Can members of congress change your mind?

In politics, it’s become conventional wisdom that talking seriously to regular Americans doesn’t really pay off. Numerous studies have found that citizens appear to dig in their heels, resisting information that contradicts their beliefs—if they’re informed enough to have meaningful beliefs in the first place. When politicians talk to voters, the goal is usually to rev up their base, or shift a tiny wedge of the “undecided,” rather to genuinely persuade a broad swath of the public.

This might be a discouraging view of how politics works, but it’s also seen as realistic. If Americans aren’t persuadable, there’s little sense in members of Congress wasting their time trying to have meaningful conversations about the future of the country.

This view is also mostly wrong.