I have been reflecting on what constitutes effective activism for the last few months.
The world has gotten darker and crazier, but that is not an invitation for all of us to just sit back and do nothing.
Since 2014, I have been heavily involved in local, state, and even national activism.
I worked with pro-American groups like We The People Rising to stop illegal immigration and mass immigration, both of which were pushing away the needs of Americans and undermining the healthy sovereignty of America.
I also focused a great deal on ending the abuses of union power in local and state governments. Right-to-work laws need to be enacted as quickly as possible throughout the country.
Last of all, and most importantly, I have been working heavily on the fight against the normalization and proliferation of homosexuality and transgenderism. These are perverse behaviors propping up destructive, harmful ideologies, and they need to be stopped. Now we witness hardened LGBT activists forcing these perverse lies on children in the public schools, and they are bullying adults in the public square. All of this must be stopped.
At any rate, I have engaged in activism of all kinds, and I have organized people to fight different issues. The more work that I have done, the more I have learned to discern which actions work, and which do not. I also noticed how elected officials seemed to react different ways depending on which types of activism people were involved in.
Which efforts actually yield results? Is it really worth our time to set up flags and signs on a street corner, when politicians will just continue to engage in the terrible policies we want them to stop?
In February 2019, I attended a Remembrance of Life for Deanne D'Lean, a very creative activist and poster-maker who attended many pro-America rallies, fought hard against illegal immigration, and worked her best to stop the lawlessness that had become all too pervasive in the state of California. We all reminisced on what a great fighter she was, and we hoped to carry on her spirit and her legacy in the fight to stop open borders and reckless disregard for the rule of law.
I then spoke up, and I made a pointed criticism: are we really making a difference? Our numbers are not growing, either. What do we do about this?
Some of the members of the team were a little defensive about these points. Others agreed that we needed to be more focused to be effective. What are we trying to fight? What are our goals, and how are we trying to move the needle for more victories in the future?
In short, are we really making a difference?
I had to submit to the team, that We the People Rising was not making a difference. Showing up to rallies and holding signs, yelling at bad politicians and embarrassing crazed leftists on one's smartphone are not really effective means for change. The bad politicians continue doing bad things, and all we got was frustration in return.
Unlike the other members of the team, I was busy signing people up, taking steps to start building numbers, contacts, future activists. This approach was more effective, I felt, in getting people involved, to do more than just show up at city council meetings and yell at bad politicians.
During the heydays of fighting the California Sanctuary State Law SB 54, I called city councils and county boards throughout the state to go on record opposing SB 54, and furthermore to make it clear to the state leadership that those jurisdictions would not comply with the lawless outlaw policy of shielding illegal aliens within the state. I wanted to do more than just send a message of opposition. I liked what Los Alamitos was pledging to do, i.e. refuse to comply with the law and instead continue their ongoing relationship with federal law enforcement agencies.
In short, I wanted to see movement, momentum to stop these bad laws and get good laws, policies, or at the very least non-compliance in place.
So, you can see that activism for me is about results, not just actions. It's about real outcomes, not just rhetoric. What's the point of protesting if you cannot stop the bad policies? We want to make a change, get better people elected, make a real difference, not just make some real noise.
So, with this analysis in place, I wanted to discuss this deeper in a balance of contrasts.
Congressman Paul Gosar v. Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene
Paul Gosar is outspoken. He is not afraid to give out really strong America First rhetoric. He speaks to key conferences, he reaches out to young voters, he wants to get the next generation fully engaged to take on the corporatist, globalist cabal which has become all too pervasive in Washington DC.
And yet, I don't see him really doing much to stop the flow of madness pushed by the current Democratic majority. Yes, he puts out some mean memes, and he says some tough stuff, but what else is he doing?
In contrast, Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene has been using every parliamentary tactic at her disposal to slow down business in the House of Representatives. She has repeatedly protests the COVID-19 restrictions, and she has worked with her colleagues to defy those ridiculous rules in turn. She has gone to great lengths with the media to expose the plights of the January 6 prisoners, the vast majority of whom should be released immediately.
She is also networking with potential candidates across the country, hoping to get more elected MAGA candidates to the House of Representatives and the United States Senate. She doesn't just introduce legislation, but uses every resource she has to push for commonsense reforms that are good for the people, which put America first.
I see her doing stuff. I see her trying to accomplish key goals. I see her fighting with the regressive left every way she can, and I also see her taking on and trying to take down RINOs in her own caucus. She is planning ahead, wanting to advance a larger agenda.
Every Congressman should be doing what she is doing. It's not enough to tweet the right things and speak at the right conferences. We need Congressmen who want to stop the bad stuff and pass the good stuff.
Alex Stein Taking on Ted Cruz and Dan Crenshaw
Alex Stein is a fiery YouTube/Social Media personality. He is not afraid to get in politicians' faces and confront them on bad votes.
But one has to wonder: how effective is it to get politicians a little flustered, when nothing changes in their voting patterns?
Alex Stein confronted US Senator Ted Cruz and Congressman Dan Crenshaw at the Texas GOP Convention earlier this year. Yes, he made loud protests at their tables, denouncing them for voting to send more money to Ukraine, while doing very little for American citizens.
