What do you all like to see in Grassroots political initiatives?
By - Yourlordandxavier
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Simple messaging and catch-phrases not invented by the brain-dead. I support what "defund the police" *means*, but the literal interpretation of that phrase is fucking stupid and will obviously scuttle any attempt at police reform.
Same with these attempts to rebrand the "LGBT+" acronym as "GSM" or "LGBTQIAA2+" etc etc.
Stick with a brand that is KISS (simple), and difficult to attack.
Spend as little time as possible on the definitions, and spend more time on advocating for the changes and gathering popular support.
Demilitarize the police or reform the police would have been so much better
As your about to see, I'm obviously not great with slogans.
But, it's amazing how a good chunk of our police problems could be fixed by "just send bad cops to jail."
I wonder why so many officers feel they are above the law when they are literally above the law in so many circumstances.
More localism. One of the big problems right now is all politics is too national.
This is in a large part because of the media. My state just had a round of school budget votes and no coverage on anything except maybe a blurb in a local paper . My point is there are elections happening all the time across the country but all the news stations can talk about is the upcoming midterms or the presidential election 3 years out. If more people were aware of these elections and their importance more people would vote in them.
If you subscribe to a national paper, also support your local paper (usually cheaper too). Local news is really suffering for money and has lost most of their newsrooms in the last decade while national news like NY Times really emerged triumphantly into the internet era.
It's also where real nose to the grindstone reporting really matters. Like there's always going to be people listening to whatever some senator says. But without a reporter following what's going on at the local water commission or something, it just doesn't get reported at all. It's also far more impactful to daily life of most people.
Like ask yourself who is it in the government you interact with the most. For the vast majority of the people it's primarily local (schools, police, permitting, etc...) and state (more police, DMV)
Like most people (obviously excluding military) only really see the federal government for taxes and social security/medicare (guess it depends if you want to call USPS government)
This definitely! Many or most of the policies people want can be done by their local state government and have closer connection to their state legislature. I wish people would give their local and statewide elections more attention. The biggest difference in enacting policies is that the state governments can't just print money like the federal government does.
Actual grass instead of astroturf, for one. A worthy cause that actually matters for two. I don’t give a shit about culture war BS. I want politicians and movement that want to solve to REAL problems, not pay lip service to whatever is the cultural zeitgeist of the day, which is almost always going to work in favor of the right wing.
And it needs to follow the “KISS” rule. Americans, on average, don’t have the time, interest, or energy to worry about all the esoterica. No talking about pell grants and other important things no one who isn’t a politics wonk has any idea about.
It’s gotta be simple, easy to understand, and easy to see why it’s better. Healthcare is the classic example. Watching the Ds debate during the primary was enraging because CNN and everyone else is asking all these bull shit “how are we going to pay for it” questions when the answer is very clearly “we already do” but it managed to muddy the message so much with everyone fighting about it, we made no progress. “Hey you, American person, no matter who you are, period, Healthcare will be cheaper for you”. Then come up with a simple slogan.
Right wingers get this. They’re masters at it. Progressive grassroots orgs need to learn to do the same.
And for fuck’s sake…get some damn branding help!!! “Defund the police”?? Anyone with a brain could have told you that was going to be horrendously divisive. It doesn’t matter what it actually meant. It matters what it sounds like.
>And for fuck’s sake…get some damn branding help!!! “Defund the police”?? Anyone with a brain could have told you that was going to be horrendously divisive. It doesn’t matter what it actually meant. It matters what it sounds like.
Trouble is, it was chosen because it sounds edgy and radical. Nobody came up with "defund" with the honest intent of doing something realistic about the problem.
Well sure, the problem wasn’t coming up with it, it was running with it.
The point being there never was any intention of running with it or appealing to those who would be necessary to do anything practical. Perpetuating outrage is their path to relevance, attention, etc.
But isnt “defund the police” exactly the sort of grass roots initiatives that people want? It didn’t come from a DC think tank, it came from the people who view the police as the problem
It’s wildly unpopular, to be sure, but this isn’t branding as much as it is a reflection of it being a terrible idea at its core
>But isnt “defund the police” exactly the sort of grass roots initiatives that people want? It didn’t come from a DC think tank, it came from the people who view the police as the problem
>It’s wildly unpopular, to be sure, but this isn’t branding as much as it is a reflection of it being a terrible idea at its core
It's not a "grass roots initiative" if people using the term can't even agree on what it means. It's a radical chic slogan people remember from reading Angela Davis.
