Evan Genest's Learning Log

These are notes to myself. If you discover them and find them useful I would love to hear from you. Most of these are related to travel I did, books I read, or tech notes for Matomo and the LAMP stack.

Browse my topics here

Deep Canvassing


Anand Giridhadaras

Interviewed on City Arts and Lectures podcast, episode from November 6, 2022. These are notes from that podcast, on the occasion of his book The Persuaders".

Deep Canvassing

It's a type of door knocking that is a 30 minute conversation. It's not "mobilizing" - where the door knock is a 30 second get-out-the-vote message.

"The people doing the canvassing don't hide what they think. But first they let you get out your bile. One thing about bile is that it's finite. There's expressive value in being heard. "

"Ask then about times when they, have been in the same shoes as an undocumented immigrant, or like a trans person.


"Be positive: this is our story. They are reactionaries. We are doing and they are reacting; don't fall for giving this the opposite framing."

The We're not going to win anybody over

"This is a fallacy. People who say "Republicans in Texas cannot be won over" should really be saying "I don't know how to win over a Texas Republican". Anand says to that, hand over the mic and let someone who knows how do it.

"The left under sells how difficult it should feel to change. Getting past "the prejudices of custom": thousands of years of gender roles culture, or hundreds of years of white culture.

"The people pushing the Republican message have always believed people are persuadable. Anand Giridharadas says: "My book, The Persuaders, nobody needs to write this book for the Republicans. They are already going for every last parent at every school board meeting. Including liberal parents, whose kids are coming home and asking about the history of post 1619 America." If you think Trump people won't defect? Joe Biden is now president. If you think anti-vaxxers won't get vaccinated? Guess what: a whole bunch of them have been vaccinated."

"If you look at fascists, using a hammer to hurt people, and you say 'we don't want to use hammers', but you need to build a house, you need to understand the hammer, and use it to build a house. Trump rallies are a hammer. And you could figure out how to do the same, but use it to build a house. The massive email and text lists that Democrats circulate as 'Can you please donate $5?' could easily create IRL coming together events. Have an IRL event for democracy."

"The right is comfortable picking fights with people who don't deserve to be picked on. And the left is unwilling to pick fights with people who deserve to be picked on. Like for-profit health insurance companies denying care. I don't want to live in a country where the left doesn't know this."


We on the left are changing and evolving America. We fall on our face because we're jumping high. The other side is not offering a compelling idea for America; they are barnacles, on our story. Tell a thrilling galvanizing story about America, about what we're DOING. It's not all despair. We are on the edge of birthing great things. The right is going crazy because we are winning and they are trying to win it back. Be positive: this is our story. They are reactionaries. We are doing and they are reacting; don't fall for giving this the opposite framing.

Deep Canvass Institute
Our How to Deep Canvass Skills Series Training supports individual deep canvass skill development through hands-on experience in an active deep canvass program.

People's Action Group
People's Action is a national progressive advocacy and political organization in the United States made up of 40 organizations in 30 states.Wikipedia
Merger of:National People's Action, Alliance for a Just Society, USAction, Campaign for America's Future, Center for Health, Environment and Justice, Institute for America's Future