DRAX: Me and the Marshal’s going fifty-fifty.
ROMANA I: You and the Marshal?
DRAX: Yeah, well, he’s out of a job now, isn’t he. I mean, no war, no job, so I took him on.
4th DOCTOR: When did you arrange this?
DRAX: In about half an hour’s time, I should think.
Doctor Who The Armageddon Factor 1979
Benito took out papers. The man snatched at them, but Benito backed away. He read: “Dear Jon, I could understand your opposition to us last year. There was some doubt abut the precess, and you expressed fears all of us felt. But now you know better. I have no witnesses but you told me you understood Dr. Pittman’s demonstration. In God’s name, Jon, why do you continue? I ask you as your sister, as a fellow scientist, as a human being Why?
Larry Niven & Jerry Pournelle Inferno 1976
The left’s reaction to some of this week’s court cases, particularly the civil right’s case Monday, makes it clear, if there is one thing that guys like Al Sharpton & his friends fear more than anything else, it’s success.
No not success in the business sense, but in a cause.
Think about it, you are of the left, you have crusaded long and hard for your particular cause, you have built up a mailing list, you have fundraised and true believers have sent you their cash. If your cause injures the political or financial prospects of the right people, larger NGO’s, foreign princes, and political campaigns kick in. You might even get a pol to slip government funding into a bill or on a list of organizations to help administer one program or another. Maybe you’ll score a friendly write-up in the papers or face time on MSNBC & CNN increasing your prestige and fundraising reach.
And you’ve built followers and employees. A college student with a degree in Queer 17th Century Native American studies might not be all that employable in the real world outside of McDonalds but the mindset is a perfect fit for you. You’ve become the path of employment for those with useless degrees who frankly aren’t capable of anything else and students not yet graduated come to you, asking you, begging you to let them intern and they’re thrilled when you allow them to spend long hours fundraising for your organization without pay.
Even better you might get some of these students studying your cause at school, after all universities study all kind of natural, social and political phenomenon. Now your word can lead to university grants, maybe even federal research funds voted by congress and if your cause is really just (like saving the world from fracking and shale oil) you’d be surprised at how fast alternate energy companies and governments outside the US will be willing to throw a few dollars not only to yourselves but to the university that is willing to sponsor your research.
But what happens if your goal is achieved?
What happens if it turns out the water is, in fact clean, cleaner that it has been for decades? What happens if the Polar Bear population and deer population are boom? What happens if every 16 year old in the country has the right to declare themselves whatever sex they want on any given day? What happens if the US pulls every single soldier out of Afghanistan? What happens if pipelines are declared illegal or scientists develops a leak proof material able to even stand up to earthquakes?
Or worse, what happens if science proves your fears unfounded, that the world isn’t warming? What happens when January 27th 2016 come along and we’re all still here? What happens if statistics show your “oppressed” group is voting in greater numbers than ever before?
Do you bask in the glory of your victory? Do you celebrate that all your hard work has been successful? Do you breathe a sigh of relief that your children and grandchildren are not going to die a horrible death in a parched poisoned earth?
You’ve achieved status, you’ve achieved power, you’re living comfortably. You’re invited to the right parties, feted over by stars who think your cause is SO important and pols on the local, state and federal level care what you say and act accordingly.
So you find a different crisis, it doesn’t matter if water is clean, it isn’t clean enough, it doesn’t matter if the polar bears have recovered, they haven’t recovered enough, sure 16 year olds can declare themselves whatever sex they want, but what about 7 year olds? Yeah we’re out of Afghanistan but what about Europe? Yeah we stopped the pipelines, but the trucks are dangerous too? Do we really trust those figures that say the world isn’t going to end? We need a 50 year study of our own to be sure.
You demagogue and you frighten people to believe this is so, after all it’s an old game. During the 1884 campaign the GOP actually suggested electing Grover Cleveland meant the return of slavery so when he did win history records:
One freedman came to his former owner and said that since he was going to be re-enslaved, he wanted his kind old master back.
The American Pageant 6th edition 1979 p 477
In short the emergency never ends, the solution is never good enough and the need for your dollars is NEVER more critical.
Because that’s when you quietly admit to yourself that you’re not in the problem solving business, or the crisis prevention business, you’re in the fundraising business, and the cause you support isn’t the rain forest, the whales, stopping big oil or the rights of man, it’s you.
Or as Niven and Pournelle put it
As we walked away, Jon screamed after us, “I’d have been nothing if I gave up the movement. Nothing! Don’t you understand? I had to stay on as president!”
Al Sharpton is just a panhandler with a fancier title and a nicer street corner.
OK I admit there is some irony to that post and my asking you to dear reader to provide me with the $132 to may a paycheck this week or the $493 to make the mortgage. But in this case you know exactly what you are getting (you see the product daily) and you decide if it’s worth paying for or no.