This is the very essay I was going to try and tackle this week. These fine folks have done a superb job of writing it for me. You must read it, and then see my note that follows:
How To Do Effective Political Activism: What Always Worked And What Never Did — by Peterson Park Blog
While young liberals and progressives were sitting in coffee shops tweeting, emailing and updating their Facebook status, embracing the tools of the “new activism,” tea baggers were disrupting town hall meetings and staging credible rallies and marches on the halls of power. While the left embraced the delusion that new media technologies have changed the rules of political and social activism, mossback conservatives and libertarians were effectively applying the same techniques of political protest that have worked and worked and worked since the dawn of history.
Don't just read the above essay, maybe make a bookmark, and then promptly forget it. Take a few minutes and think about how many you might share it with by employing just the smallest amount of effort.
I don't just mean Retweeting it. Got email lists? Got phone? Got a neighbor? Got a blog?
The social side of social media makes it so easy to organize voices, but it's getting those voices into the streets where they are really heard by politicians, employers and the media that will really make the difference. And that's the hard part. But social media makes it so much easier than it ever was before. It provides the multiple megaphones with which we can drive the herd, and the herd can provide the warm bodies in the streets. But that herd must still go there when called upon. And the only way it will, is when it's been educated, enraged, engaged and excited. That's where YOU come in.
You personally may not be able to take to the streets, but you can compensate for that by making so much noise that it helps fire up so many others who might.
Wingnuts get active, and it's why they win. Even when they don't hit the streets, they keep their conversations and narratives alive with constant regurgitation and redistribution, which reinforces all their memes and messages. It sinks in. The left–and all of us on it–must learn to do this too.
It's not that we don't all want to do it. It's that we simply DON'T do it. We simply have to find a way to change that. And very, very quickly. The only way we can start… is to just start.
Look at what @MLsif just do with #demandQuestionTime. That entire effort, as described here, http://bit.ly/9uTPTU took just a few days. Yes, it's only an online effort at present, but he could very easily issue a call to action which might translate into action offline. It's just one small example of the powerful weapons we have. We just need to start using them.
SO DON'T JUST NOD YOUR HEAD.
- Do your part. (Any part is better than no part at all).
- Tell someone. Educate, Enrage, Engage and Excite someone
- Make our narrative happen (and stop echoing theirs so often).
- PROGRESSIVE PASSIVITY is what allowed the right to seize this county.
- Change that, change our world.