However, his blustery approach with Ted Cruz backfired. Cruz sat calmly, then parried him with some quiet words, then said "God Bless You." That exchange made Cruz look good, and it made Stein look bad.
And I have to ask: did that little tantrum in front of the US Senator stop any bad votes in the United States Senate? Did it change any policies?
I ask the same questions regarding his interactions with Dan Crenshaw. Indeed, Eye-Patch McCain is an embarrassment to the state of Texas and to the United States. He is a frequent face at the World Economic Forum, and he is pushing a globalist agenda, undercutting the rights of American citizens all while flashing his veteran status, as if that makes him immune to criticism.
But one question I have for Alex Stein: did you support Crenshaw's primary challenger this year? Did you attend his town halls and find out how to get other voters to mobilize against this fool and get him out of office?
If there are no moves to threaten politicians' actual power, it's very easy for them to pat these social media influencers on the head, or curse them under their breath, but ultimately to ignore them, to ignore us. Politicians will not take us seriously if they feel that their power is not being threatened. If they are not losing money, votes, or reputation in the eyes of their voters, they really don't care about us.
And that leads me to the next comparison ...
We the People Rising v. Kevin De Leon and Antonio Villaraigosa
We the People Rising and other LA County MAGA activists crashed the Santa Monica Democratic club meeting in the city's library in May 2018. Two major candidates spoke at the event: US Senate candidate Kevin De Leon, the State Senate president pro tem at the time; and Antonio Villaraigosa, the former mayor of Los Angeles.
Both of them were running as outsider candidates against the established incumbent (Dianne Feinstein) and heir apparent (Gavin Newsom).
De Leon and Villaraigosa were not really phased by our presence in the audience, and at one point De Leon even mocked us as his "groupies." This was really frustrating.
By and large, the answered all the questions in the usual left-wing manner. They wanted to open up the borders, decriminalize "homelessness," and they wanted to raise taxes and push for a greater government presence in our healthcare system.
By and large, they did not care about our outrage against illegal immigration and open borders. Such issues are a mainstay for the California Democratic Party at this point. It's really disturbing stuff.
I was the first one to ask a question that Kevin De Leon by surprise. At the time, he was still roommates with State Senator Tony Mendoza, a relentless womanizer who got caught up in the #MeToo scandals that had been rocking the halls of Sacramento. I confronted him about not doing anything to help the women who have been harmed and abused by staffers and legislators in Sacramento.
That issue really bothered De Leon, and he began sputtering and struggling to defend himself, and he went to every length he could to show that he had distanced himself from Mendoza and that he was also committed to doing everything possible to protect women in the state legislature. For the first time in memory, De Leon was afraid of what the conservative activists had to say.
Then another one of the MAGA activists confronted Villaraigosa about the needs of California's veterans. The former mayor did everything he could to prove that he wanted to do what was best for the men and women who had fought for this country. He lingered over that question and made sure that he could answer it every way that he could to assure the audience.
Why was it that on those two questions, the two candidates got worried and all bent out of shape? For once, they actually cared to make sure that We the People were satisfied with their answers. Why did they care? Because those issues, women's rights and the care for veterans, were key issues that differentiated them from their establishment challengers, and those were issues that the Democratic regulars were also focusing on.
In other words, they feared the potential votes/money they would lose if they did not handle those issues properly. Activists need to change strategies to force bad politicians to do good things in the future based on issues that immediately touch on their distinct voter base. They don't care about illegal immigration, but they do not want to be viewed as too soft on women's issues, on fighting sexual harassment. Conservatives may have to hone their attack on those kinds of issues, even if they are not the most pertinent to our specific cause.
The Blueprint: How Liberals Campaign v. How Conservatives Campaign
The final thoughts that I want to share come from my reflections on the book The Blueprint.
This fascinating read details how four left-wing billionaires collaborated effectively with liberal activists in the state of Colorado and flipped the state legislature and then the US Senate, House seats, and Governor's races to the Democrats.
Colorado had been a reliably red state for decades. Then all of that changed in 2004, when George W. Bush successful captured the state one last time for the GOP (until 2022), but down-ballot Democrats decimated Republicans in the state legislature, flipping the two chambers to Democratic control for the first time in decades.
It was a political earthquake which a lot of people did not see coming. How did the liberals do it?
They set up massive political, cultural, and media organs to push their agenda. They targeted key seats that were on the margin, which could have been flipped with a 1-3% higher turnout. They didn't get caught up in trying to flip statewide offices until later election cycles.
They approached the campaign and election process like a business. They assessed where would be the best places to invest money, which candidates to support, where could they target voters to ensure just enough of a turnout to flip a seat, and which seats to flip in order to get a governing majority.
They approached campaigning like a business.
In contrast, conservatives tend to campaign and donate like ... liberals! They focus on what makes them feel good, what will get the best headline, or what will ingratiate them to future prospective business interests. They don't campaign and invest like activists, but rather they treat politics as an entertaining hobby. That kind of politicking simply does not work.
Activism, elctioneering, winning the vote and the fight, all of this requires real strategy, a focus on what will help our side gain the most power to make the most gains and do the most good. This kind of thinking needs to guide conservatives and their strategic efforts going forward. This is the kind of activism that needs conservative grassroots need to invest in.