Political Commentary vs Political Action

When I listen to politicians and media people talk about things in the way that they do I get very depressed because

  1. they’re removed from what happens on the ground of people’s lives. You see this when Bill O’Reily talks to anyone who doesn’t have his opinion when he questions the basis of their own experiences and opinions.
  2. I get the sense that they’re terrified of anything that doesn’t follow parliamentary procedure. People aren’t supposed to block intersections or lay down in the street or interrupt the flow of daily life. It’s just rude to them. In the story weaved by the media, the common people aren’t the main character endowed with nuance of expression, they’re “the people”, an anonymous backdrop of people coming and going from work, who at most make themselves heard every 2 or 4 years by picking out of a limited range of options. Aside from that, the story of politics is the story of politicians. They’re the players, they’re the actors. And we believe them.

Civilians need to learn how to flex their muscles and believe in themselves. And I think that protests aren’t good enough because we still want to be seen by the media. Protests have this idea these days that it’s about showing the media how much you care. I think any effective organizing has to stop trying to appeal to the media and just do the damn thing they want to do. If a guy is going to do something bad, call him up every day until he disconnects his phone. If bulldozers are going to come and bulldoze your home, get a used car, drive it into the intersection, take out the battery and walk away. Just do the damn thing. Enough of wanting to be seen. Politics is action. Let’s see it.

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