Beyond Protests and Phone Trees

03/02/09 00:00:00    

By Michael Mealling

As some on twitter surmised, I was involved in organizing one of the America's Tea Party protests last week here in Atlanta. Many of the people who attended (in the pouring rain!) had never done a protest like that. We had about 250 people come out with only 5 days notice and in some really bad weather. In my experience that's a very significant turnout.

But I'm afraid its not going to be sufficient. Looking at vote totals from 2008 you are going to have to do something different in order to move the electroal needle. Protests only have meaning when they indiciate consequences to not paying attention to that groups desires. The left has also deadened the media to the newsworthiness of protests. Unless they are a proxy for some other action, a protest is very ignorable and can easily be spun badly by singling out your fringe elements (yes, I do mean “Birthers”).

So here are two thoughts in an attempt to spark a discussion:

Solutions - Those of us enamored of small government need to figure out private sector solutions to perceived problems, document them in detail, and market them as aggressively as possible. About 50% of our countries citizens have rejected self-reliance as being to hard. We need to show them how modernity has made it easy and the preferred method. They just need a little bit of training to get there.

Actions with impacts - making our voice heard by embracing social media and using that to organize protests may be necessary, but, IMHO, it is insufficient. We need something that has a measurable impact on the system. Here are some of the suggestions I've heard so far:

1) Strike/sick-out/day-off - Usually centered on April 15th, this is a Producer's Strike. A time for those who pay taxes, pay their bills, and attempt to life a life of self-reliance take the day off in order to show the country who's carrying the load.

2) W-4 restructuring - Can you change your W-4 deductions so that for 3 months you claim as many as possible in order to reduce your per-paycheck payments to the Federal Government to as near zero as you can. Then later in the year you jack it back down it again in order to avoid penalties. That way you can achive a tax protest without getting into trouble with the IRS. I Am Not A Tax Lawyer so I have no idea if this will work or if its legal. Can anyone help out here?

3) Camp out in front of the office of those who voted for the stimulus bills on a permanent basis. As legally as possible we should harras the tar out of our elected officials. Not sure what this would achieve though.

Anyone got any other ideas?

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