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Militias Less Popular than Socialism

More Americans have negative associations with the word “militia” than the word “socialism.” And it’s not like socialism is a popular idea among Americans. I doubt this matters to most militia leaders, except maybe the ones who are getting better at public relations, but it would seem that for a vast majority of Americans, preaching against socialism from the militia soapbox is just going to drive more people toward the socialists.

There’s a thread within the movement that would like to suggest we’ve moved this issue from the fringes. I think that’s largely nonsense, because it mischaracterizes political struggle. We’ve moved the movement forwards because we’ve been very successful at reframing our ideals and ideas in a manner that the vast unwashed masses can relate to. Instead of talking gun control, we switched the subject to criminal control. Instead of speaking of preserving hunting, we speak of preserving the right to self-preservation. Instead of talking about jailing ATF agents, as Larry Pratt did at the rally last week, we speak of reforming the agency.

It’s not as emotionally satisfying as righteous battle against the dark forces of evil on the other side, but it’s effective. The vast majority of voters are not ideological. They don’t make up their minds until right before the election (the PA Dem primary is two weeks from now, and 1/3rd are still undecided), and there’s vast political ignorance among many voters. Winning in politics is bringing these folks along, little by little, either into your camp, or at least not in opposition to you. This allows your issue to work its base in order to swing close elections. If you want to do this, you need to reach them with a message that doesn’t turn them off. What this poll shows is the militia ideas turn them off.

5 Responses to “Militias Less Popular than Socialism”

  1. Bitter says:

    I would also point out that framing it as a civil liberties issue is good for the cause.

  2. Tam says:

    …yet, ironically, one of those words is found in the Constitution.

    (Of course, a surprising number of people think that the phrase “from each according to his ability…” is found in there, too…)

    http://www.usconstitution.net/constnot.html#marx

  3. Mike w. says:

    Of course part of the problem is the media framing of the two words. Socialist ideals are generally supported by the MSM, while militias are painted as “OMG EVIL RIGHT WING TERRORISTS!”

    Socialism also has a long history of appealing to the ignorant.

  4. And reading your kinder, gentler post again, you seem to support Mike’s point, saying:

    Truth is a good part of the movement has always been kinder and gentler, even in the 1990s. It’s just that the media took all the kooky right groups and melted them all into a single, scary conglomeration that never really existed.

    And the media’s trumpeting about how members of Mike Lackomar’s group wouldn’t help the fleeing Hutaree was more to paint the Hutaree as nutcases, not Lackomar as rational.

  5. Brad says:

    I’m suspicious of the poll results. You should be too.

    Considering the poll was testing rhetoric, I was struck by three remarkable things: the high favorable ratio of the term “progressive”, the mixed results of the term “libertarian”, and the complete absence of testing for the terms “liberal” and “conservative”.

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