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What Have You Personally Done to Stop Obamacare this week? or Last?

Reflections on the role of grass roots

When I first came to self describe as a Republican and set up an account on RedState (after the 2008 election) — there were a lot of things about the GOP I really didn’t understand.  In my ignorance, I repeatedly defended McCain to the expressed disgust of several on this site.  Those who were patient with me basically said this ” I can see how reading a very selective editing of McCain’s history might’ve given you a good impression of him – but you should listen to those who know more. I guarantee you that if you watch McCain – when he’s not running for office – you’ll soon be as disgusted with him as the rest of us and just want him to shut up and retire”  They were right.  Somewhere between ‘tea party hobbits” and “wacko birds” it became clear to me that it doesn’t take any great political courage to break with your party if you’re someone who enjoys gratuitously insulting them anyway.

I understand the antagonistic tone so often taken towards elected leaders much better than I did then — it’s not ideological rigidity, but the natural reaction to being dismissed/insulted/villified/betrayed by the very people conservatives fought to get elected.
BUT

I question if too many activist have slipped into a kind of learned helplessness, taking on the role of complaining spectator rather than that of active game changers.  For example – I ‘ve seen endless posts criticizing the House GOP but no rallies or panels opposing Obamacare or bringing people front and center to tell of the serious problems Obamacare is causing – or about to cause – in their lives.

Since the partial shut down has started — the GOP is taking most of the blame and the focus has actually shifted AWAY from Obamacare (whose approval rating is actually reportedly improving) on some level, in this country that is supposed to have a government of, by and for the people isn’t it OUR JOB to make the resistance to Obamacare REAL to people. ( It’s easy enough for a liberal to say ” I don’t believe polls” and dismiss the evidence that a majority of Americans oppose Obamacare — it’s much harder to ignore rallies all across the country) Why aren’t we trying to put the Republicans in a better negotiating position?

One of the writers on Hot Air dismissed the idea of boycotting Starbucks (He speculated that Howard Schultz started publicly aligning himself with Democrats because he feared the left but not the right because the left “politicizes life”) thinking it silly to avoid a franchise who sells something you like just because the company is working actively to promote policies you abhor (Starbucks is currently asking people to sign a petitition  to end the shutdown which echoes Democrat demands).  Why would you want to give resources to a company that is promoting evil policies just because you like their lattes?  Why -in the broader sense – would you dismiss the many small things that Joe Conservative could be doing to make a little bit of difference every day?

All of this said, I haven’t organized an anti-Obamacare rally myself – and whatever time I can spare I’ll likely put into volunteering at the get-petition-signatures and make-phone-calls level for the effort to recall Evie Hudak — and I do realize that the purpose of RedState is to keep the feet of our elected leaders to the fire – I just hope that among activists – getting irritated or putting pressure on leaders isn’t taking the place of potentially effective positive efforts that only the grass roots can accomplish.

 

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