How I Get People to Talk
I’m very unsociable but I like drawing people out about their political beliefs for non-scholarly research purposes. I have a few easy tricks that help me do that.
With people who are likely to be of Liberal persuasion I say, “As an immigrant, I. . .” or for those who look like tougher customers “When my husband was an undocumented seasonal workers in the fields. . .” When they hear that, they put on this look of intense compassion, and that’s it, it’s easy from there.
With people who look conservative, I say, “I’m from Canada, and taxes are so much higher there. And what do we get in return?” My interlocutors get this glazed, shellacked look on their faces that I will have once I’m finally reunited with my phone. And then stuff starts pouring out of them.