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Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Drop the "National Strike"

One idea being floated on the internet is a "National Strike" on January 20, 2010, to protest Obama's State of the Union address in light of the irresponsible health care legislation and out-of-control spending.

I completely sympathize with the emotion behind the idea. But the idea is a really bad idea for at least two reasons.

First, conservatives are not about boycotting commerce. We are about generating commerce and free enterprise. We also are about working hard, so taking the day off as a means of protest runs against our grain.

And just who is it that we would hurt? The small business people who are a critical part of our movement. A boycott of innocent businesses sends the wrong message, even if for only one day.

Second, and equally important, a national strike is bound to fail. I have documented numerous less ambitious boycotts and strikes by left-wing causes in the past year, each of which failed:
Not one of the boycotts worked, and these failures left the boycotters looking foolish and less powerful.

And what is more likely to fail than a national boycott? Even if millions of people participated, there still would be hundreds of millions of people who did not participate for reasons having nothing to do with whether they supported the philosophy behind the boycott. The impact would be barely noticeable, and the movement would be derided as empty.

That is the difference between a protest and a boycott. A national protest involving a million people is a big deal and huge success. A national strike involving a million people is an abysmal failure. Choose your political weapon carefully.

Want to do something productive around the time of the State of the Union address? Start organizing against Democrats who vote in favor of Obamacare. All politics is local, and we need to start now to vote the bums out.

Or how about this idea: Donate some money to, and work your butts off to get Scott Brown elected to the Senate in Massachusetts in the special election to fill Ted Kennedy's seat. The special election is January 19, the days before the State of the Union address.

Brown is not given much of a chance against Martha Coakley, the lock-stock-and-barrel liberal candidate. But people are fed up, even in Massachusetts. Don't give up on this race.

A strong showing by Brown would be a huge event which would send a message of hope to candidates challenging seemingly safe Democrats; and a win, well that would be momentous and would shake the political landscape like nothing else the day before the State of the Union address.

The point is not to give up protesting against Obama's destructive policies, but to channel your energies in a direction which is consistent with our values and has a chance of success.

I am with you spiritually, but not tactically. Please, drop the national strike idea.

And did I mention, support Scott Brown.

Update: I received an e-mail from Allen Hardage, National Operations Director, National Day of Strike, who feels that I misunderstood the purpose of the strike, so rather than characterizing his position, here are the relevant parts of his e-mail:
First let me say that I agree with your analysis of the typical definition of a strike whole heartedly and am a proud, self-admitted capitalist pig. I am little disturbed I guess that you didn’t even try and make an effort to contact the organizers of the event to find out if your understanding is correct though. This is a day where we are no calling for a boycott or a work stoppage, but rather a day where we expose the large donors to the left wingers who are shoving socialism down our throats. We are first identifying them then we are getting the TEA Party movement to call, email and let them know that if they want us to use their businesses they need to stop financially supporting socialist causes. We are putting them on notice that we will not continue to provide their businesses with our money so they can support politicians who then demand more of our money. You may call that a boycott, they do work by the way just ask Disney, Ford or ABC, I call it finding out who is backing the destruction of my country and ending my support of that business in good [conscience].

We are doing this because the national blood pressure is at a boiling point and we have a congress that refuses to listen and a media that covers up, slants and marginalizes us. This is a peaceful means to bring about change against the Chicago thugs in control.
I think the organizers need to clarify the goals, because as one of the comments to this post indicates, some supporters think this is a day to withhold work, commerce, etc., which is what the name "National Day of Strike" implies.

Related Posts:
Complaint Against SEIU In Mass. Senate Race
Watch Massachusetts Senate Race

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  1. Boycott of Whole Foods... another failure if you want to add it to the list

  2. I agree with you William... a national boycott is not a good idea

  3. I agree. I've been watching this float around and I know most working people, like myself and my co-workers, will look to our own budgets and realise that while we support the idea in principle, we can't do it. Not in these times.

    It wouldn't work anyway and would give them tons of ammo against us, saying we are weak and disorganized at the best.

    We are much better off to spend our time, money and efforts to elect totally new people into office who believe as we do, and to use whatever legal means we have to repeal these monstrosities that this current House and Senate have laid on us.

    ~ Political Granny

  4. Another, perhaps better, boycott, don't watch the SOTUA. Embarrassing ratings would also be a message.
    It will be an easy one, for me anyway. I couldn't stand watching the "On-the-one-hand (something outrageously bad), on-the-other-hand (something impossibly good), the-truth-lies-in-between-in-my-beautiful-mind (the socio/librul position)" BS.

  5. Somewhere someone got things mixed up.

    This is a call for a national strike, not a boycott.

    This is a call for national direct action, not an extra shopping day.

