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Why Campaigns, Not Protests, Get the Goods


Why Campaigns, Not Protests, Get the Goods

George Lakey

After the election there will be many things to protest, no matter who wins. This is the time to figure out how to amplify our power and maximize the chance of winning victories.


What could give more staying power to campaigns than removing all obstacles to continuous, encrypted, online augmented voter initiatives and referendums?


A problem with the protests against the Iraq was is that you had people on the left out in the streets but there was a right-wing government that wanted to go to war. Therefore, Bush did not have to pay a political price because the people in the street were not going to vote for Republicans no matter what. For the same reason Nixon was not moved by people protesting the Vietnam War . Keystone was the opposite. The people in the street were again on the left but so was president Obama. The Democrats needed the votes of the marchers so if Obama approved Keystone there would have been a political price to pay. So I think you have to put this in the context of left-right politics.Marchers on the left can affect politicians on the left but not politicians who are on the right.


" There you go, again ", spreading manure on Sunday, no less. The 2003 protests affected the 2006 federal elections ( Howard’s 50 state strategy ), casting out most of the Republican Hawks and bringing Democratic control of the House and strengthening Obama’s run and 2008 supermajority victory. Then, of course, we found out how many " sellouts and lackeys " were in the Democratic Establishment with the ACA, Libya Debacle, Ukraine, Israel, Syria and on and on… It’s the Uniparty Elites & MSM running things that’s the problem, here. We know this like we know our date of birth. The cure is peacefully protesting, organizing and building a 3rd Party around the political goals of The Progressive/Green linkages. Vote Green in 2016 and start the ball rolling.


One of the most successful campaigns in recent decades is BDS (Boycott, Divest, and Sanction) of Israel against the Palestinians. While the author mentioned apartheid in South Africa, he neglected to mention apartheid in Israel. This has been a huge political issue this past year … especially on college and university campuses.

Gee, I wander if the author, being a Quaker, has anything to do with that? :smirk:


Lakey is correct. We need to stop protesting for the next week and support Jill Stein’s POTUS campaign.


Lakey opens with a “When did you stop beating your wife” sort of assumption. Usually people do this when a literal declaration of the assumptions involved would be obviously absurd. It is absurd in this case, but I am not certain it is obvious, especially since it is not stated.

Lakey presents his argument as though there were a straightforward, apples-to-apples comparison to be made between campaigns and protests–and we had might as well extend things along the continuum and discuss outright revolution as well. The assumption is ridiculous: of course it is better to be able to campaign rather than have to protest and better to be able to protest rather than have to have recourse to arms, but mostly because it is better to be in a situation in which a campaign or a protest is possible than it is to be under direct attack.

Sometimes revolutions have good results. Sometimes protests result in gains. Thank goodness campaigns work at times. It is a very, very common thing that some combination of the three can have effect.

But what Lakey angles at here is off base. He wishes to convince people that it is always better to go to a campaign because at the moment, there is no electoral option available for the majority of the population. That creates the fear that there will be a response. If one feels that the response will result in nothing, there is little reason to avert it. If one observes that there actually is a good electoral option and a campaign can succeed, one makes the argument in the specific.

Nah. Here’s a vote for Stein. We get even 5%, there is something to a next election. And voting costs everybody very little compared to the things that are apt to come next.


Maybe you didn’t read the article? He’s not contrasting protests with candidates’ campaigns in an election. He comparing simple one time protests or marches with an ongoing campaign of actions and protests.