What Would it Take for Stein/Honkala to Break Out of the 2% Ghetto? Hint: Go Nuclear.
A CNN Presidential poll, dated Sep 7-9, has Stein at 2%. What would it take for her to get, say, 10%? At this late a date?
At this late date, besides pictures of both Obama and Romney dancing with the devil, it would require some sort of galvanizing issue, which represented an imminent threat, and in which there was essentially no hope for a serious response by either Obama or Romney. Furthermore, this issue has to be easily communicated, and needs to elicit a strong, immediate, and emotional response. A response that was so strong, it would take people out of their comfort/lazy zones, enough to GOTV for Stein/Honkala. You need an issue such that there’s a shocking ‘poster child’.
For better or for worse, I believe that there is such an issue, complete with ‘poster child’. While I’m not sure that the pictures are from the rats in question in a recent French study that led to GMO corn being banned in Russia, the GROSSLY, GROSSLY deformed rats that were fed GMO’s must constitute an effective propaganda tool that could be used to jolt Americans out of their typical, sheep-like voting behavior.
Meme Propagation Methodology
Let’s say that Jill Stein agrees with me that horrifying GMO’d rats are a signature issue that, if she succeeded in blasting this message out, would take her from 2%-10% Just how would she educate a sufficient portion of the American public, in under 4 weeks, so as to affect their voting behavior? Not being a corporatist, expensive TV ad campaigns are not an option. (Even if she had the cash, she’d probably find out, just like Ross Perot did, that some major media will not accept your campaign advertising dollars.)
So, how to conduct a shock and awe campaign, that might jolt D’s, R’s and independents sufficiently such that they are eager to take on Monsanto, via pushing Jill Stein for President? But without mass media, and without mega-dollars?
The easiest means of GMO-horror meme propagation, that I can think of, is :
1) prepare a flyer to be downloaded from her website, complete with horrifying pictures, a brief explanation, a challenge to not just vote for her, but to join GOTV efforts, and links for further info.
2) call on her followers to Target SCHOOLS. Get the horrible flyers not only into the hands of a few parents who drop off or pick up their kids, but also get the flyers into the hands of the schoolchildren. To make sure that the flyers end up in the parents hands, the titles should provide the necessary prod(s). E.g.,
Should Parents Feed Their Children GMO Corn That Can Make Their Children Grow Mega-Tumors Like This?
This somewhat muddles the issue – we want laws that ban dangerous GMO’s from even being sold (it’s hard to trust regulatory agencies…) – and don’t want just advisories and labeling laws. I.e., we don’t want parents to think that their responsibility extends only to their own children, but instead everybody’s children (not to mention themselves), which means they need to embrace legal sanctions. Which they can get championed by a President Stein, but not a President Obama, who appointed a former Monsanto VP to head the FDA, nor from an equally corporatist President Romney.
Nevertheless, the point of the flyer is to galvanize the public, and aiming for a parental pressure point is the means to an end. The flyer can easily disambiguate what sort of parental responsibility is being sought – a more universal, spiritual one, that must find expressions in actions that lead to constraints with the force of law.
3) Network, network, network. The #1 Group in meetup.com is stay-at-home Moms. I kid you not – PLEASE go to meetup.com, navigate to your neighborhood, and then search for “stay at home moms”. Say, do you think that Moms want to go through the joys and sorrows of motherhood, only to find out that Junior is developing mega-tumors from GMO corn chips? I’m not going to develop the idea in this diary, but I think the number #1 demographic to stimulate a democratic and civil society renaissance in the US is “stay at home Moms”. Recall that Chris Hedges and Noam Chomsky spoke of the great desirability of having Moms come by, with baby in the baby stroller, to talk politics. Hedges even said this “terrified” the ruling class. Getting vulnerable Moms on board is one reason my new networking, activist tool will forbid – as per terms of service – any law breaking.
It should be relatively EASY to get converts at Stay At Home Moms types of meetup groups. Stein and Honkala being female, and mothers, will obviously make things even easier.
To be perfectly blunt about it, I doubt that Stein/Honkala have what it takes to go nuclear, though I welcome them to surprise me. I would happily be the first to admit that I was wrong, and had under-estimated them.