But the people who use that term know exactly what they want.
It’s the elitists in the Democratic Party who keep trying to rebrand this movement into something that it isn’t
Progressives want to defund the police. They want to stop building jails (because those CAUSE crime), and they want police to arrest fewer people for crimes
Centrists know this is a suicidal policy to follow, so they keep trying to change the topic.
No, the majority of the people who use the term think in terms of police reform. The activist elites are the ones that embrace the more "suicidal" definition and they are more than happy to have the rank and file muddy the waters if it shifts the Overton window and builds reflexive support for the term.
They said “defund the police” because that’s exactly what they want to do. It’s catchy because everyone knows what they mean
It’s wildly unpopular, and and everyone hates it, but that’s not branding - that just reflects that the progressives have terrible ideas
Get out of the right wing echo chamber, bud. That is quite obviously not what "defund" means, as any thinking person with two working brain cells knows.
Of course that’s what it means - that’s why they used those words. They want to defund the police to reduce their presence in their neighborhoods. They view the police as the source all of their problems
The progressives are stuck - a huge portion of their base favors this policy, but at the same time, the overwhelming majority of Americans don’t.
They can’t ditch the policy without alienating a large part of their base, and can’t move forward without risking elections
It’s a disaster of an idea, and reflects that the progressives don’t have good ideas. It’s why Joe was fhe first President in the modern era to lose house seats when he took office
>Of course that’s what it means - that’s why they used those words.
I agree 100%. People deny this is what is meant, but then several big cities did exactly that and defunded their police force!
I have many politically active friends on both sides and this was a hot topic of debate for a while amongst the liberals. There were some that were twisting it like people on here to say, "That's not what it REALLY means," but their arguments were awkward and still ended up supporting reducing actual police presence in favor of social workers, or nothing as replacement - which is still quite literally defunding police.
Then the others were still arguing that this is EXACTLY what they want: "We want no mo' police" because police actually do more harm than good in their view. People get killed by police and hefty tickets/fines for petty reasons just because they are minorities. These comments and beliefs are definitely not from "right wing echo chambers," but directly from the mouths/minds of people calling for it. The fact that other democrats are trying to completely sweep it under the rug, blame it on right wing lies, and insult the intelligence of people that bring it up proves that they are just as embarrassed of their loud radicals and their idiotic ideas.
Agree - the “that’s not what they mean” talking points are just trying to reframe this as something not as toxic
The “defund the police” folks want to do exactly that, and the Democrats and their pollsters know how unpopular this is with voters.
The media even covered a bit of this in 2020 when the Democrats who narrowly scraped by in their elections complained about this zany messaging. It’s a killer at the polls
>They view the police as the source all of their problems
A really vocal part of the progressive movement thinks this, and literally wants to get rid of police. Another wants to view police as not the only solution to their problems and want a slower more logical defunding scheme where responsibilities are delegated to other emergency responding groups.
Unfortunately it's all wrapped up under the "defund the police", and both views think the other side thinks like they do.
You are quite clearly not a progressive, so you’re not equipped to talk about what they do or do not mean by [insert whatever cause]. I’m not going to try having a discussion with someone who isn’t going to change their mind no matter what I say, and doesn’t have any curiosity about the other side of the argument, anyway.
I need to be a progressive to understand their policies - they’re very vocal about calling for g they want.
Now there are clearly a cohort of Democrats who know how unpopular these ideas are, who try to gaslight people into thinking “defund the police” means something totally different than those words
And who can blame them? Defunding the police is one of the most disastrous ideas the Democrats have to deal with - voters hate this idea.
I simply take people at their word
I don’t need to be progressive to understand what they’re directly saying.
Leaving alone the obvious-to-any-thinking-person fact that one person or one group of people don’t speak for the entirety of “progressives”, did you even read that article? I’m not going to bother “discussing” (and I do use that term loosely) if you aren’t even willing to explore someone else’s point of view at all. You don’t know anything about progressives outside what your right-wing echo chamber tells you, so you’re not equipped to discuss.
The NYT's is a right wing echo chamber? Got it.
Your comment clearly demonstrates your willingness/ability to have real discussion about this topic. /s, since you likely need it.
