If you’ve read this far, you may wonder why a Conservative like Scott Ott doesn’t put a lot more focus on political party — specifically the Republican one. Why doesn’t he focus on persuading Democrats to be Republicans? After all, isn’t the purpose of this book to win more elections for the Grand Old Party?
Short answer: No.
“But Scott, if you truly believe that the WinSome strategy is the most effective persuasion approach, aren’t you concerned that Democrats may use it against us”?
Short answer: No.
WinSome strategy is not proprietary, nor partisan. Nobody owns it. Anyone may employ WinSome to advance his cause. If no one but my so-called opponents were to adopt WinSome, I’d still be happy, since in doing so they would advance civil dialogue, which I believe is the lifeblood of a republic and of a happy society.
My greater concern, actually, is that few of my ideological allies will embrace WinSome. That’s because we’ve become addicted to the thrill of the debate-defeat-destroy paradigm. Despite its long record of failure to win hearts and minds, we like how fighting feels. We think we’re superior, and that our ideas are better, when we humiliate someone, or deliver withering snark, or declare ourselves triumphant in debate.
Let me add, although WinSome strategy works for whoever is willing to use it, that doesn’t mean that I want to hand the keys to the kingdom to people whose ideas will destroy it. Ultimately, I believe that my ideas offer more hope for our republic. I believe that truth ultimately prevails. In any case, though my ideas were to fail to garner sufficient support in the electorate, I would continue to embrace the WinSome approach.
That’s because it’s not a mere instrument for argument. It’s a lifestyle of integrity, the highest and best expression of our humanity, and the most effective way to honor my Creator. Jesus said that the world will know that we are his followers by the love we have for one another [John 13:35].
“Love never fails.” [1 Corinthians 13:8]
Sometimes you do the right thing because it’s the right thing to do. I would say “always,” but I’m making allowance for my failures.
WinSome, in the final analysis, isn’t a tool to gain political advantage. It’s a way of life that offers rewards beyond measure.
The other reason I’ve not put more focus on my particular cause, is that I really do want my political adversaries to benefit from these ideas. If we all took hold of this WinSome strategy, we would all get more out of life, and find greater pleasure in working out our differences with gentleness and respect.
My apparent non-partisan approach here also means that I have not written off “the other side” as stupid, crazy or evil. The vast majority — outside of the political chattering class — are decent, hard-working people who want a better future for themselves, their families and their country…not to mention for the world.
If we all knew exactly what it took to bring about this better future, I’d like to think that we’d all embrace it, and work together to achieve it. However, I know that human nature, and the greed and lust for power in each of us, would still drive some to grasp for advantage to the detriment of others. “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” [Romans 3:23] And as the apostle Paul wrote, “I am chief among the sinners.” [1 Timothy 1:15]
As I’ve expressed elsewhere, the division in our national politics kept me from writing this for years because I thought no market would exist for it.
I decided to do it after all, because it was a message that has to get out. At least it has to get out of me. I hope it has some effect while I’m yet alive, but if it helps someone years, decades or centuries later, that’s fine.
(BTW, if you’re reading this centuries later, I hope you’re completely mystified by my references to debate-defeat-destroy division. Also, in my time, BTW was text-messaging shorthand for “By the way.” I hope you’re mystified by that too.)