First, congratulations! Youve gotten involved. This is a very good
thing. Much of your movement is in the best traditions of robust
protest. This is at least one way actual change begins. You should be
pleased with your initial efforts.
However, there is danger in your movement and maybe a few words of
constructive advice might be helpful. Its unlikely youll listen but
one can always be hopeful.
Stop saying things that simply arent true. President Obama is not a
socialist and he certainly is not a Marxist. Since a hallmark of
Marxism is absolute control of the media and a willingness to crush
any opposition, the mere fact you protest freely and openly disproves
the notion of Marxism. Additionally, the media is still free to print
what they want and Rush can still spew his bile and Glenn can still
sob as he laments his lost country. You continue to worship where and
how you choose without fear of reprisal, and, as Im sure you know,
Marx believed religion was the opiate of the masses and his followers
eliminated churches. Decry a government you believe has lost its way
all you want but dont make things up. One other thing Obama wasnt
born in Kenya.
Stop talking about tax increases. There havent been any at the
federal level for you since Obama took office. Quite the contrary.
Those making less than $250,000 a year have seen their taxes reduced
more than $170 billion; more people than ever will receive tax refunds
this year and the size of those refunds will be, on average, more than
$2,000 more than last year. If youre making more than $250,000 a
year, just be quiet while the rest of us suffer.
Stop talking about eliminating Social
Security, Medicare and Medicaid. Elected officials are not going to
undo them and neither are you. Those receiving Social Security and
covered by Medicare are in the demographic most likely to vote and
they arent going to vote for folks who take away both their income
and their healthcare. Do you really want to eliminate the primary
income source for tens of millions of retirees? And take away their
primary healthcare provider at the same time? Retirees arent going
to find jobs to replace Social Security or be able to afford their own
health insurance to replace Medicare so give it a rest.
Be careful about who you allow to speak for you. There is already a
certain guilt by association happening. When you let the most extreme
members of Congress, like Michelle Bachman and Tom Tancredo, spew
their venom at your rallies a lot of people believe they are your
spokespeople and your support begins to peel away. And some of your
self-appointed leaders are... how can I put this... nuts.
Even though you are open to any and all who want to support you, it
would be a good idea to start openly disavowing the fringe elements
now attaching themselves to your cause. Already the birthers,
truthers, denialists, anti-immigration haters, white supremacists and
other extremists can be seen with their signs at your rallies.
Placards with Obama sporting a Hitler mustache and some of the
outrageous sloganeering that now shows up hurts your cause. People
who might be sympathetic to the gist of your concerns turn away when
they have to be associated with that kind of vile nonsense. We need to
know you dont support those folks and dont agree with them.
Be careful when you talk about revolution. By definition that would
require an entirely new system of government. Our system isnt broken
to the extent it needs to be entirely replaced. Its just being
misused by many within it and those who have figured out how to
exploit it. Im sure what you mean is that you want to fix it, not
Dont delude yourself into thinking a Republican takeover of Congress
is going to help much. It wont. Your hero Ronald Reagan expanded the
size of government and ran up huge deficits. Bush the Younger was even
worse. Neither party has an off-switch when it comes to spending our
money. Run your own candidates and good luck with that.
Stop talking about deregulating business or doing away with the EPA.
Weve already tried those ideas and they dont work. Not many want an
even more out-of-control Wall Street or filthy air and water.
The good news is youre definitely on to something with your concerns
about government spending. A staggering 39% of federal spending now
comes from borrowed money, an unsustainable level. But you need some
focus. Attack the ridiculous practice of Congressional earmarks if
something needs funding then let it be introduced and debated as part
of real legislation. Defense, now 20% of the budget, is still rife
with overruns and fraud and abuse. Same with Medicare. You cant and
shouldnt eliminate it but there is rampant fraud that needs to be
rooted out. Unfunded mandates that burden the states are another
target ripe for your anger. Revamping the bizarrely complicated
federal tax codes would also help. Theres more but I assume you get
Your activism is praiseworthy and some of your goals laudable. But
youre in danger of becoming just another fringe group of angry,
unfocused extremists who will quickly fade into the sunset. So keep
protesting, but watch yourselves.
Thanks for reading.
Stephen Tuttle is a political consultant who formerly wrote for
the Arizona Republic.