on 8/24/2003 08:09:00 AM
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Why Conservative Republicans Are Taking Over: Activism Needs to Be a Community Thing
Two days ago, as I was driving on a concrete and bumpy Griffith Park Boulevard, I saw an old chevy with propoganda on his car: No Taxes, Vote Republican. It was nothing special, but like lightning, I instantaneously at that one millisecond in time saw one big gaping hole in the Republican ideology: This political party of no taxes staunchly believes in religion and no taxes. In other words, they readily sacrifice their time and/or money for the greater good that they cannot see in religion, but they will not (or barely) sacrifice time nor money for the greater good that they can sort of see in poverty.
In this society of speed with almost every individual American wanting attention, the Republicans easily get people on their side because they approach people as people rather than objects and apparatuses as the left does, ironically enough. With their appeal to people as people, Republicans are having their way in neglecting poverty and increasing corporate profits. That philosophy extends to some Democrats and they too are rapidly becoming fairly indistinguishable from the Republicans. Even though these super-quick times are socially liberal, no one cares about trying to help change things. I'd think that a lot of people tend to agree with Al Franken
and Michael Moore
, but people would feel like their efforts would be in vain. Civilians would rather do charity which does the double duty of yielding instant results like food drives and donations, and robbing the charity beneficiaries of their dignity rather than giving economically-disadvantaged people a simple boost. Charities are nothing but a vehicle for Conservatives to justify the taking advantage of people
The only people who try to reverse this trend by directly trying to fix problems like poverty are 'activists' and they are DOA because of the massive disorganization for quick action and lack of personality for appeal. In my humble opinion, activism is the right thing to do, but it's not being done right. The methods that activists use are making them look foolish.
Citizens/civilians in general will not give up time/money mainly because causes against poverty are a disorganized institution. First off, there are way too many groups that try to accomplish something, and end up getting in each other's way. For example, there are like 20 million links for seperate poverty groups as I explored in my activist resources
post. It's hard to pinpoint actual accomplishments by these advocate groups. Moreover, we don't even really know where the money goes. At least when the church asks for money, people know that the money is going towards helping the church.
Method-wise, poverty groups isolate these citizens by seeking to help only the disadvantaged people. There's no instant incentive for some well-off people to get involved. They don't get some type of faith indulgence, they don't pay to uphold the church. On a canvass in particular, some activists will just attack the middle-class and then solicit them for money. Essentially, we're pissing these citizens off and then asking them for favors. Imagine scrambling to find parking space on your own block with a 45 degree angled hill at 12 a.m. full of strange cars (when it's usually empty) from people helping out to set up a nearby Gay and Lesbian festival. You won't be too happy or concerned with issues gay people face at that point. This method does not help to build credibility. On top of this exclusiveness and lack of credibility, the activism game is fairly inaccessible because activists just want to be different from everything, and so they get dismissed so quickly by conservatives and even some moderates as mentally unstable radicals. Some groups make it tough to join, and they become 'us-and-them' establishments and other corporations ala Environment California rather than 'we' vehicles for movement ala Western Service Workers.
These methods used by the activists have a tendency to paint a personality on these activists. What's wrong about activists' personalities is that they can be quite preachy, especially on the door-to-door raids. With some of these activists' preachy ways in the form of going door-to-door I wonder sometimes if they want to really change anything or if they just want to feel the power surge of being in control of something. There's no real listening involved because they just spit out answers. A preachy personality is something that suggests inferiority to another person. I believe, thru the methods of Al Franken and Michael Moore, you have to listen and then ask them tough questions. Or be bold and go home.
Our society would flow better if communities were active together rather than just working as seperate advocate groups because you're an American and you'd be more likely to join if you're friend joined, right ?
Labels: Conservatism = Unevolving-ism