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Problem: Passive Right, Activist Left

Problem: Passive Right, Activist Left

Solution? Get Activist.

Those who were around during the Vietnam War protest days remember all those marches on Washington. I attended one, and it was absolutely huge and very impressive.

And who can forget the photos of Martin Luther King standing in front of the Washington monument on the Mall?

It’s not clear how effective or important those marches were, even though they were actually dealing with administrations that appeared to care what the public thought, unlike the present administration. But visuals are powerful and they can affect some lawmakers and some of the public that hasn’t made up its mind yet. They also help to rally energy on the part of those who are already aligned with the viewpoint of the demonstrators.

And yes, the MSM would spin such demonstrations as it did the Tea Party demonstrations. But the MSM is not the only source of attention these days, and propaganda needs to be countered with better propaganda as well as facts. Facts all by themselves don’t quite cut it, unfortunately.


Many issues we face today are extraordinarily crucial for the future of America.

Two that come to mind—and on which the vast majority of Americans agree with the position of the right—are illegal immigration and the Iran deal. In spite of that, Obama is defying those opinions of the American people, and yet the right (not just the representatives of the right in government; that’s not what I’m referring to) seems curiously passive about it. There are many forms of peaceful (non-violent) activism, but demonstrations are one of them, and a visible one at that.

So what’s up with all this passivity?

Some might answer that it’s a lack of leadership from the GOP. But although that is true, this is not up to the GOP. Some might answer that demonstrations are just not in the style of the right; we don’t do groups, we are rugged individualists. My answer is that there’s nothing special or singular about demonstrations; they were just the first thing that popped into my head.

If not demonstrations, then the right needs to figure out something peaceful yet activist and effective that is its style, because it has been sluggish and ineffectual despite having the majority of Americans on its side in these fights.

Donald Trump himself may not be the answer, but he certainly knows a lot about publicity, and the crowds he’s drawing show that there’s this untapped and outraged energy that could be channeled. Breitbart was someone who also knew how to do draw attention, and the right lost a great activist when it lost him. It’s also no coincidence that he was originally a man of the left, where activism is the name of the game.

Here’s a commenter at my blog, opining on the subject of what to do:

The only effective solution to the Left-activist Gramscian march is a Right-activist Gramscian (counter-)march where the people collectively take the Left head on everywhere and win control of American society in honest competition.

When the Right wins their contest against the Left, then GOP candidates like Cruz, Walker, Fiorina, and to a lesser degree Rubio can do their part defeating the thus-reduced Democrats within the elected political lane.

Conservatives of all stripes need to stop passing the buck to the GOP.

However, because conservatives habitually insist on demanding the GOP solve a problem that requires a victorious Right-activist Gramscian (counter-)march to solve, while they habitually eschew the collective Marxist-method activism that is necessary to compete for real with the Left, Trump is able to exploit the resulting market inefficiency.

Ideas, anyone?

[Neo-neocon is a writer with degrees in law and family therapy, who blogs at neo-neocon.]

[Featured Image: The angry face of the Brown U. shout down]


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I know it’s usually a punchline in Republican/conservative circles, but I honestly think that one of the problems is that most of us who are right-of-center have jobs and families. When need to show up at a job, or have kids you need to take care of, it’s harder to just hie off and drive to Washington, or even the closest big city, to attend some rally to protest some issue of the day. Especially in reaction to some leftist protest against some made-up grievance.

We don’t have professional agitators who get paid to show up to those things, travel expenses included.

I don’t claim to have an answer to the problem. “Micro-protests” of a dozen people on an overpass just makes us look like cranks. That might change if it was done on a thousand overpasses at the same time, but the photos would still make each individual one look pathetic.

That’s one of the reasons I was attracted to the Tea Party at its very beginning. They did hold rallies, on Independence Day (so everyone could attend, I note). But then the organizers got “big” and stopped that in favor of fundraising, email campaigns, and more traditional politicking. And that’s a big reason I’m not a fan of the Tea Party any more.

Maybe that’s the answer? Fill Independence Day 2016 with pro-America rallies that go beyond the normal fireworks and barbecues. Or Columbus Day. Or Veteran’s Day.

Well, I’m looking for ideas as well. I was quite the activist as a Leftist in the late 60’s to early 70’s. As a conservative since then, I really was pretty passive until the Tea Party came along. A big difference is organization. Generally, if an event is organized and publicized, people will show up. The Left has the advantage that the MSM will publicize their events. But they seem to organize more events as well. But there is more to it than just that.

Demonstrations do have a positive effect – if the crowd is well behaved. But one problem, I fear, is that younger people who are more likely to be liberal are also more likely to have the time and energy to demonstrate while older people who are more likely to be conservative are lacking in time, energy or both.

