In honor of Independence Day, I’d like to offer some suggestions for writing a good political screed:
- Reference one or more of the founding fathers
- Describe a false dilemma, register everything in black or white.
- Invoke the Constitution without being specific
- Refer to the Articles of Confederation, Federalist Papers, or the private writings of the founders.
- Misrepresent 18th & 19th C. thinking. Opportunities exist in misunderstanding Natural Rights, Exceptionalism, Manifest Destiny, the Enlightenment, Objective Idealism, Romanticism. Get creative here.
- Make a inappropriate reference to the Separation of Powers.
- Make an appeal to Anti-Federalism, ex. States Rights
- Claim an immediate threat to a politically powerful but diffuse group: small business, seniors, the wealthy, etc.
- Warn of an existential threat to the nation:
- external threats might include Europeans, China, brown-skinned people, trade imbalances, or Communism
- popular internal threats are debt, minorities, Socialism, Liberalism, and moral hazard
- Engage in one or both of Naturalistic and Moralistic fallacies.
- Include numbers without scale, history, or comparison taken from unnamed sources.
- Reach a false conclusion (or none at all).
Following these hints will all but guarantee that your posts to your favorite social media sites will grab attention. Have a good time!
I received an anti-school tax mailing today with no identifier other than the U.S.P.S. permit information “PRSRT. STD. Permit #370, Albany, NY”. A few minutes of searching turns up that this permit also appears on publications by:
- NY Farm Bureau
- SEIU Local 444
- Legal Aid Society of Northeastern NY
- Institute for Design Professionals
- School Span
- Project Lead The Way (various sites)
- Teamsters Local 294
- NYS Insurance Fund
- Albany Prep Charter School
and many others.
I wonder what the connection is? Are they using the same bulk mailing company?
Update 20110510 —
The local newspaper picked up on it too… Phantom Call for No Vote
To whom it may concern:
Prior to this morning I did not have a strong opinion on the Albany County District Attorney
The New York Times has a cogent opinion piece by an airline pilot on Airport Security Follies. Think about it.
Whatever you think of Cindy Sheehan’s clumsy, personal brand of activism, read [Glen Greenwald’s discussion](http://glenngreenwald.blogspot.com/2006/02/learning-from-dear-leader.html) of her arrest at the State of the Union speech.
Are you worried about civil rights yet?
Here are some numbers for New York City:
- According to the [NYC Department of Planning and the U.S. Census](http://www.nyc.gov/html/dcp/html/census/popcur.shtml), there are 8,168,338 people in the Big Apple.
- The 2000 U.S. Census demographics show that about 89% of those people were over age 18, which means that there should be roughly 7 million potential voters.
- The Board of Elections reported in March there were only 3,903,852 registered voters across the five boroughs.
- On Wednesday, 1.2 million people voted.
The next time you hear someone grousing about or praising the city government you can feel comfortable that the odds are better than 3-1 that they didn’t have anything to do with it.