Monday, April 10, 2006

Ad Hoc Activism

I like Nick Provenzo's observations, particularly his point that if one takes the initiative one can set the terms of a campaign:
It is one thing to attempt to make "common cause" with others toward the attainment of a specific, concrete goal that you may hold in common. It is something altogether different to make "common cause" with their bankrupt ideologues. I am reminded of my collation work on the Elian Gonzales campaign, where I worked with lots of different groups toward the goal of protecting Gonzales from being returned to Cuba.

When I organized the DC protest in front of the Department of Justice here in Washington, participants had to agree to CAC's talking points and promise not to introduce extraneous material. Interestingly enough, they were happy to do this, as CAC had the best arguments in defense of Gonzales' rights. This cemented my view that at least with non-intellectuals, it often can be very easy for Objectivist to lead the way if one is willing to simply take charge and seize the initiative.

Additionally, I made absolutely sure that I didn't praise my temporary allies for their philosophies or their views on other topics. To do so would have been to sanction the very kinds of mixed premised and wrong-headed thinking that keeps me from achieving my larger political goals.

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