Choice of phrase deliberate: one of the most entertaining things about today’s state of activism is that the Professional Left is just now starting to realize that they have somehow become the agents of reaction without ever quite noticing how it happened. Lila Rose, on the other hand? Her pro-life organization Live Action is a classic guerrilla theater operation designed to target the weaknesses of a frankly sclerotic tool of the Establishment… in this case, Planned Parenthood. It’s not quite the same as the Sixties groups, though: the Right has never been all that interested in getting our opponents to admit that we were right and they were wrong. Winning is sufficient validation, thanks.
And this is where I think that the above Christian Science Monitor article featuring Lila missed the fundamental point. In my opinion, the CSM author approached Live Action’s program in terms of an attempt to sway public opinion; which is after all how the Activist Left always does it. But the reason that the Left always does it that way is because the Activist Left always has to convince a majority of the American public that their ideas are correct. The Right doesn’t have that problem in this country. To use this specific example: Live Action doesn’t have to start by convincing people that abortion is disgusting, because people already find abortion personally disgusting. All Live Action has to do is show that the horrid things said about abortion providers and abortion advocates are actually true.
And that’s important because the next step in activism after ‘acquire influence’ is ‘do something with it.’ It is no accident that the videos that we’ve seen so far feature New Jersey, which has a Republican governor with real power, a cheerful willingness to wade into a fight, and an existing conflict with Planned Parenthood; and Virginia*, which has a Republican executive branch with strong pro-life views and a split legislature preparing for a fight over regulating abortion clinics. I fully expect that the next videos from Live Action will be in states like Pennsylvania (recently the scene of what can be fairly called a “serial killing spree”) and Ohio, both of which now have strongly Republican state governments. Or possibly Wisconsin. Or perhaps Kentucky or West Virginia, both of which have gubernatorial elections this year…
Yes. I am explicitly saying that Live Action must have set up this operation with an eye on how it could be useful politically to legislatures and politicians who are reliable on life issues. That is the point to political activism: it’s great to go out, get some fresh air, and hang out with like-minded people and everything, but the goal is to advance specific policy positions. Having fun is… well, winning is fun.
The best kind of ‘fun,’ in fact.
Moe Lane (crosspost)
*At least three of the Virginia videos are being released uncut, which is going to be a real headache for Democratic legislators. Coincidentally, the videos feature Planned Parenthood clinics in Falls Church, Roanoke, and Charlottesville… all three of which have Democratic state senators.
PS: Planned Parenthood? You need to start hiring people whose first response to statements like Well, I’ve got these illegal immigrant underaged hookers working for me is to hit the panic button and mace the rapist [expletive deleted] who just confessed to a depraved felony. ACORN didn’t do this elementary bit of training, and look what happened to them. And if you think that what happened to them is a tragedy, well, I disagree that it was a tragedy… but you’re still not exactly disproving my point.