Check out my church group’s website ( ) where I really am trying hard to get people to get more involved. It isn’t easy. In spite of promoting the Planned Parenthood protests on the website (see some notes and pics from the Colorado Springs event here:!about2/c1j2k ) and sending out multiple emails to a bunch of people from my church, no one I promoted the event to showed up even though they are all opposed to abortion. I am afraid that someone a little more inspiring than myself is going to have to light a fire under people. I would have thought the PP videos would do the trick when it comes to abortion – and it did for some – but I fear it will take something more to many conservatives out in the street.

Well, the non-leftists just held a couple of peaceful protest rallies at the Phoenix Convention Center (attendance 12k) and at some stadium in Mobile (attendance figures somewhat ignored, but CNN *did* take notice!).

180 cities had demonstrations against Planned Parenthood on the same day.

How many people, who get news from the liberal media, saw any of it or saw it with liberal commentators spinning it?

The liberal media is the more dangerous than ISIS.

    Insufficiently Sensitive in reply to VotingFemale. | August 24, 2015 at 10:02 pm

    The liberal media is the more dangerous than ISIS.

    THAT is not only true, it’s the place where the pressure should be applied first. The liberal media has gained an all-but monopoly on public bamboozlement, and it’s mindlessly feeding the American public – and itself – to the crocodile, piece by piece, under the assumption that it will be eaten last.

    There’s nothing quite so sordid as our ‘intellectual’ journalists assuming that once their political job is complete, they’ll join the ruling elite in their dachas and their percs, while the public sheep toil long hours in support.

    If you want a preview, check out freedom of the press in Venezuela and Cuba.

I just circulated your post to members of my grassroots group.

Glad to know I’m not the only one who feels this way…

“However, because conservatives habitually insist on demanding the GOP solve a problem that requires a victorious Right-activist Gramscian (counter-)march to solve, while they habitually eschew the collective Marxist-method activism that is necessary to compete for real with the Left, Trump is able to exploit the resulting market inefficiency.”

You asked for ideas. Here’s one. Train a generation of fifth columnist for insertion into academia, popular media outlets and labor organizations.

Pay attention to local municipal races and acquire the reputation for being the non-partisan tell-all for legislative misdeeds. You’d be surprised by how many conservatives here in NYC are up to date on national GOP intrigues but can’t tell you who are the power players in DeBlasio’s regime.

One of the first things required of conservatives is to take reclaim language.

The now vacuous word “social” is attached to just about any noun you can think of these days. Saying it evokes warm fuzzy feelings. See Hayek’s “The Fatal Conceit” for the details on the “social” word franchise and for his perspective on “our poisoned language.”

“Social justice”, for example, means exactly the opposite-injustice; a few favored over many others.

We should strive to not use the same twisted terminology of the collective or if we do then clearly explain the context. We should also avoid pop culture talk, even though it is easy to do so. Our conversation should be impeccable and unimpeachable. Not easy, but attainable. We won’t win over pop culture. We must stake out higher ground. We must a restore conservative culture.

See: “American Mistra: Putting the Culture Back in the Culture Wars”

Second, the rule of law must be restored to its proper place for it is meant to be justice applied to all equally. This will involve selecting judges at all levels that will not bend the knee to pop culture (e.g., Justice Kennedy, Justice Ginsburg, et al)

As we have seen, the “rule of law” has been replaced with the “rule of fairness”. The “rule of fairness” uses a scale of sentimentality (aka “dignity” a la Justice Kennedy) to mete out its favors. “Fairness,” like the words “social” or “equality” or “liberty” has become a trite empty term usually applied with a writ for more unnatural rights. The “rule of law” applies to Obama and to Hillary and to Eric Holder as it does to you and me.

Third, begin the process of dismantling centralized government. Rid our lives of public education, nationalized welfare, nationalized enforced healthcare, abolish the IRS and…there are too many unelected mopes with their fiefdoms to mention. Centralized government makes infants of us all.

Fourth, protest in such a way that the “Pro” is prominent and the “Anti” is specific and without ad hominem.

See my post about a recent Planned Parenthood protest:

Fifth, wrapping up, I’m tired and I need to go to bed. I get up early and take the 5:00 am train to work so I can pay my own way for myself and my kids and so I can pay a huge amount of all kinds of taxes (even though I can’t play on my trumpet “How Great Thou Art” in a public school marching band because some angry atheist somewhere is unnerved by it all) and so I can pay for the all the ones not paying taxes and so I give at least a tenth of my gross income to helping others, including Wounded Warriors. These are choices I freely make and not the government telling me what to do. I am a daily activist wherever I go.

Finally, the best advice I can give anyone is to become a follower of Jesus and live out His Kingdom here on earth. The mustard seed becomes the sprawling tree where birds make their nests.

Sorry, but until we get “activists” in the Congress, White House, and Supreme Court, daily million man marches won’t do anything but make the marchers feel better.

A President can only ignore the will of the people for eight years, and Obama’s eight years are about up. Then it will be time to put an activist in his place, and enough activists in Congress to reverse the course of this country.


