A “social media militia” can preserve our liberties today
My recent post on “Independence Day” sparked a spirited discussion around poll data showing that only 8% of those questioned identified themselves as members of the “tea party” (hat-tip to gs).
This, in turn, became a topic of discussion among the a group of citizen activists formed to support our local group, SoCal Tax Revolt Coalition. This team, tagged as the San-Diego Local Order of Bloggers (the SLOBS), has been the cornerstone of our local independent-conservative information networking system.
During our exchange, three points were agreed upon in full:
1) The “tea party” is an idea, not a group. So while people may not identify themselves as members, that doesn’t mean they no longer believe in the value of small government, sane budgets, and the “little book“.
2) The “tea party” is in need of rebranding.
3) The retooling of the “tea party” must include better use of popular culture and social media.
As an example, I wanted to share the background on the SLOBs and how it is effectively used. The website was created by Charles Fettinger (aka “Doo Doo Economics”). He offers some details:
Our website is technically a blog aggregator with search engine optimization and social networking automation. Each time a blogger adds a new article, the article pops up on the website, Facebook, Twitter and in our Android App. Because the article is automatically available in several places on the internet , the article gains better position in search engines.
The website is intuitive and promotes our fellow bloggers work. It keeps us reading and commenting on each other’s work to promote the collaboration of ideas. The collaboration is not managed, which maximized innovation by allowing us to pursue stories and ideas. Many great ideas are built on the shoulders of other great ideas. In a battle of ideas, this is a tremendous advantage. Because the fact that our bloggers hold diverse perspectives, the SLOBs is a rich collaborating team.
Users find and share our articles on any social networking site from one central location at www.theslobs.org. Ironically, the one social networking site that does not interact directly with our site is FreedomConnector.org, but they are working on it. Each time a user shares an article, it helps everyone gain possible readers and improves the search engine ranking of the post.
We are integrated with a Facebook, and my personal Twitter account automatically tweets every article based upon blog “labels”. At the bottom of the website is a “wire network” feed based on the top story from the bloggers at the moment. The wire network adds a hard news element.
The website automatically updates about every four hours, but can be manually updated via a blue refresh button. The site also integrates with an android app that has a few extra features like search and storage of stories. A Windows 8 App is in the works.
The features of the website are cool, but the power is found in expanding the reach of freedom fighters. The bloggers do not see the app statistics, but since Sept 2011 the android app has added 115,658 reads. The biggest uncommon usage of the our RSS feed is on RebelMouse.com, a social networking aggregator.
One of the most effective uses of this system has been to share information and analysis of local and state ballot measures. And while we had several set-backs in the California last year, at least one tax-raising measure (Proposition 29) and one regulatory expansion (Proposition 37) went down to defeat, in part because of these efforts.
Those of you who are interested in developing something locally can contact Charles directly (click HERE). And while you may not have a strong background in the new technologies, lots of unemployed college graduates literally selling themselves to pay off student loans. You can inspire them to conservatism by the direct application of capitalism!
Just giving money to some national organization or party in hope of change doesn’t work. We need to form our own “social media militias”.
Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.
One of the most effective uses of this system has been to share information and analysis of local and state ballot measures.
been trying to do this on my site, a database page for every state that people contribute to, just a lot to do alone.
Not sure if rebranding of “tea baggers”–“right wing extremists” is even possible.
Tea party types are by they very nature of the movement political amatures. They allowed themselves to be ridiculed by the “in” crowd by literally changing their name. Then they allowed the political power, by virtue of being labeled as extremist time and time again on the floor of the House and Senate, with absolutely no push back.
Then, they allowed their political power to be swept under the rug after achieving what they thought was the goal–elected office via John Boehner.
I do not know the way forward for the movement, but learning the lessons of the past is always a good start.
Understanding the enemy, and they are the enemy, and what they’re capable of isn’t a bad idea either.
I equate it to an elderly woman hearing children curse in public for the first time. Internal shock and horror won’t stop the cursing. Smacking the little heathens upside their heads with her purse surely will.
Smacking the little heathens upside their heads with a purse…..No way .
She gets done for assault & plea bargained into a dementia program Or they punch her lights out & leave her.
There is a virtue to not being an organized and homogenous national party, united in a single voice. Whoever is tapped to be the official head, the media narrative becomes about him/her, not the ideas and policies of the people s/he represents.
Bravo, SLOBs! I think you’re on the right track, most especially point #3. But I challenge you to go further than that point states: Engage in cultural and social warfare. We cannot win big on the political scene any time soon. We are not believed. We are not understood.
We must go into the communities which believe they must oppose us. We must challenge their managed culture with our own counter-culture, a counter-culture of independent living and healthy skepticism of authority. Be the new community organizers. Rub raw against each other the social woes wrought first by the progressive movement and then by the modern left. Show these communities the way out of the social slave plantations.
Who are the conservatives these days? What is the status quo in this age, and who seeks to keep and control it? Who are the liberals now? Who wants to change and reform the status quo? Who wants to free the individual, push back against illegitimate authority, and better our society? Rest assured, we are the radicals; they are the establishment. All we have to do is prove it.
As for point #2, rebranding is not enough. Our movement has lost legitimacy no thanks to the sabotage of “our” party’s establishment, as well as misplaced punditry. We must rebuild our intellectual chops. We have lost so many thinkers to time and age. Remember Friedman, Buckley, and Breitbart. Yes, remember even Rand, though warily.
Sowell, Williams, Thomas, Scalia, and Gingrich are aging as well. They will not last forever. Who do we have to replace them? We are fortunate to have Jacobson, Althouse, Volokh, and so on, not least because they give us “lay people” a voice in the alternative new media. But they can be drowned out by the likes of Hannity, O’Reilly, Coulter, and Rove.
