By Brian Lancaster
Have you ever talked to someone who is living in a separate universe than yourself, like when you are drinking an Arrogant Bastard ale with a Trump voter on Amtrak? To paraphrase Robert Anton Wilson, most people believe their minds exist inside the universe, whereas it might be vice versa. This is the ultimate example of quantum psychology, or trying to put your perspective into someone else’s brain. I had no idea what the guy with the Trump hat had been through, or seen, or really why he can’t accept that the president is a compulsive liar and a sociopath. This guy on the train seemed like a decent enough guy, though. Is it possible to truly change somebody’s mind? RAW’s lectures (tons on Youtube) gives us the closest strategies that I’ve ever heard.
I have no car, so I take Amtrak pretty often. The only beer they have on that train in California is Arrogant Bastard ale, and the label on that beer has been inspirational to me for years. “This is an aggressive beer. You probably won’t like it. It is quite doubtful that you have the taste or the sophistication to be able to appreciate an ale of this quality or depth.” I’ve been using this marketing strategy for years now online, and it seems to be working. Counter-intuitive, but it works. Or consider the business model that Wiener Circle in Chicago uses.
It’s not a strategy that works when you are dealing with someone who has opposite political views as yourself, however. In this situation, extend an olive branch, buy the guy a beer, and play pool. When he starts talking about how the earth is flat, listen to him, then calmly explain that the shadow on the moon is a circle, not elliptical. Then he might appreciate the fact that you didn’t just tell him to go suck eggs. Changing someone’s mind is a rare occurrence, but it happens.
This leaves the question of whether or not a Trump voter could ever sway me in their direction. The short answer is no, and the long answer is also no. But it always helps to attempt to change your tunnel of consciousness, to wonder what put that person into that ideology. And it never hurts to watch or read some Robert Anton Wilson.