    If you think one day of absetee employees and minimal big ticket item sales is such a bad thing for small business, wait till obamacare taxes kick in. Small business owners should take the day off and take to the streets with the rest of us. They out of us all have the most to lose.

    If you will lose your job if you take the day off, go to work. Then educate your co-workers about the situation, gather who you can and go to your Congress creatures office on Saturday as a group.

    No plan survives contact with the enemey. A change in tactics is needed. Sitting around and sending money to the Republicans has got us into this situation. When The elephant made protecting business instead of freedom their job number one, they forfited the right to tell me what is best. If you want our support, republicans will have to earn it. Looking down your nose at us and stating your the only game in town will assure only one thing...that your party will be Whigs 2.0. COME to us, stand with us and quit for just one day dismissing anything that does not maximise the coffers of your party as ineffective. Since you have been so effective at stopping the Obama trainwreck, a little humility might be in order for a change. Lead, follow, or get the hell out of our way.

  6. Right on Jacobson when it comes to Brown! And to everything else, but especially the Senate election in Massachusetts.

  7. What Toaster said. LI, you are wrong about the protests. You are wrong about the idea that "we" just keep working, regardless what the Congress does. There comes a point when discomfort is necessary, and shutting this country down for a day or two is a grand idea. This is not a boycott idea. Who the hell would we be boycotting?? We are standing up for our individual rights and the values of this country. So we all don't go to work for one day and march on the capitals or Washington DC, and somehow that's hurting small business? I don't think so.

  8. I disagree. A strike is not a boycott. It is a way to create larger demonstrations. It can send a real powerful messages and we have the numbers to do it.

  9. Done. Made a contribution at Brown's site. Here's to Scott Brown and the citizens in Mass.. Hope he'll start that kickoff to 2010: Rescue The Republic --> 2012: Restore The Republic.

    Prof. is right. There are betters ways to resist B.O. and Co. than to inflict collateral damage on the very thing we are trying to protect...our economy. Don't we already have a strike on our hands? The one started by Senate Democrats against the people.

  10. Wow. We knew have closet-teamsters in this movement. Funny thing is, some of my liberal co-workers (fans of Obamacare) have advocated the EXACT same tactic. Taking to the streets in an arm-twisting, 'shut the country down' strike for 'Public Option'.

    Isn't there a better target (congress) than the very thing we are trying to protect (economy)? As someone who has waved knuckles and marched in a few rallies in DC, I agree with the Prof. Drop the Strike. The motivation behind your strike is spot on... but the method is as effective as biting your own tail.
    'Shutting the Country down'... isn't that something we are trying to PREVENT Obama from doing?!

  11. "Don't we already have a strike on our hands? The one started by Senate Democrats against the people."

    No, that is not a strike, what they are doing to us is OPEN WARFARE...

    Believe me, unlike the left, no one will make fun or harass you because you stay home or choose to remain with the same tactics that you always have when the Master class in Washington dumps on our citizens. But for the rest of us, to which enough is enough, I will paraphrase one of our greatest Generals of all time, George Patton...

    ...He said with pride, "There is one great thing that you men will all be able to say after this war is over and you are home once again. You may be thankful that twenty years from now when you are sitting by the fireplace with your grandson on your knee and he asks you what you did in the great (tax revolt of 2010), you WON'T have to cough, shift him to the other knee and say, "Well, your Granddaddy shoveled (100 million worth of) shit in Louisiana." No, Sir, you can look him straight in the eye and say, "Son, your Granddaddy rode with the Great Citizen Army and a Son-of-a-Goddamned-Bitch named Toaster 802!"

  12. Alpha Strike on the Congress? I can go for that. What Carrier is in reach of DC with the Air Wing ready to launch?
    Not really. Other than this Old Sea Dog's desire to have his country back. The one he had as a youngster and the one he served. But...........We will leave well enough alone.
    At least I haven't sold my soul as senators nelson and landrieu have. I really do have more character than they do.

  13. Bless you, Toaster. I don't see it as an "either/or" thing. I can donate to Brown and attend my local council meetings and write letters to the editor and I can stand out on the street on January 20th with a sign that says "enough!" We can do too little but not too much.

  14. If we don't have the numbers to do an effective strike, then how can we hope to win elections? Assuming we have the numbers to trickle conservatives into office(esp. after they legalize all the illegal aliens), can they restore to the people all this power the gov has seized? WILL they? Have they in the past? Oh, yea, they will undo what impacts BUSINESS...We need to stop them NOW ~ not after the damage is done!

  15. I'm tired of being a good little worker, keeping my nose to the grindstone ~ "oh, yea, and don't forget to vote for us". What did they do for us when they were in control? Did they vote to make English official language? Anything to stop the tide of immigrants into this country who reject our customs & values (instead want to change them), have no desire to become "Americans", come here only to take American jobs and send money out of U.S. Both parties need to learn WE are in control!