Protesting feels good, and it lends issues a higher profile than they might otherwise have. It sends a message to politicians, as well as voters and potential voters. But it’s not enough.
Posting things on social media feels good. It spreads ideas to voters and potential voters, and it lets other like-minded people know they are not alone. But it’s not enough.
Writing blogs or letters to the editor or letters to your local politician feels good. It’s a great way of venting, and it lets others know where you stand on issues, and where you expect your reps to stand. But it’s not enough.
We can’t suffer the illusion that noise alone will create action or change. Noise is easy, and in the big scheme of things, protesting is easy. It takes few hours to attend most marches. But even if it takes an entire day, it’s still far less effort and commitment than working day in, day out to help produce a political outcome. Posting something once in a while on Facebook is easy. But the forces we are battling hire people to do it every minute of every day. Billionaires fund armies of people who are paid to help motivate voters to turn out for a particular candidate or issue. For example, the Koch brothers fund dozens of right-wing publications and think tanks like the Heritage Foundation, the Cato Institute, the Federalist Society, the American Enterprise Institute and others.
The Republican party has become the party backed by billionaires, for the sake of preserving the wealth and power of the (mostly old white male) oligarchy. There is no corresponding counter-weight on the left. Despite what conservatives say about George Soros, his activities pale in comparison to the many billionaire families (Murdoch, Mercer, Koch, Smith, Adelson, etc.) that pour countless millions into organizations and activities meant to buy a political outcome. This is the challenge we face.
But we are the majority. When the ideas and policies of the billionaire class are exposed to the light of day, they become unpopular. The recent GOP tax scam is a great example. A sizable majority of Americans disapprove of it, and know that it only made the rich richer. So to win elections and have a chance of enacting policies that help regular people–rather than further enriching the wealthy–we have to turn out and vote. And we have to motivate other like-minded people to turn out and vote. If every registered Democrat voted in every election, Republicans would never again run any branch of the federal government. So please ask yourself if there is anything you can do, beyond the important task of protesting and making noise, to help get more voters to the polls in November. If nothing comes to mind, consider volunteering with NY19Votes. You can find them here:
Let’s keep working to Fire Feckless Faso and strike a blow against the billionaires who think they can buy our Democracy without a fight…