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Tuesday, March 28, 2017

What Makes Activism Work

We should note that within the last few months, activism has won twice and lost once in shifting government policies. The two wins are the cancellation of the TPP and the failure of the American Health Care Act to get off the ground. The loss has to do with renewing the construction of DAPL.

The TPP was activism's first victim. For while activism delayed the passing of the TPP before the election, Trump's election, which was partially the result of conservative populism,  sealed its doom here. But the TPP was not just in trouble in America, other nations started to back away as well (click here). Opposition to the TPP showed that individual issues can bring conservatives and nonconservatives together. I have seen this happen when I have taken the time to talk to counter-protesters at May Day celebrations, I've found that leftists, like myself, and some of the conservatives with whom I've spoken can sometimes agree on what our nation's problems are. Of course, our disagreement comes in what we believed were the solutions. But sharing recognition of the problems again shows that we conservatives and nonconservatives can find some common ground.

As for the Republican replacement of Obamacare, yes, we were told that the Ryan's replacement was dead on arrival. For many groups opposed the replacement though not for the same reasons. We know that some of that opposition was voiced in the angry townhall meetings that Republican legislators had to endure. These legislators saw the rage that people felt about the potential of losing the health insurance they gained through Obamacare. And while the problems caused by the ACA shows that it is not a permanent solution, certain parts, like the increased number of people who now have health insurance, could no longer be sacrificed according. 


Activism's loss mentioned above came with Trump's order to continue DAPL construction. For the protests against DAPL were not widespread enough and did not incorporate enough people to put sufficient pressure on the government. It did delay some of the construction when the Army Corps of Engineers agreed to do more extensive studies of the project. But with Trump's election came a presidential directive to approve the immediate continuation of the construction of the pipeline. BTW,  we should note here that our President is financially invested in the project.

With this current record, what we should note is that when enough of us make our voices heard, we can still make our government listen. We can still gain victories. Sometimes those victories are small and temporary while there are a few times when those victories decisive and final. The point here is that despite the increased authoritarian nature of our government, we can still put limits on it and change some of its policies. We just have to get enough people to speak as loud and as often as possible. One thing we can be sure of, though we might have a shortage of activists from time to time, there will be no shortage of issues to address during Trump's Presidency.





 

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