Throw back to early 2021. This is likely the final chapter in the story about the Georgia election laws. Here’s a quick recap. Georgia passed new voter laws. Democrats called those laws new Jim Crow laws. Democrats then pressured corporations to leave the state of Georgia. Several companies like Delta Airlines and Coca-Cola issued strongly worded letters. Major League Baseball did something and moved their all-star game and draft to Denver. Naturally, Republicans have to react, which is the subject of this substack.
What was the reaction? Boycotts…
I’m reasonably certain boycotts are the only protest term Republicans have ever heard of. They sure like to call for them. Here’s the problem. They don’t work. Saul Alinsky says as much:
The boycott was a disastrous failure, and any experienced revolutionary could have predicted without any reservations that this would have been the case. Any attack against the status quo must use the strength of the enemy against itself. Let us examine this particular boycott—the error was in trying to boycott all, instead of some. Few liberals, white or black, would forgo all Christmas shopping in the most attractive shopping places. Even if it had not been the Christmas season, we know that picket lines are relatively ineffective today in stopping the general population.
– Saul Alinsky (Rules For Radicals, pg. 153-154)
First of all, this is all empty rhetoric to get donations. I’m under no illusions. For this substack, we’re pretending the Republican Party stands for something more than swindling Boomers who wish they were still snorting cocaine under the Reagan administration.
Here’s why a boycott of the MLB is stupid, or if you’re Rand Paul, a boycott of Coca-Cola. Like in the excerpt above, few conservatives, skinny or fat, would forgo Coca-Cola. Hell! The last Republican president loved diet coke. Or, in the case of the MLB, you’re going to ask Conservatives to give up America’s past time? They already can’t watch football. Both products are too much fun and too at the core of Americana to be given up. Boycotting them is far more painful for the consumer than for the producer. It’s not a tactic you can revel in.
A boycott of the MLB or Coca-Cola violates Rule 7, “A tactic that drags on too long becomes a drag.” Radicals should be having fun while they affect political change. There’s nothing fun about abstaining from sugary drinks and baseball.
But let’s talk about another reason these boycotts will fail, “the error was in trying to boycott all, instead of some.” There’s no precision. Coca-Cola is an international brand. They’ll feel no pain from a half-assed boycott. The Coca-Cola corporation brought in 37.3 BILLION dollars in revenue in 2019. Coca-Cola doesn’t care about political leanings in one country. They care about continents and world wars. It’s far too large of an entity to hurt.
However, Coca-Cola publically publishes its board of directors. If Republicans, or republican operatives, were serious, they’d find legal and ethical ways to make members of that board feel pressured. Rule 13, “ ‘Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.’ Cut off the support network and isolate the target from sympathy. Go after people and not institutions; people hurt faster than institutions.”
Any action that targets a large multinational corporation and not individuals is a fundraising stunt. These are a waste of time; hopefully, Republicans are getting wise to that. Unfortunately, they’re not, but I can hope.
Liberals Pitty Conservatives
The boycotts were so limp and impotent that even liberals felt terrible about them.
This article is great for several reasons. One, it throws Republicans a bone. Like a special needs kid that’s too pathetic to be picked on, so instead, the athletic kids help him. The article tells conservatives what they need to do: organize. But two, it shows how ingrained Rules for Radicals are for the left. One of the theses of the substack is that the Right is ignorant of Saul Alinsky, which hurts them.
As any organizer can tell you, boycotts don’t work simply by calling for them to happen. They work only when there’s repeated pressure for the boycotts to be upheld — a slow, tedious process that depends on the public seeing a real motive for the boycott and on a willingness to do without the product. (The linked article)
This is just a vocalization of Rule 7. Pulling off a boycott is problematic because it is painful to go without the product. Any tactic that drags on too long becomes a drag.
But it’s more than just a rephrasing of Rule 7. Read how effortlessly the writer says “organizer.” The Right doesn’t even have organizers; meanwhile, the left is fluent in the term. The average Boomercon reads “organizer” and has no idea what it means. He’s dumbfounded. He thinks protests are somewhat organic or only astroturfed by George Soros. Boomercons have no idea it’s so much deeper than that.
The last lines of the article are the most damning:
But a lot of it is that the left, unlike the right, has decades of experience in trying to pressure corporations to make change. It understands that doing so takes more than three days of tweets.
There is more to talking than just words, as Humphrey Bogart once said.
This is the victory lap. The left knows they have the advantage. They know they have the experience. They know that conservatives were too afraid of Saul Alinsky because he dedicated his book to Satan to read it. They know at this point it isn’t even a fair fight.
The left has such a big lead that they’re giving pointers to the right on how to catch up.