Wednesday, August 05, 2009
“Fake” protests work, get used to it, or get busy
by Larry Geller
You may have heard that health care reform opponents are planning and carrying out fake protests to disrupt town hall meetings that congresspeople may hold this month.
For a quick update, check out MediaMatters.org for some videos and articles on what conservatives are up to (go soon, before they post new stuff on top of it).
Actually, I am not sure what a fake protest is. It would be fake, I suppose, if they paid people to go out and protest. Just having your people agree to take action on a subject isn’t necessarily “fake” in my book.
I hope it will have the effect of galvanizing supporters of health care reform and other good causes. It’s not enough to sit home at a keyboard and sign names to petitions. That’s ok to do, but hitting the streets is better. Why? Because the opposition is doing it, and it works. If someone has made the signs and posters for them, then someone must make the signs for us, or we must make them ourselves.
If these “fake” protests ultimately get supporters of healthcare reform out of the house and marching, we may be able to bring about some of the “change” we’ve been promised.
In other words, this is a test for the Left. Stay home, yield the town hall meetings and the streets to opponents of reform, stay out of the news, and kiss any chances of healthcare reform goodbye. The papers and the glaring lights of TV cameras will bring the “fake” protests to life, and we’ll … get … nothing.
Let that sink in for a moment. The Right will be energized by the actions. They will join in. Fake will become real.
The kinesthetic sense is very strong in human beings. Political actions are called “movements” or “actions” for a reason. People actually get up and move. It works. Images of movements (protests in Iran, Honduras, Greece, France, etc.) encourage others into motion. They make an impression.
Video of activists busy signing their names to on-line petitions just don’t work, you know, that’s why you never see any (yawn).
Take my word for it, insurance companies and their minions in Congress are not afraid of petitions. They might be afraid of streets full of demonstrators demanding universal healthcare.
‘Nuff said. Let’s see what happens in reaction to these “fake” protests.
Update: Here is a related article: Is Obama’s Vaunted Political Operation Getting Outworked By Tea-Baggers?
And in case you would like to see some of the places where “fake” protests will be staged, the conservatives have conveniently given us a couple of lists. Nothing there yet for Hawaii. This is a handy list of town hall meetings: Congressional Town Hall Meetings. Tea Baggers can be expected at these meetings they’ve helpfully let us know about: Town Hall Events to Counter Protest. July, August, September 2009.