In seeking grassroots support for Single Payer, canvassing and deep canvassing are two very valuable tools in our “educating” and “advocating” efforts. For many people, however, canvassing and deep canvassing can be difficult. I have spoken with several people with backgrounds in teaching, nursing, clinical social work and psychology, and not a single one of them has said that they find canvassing especially easy - even though it would seem that their training would help make the act of speaking to strangers about difficult and complex topics easier.
M4SPH President Eli Rubin presented some history about and examples of the effectiveness of canvassing and deep canvassing during the M4SPH General Meeting yesterday (8/11/18). Those gathered also had an opportunity to practice canvassing and deep canvassing. Why? Because it’s an activity that improves with practice (much like football drills, piano scales, or holding one’s temper at a family dinner with difficult in-laws)!
Preparation for - and engagement in - the art of conversing about complex and difficult topics (perhaps even with difficult people!) might be made easier with the help of Prof. Robert Reich, who produced this video today about how to have a constructive dialogue with those holding an opposing world view. Watch it, and see if you can apply some of his suggested steps to have more productive conversations when canvassing to build the movement for Single Payer!