Our awful sacred civic duty
March 2, 2017
OPINION by MICHAEL F. BROWN
The Democratic Party’s alternative left regressive movement is suffering Tea Party envy. Democrats, the mainstream media, self- styled Hollywood pundits, academics, and legacy baby “smart set” sophisticates from West Hampton Beach to Westwood demonize Tea Partiers as hick and toothless uninformed reactionaries or worse. Nevertheless, and after the Democratic Party’s electoral debacle, they are now attempting to replicate the grass roots Tea Party phenomenon on a huge scale nationally and locally.
Unlike the Tea Party, which is truly local and bottom up, the alternate left’s massive organizing effort is a well-financed top down attempt to incite its base to resist and ultimately overthrow President Donald Trump, the Republican Congress, and the Republican majorities in both chambers of 32 statehouses. But this assault goes way beyond partisan politics. It’s a profound attempt at a strategic counter stroke by the enviro-socialist movement on the middle class, the dream of home ownership, the cohesive intergenerational family, and our heritage.
The stakes are much higher than short-term shallow partisan dominance. It is instead an epochal struggle for the very survival of America and civilization. Deceptively cloaked in the rhetoric of catastrophic global warming, radical identity politics, political correctness, and promises of “free” health care, college, and retirement, the alternate left seeks to undermine human progress of the last half of a millennium. Its anti-historical end game would submerge society in the tyranny of an oppressive high tech neo-medievalism without private property, individual freedom, intellectual progress, or personal security.
To this end, an alliance of leftist tax exempt foundations, unaccountable and untouchable permanent government bureaucrats, arrogant academics, a corrupt and ideological media, and oligarchical public employee unions underwrite the deceptive agitators posing as a grass roots movement which ultimately seeks to overthrow the results of recent elections and advance the cruel empire of freedom’s despisers.
Organizations such as 350.org, Indivisible, Cause, SLOSENSE, and SLO Progressives are recruiting swarms of followers to show up and disrupt conservative officials’ district town halls, office hours, and other events. It turns out that California State Assembly members are targets.
Last week, a reported 130 people showed up at a meet and greet held by recently elected State Assemblyman Jordan Cunningham. The dominant group was a local cell of Indivisible, a national front designed to intimidate conservative congressmen and apparently other officials.
Similarly, 350.Org attempted to outlaw the oil industry from Santa Barbara County by means of a huge organizing effort combined with a ballot initiative two years ago. Indivisible, which was ostensibly founded by four former Congressional aides, operates a sophisticated national and obviously well-funded website offering tips to local leftists on how to organize people and groups, distribute propaganda, train leaders and followers, and carry out a wide range of other tactics.
It even has a comprehensive manual, “A Practical Guide for Resisting the Trump Agenda,” which can be downloaded and distributed to adherents. The overall strategy in the guide is openly copied from the work of the Tea Party. The picture to the right is from an anti-Tea Party site designed to discredit the movement.
Why would the radical left, which supposedly supports openness and acceptance of all people, notwithstanding their appearance and beliefs, disparage the amiable looking grandmother in the picture?
Contradictorily, while the authors of the guide demonize the purpose of the Tea Party, they give it great credit for effectiveness. The guide states:
“The Tea Party started as an organic movement built on small local groups of dedicated conservatives. Yes, they received some support/coordination from above, but fundamentally all the hubbub was caused by a relatively small number of conservatives working together.”
“Groups were relatively few in number. The Tea Party was not hundreds of thousands of people spending every waking hour focused on advocacy. Rather, the efforts were somewhat modest. Only 1 in 5 self-identified Tea Partiers contributed money or attended events. On any given day in 2009 or 2010, only twenty local events — meetings, trainings, town halls, etc. — were scheduled nationwide. In short, a relatively small number of groups were having a big impact on the national debate.”
