STAGE 1: Identify the issue.
Any Progressive can make an issue out of anything. That’s the Power of the People! Just name it and blame Republicans. Many issues never go beyond Stage 1 because they are so readily and widely embraced by the masses. Examples include free cell phones, free gas, and free Obama money from his stash. Whatever the issue, throw it at the wall and don’t worry if it doesn’t stick—there are at least six more ways to make sure it does!
STAGE 2: Promote the issue.
Exhort media minions to give saturation coverage to the latest issue, to build consensus, create buzz and subsequently demand. People who never thought this was something they should have, and have happily lived without it for years, will start thinking this is something they should have and absolutely cannot live without—especially if they’re persuaded that not having it is why they’ve never been as happy as they previously and mistakenly believed. Blame Republicans. If it still shows signs of sliding down the wall, then proceed to the next stage.
STAGE 3: Say it’s a MORAL issue.
Remember back in the 80’s, when evangelical Christofascism was infecting the country at fever pitch, and Progressives tried to combat it by saying you can’t legislate morality? When that didn’t work, we simply expropriated the word and changed the definition like we do with everything else. Now, morality refers to support of the Progressive agenda, and you’d better believe we’re going to legislate it to the hilt! Whatever it is Progressives want to do, it is the MORAL thing to do. Ergo, to oppose it is simply…immoral.
And who among us wants to be immoral? Don’t we all want to do the right thing? The correct thing? All we want to do is help people so they can live better lives—what’s wrong with that? It’s moral, isn’t it? Somewhere down the line, there are supposed to be grand and glorious rewards for being moral, for without them, who would bother?
To say it’s a moral issue is like giving the masses a mild laxative—sometimes all people need is just a gentle little push, something to soften them and ease the passage. At this point, we usually get government funding, and maybe a czar to oversee it. The media continues to do its part to promote it, while celebrities begin sporting the appropriately colored awareness ribbons.
Yet there will still be those who are either too confused or ignorant to see the light. That, or they’re simply…immoral. Or amoral. Either way, they’re so not moral that they’re perfectly happy to see that issue slide down the wall till it plops on the ground. Blame Republicans. But that’s when we must implement the next stage.
STAGE 4: Declare the issue a CRISIS!
Sometimes Progressives will skip over the first three stages to Stage 4, in which case, this is where it really starts. You don’t get anything through Congress or the courts simply by saying it’s “nice to have.” No. It is a CRISIS! Lives are in danger! Planet is in peril! Time is running out! We must start taking steps to begin taking action NOW!
A crisis receives even more funding, and the establishment of a government agency to impose regulations that will eventually bring it under control—but only as long as funding continues and keeps pace with inflation.
The media will continue beating their drums. In addition to the awareness ribbons, celebrities make speeches about it at awards shows, and start incorporating it into the plot lines of their movies and “Very Special Episodes” of TV shows, etc. The masses must be made aware of the CRISIS!
But there will still be scoffers. Skeptics. Deniers. Those who say there is no crisis. Those who say that no matter what the crisis, it’s always been here and hasn’t hurt anyone or anything. Those who say it’s just another wealth redistribution scheme. Those, especially at the corporate level in the private sector, who spend millions, billions, and gazillions to convince the masses that there is no crisis, all to protect the ill-gotten profits they stole from those same masses! Why, they’ll say that it isn’t even an issue, let alone a crisis! Blame Republicans. People dependent on being told what to think will be tricked into believing these lies instead of the current truth.
That’s what we Progressives call “a messaging problem.” Therefore, we must double down and move to the next stage.
STAGE 5: Call it a HEALTH issue!
All we want to do is help people. All we want to do is help them make better decisions, the right choices, so they can live healthy, happy, productive lives without fear of death, disease, or destruction. How can anyone with an ounce of compassion be against that?
But sometimes it’s not enough to say lives are in danger, or the planet is in peril. Sometimes we have to be more specific, because some people, dagnabbit, just aren’t satisfied with vague generalities. This is why “individualism” is such a bad idea—it encourages people to dwell on the nitpicky details of how an issue, even when it’s been elevated to the level of crisis, will personally affect them and their selfish little private world.
So let’s make it personal! Bring on the testimonies! Call on those who will share their heartbreaking stories of how their health, and by extension their lives, have been ruined because of the crisis! Blame Republicans. Poverty, income inequality, climate change…all of these things have an adverse impact on a person’s health and well being.
Show pictures of suffering children. Crumbling glaciers. Rising floodwaters. Drowning polar bears. Smokestacks belching out billows of black smoke. Oil-soaked baby animals with huge, sad brown eyes. Tearful Native Americans standing at the side of the road with heaps of garbage at their feet. Don’t just tug on those heartstrings—yank ’em taut and play ’em like a Strad!
Then show the masses what it all leads to: Starvation! Disease! Non-breathable air! Undrinkable water! Carcasses! Stink! Gross! Death! Destruction! Doom!
Only one thing will solve these problems and reverse the inevitable before it’s too late—more government funding! Yet there will still be those who don’t care. Who just want others to die quickly. Who don’t want to spend the mere few pennies a day per person it would cost to eliminate these horrors forever and ever and ever.
That’s when we roll out the next stage.
STAGE 6: Enshrine it as a CIVIL RIGHTS issue!
Nothing shuts down dissent like calling it a civil rights issue, because anyone who opposes anything to do with civil rights can be labeled a bigot, a hater, or any kind of phobe. Civil rights always trump all other rights, and this allows us to shame the haters and bigots and make them feel like the outcasts they are, on the extreme fringe, the wrong side of history!
Once an issue is consecrated as a matter of civil rights, the masses will hold marches and rallies across the country to demand it. There may be riots and vandalism, and many innocents will be hurt or jailed, or even killed. Blame Republicans.
The issue will finally go before the people for a vote—and if it doesn’t pass, no problem! The courts will overturn it because it is a civil right! And the people will keep marching and rallying and blaming Republicans until that happens!
Nothing is more sacred than a civil right…except, perhaps, the government that keeps it sanctified through continued funding and special protections and privileges for anyone the civil right touches.
In the meantime, there will still be bigots and haters who are just too shameless to be shamed. Haters gotta hate. There will still be those who insist that religious rights and so-called inalienable rights endowed by some mythical being should matter. And there will still be enough of them to block the march of progress, and with it the necessary funding, without which all will be lost if we don’t make the decision to do something to take the needed steps to start action now, before it’s too late!
Which brings us to the next stage…
STAGE 7: Dammit! Can’t you people see the crisis is not just a moral issue or a health issue or a question of civil rights? It’s a matter of NATIONAL SECURITY!
To not treat it as a matter of National Security is, as President Obama recently told graduates of the Coast Guard Academy, a “dereliction of duty.” Members of the military can be court-martialed for it. Under conditions of war, they may be executed for it.
When something is declared a matter of National Security, anyone who does not treat it as such is willfully endangering millions of lives and the future of the entire planet. They are seditious. They are enemies of the State. They are guilty of treason and crimes against humanity. Therefore, they must forfeit all. We kept warning them millions would die, didn’t we?
Throw them against the wall. Don’t worry if they don’t stick. This time, we want them to drop to the ground.
And don’t forget to blame Republicans.