Spontaneous combustion of grassroots politics is the future — Dick Morris
There is something both quaint and surreal about grassroots movements. The concept stirs up imagery of the common folk rising up against the establishment to accomplish something intransigent leaders are otherwise unable or unwilling to tackle.
Indeed, the definition holds true to that concept, as according to Fine Dictionary, the term is defined as follows: “Of or involving the common people as as constituting a fundamental political and economic group.”
Grassroots Movements in the United States
Throughout its 237 year history, the United States has seen more than its share of grassroots movements. Previous subjects have included term limits, the women’s movement, civil rights and more recently, health care reform. There have been many others, of course, and not all have met with the same amount of success.
Key to achieving the stated goals are two basic tenants: Numbers and duration. The more people working to achieve a stated goal and the longer they do so, the greater likelihood of a positive outcome. Further complicating the issue is the potential for astroturfing, whereby a grassroots movement is merely simulated in order to shape opinion.
The ‘Truckers to Shut Down America’ Movement
Whether the idea ‘Trucker Strike’ is a legitimate grassroots movement with staying power remains to be seen, but a potentially large group of truckers is proposing a strike and boycott to shut down and otherwise impede the flow and usage of goods in and around Washington, D.C. between October 11-13 of this year. The stated cause is the group’s belief that the U.S. constitution is under siege and that there is a need for action to reverse what they feel are attacks against it. According to a flyer produced by the group:
American truckers are … great patriots, and they are all well aware of what is happening to our U.S. Constitution. Through this campaign, they are leading the convoy of all Americans coast to coast who wish to restore our Constitutional Republic. America is calling out to our Patriots, and if any group can help lead the charge to save our nation, it’s the U.S. Truckers.
The movement’s web site states that the group is working in conjunction with a sister non-partisan organization called “Overpass for Obama’s Impeachment.” Although some of the diatribe appears to be directed toward the fringe, the general purpose of both organizations in this coordinated effort is to rally support for a virtual shut down or boycott of all goods and services over as wide of an area as possible during the three-day period.
The grassroots group had a Facebook page with over 80,000 ‘likes’ that was ultimately shut down. While it was up, the organizers explained their rationale as follows:
“It does not matter if a million or 50 roll through DC in this effort. Congress will listen to We the People. Which is remove Obama from office for crimes of treason and misdemeanors. We want Congressional hearing on Benghazi and Seal Team 6. Louis Learner [sic] put in jail. No amnesty, remove all Muslims in our government that do not uphold the Constitution. Remove Eric Holder from office for crimes against the people and the Constitution. Last but not least is Fuel prices.”