Is anyone in the U.S. persuadable? An author talks to AOC and other ‘Persuaders’
Image courtesy of the author.
In what many may think is an unfair comparison, I recently found myself in the presence of America’s “Next Mayor” Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in her Washington, D.C., office. I was seated at a round table in front of a large portrait of a red-wearing former congressman, and she was chatting with an artist who had created a piece from her artwork. We were both wearing bright blue and yellow-orange headbands and, we were both wearing short aprons. We were both wearing red lipstick, a light blue blouse, and a pair of bright green or neon yellow skinny jeans.
All the while, there was the unmistakable sound of a large and powerful woman in red heels and a black skirt talking to other powerful women.
After about 20 minutes of conversation, a man walked in and sat down next to us. He was wearing a baseball cap, but his tie and slacks were more like the look of a politician. His hair was short, buzzed, and a little longer than the hair on my head. The man was in his late 30s, had thick brown hair, and wore glasses, with a small but permanent mustache. He had on a red and blue knit necktie with a large white letter P and a small navy blue stripe. He also had on a plaid shirt with a white stripe.
He asked me, “Is that the headband I bought last week?” We spoke briefly about the political world of Washington, D.C., and I asked him about his involvement with the government (he works for a non-profit). He told me that he had lived in Puerto Rico and was originally from St. Petersburg, Florida. He was not a city council person, but was hoping to run in a different district. The conversation quickly turned into a discussion about his political views: Is he “very conservative,” and if so, how so? He said, “My life’s work is helping people, not hurting people.” He then asked, “Am I a persuader?”
I responded by saying that he was someone with whom I’d be happy to speak