yeah, economic ideas, political ideas. It really boils down to how you communicate with people, how you show an interest in people, and how you present yourself as someone that the other person wants to talk to and have a conversation with. And, you know, that doesn’t mean everyone you have a conversation with is going to believe what you do, whether in my case is a missionary religiously or in this case, you know, politically or economically. But the more that we have these conversations, the more we’re gonna find people who are interested in our ideas. And so it’s great to share, you know, tule twins books with people or news articles or videos or podcasts or whatever. And the more you do that, look, a lot of people are gonna be disinterested. They’re not gonna want to read or watch or listen to what you send. Some people are gonna just totally disagree with it. That’s okay, that’s fine. But the more that we are talking about these ideas with people, the more we’re going to, you know, inspire other people and find the people who, you know, really love these ideas. Like I just think had Ron Paul not done what he did, so many of us who are now, you know, full-time freedom fighters would not be doing this at all. Who knows what our lives would be? And so I feel this duty to like try and preach these, these ideas of freedom so widely because who knows who the future, you know, Thomas Jefferson is gonna be out there, that if we don’t reach them with our ideas, then we’ll have missed that opportunity because they’ll just go flip burgers at Burger King or something like that.
Brittany: Which we still need people to flip burgers at burger king.
Connor: Totally. Well now the machines are gonna take that over here for reach that.
Brittany: Yes, that’s right. I forgot.
Connor: But, it’s so important to you guys. These ideas matter to me. I, Brittany, I know they matter to you. These are, ideas that we are deeply passionate about, but it’s not enough to think about which ideas are correct. We also have to think about how we can best share this information, these ideas with other people in a way that will get them curious about it in a way that will get people to change their hearts and change their minds. And so it’s something that we need to think about, especially when we’re younger, we often like to, I mean, I was this way, absolutely. Oh, I’m right and everyone else who disagrees something is wrong. And I’m gonna type this amazing comment on Instagram that’s gonna convince everyone. But we have to realize that’s not effective, for the parents and older kids out there. And even reading it along with the younger kids. The book that Brittany mentioned, how to Win Friends and Influence People is an amazing book. if you haven’t read it, we highly, highly recommend it because it goes over so many of these ideas that can help us be better communicators, better teachers, better friends, better coworkers, better family members, a lot of good, wisdom packed in that book. So check it out, Brittany. Great conversation as always. And until next time, we’ll talk to you later.
Brittany: Talk to you later.