To find new new researchers, thinkers, leaders, and firebrands, our movement must reinvest time, capital, and energy in higher education. We must be willing to risk new blood and failure in the jaws of leftist academia. Challenge the left. Outgrow them. Subsume them.
First win the argument, and then win the vote.
San Diego is one of my most favorite cities, and it is a gratifying to see liberty lovers alive and well there. Bravo, SLOBs!
Thanks for the generous mention. I’ve commented before that conservative/GOP refusal to learn from their unnecessary November defeats is more ominous than the defeats themselves. Your realistic attitude is an exception which hopefully will spread.
Partly due to a personal encounter, partly due to posts here at LI (the situation in RI, or “I like Scott Brown, but I’m voting for the Democrat”), I’ve been thinking about how to create a beachhead in the mind of a straight-ticket D voter. Maybe I’ll come up with something worth posting.
The Teas have been reasonably successful and continue to be. However from a tactical perspective they erred not in branding but control. Some of the moveers and shakers in the org should have trademarked the `Tea Party`, `Teas` and other symbols/monikers. By not doing so we have had Manchurian Tea wannabees using the brand. A key failing.
[…] LESLIE EASTMAN: A “social media militia” can preserve our liberties today. […]
Social Media Militia?
Oh great. Now we’re going to get “Waco’ed”
I suspect the “Tea Party” movement will eventually need to do something to effectively counter (or otherwise marginalize) the minority megaphone that is our current liberal media.
When you stand for the Truth, Individual Freedom, Liberty, the US Constitution, u don’t need to change a thing, the message speaks for itself.
The vitriolic hatred of the left and their alinsky-ite marxist tactics is what Conservatives need to properly counter more effectively.
Never be consumed with being emotionally angered, always be calm about whatever it is they are doing, with clarity of mind, and steadfast resolute, you will never fall into their endless perpetual tail chasing denigrating demonizing tactics.
Goodness and Truth are our weapons and cause with which to engage the radical hatred of the left. They are the enemy within our Nation.. And like the Israel’s, they do not take their defense for granted against those who seek their destruction, thus makes their offense strong enough to repel any attacker.
This is always they attitude and method we Tea Party Conservatives should take and maintain. Our reactions to their vitriol should never take on the form of another hatred, but one of Righteousness and guardians of Truth.
Ronald Reagan was our mentor and leader in this fight, for he knew best how to counter the left’s arguments, with knowing all there is to know about the left, and how to communicate against them effectively. He wasn’t called “the Great Communicator” for nothing.
I personally love it when they strike with anger hatred and animosity, then try to use their tactics of projection and mockery and ridicule and intimidation, for only then do I know how effective we are, that we are on target. I wear their disdain and hatred with pride and as a badge of honor.
If you use logic reason, common sense, factual evidence of record, aka the truth, you will never go wrong. But never try to reason with the unreasonable, the indoctrinated useful idiot drones. That’s a useless endeavor. O the political, even physical battle field, our attitude is and should always be always to defeat them, period, not to reason and appease them, let alone convert them.
And never get caught up in a strict sense that you must always obey rules of engagement for yourselves. That only hand cuffs you, and allows their tactics to work against you.
Like Pamela Geller, like Andrew Breitbart, like Ben Shapiro, like the State of Israel, the best defense of a strong offense. You take their hatred and attacks and counter them back twice as hard.
When you allow the enemy to take you on the offensive without counter attacking with the truth, they only seem stronger than you, and perception is reality in the public eye.. but when you massively counter attack immediately, and take no prisoners, it with you will ensure the public sees this as a sign that you are right, and not backing down from the truth, and you will win in the end.
This is all about the fight and battle for public acceptance, which is what and how is required to attain actual authority of seats of power, via the ballot box, that is needed to rectify the current political catastrophe that is occurring in govt. today.
Social Media is our conduit to communicate and assemble the troops to wage this battle against evil in America. The Tea Party is a unifying entity of that Truth which we fight for.
Make the Tea Party stand for the People in the eyes of the People, away from the anti-American liberal Obamacrats, that way we can rebrand our image in the eye of the public.
[…] at Legal Insurrection there is an idea of “social media militia.” I find the idea intriguing because it is not threatening in a way that typically gets bad […]
I’m surprised that as many as 8% identified as Tea Party members. I find it hard to believe that that many people actually showed up at the rallies. I never went to any rallies and wouldn’t dare to call myself a member, but I’m hugely sympathetic. Thanks for the update about media networking.
Social media?!? You have GOT to be kidding me. What do you think is the first thing they are going to shut down?
Think about it. In your ideal scenario, hundreds of thousands of like-minded people band together on social media sites. They think they’ve got the communication problem solved. Then Facebook and Twitter go dark. Suddenly they have no way of getting together. They’re paralyzed by one move from the mind-controllers in Washington.
The answer does not lie in social media. It lies in your family, friends and neighbors.
Rethink this one, Bill.
[…] Le·gal In·sur·rec·tion: A “social media militia” can preserve our liberties today […]
Creeper, Remember that Twitter and Facebook are not the only games in town. FreedomConnector is a social networking site by freedomworks. The future of social networking is not going to be a website, it will be an app, a feed or something that has yet to be invented.
In 1996, I wrote the first online gaming league website. It was very successful and allowed players to compete on a huge map for a series of games. That site is just a historical remnant now.
Who is to say that internet wont be available everywhere as WIFI in the next few years? Firewalls and site blocking will be impossible when you are able to effortlessly switch to the next network.
Windows 8 App are about to gain momentum, and who knows what that will bring?