I’m actually not just picking on the Greens, here. Progressives and populists seem almost constitutionally unable to exploit the increasingly alarming and even absurd excesses of the corporate state to mount an effective counterattack. The Greens are just another clueless piece of flotsam and jetsam, thrashing about in a sea of befuddlement. They have lots of company from which to either take the wrong cues from, or else no cues, at all.
I guess you could say that I have no more confidence in the short-term tactical smarts of Stein/Honkala/GP, than I do in their longer-term strategic smarts. And this is equally true of progressives and populists, in general.
In the course of googling for deformed rat picture links to write this diary, I read the following, which talks about a new Gary Null film on GMOs.
UPDATE: I am posting my “math”, for the potential for “going nuclear”, which I first posted in the diary NPR Debate between Gary Johnson and Jill Stein moderated by Guy Raz of All Things Considered on the economy, health care & the role of gov’t
This is basically good news. However, consider that according to the wikipedia page on NPR, listenership for NPR is only 20.9 million per week. NPR’s highest rated program, Morning Edition, weighs in at 12.9 million per week. 12.9 million is thus a good guess for an upper bound of who caught this debate. I’ll guess that a more realistic upper bound is 1/3 that. (OTOH, NPR has some twitter-connected enthusiasts, but I’ve little idea of how this impacts net audience for this debate, including archived listening.)
Since Stein/Honkala were recently polling at about 2%, if Honkala gets NPR related exposure that’s about equal to less than 1% of the US population, does it not make sense to at least TRY and think outside the box, so that election day marks a turning point in US electoral history, rather than just a confirmation, of sorts, of the futility of 3rd Party runs? Will getting 3% of the vote, instead of 2%, set the kind of stage for 2014 that GP followers can get enthusiastic about?
I have tried to think outside the box in my current diary, What Would it Take for Stein/Honkala to Break Out of the 2% Ghetto? Hint: Go Nuclear. It’s nice to see it in the rec list, but there’s no comments. That’s consistent with my observation that progressives in the US generally show little imagination, nor tactical smarts, nor strategic smarts, nor even common sense, in dealing with their marginalized position. This seems true not only of progressives in general, but also of populists, in general.
While very few Americans listen to NPR, most Americans have a fairly close connection (child, grandchild, child of a first cousin) to somebody in school, K-12.
Let’s do some math. If 2% of Americans will vote for Stein/Honkala, then it’s not unreasonable for .2% of Americans to respond positively to taking 2-3 afternoon of their life to distribute horror-filled anti-GMO flyers to their nearest public school’s students. A student will typically live in a home that has other adults there – older siblings, a parent or two, perhaps a grandparent or two. This link gives average household size as 2.63, but it’s reasonable to assume that, given we are talking about households that already have a dependent child in them, an average household size is more like 3.0.
So, distributing flyers to kids will give you a 3-fer.
If .2% of the population hands out 100 flyers, they might reach .2% * 100 * 3.0 = 60% of the US population.
SO, RIDDLE ME THIS, GREEN PARTY BATMEN: WOULD YOU RATHER HAVE EXPOSURE OF 60% OF THE POPULATION, OR LESS THAN 1%?
Of course, you don’t really have to choose between the two. You’ve already gotten NPR exposure. Furthermore, there’s still 4 weeks until election day, so the GP could still attempt exploiting the public streets next to schools for getting it’s message out.
This morning I read a piece by the famous, non-tribalistic physicist R.P. Feynman, on his experience evaluating math books for the CA school system. What a horror show! Anyway, just like I think American’s should be educated in logic and rhetoric, I also think they should learn math, well, and (as I think Feynman would approve of) start looking at political issues mathematically. Not just mathematically; but, where mathematics could provide insight into practicality, some simple calculations could well help deliver the public from it’c current grossly disempowered state, wherein incumbents have near locks on re-election, in spite of awful approval ratings.
Unfortunately, I don’t expect the Stein/Honkala to have whatever it takes to “go nuclear”, whether it’s lack of basic mathematical ability, no ability to think outside the box, or no ability to intuit superior strategies (nor the common sense to hire somebody who can calculate strategies, objectively, with a track record to prove that ability).
I expect them to cross the finish line at 2%. But, as I mention in my diary, I welcome them to surprise me, and would be happy to admit my error.