by Ned Ryun
It’s pretty amazing how a few weeks of honking in Ottawa combined with parents standing up to autocratic school boards appear to be doing more to move public opinion and change the everyday lives of Americans for the better than decades of funding CPAC social events and conservative think-tanking have done. Fascinating when you think about it.
Just take a moment to reflect on how much this activism has changed the debate and brought to the surface the fascistic tendencies of the Left in Canada and in the United States. Prime Minister Justin “Low-T” Trudeau has invoked draconian emergency powers in Canada, while all across the United States, school boards are digging in—essentially telling parents and taxpayers to pound sand when they object to mask mandates and critical race indoctrination. The arrogant, out-of-touch responses to the protests has been illuminating for many and it has had and will continue to have real-world consequences.
The political realignment of parents because of school boards’ behavior was on display recently in Virginia. The state flipped by 12 points in a year due, in large part, to the activism of parents who stood up and simply said, “No more.” But the arrogant, ham-handed reactions from people in power would never have been on display for all the world to see without that activism triggering those responses from the powers that be.
Which leads to this: What if we were actually to invest hundreds of millions of dollars every year into this sort of grassroots activism rather than wasting it on white papers, think tanks, and “hot air” events? Imagine what the results would be. Then imagine what it would look like year after year after year? We’re investing $500 million to $1 billion every year into conservative organizations. If I didn’t tell you that, would you even know? Do you even know most of these groups even exist? Probably not, because any meaningful work they do is like cow flatulence in a high wind.
This recent activism is yet more evidence highlighting the worthlessness of investing in most of the projects the Right has been funding for decades. What have they really accomplished? Are you even thinking before you send people a check? Or are you, conservative donors, just sending another million bucks down the drain?
We need to give serious thought to what kind of projects are worthy of our hard-earned money. Do you know what would really be a good investment right now? Funding our own trucker boycott where we offer to pay for their gas, their time, and other expenses. Funding parents to protest school boards nonstop and then take over those same school boards. This is what the Left does all the time, to the point where it feels like half of their people are professional protesters, funded either by leftist billionaires or, if they’re public sector unions, your tax dollars.
And guess what? It works.
We should be doing the same thing. We need protests to shut down economies until arbitrary rules and laws cease to exist. Protests to shut down indoctrination centers masquerading as places of learning. Activism brings change. White papers, think-tanking, and hype-machine events don’t change anything. They may make the people who write the checks feel good about themselves because they get something they can wave around like a “report” but that’s just about it. It’s on the level of trees that fall in the forest with nobody around to hear them—they don’t make a sound.
The good news is I think that these trucker protests and school board protests are a teachable moment for the Right. We’ll see if it learns its lesson.
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Ned Ryun is a former presidential writer for George W. Bush and the founder and CEO of American Majority. You can find him on Twitter @nedryun.
Photo “Freedom Convoy Supporters” by GoToVan. CC BY 2.0.