Quote of the Day: "That kind of spontaneity requires careful planning." -- from "The Second Violin" by John Lawton
Let me tell you about it first.
It shows BJ Lawson, a DC Downsizer and former Congressional candidate from North Carolina, confronting Representative David Price at a town-hall meeting.
BJ asks the following question: "Did you READ the PATRIOT Act, and the Domestic Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act, before voting FOR them?"
Price dodges the question, and it looks like the dodge works, because BJ simply smiles and sits down. But here's the kicker . . .
9,600+ people have seen the video, and read the commentary panels about the Congressman's non-responsiveness. Considered in that light, did Price's dodge really work?
I think BJ did something powerful. He hit Price at a weak point, using a public forum to ask Price a question he didn't want to answer.
Remember this point -- To get what you want, you must bring superior force to bear on your adversary's weak points.
You do NOT have to be stronger overall, you just have to be stronger at the point of attack, and choose that point of attack wisely.
It's bad strategy to lead direct assaults against strong points (electoral campaigns come to mind). Attacking strength with weakness is suicide. Instead, find the weak point, and concentrate your forces there.
This is what BJ Lawson did. But we could make this tactic even more powerful going forward. What if the next person in line had said the following . . .
"Congressman, I had a question of my own in mind, but since you dodged the previous person I want to hear you give him a real answer. Did you actually read the bills he asked you about, or did you just rely on some kind of summary, or on what your party leaders told you?"
It's almost certain that Price would have responded with another dodge, but that's OK, because in my vision the next person will ask the question yet AGAIN! The Congressman's shiftiness will be evident to all in the room -- including any media covering the event.
Of course, all of it will be taped for showing on YouTube -- just like BJ did.
Can this work? Well, an un-planned and more hostile version of this tactic DROVE A CONGRESSMAN FROM OFFICE!
His name was Phil Hare, from Illinois. I've watched that entire Town Hall meeting. It's amazing. Hare was so frustrated by constantly being asked about the Constitution that he finally blurted out, "I don't worry about the Constitution!"
Hare later posted a video of his own, saying "I didn't really mean it. Please disregard it." But it was too late. The damage was done. Hundreds of thousands saw the Town Hall video online, especially after the media publicized it.
Hare lost his re-election last Fall. That moment of weakness before the concentrated forces of opposition was probably his "Waterloo."
You could do the same thing, either in the company of others in your district, or by helping to recruit the kind of outgoing people who would enjoy this kind of activity.
If you concentrate the mass of your seemingly insignificant forces at the system's weakest points, you can redress the balance of power in your favor. The key is to have more active Downsizers in your district, so these kinds of concentrated tactics become viable.
We're working to build you tools that you can use to make this kind of thing happen. Here's our latest to-do list . . .
SPECIALIZED RECRUITMENT PAGES:
Like a funnel, these pages will have no distractions and only one aim -- to sell a potential recruit on a particular bill, like "Read the Bills" or "Write the Laws," or a specific Educate the Powerful(SM) campaign.
We'll also compose specialized chain letters you can use to try to create viral flurries that will bring hot prospects to these singular pages.
SOCIAL NETWORKING TOOLS:
These will soon appear on our website, so you can use them to recruit new people through Facebook and other social networking services.
ACCESS TO OTHER DC DOWNSIZERS IN YOUR DISTRICT:
You'll be able to make yourself visible to other DC Downsizers in your district. And if you do choose to do that, then the other DC Downsizers in your district will become visible to you too!
You'll be able to communicate with each other, and even see each other on a map. But even if you prefer to remain a lurker on the sidelines, playing only a solo role, you'll still benefit from having others in your district begin to work together, BECAUSE . . .
Out of that will come the kind of concentrated tactics I described above. If you want this to happen, then please help us create these new tools . . .
But to make-up for a shortfall in last month's budget we need some generous one-time donors as well. In addition to a bunch of $10, $25, $75, and $125 donations, we could also use a few $250, $500, and $1,000 contributions to get back on track.
Let's keep working to concentrate our forces on the Statists' weak points.
P.S. Do you know someone who is feeling discouraged? Who thinks that we must lose to the Statists, and that there's no hope? Perhaps the stories in this Dispatch can cheer them up. Share it with them.