Political Activists Can’t Be Trusted

A few minutes ago, I received an email from “CREDO Action.” Here are the important parts:

President Bush wants an endless war, but the majority of Americans want to bring our troops home. Now there is a real plan, endorsed by military leaders, over 50 congressional challengers, and 50,000 citizen co-sponsors like you.

. . .

The Responsible Plan will:

  1. End U.S. military action in Iraq
  2. Use U.S. diplomatic power
  3. Address humanitarian concerns
  4. Restore our Constitution
  5. Restore our military
  6. Restore independence to the media
  7. Create a new, U.S.-centered energy policy

And then there is a link to a page where I can help deliver this “Responsible Plan” to a Congressional representative’s office and another link to a page where I can sign a petition endorsing the “Responsible Plan.” Uh-huh. Right. Like I’m gonna do that on the basis of seven hugely vague phrases that are utterly without details. Sure, maybe I want to “Restore our Constitution,” but maybe what I think about that is not exactly what the people at “CREDO Action” think about that, or what the authors of this “Responsible Plan” think about it.

How about maybe putting the full text of this plan in front of people’s faces before you ask them to “endorse” it? How would that be? Maybe, oh, I don’t know, HONEST? Are you trying to hide something? Are you just so cynical that you think constituents are too lazy to read such a thing? I really can’t think of a good reason why you wouldn’t put a big giant link to the actual plan at the top of the email.

See, to actually read this “Responsible Plan,” you have to:

  1. Click on the only one of six links in the body of the email that will take you to the petition page.
  2. Scroll down to the bottom of the petition page.
  3. Click on the link to www.responsibleplan.org.
  4. Find the link at the top of that page that says “read the plan.” Click it.
  5. Scroll down through the executive summary, which is equally devoid of specifics.
  6. Click on the button that says “Download the Full Plan.”

Yeah, sorry, that’s lame. And it feels deceitful. And it’s just the kind of lunacy that political “activists” love: State massively broad and unobjectionable goals, leave out the details, expect people to rally around you, all grassroots-like, a bunch of drones.

It’s just one more reason why, as I mentioned in a recent post, “political” types bother me. I don’t trust these people. If they have substantive ideas, then they need to present those things up front, instead of hiding them in a virtual back room, like the rest of us can’t be trusted with them.

At any rate, if you download the PDF and read the plan, skip to pages 12-21 (or pages 13-22 of the PDF file). That’s where all the meat is. There are some good ideas. It’s probably worth endorsing. But don’t you dare sign any petition “endorsing” that plan until you’ve actually read it. And if you are an “activist,” then don’t you dare ask anyone to sign any petition endorsing that plan unless you first ask them to read the plan itself and give them a chance to actually do so.

Okay, my study break is over. Back to the law of evidence.

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