Kerrying the Right Message?

Here’s a thought I had in response to a recent post on the KerryNewOrleans group at Yahoo:

> anyone have a monthly meeting or something?
> I moved here last year, I now it is Hot here until election day, but we
> are gonna do a rally or something, right?
> Who wants to go to the Quarter w/ me and explain Bush to tourists?

While I admire your enthusiasm, this plan of action sounds to me a bit like Jehovah’s Witnesses canvassing neighborhoods they don’t live in. Why start with tourists? Starting with your own neighbors, and even your own family might be time better spent, or getting residents of Orleans Parish nominally interested in the issues (although a historically Democratic zone, voter turnout is abyssmally low – people don’t make the effort to get to the polls if there is any kind of deterrent, even a slight drizzle). That kind of confrontation requires a lot more fortitude than attempting to convert people you don’t know, though.

What exactly are you hoping to explain, by the way? The problem, or the solution?

As for rallies, they are great for building team morale and making a show of support, but the problem is not with the people who attend rallies (on either side), because at least those people are INVOLVED. The problem is with people who really don’t give a damn one way or the other, or like the candidate they ultimately choose for reasons they assume are right because no one has ever asked them, in person, to think about them.

Remember, if you fight by bashing your enemy, you’re not making a difference. You’re endorsing their tactics; and the medium IS the message.

What a field day for the heat / A thousand people in the streets / Singing songs, and a-carryin’ signs / Most just say, “Hooray for our side”

— Steven Stills, from For What It’s Worth

Or something like that.



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