bart_calendar (bart_calendar) wrote,
bart_calendar
bart_calendar

Skip The Phone Calls - Just Protest

Back when I was a journalist if I got two letters telling me an article I'd written sucked I knew I was in trouble.

The reason being that the percentage of people willing to read a story, realize it was shit, actually pick up a pen, write something on paper, find a stamp and then go to the post office and put it in the mail was seriously low.

Therefore if about of a million or so people reading it two complained my editor was going to be super pissed at me because I must have fucked up big time.

Recently, however, I've talked to current journalists and that no longer applies. Any article no matter how good or bad gets dozens if not hundreds of emails, tweets, comments, etc... saying it's a piece of shit.

Therefore a couple complaints mean nothing anymore. It's the new normal.

I bring this up because of the current fad to call up your representatives all the time about Trump bullshit.

The reasoning is that former congressional workers have said that when they worked there if they got nine calls on an issue it was a lot. Therefore if a thousand people call it's going to freak out that representative out so much they will take action.

Now, that might have worked for like a week, But... congressional staffers are not idiots. Now that it's on a regular basis it won't matter to them. They'll see that as the new normal and it won't have anywhere near the impact that you are expecting it to.

If fact a month or two from now it probably won't even disrupt the office, because there are a ton of people willing to volunteer for representatives to get it on their resume, so they can just put 100 new unpaid interns out there to pick up the phone and pretend like they give a shit.

But you know what does work and doesn't stop working - getting in the streets and acting like you might get violent.

Already with the peaceful protests we've had now GOP representatives are fearing for their lives.

And that's just the start. I know it may not feel like protests are as effective as calling someone up - and that's because they haven't been so recently.

That, however, is only because they've been sporadic. You can ignore one Million Man March. you can write off the Occupy people as students doing what students have always done.

But sustained protest is very different. (Do some Googling about Poland and the USSR to see what I mean.)

It terrifies politicians. Not only because it sucks to see tons of people telling you you are an asshole, but because protests, given enough time and sustained long enough will always lead to an event that will devastate them.

All it takes is one freaked out National Guard member or one hungover cop with an itchy trigger finger and you get Kent State all over again. Only this time Kent State will be caught on video by several hundred people and circulated immediately.

And guess what, the career of any politician even closely associated with the issue, or sending the cops or the National Guard in when that rich white person gets beaten or shot is over with.

That's a real fear and it's the type of fear the politicians act on.

So please less "here's Rep. Bob Exxon's phone number" and more stuff that scares the shit out of the white power structure.
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