Friday, November 05, 2004

Iggy Pop Said It Best

I’ve noticed something in the past year, and will undoubtedly keep noticing for the next four.

Liberals tend to talk, conservatives tend to act.

After the results of this last election, surfing the blogosphere, I find the Kerry supporters issuing statements of shock, awe, and dismay, blogging about how they haven’t stopped crying since November 3 at 1:00 p.m. EST, moaning about how they can’t understand why people didn’t vote for Kerry; promulgating stiff upper lips in the very best self-help feel good style (or whispering about picking up and moving to Canada).

Blah blah blah. What are you DOING about it?

What is knitting in the dark movie theater so no one can see you cry DOING about making the social/political changes you see as necessary? What is talking about it on your electronic public diary DOING to move your agenda forward?

What is printing T-shits that proclaim “52% of Ohio SUCKS” doing to convince the people who voted Bush into office that your point of view is correct, reasonable, and respectful? How are you winning friends for the Democratic party with “Moving to Canada/New Zealand/Russia” parties?

The contingent where Kerry had the most votes was the 18-29 year old demographic. These are your grassroots. These are the people already on your side. This is where the focus needs to go, and needs to go now, while you actually have some passion. However, approximately 20 percent of the eligible (registered) voters in this group got off their butts and cast ballots this last November 2. Why aren’t you mobilizing them? They’re already sold on the Democrat platform.

But no, blah blah blah is easier and less risky than determining where your market is and taking proactive action. Parody is easier than creation. Putting time and effort and energy into moving the wheel and getting momentum rolling with an eye on 2008 is hard work, and detracts from time spent looking ever so clever and punditry.

And, of course, it makes you look like a conservative, since you’re actually doing instead of talking.


La said...

Amen, sister!

Sour Bob said...

Speaking as the guy who made the "52% of Ohio Sucks" t-shirt...

It isn't supposed to "accomplish" a damned thing. It's supposed to provide a bit of a pressure release for the good folks who, despite their best efforts, were met with disappointment yet again this November. It's for those folks to make each other laugh, just a joke between friends to remind us that there are people out there who are on the right side.

It isn't intended as a substitute for real action or political discourse--just as a bitter, temporary respite from it.

While certainly, there is some truth in the notion that pithy slogans are no substitute for real activism, I think the real lesson to be learned here is that we ought not get so self-righteous and ideologically gobsmacked that we can't laugh.

You also might consider whether a half-dozen words on a t-shirt is sufficient material from which to evaluate someone's level of practical political activity.