This is a short outline for my Saturday afternoon talk at Freedomfest.
We are in the minority and our leaders are passing tyrannical laws. We don’t have political power and we feel helpless.
- Politicians are against us
- Media is against us
- 50% or more of the population is allegedly against us
You have to decide what you want to do:
Do you want to make a serious political change, or do you just want to gain a platform to air your grievances and get your message out?
We are in the minority. I don’t just mean conservatives and libertarians. I mean conservatives and libertarians who want to make a change.
When you’re in the minority, you are forced to engage in asymmetrical warfare.
Asymmetrical warfare is the use of unconventional strategies and tactics adopted by a force when the military capabilities of belligerent powers are not simply unequal but are so significantly different that they cannot make the same sorts of attacks on each other. Viet Cong. Afghan rebels
Insurgency is a small group of people who adopt guerilla warfare tactics in opposition against authority.
Insurgency tactics can be adopted in a non violent manner for political warfare.
Develop these 5 concepts
(1) A “cultural shift” from winning the next election to winning popular support in the local community;
(2) The need to accurately determine the identity of important members within the community
- Who hold influence over local politicians
- Who is respected in the business community
- Who is respected in the activism community
- Who is your ally, who is the enemy of your enemy;
(3) Data management – don’t just keep track of things on a napkin. Get a system to keep track of your members and supporters.
(4) A style of operations aimed at working with local civic leaders.
(5) The development of “street knowledge,” learning the motivators and cultural mores of your community.
WHAT DO INSURGENTS AIM TO DO?
1. They aim to establish legitimacy within the eyes of the community. And to make the powers that be seem illegitimate. In more political terms, you can think of a vote of no confidence, or abysmally low ratings.
2. They unify their efforts. Unity of effort is essential. Unify the other groups around you. Let them continue their protests and advocacy work but if you have a petition to sign, get it in everyone’s hand.
3. Political factors are primary. The culture is important – you MUST keep finger on the cultural pulse – but never lose sight of the political objective.
4. Counterinsurgents must understand the environment.
Know your constituents. Otherwise you’re a tone deaf outsider.
5. Intelligence drives operations.
This is an operation. You need to gather intel. You need to know what’s happening in the local news. It’s not the same as MSM.
6. Politicians must be isolated from their cause and support.
Expose their hypocrisy, greed, callousness, etc. Your goal is to poke a gaping hole in their narrative and drive a wedge between them and their supporters.
7. Turn the rule of law against them.
Politicians seen as criminals lose public support.
8. Counterinsurgents must prepare for a long-term commitment.
This is not a short term battle. Think beyond the election cycle.
9. Manage information and expectations.
Make sure people know this is a long term fight.
10. Use the appropriate level of force.
Protesting in front of a home where children live does not make you look good in the eyes of the community. Neither does taking a knife fight to a protest.
11. Learn and adapt.
Be open to changing tactics if things aren’t going your way. Strategy is something like filing a ballot initiative or recalling a politician. Tactics are the things you do to carry out your strategy.
12. Empower the lowest levels.
Don’t create a bottle neck for decision making. Let the biggest decisions be made at the top, but allow your team mates to make decisions, too.
13. Support the greater cause of liberty.
Make yourself an asset.
Provide a service that community members can’t get anywhere else. What can you do better than your local government?
Pit one department against another. Ex.: convince the police not to enforce a local ordinance.
PURPOSE DRIVEN GRASSROOTS ACTIVISM
Step 1. Identify a cause
If you want to build a political movement, you need to rally people around a political cause.
Examples: anti-mandate action (Oppose vaccine mandates, oppose digital ID/contact tracing, oppose police license plate scanners, oppose red light cameras. Rally for: raw milk legalization, farm to table slaughter, backyard chickens or beekeeping.)
Step 2: Build something around your cause
Examples: Create an Instagram and/or a Telegram (you can do Facebook, but that platform is dying and you will risk getting your group or page removed by FB)
Create a logo and some template graphics. Use canva if you are inexperienced with Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop. Create some catchy hashtags. Create a QR code that links to your social media.
Step 2.5: Create a Mailchimp or similar email list so that you can contact people. Create a signup link and put the link in your IG page. If you have the time and skill, create a website and/or use a CRM. (IG and/or Telegram is the bare minimum.)
Step 3: Identify your first call to action, and come up with a rough draft of your end goal.
Examples: 1st call to action: A public comment campaign to city council to oppose the new license plate scanner/spy cams that the local police want to put in. End goal: Get city council to vote down this idea so that scanners are not installed.
You cannot build a meaningful political campaign with serious volunteers unless you give them something to do. Political volunteers need a tangible goal to work towards. Without a clear goal, activism will fall apart.
Step 4: Format your public comment. Create a template and share it.
We each get one minute for public comment. Type out your comment in advance, practice it, and time it so that you don’t get cut off mid sentence. Here’s my comment.
My name is Angela and I’m with _____. I oppose license plate scanners because they’re a gross violation of our constitutional rights and our right to privacy. Police should focus on property crime and violent crime – not spying on innocent residents. I don’t want my local tax dollars going to this project and if it’s enacted, I’m prepared to launch a campaign to change the local law. If you’d like to help, you can find us on Instagram at _____. Thank you.
(This is an important step because it drives people who are ALREADY INCLINED TO BE POLITICALLY ACTIVE to your page.)
Treat public comment like free commercial air time. Always identify your organization and how/where people can contact you.
Step 5: Keep people engaged. Send out a reminder about meetings and opportunities once a week. Find someone to help you with IG or Telegram. Continue the call to action until you are successful, or until you need to escalate your call to action.
Step 6: Network at Events.
You will be invited to cross-promote and speak at other liberty-minded events. Focus on coalition building and building trust before you start trying to convince people to join the Libertarian Party. Make sure you demonstrate how valuable you are. Eventually, people will want to join authentically. Authentic membership is much more valuable than pressing someone to purchase a membership with a high pressure sale.
Additional tips on tabling and networking at events:
Prepare a 5 to 10 minute speech in case you are asked to speak.
Get some stickers or buttons made with your logo. (Create a logo. Get a graphic design friend to make it, or hire someone on Fiverr.)
Get some business cards and a banner printed. Office depot prints cheap banners and has a same day turnaround time if you get the banner submitted by 2pm. Vistaprint and Next Day Flyers also print business cards, banners, flyers and stickers.
Prepare a short mission statement. (People will ask what you are doing and why.)
Prepare a signup sheet on a clipboard.
Call to Action Steps:
Call campaign to pass/block bills
Public Comment at city council/county supervisor/school board meetings
Escalating a call to action requires additional work. Make sure to plan out your campaigns in advance. As you meet volunteers, be sure to identify people who will help you stay organized and keep your project moving forward.