Friday, November 17, 2006

They thinks the people doth protest too little

Already the calls are going out: if the Dems won't bring our troops home, we need to stage protests. Let's Get Our Riot On.

Unfortunately, this ain't 1967. Mass protests cannot work until they can somehow bring either electoral or economic pressure to bear. We are at present pretty much as far as we can get in the electoral cycle from a pressure point. As to bringing economic pressure, what anti-war movement actually exists nowadays mostly seems to argue in its spare time. Which is to say, nobody does nothin’ in modern day America if it costs them much, in either time or money or especially comfort.

I guess I’m cynical, (and even more cynical to think I'm actually being realistic about the whole thing) but I see nothing in the world around me to make me think or feel any differently. Most Americans can’t even be bothered to vote; those that do, won’t stand in line longer than 20 to 30 minutes to do it. Our best organizational tools are online registration and petition signing campaigns designed to allow people to feel as if they are making a difference by spending a few minutes a week point and clicking. Straight up -- if it’s not convenient, most of us just aren’t interested… and I hardly excerpt myself from that condemnation.

We badly need a national strike. Or a national campaign to make absolutely no unnecessary purchases until our requirements are met. These are the only things that this Administration, or, most likely, any Administration, will respond to, two weeks after an election. But these things would require effort and sacrifice and making significant changes to our lifestyles, and the American people are all about anything and everything but any and/or every of those things.

Again, I except myself from nothing; I’m certainly not part of the solution here. I make the same excuses everyone else does — there’s little or nothing one person can do, I need my job, I have kids, etc etc, blah blah blah. All good reasons; much, in fact, the same reasons Jonah Goldberg has for not enlisting in support of his favorite war. Which is really unpleasant to consider, much less own.

Yet, on the other hand, it must be admitted, it's a somewhat more complex undertaking, enlisting to stop a war.

The above post was brought to you courtesy of the comment threads over at Unqualified Offerings, a fine poli blog run by a very sharp guy named Jim Henson -- pardon -- the noble Elayne has delurked long enough to correct my woeful ignorance, Jim HenLEY, HenLEY -- who has joined the legion of smart, savvy poli bloggers who completely ignore anything and everything I post to their comment threads. I suppose I'm just a dirty louse and should get used to it. Whateva. I know who my friends are. And at least it's not particularly hard to keep track of them.


At 4:20 PM, Blogger Elayne said...

Jim Henson is the late puppeteer. Jim HenLEY is the libertarian who runs Unqualified Offerings.

At 4:24 PM, Blogger Handsome said...

Done. Thanks. You may reactivate your cloaking device now.

At 11:24 AM, Blogger Opus P. Penguin said...

That's it. We're just too fat and happy and entertained to care. I suggest cancelling "American Idol" and "Lost" until the troops come home.

At 8:10 PM, Blogger Handsome said...

Hey. That's so crazy it just might work.

As long as we leave HEROES on, I'm okay.

At 9:47 PM, Blogger AaA said...

Yeah, what Opus said. But make those cancellations permanent.

Reality TV needs to go away.


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