It’s a horse/cart versus cart/horse thing. One of the points I was trying to make in the post (and in the quotation towards the end of the post) is that expecting electoral politics to somehow do the trick first is probably an error. The left didn’t suddenly win more elections because the population spontaneously decided to go left. It won more elections because of activism and what is known as the Gramscian march through many institutions in American society. The right may keep losing elections unless it can counter that activism and that march.

About the Gramscian march:

The war of manoeuvre was the Stalinist model. One simply used political violence to achieve one’s ends. But Gramsci thought this would not work in the more highly developed Western countries. For these countries, he recommended a war of position. A war of position is one in which one first identifies “switch-points of social power” and then one seeks to peacefully take control of those switch-points. The switch-points all relate to the field of cultural values – in particular, the arts and education. The most important switch-points of power are positions like school principal, university professor, government policy maker, education department bureaucrat and journalist.

In 1967, Rudi Dutschke, a German student leader, reformulated Antonio Gramsci’s philosophy of cultural hegemony with the phrase, “The long march through the institutions.” Instead of a long military march, such as the one undertaken by the Chinese Marxist Maoist Tse-Tung, in the highly developed western countries the long march would be through the most culturally significant of our social institutions – that is, through schools, universities, courts, parliaments and through the media, through newspapers and television.

    rinardman in reply to neo-neocon. | August 25, 2015 at 8:59 am

    neo, I agree that in the long run, it will be necessary to ameliorate the left’s control of the social institutions; that they have achieved in the last fifty years. But, I think the first maneuver in this war has to be getting generals in place, who are willing to lead the fight by controlling (limiting) the government’s reach into those social institutions. i.e., smaller government.

    Face it, we will never take back the media, Hollywood, and education to any meaningful extent. What we do have going for us, is a majority of people who still think this country is being lead in the wrong direction by….someone. That’s where “conservative activism” can play a big part in showing these people it’s the left’s activism that is to blame for screwing up their country.

You know there was a draft back then, don’t cha? Boys turned 18, and the “greetings” letter arrived in the mail. They had to show up at their draft boards.

Tricks were learned to avoid being drafted. (Besides wearing a dress and saying you were gay.) Some men took textbooks to their knees, banging them until they did damage.

And, drafted soldiers who got killed in Nam were brought back in body bags. Politicians, then, had no idea of the anger. Nixon didn’t eliminate the draft until 1972.

In 1968, after only one elected term, Lyndon Baines Johnson decided not to run for re-election. The democrats were holding their convention in Chicago. Riots erupted in the streets. Norman Mailer was in the crowd. He wrote “Armies in the Night” following these riots. And, Hubert Humphrey took the 1968 democratic convention. Which is how Nixon won. 1968. And, again, in 1972.

Actually, in 1972, it was McGovern who got the democratic nod. I’m not sure, but I think in 1972 the young Clinton’s joined the McGovern campaign. Nixon was destroyed by the DC press. Woodward & Bernstein. Then, in 1976 Reagan was blocked (by the Bush’s) from the republican nomination. Ford wanted a chance to run. He was never elected president. He became president in 1974 when Nixon stepped down. And, Nixon refused to name Nelson Rockefeller as his veep choice.

The left wants to control other people. They believe the ends justify the means so they lie. The left is emotional so they fight first but can’t think clearly (logical fallacies and delusions are their “thinking” tools). Winning is everything.

Conservatives want to leave others alone and be left alone to live in liberty. We live in reality, respect others, work hard, and live for our children (and let them live).

The left is in a street fight with no rules and conservatives are in a faculty lounge playing by “rules.”
The left will starve without the universities and the MSM supported by taxpayers via Washington.

Cruz is right I think – smaller federal government ($$$) and fewer laws (power) are our only hope.

How to get there? We must be very active in primaries, supporting who we want (Cruz won there but it was a fight). And, understanding, the general election requires voting AGAINST the worst candidate not for the best. Staying home like many Republicans did (they wanted to vote for but could not) enabled this destruct President. We must vote for in primaries and vote against in the general elections. Always. And then cut off taxpayer funds to the left like Walker has done in Wisconsin. People voted in Wisconsin to get him in power more than once. There is a model.

“Get activist” is a great watchword, important. In addition to joining and working with a couple of political groups in my area (one straight Republican, one independent Republican, with a more conservative bent), I’ve started taking some individual actions, in my frustration. I invited a group of neighbors to watch the debate at the local (largely Democrat) bar, and I had a stack of “Liberty” bumper stickers printed and have been handing them out as the occasion arises. Many people are happy to take them.

mumzieistired | August 25, 2015 at 11:56 pm

I kind of like Charles Murray’s idea in “By the People: Rebuilding Liberty Without Permission”: civil disobedience on a massive scale, backed by massive legal defense funds.

The federal government can get away with imposing its thousands upon thousands of niggling laws and regs on every detail of our lives only if practically everybody in the country complies voluntarily.

What say we all stop complying? What are they going to do, put us all in jail?