Friday, September 04, 2020

Activist Dynamics

Here's the way it's supposed to work.

1) Activists make "extreme" maximalist demands.
2) Centrist politicians say whoa whoa this is a real issue, but those activists are a bit nuts, still here is a Common Sense Proposal That All Americans Can Agree On which addresses the problem in a good bipartisan fashion (blah blah blah cue West Wing theme).
3) Activists keep making extreme demands.
4) Centrist politicians say, "See how reasonable we are? We aren't like those nutters, our proposals are Good! And Reasonable! And Common Sense! And that those crazy activists are still mad about it is proof that we aren't just crazy weirdo lefties! See how mad they are!"

The point is that something can be achieved even as the politicians get cred for punching hippies. It's a bit of kayfabe, but hopefully also a bit of win-win. Still it requires that the hippies remain mad! If the hippies are happy the show breaks down.

Now what happens is the "reasonable" proposals are made, the activists remain mad (as they are supposed to), and then people get mad at the activists for not being more grateful. That's not how it works!

When activists, say, fight for $15, and then the politicians come back with, "well, that's nuts, how about $12 in 3 years," those politicians don't get to run to their business donors and say, "see? we fought off the hippies for you," if the hippies say, "wow, great, $12 in 3 years is good enough, thank you Mr. Politician.'