Sample tactics in the guide include the following:
“For the next two years, Donald Trump and congressional Republicans will control the federal government. But they will depend on just about every MoC (Member of Congress) to actually get laws passed. And those MoCs care much more about getting reelected than they care about any specific issue. By adopting a defensive strategy that pressures MoCs, we can achieve the following goals:
“Stall the Trump agenda by forcing them to redirect energy away from their priorities. Congressional offices have limited time and limited people. A day that they spend worrying about you is a day that they’re not ending Medicare, privatizing public schools, or preparing a Muslim registry.
“Sap Representatives’ will to support or drive reactionary change. If you do this right, you will have an out sized impact. Every time your MoC signs on to a bill, takes a position, or makes a statement, a little part of his or her mind will be thinking: “How am I going to explain this to the angry constituents who keep showing up at my events and demanding answers?”
“Reaffirm the illegitimacy of the Trump agenda. The hard truth is that Trump, McConnell, and Ryan will have the votes to cause some damage. But by objecting as loudly and powerfully as possible, and by centering the voices of those who are most affected by their agenda, you can ensure that people understand exactly how bad these laws are from the very start—priming the ground for the 2018 midterms and their repeal when Democrats retake power.”
Significantly, the national Indivisible website also provides links to affiliated groups in local areas in a national on line directory. For SLO County and nearby areas, it lists the local groups below as supporters and resources:
· TWW-MB Huddle (Indivisibles)
· Lonely Liberals Indivisible of SLO County
· Together We Will – Cambria
· Democratic Club of Santa Maria Valley (CA)
· SLO County Progressives
· Together We Will SLO
· Indivisible Lompoc
· North SLO County Progressives
· Atascadero Democratic Club
· Rapid Response Team, SLO
· Together We Will – 5 Cities
· Lompoc Young Progressives AKA Dumbledore’s Army
· Huddle Up-Morro Bay
· Peace Alliance Action Team of San Luis Obispo, CA
· Indivisible Arroyo Grande
Does membership in the Lonely Liberals Indivisible of SLO County get you to the latest protest march and provide a date too? Farmers only better watch out.
The full Indivisible Website can be accessed here.
Obviously, Indivisible and its offshoots are not going to bother our two US Senators or Congressman Carbajal. In fact “The Salud” as he used to be known around the Santa Barbara County headquarters, is a loyal protégé of Santa Barbara County’s powerful and dominant south county Democratic machine. Instead, they will be coming after Assemblyman Jordan Cunningham, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, conservative members of the Board of Supervisors, (and especially Lynn Compton, who is up for re-election in 2018), and anyone who has the effrontery to run against Bruce Gibson.
Of course and as promised, they will be attacking specific policies of the Trump administration as they are rolled out. Expect specific force plays such as the current run down on Supervisor Compton to support Carbajal’s meaningless and futile anti-off shore oil Bill.
All this in turn raises the question of growing and sustaining support for the officials we elected and the polices which we have entrusted to them. The fact we voted, donated, or campaigned does not mean that our work is over. As noted in this article, large militant groups have formed to challenge and distract our officials at every opportunity.
If all our friends and supporters could spend a few hours each month attending an event, speaking at a crucial hearing, sending a letter to the editor, or reinforcing one of our officials at a town hall, we could do much to counter the coming onslaught. Would we give up one night of TV, one round of golf, a day of vacation, or one luncheon?
Instead, would we attend a session of the SLO County Board of Supervisors on a crucial vote? Would we attend Assemblyman Cunningham’s next meet and greet? Would we even march? Would we be flexible and drop what we are doing at a moment’s notice to do more important work?
The answer to these questions will have huge bearing on the future. Our awful sacred civic duty never ends.
On the other hand, they can’t hang you for trying…… yet.
Mike Brown is the Government Affairs Director of the Coalition of Labor Agriculture and Business (COLAB) of San Luis Obispo County. He had a 42-year career as a city manager and county executive officer in 4 states including California. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.