What conservatives can learn from the death of the Keystone pipeline

This just in from MoveOn.org in celebration of President Obama's rejection of TransCanada's application to build the Keystone XL Pipeline. 

Sure, there's a great deal of propaganda in this 3-minute video, and crowds and efforts are manipulated to appear bigger than they probably were.  But check out the consistency, persistence, and creativity.  One sign that stands out is "If you Build it, It will Leak."  Good stuff.

They cite five things that made their effort successful and are still needed going forward: 

(1) Build a Diverse Coalition – It's not what you think.  They brought together indigenous communities, ranchers, students, scientists, families, and farmers.

(2) Don't Be Afraid to Put Your Body on the Line – They employed peaceful civil disobedience, sit-ins, blockades, and nonviolent direct action, and thousands were arrested and went to jail.  All of this showed the moral urgency for this cause.

(3) Be Creative – They knew they couldn't tackle the fossil fuels industry, so they tapped into the "currency of moods" (again, great stuff).  They held Days of Action in cities around the nation, and they made their voices heard every time Obama was on the move.  How often have you shown up to an anti-Obama or an anti-Hillary protest? 

(4) Take it to the Streets – This is necessary for any social movement to be successful over time.  As battles intensified, they showed up…in droves.

(5) Never Give Up – People said this fight was impossible and they'd never win.  Don't listen.

I know, I know.  They have unions and professional activists who are compensated, transported, fed, and outfitted with signs and shirts.  It's true.  I've interacted with them numerous times.  But not everyone is a paid agitator.  Their participants are passionate, motivated, and relentless.  Are you?  They really believe, deep down in their pithy core, that they are right and their causes are righteous.  Do you feel that way about conservative principles and causes?  They will not be stopped and will never get discouraged.  How about you?  In the face of setbacks, they regroup and reboot.  Are you willing to do that?  They're willing to rally, protest, sit-in, blockade, go to jail, and make noise.  Are you?    

One of the great things about the Tea Party is THAT we did all of those things.  Especially in San Francisco.  We did 1-5 with gusto and really took the creative element seriously, knowing that we were going against the political grain.  What was really great was getting thousands of people to participate – myself included – for the first time in their lives.

But activism is a lot of work.  It requires undying commitment.  We were aware of this and so didn't ask too much of our members.  But at some point, if we don't take our activism and agitation as seriously as the left-wingers, we'll lose.

We cannot give up.  Too many conservatives have.

Political wars are not won by pen and words alone.  You have to be willing to unsheathe your sword and fight with your body as well as your brains.  Too many conservatives think they can fight this war from the convenience of their laptops, venting their spleens simply by commenting on articles.  Or they think they can win by attending meetings and hearing speakers hawk their latest books.  Information and education are important, and we absolutely have to have a formidable presence in the brick-and-mortar world as much as in cyberspace.  Movements are successful when every tactical maneuver is undertaken, so we have to do all of the above, and more.  

We can't fight this beast by complaining and whining and being ticked off with the GOP – legitimate gripes or not.  I'm not asking anyone to stop doing any of that.  But we have to spend more of our energy taking action, getting our hands dirty, and stepping out of our comfort zone. 

There are leaders waiting to lead.  Are you willing to join them and make the necessary sacrifices to save this country?

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