Actually no, the reason the phrase is idiotic is because to carry out what the people saying that phrase want actually requires a massive increase in police funding. They want to defund militarization of police, but paying for better training, mental health professionals, etc costs a ton. This is why the phrase is both tone deaf and inaccurate to the goals it highlights.
Right, but aren’t people smart enough to know what they want, and then use the appropriate words?
You’re reimagining what people say they want, but the progressives saying they want to “defund the police” aren’t making the same claims as you.
It’s condescending to claim that a political movement advocated by a group of people is about something other than what they’re asking for, and that they’re too stupid to call it what it is.
It’s not that they’re too stupid, they just want to have edgy messaging, it’s really not that complicated.
So, they’re using “edgy messaging” instead of effectively communicating what they want?
As though they’re more interested in getting attention than in effecting the change they’re calling for?
Again, kinda condescending. Maybe not
Not sure why you’re pretending to be offended for the sake of far left progressives, but yea that’s what I’m saying.
It’s condescending to say right wingers don’t actually care about cancel culture so much as they just don’t want to see US culture leave them behind for archaic views, still the truth though.
I’m not offended on behalf of the far left. By all mean, their ideas are moronic, and this is a great example
But the reaction from the not so progressive is to say that those calling for “defunding the police” are too stupid and ignorant to advocate foe their own beliefs in a smart way.
I can’t tell if it’s racism, or just old fashioned left wing elitism, but it’s hilarious to watch. “Those people say x, y and z, but they really mean a,b, and c. They’re too ignorant to say what they wanted”
I’m enjoying the show
I mean, if you look at the police reform laws proposed by the defund movement, it’s quite clear that their actual policy increases the amount of federal and state money that could be used by law enforcement. You seem to think this somehow symbolizes elitism or racisms (?) but it’s just an objective truth and it seems most people agree on it. Whatever “show” you think you’re enjoying is really just people discussing messaging.
Any program that gives more to the cops than it takes away isn’t “defund the police”
It’s an attempt to modify that message into something that won’t get the Democrats murdered at the midterms
But since it gives more money to the cops, the progressives who pushed for this won’t be happy, nor will the general population, so the whole endeavor is due to fail
Structure. Strong structure that doesnt sway when funding is tight. Wishy washy decisions and lack of confidence in the leadership is a dead on arrival start for any newcommers.
Devotion to principles. People (typically) like those of strong will and has the air of getting things done according to their values. Compromising only if their main point is still strongly favored.
Prime candidates that are charasmatic and intelligent. Trump nailed this on the head. But so did Hitler, Mousolini, and Washington, as well as some others I may not have heard of. Fringe movements only succeed when their candidate had a cult following.
Strong gate keeping standards as part of the fans. The libertarians are failing so utterly because they didnt quickly kill the joke that theyre all anarcho extremeists. And they remain a joke to this day even if their website says the contrary.
I think that grassroots that doesn't ruin your life is good. You are supposed to educated people on the risks of political activism. If there are risks, you are supposed to tell people in your group. I think that if a group wants you to be politically active, they should have a list of specific things that further your cause. There can be a list or group would come up with it together.
A truly effective political movement is going to need a cult of personality around it.
Trump is the master of this. He genuinely could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody and not lose any support. Why? Because people have such devotion to him that anything he says or does is justified. A good rule is, if you can't dress up as a candidate for Halloween and have everyone immediately know who you are, they aren't a very strong candidate.
There should also be stronger local infrastructure separate from the party apparatus. Something that could directly challenge the party should the candidate lose the primary. Something that could quickly be transformed into a paramilitary-like force.
When the cause promotes pluralism not populism. Good grass roots that are not intended to just drum up votes for candidates to attach their name too instead of legislating
Specific, actionable proposals. While ideals are nice, and goals are important, I want some specific and implementable proposals that could be done if enough support is gained/opponents surrender. It's also a helpful indicator that the people involved have actually done their work and studied the issues.
Causes that have to do with questioning and discussing how government works, not just arguments about which team our politicians are on. Nothing catches my eye like groups that list as top priorities at least a few goals that are clearly not sponsored, and are likely feared by the establishment. Real grassroots movements should want the government to work more efficiently, not just for it to work more in their favor. I'm talking things like term limits (or abolishing re-election altogether), fighting to weaken or even ban lobyists from government, reforms to the justice system to keep it from favoring those with money and connections in government, lowering of politicians' wages, etc.
Nothing says "we are not set up by existing political powers" like some good old fashioned anti-politician demands.