One idea being floated on the internet is a “National Strike” on January 20, 2010, to protest Obama’s State of the Union address in light of the irresponsible health care legislation and out-of-control spending.
I completely sympathize with the emotion behind the idea. But the idea is a really bad idea for at least two reasons.
First, conservatives are not about boycotting commerce. We are about generating commerce and free enterprise. We also are about working hard, so taking the day off as a means of protest runs against our grain.
And just who is it that we would hurt? The small business people who are a critical part of our movement. A boycott of innocent businesses sends the wrong message, even if for only one day.
Second, and equally important, a national strike is bound to fail. I have documented numerous less ambitious boycotts and strikes by left-wing causes in the past year, each of which failed:
- Boycott of Mormons and the State of Utah
- Boycott of Glenn Beck
- Boycott of work to achieve a Day Without A Gay
- Boycott of the Democratic National Committee
- Boycott of the Susan G. Komen Foundation
- Boycott of Connecticut
- Boycott of the Inauguration
Not one of the boycotts worked, and these failures left the boycotters looking foolish and less powerful.
And what is more likely to fail than a national boycott? Even if millions of people participated, there still would be hundreds of millions of people who did not participate for reasons having nothing to do with whether they supported the philosophy behind the boycott. The impact would be barely noticeable, and the movement would be derided as empty.
That is the difference between a protest and a boycott. A national protest involving a million people is a big deal and huge success. A national strike involving a million people is an abysmal failure. Choose your political weapon carefully.
Want to do something productive around the time of the State of the Union address? Start organizing against Democrats who vote in favor of Obamacare. All politics is local, and we need to start now to vote the bums out.
Or how about this idea: Donate some money to, and work your butts off to get Scott Brown elected to the Senate in Massachusetts in the special election to fill Ted Kennedy’s seat. The special election is January 19,
the days before the State of the Union address.
Brown is not given much of a chance against Martha Coakley, the lock-stock-and-barrel liberal candidate. But people are fed up, even in Massachusetts. Don’t give up on this race.
A strong showing by Brown would be a huge event which would send a message of hope to candidates challenging seemingly safe Democrats; and a win, well that would be momentous and would shake the political landscape like nothing else the day before the State of the Union address.
The point is not to give up protesting against Obama’s destructive policies, but to channel your energies in a direction which is consistent with our values and has a chance of success.
I am with you spiritually, but not tactically. Please, drop the national strike idea.
And did I mention, support Scott Brown.
Update: I received an e-mail from Allen Hardage, National Operations Director, National Day of Strike, who feels that I misunderstood the purpose of the strike, so rather than characterizing his position, here are the relevant parts of his e-mail:
First let me say that I agree with your analysis of the typical definition of a strike whole heartedly and am a proud, self-admitted capitalist pig. I am little disturbed I guess that you didn’t even try and make an effort to contact the organizers of the event to find out if your understanding is correct though. This is a day where we are no calling for a boycott or a work stoppage, but rather a day where we expose the large donors to the left wingers who are shoving socialism down our throats. We are first identifying them then we are getting the TEA Party movement to call, email and let them know that if they want us to use their businesses they need to stop financially supporting socialist causes. We are putting them on notice that we will not continue to provide their businesses with our money so they can support politicians who then demand more of our money. You may call that a boycott, they do work by the way just ask Disney, Ford or ABC, I call it finding out who is backing the destruction of my country and ending my support of that business in good [conscience].
We are doing this because the national blood pressure is at a boiling point and we have a congress that refuses to listen and a media that covers up, slants and marginalizes us. This is a peaceful means to bring about change against the Chicago thugs in control.
I think the organizers need to clarify the goals, because as one of the comments to this post indicates, some supporters think this is a day to withhold work, commerce, etc., which is what the name “National Day of Strike” implies.