Our First Meetup is happening in less than two weeks. We will of course want to discuss strategy and politics, but what I think we really need to discuss is how to garner more support for the movement.
Almost any group advocating fundamental democratic reforms, or any group that has seen its interests swept aside by the system because of the lack of such reforms, should be seen as likely supporters. The Protest Party could be a very useful electoral arm of many movements, including Represent.us, MayOne, Free and Equal, Common Cause, and The Sunlight Foundation. If the Protest Party can gain some traction, these and other organizations will want their concerns to be represented by the party. By allying themselves with the Protest Party, they signal to those the Major Parties that votes can be had by taking their agenda more seriously. However, before engaging with the Protest Party is seen as worth any amount of time for these movements, we need to establish more of a presence. How to accomplish this? Here are a few ideas:
Be on the lookout for major columnists writing about their wish for a third party. Write directly to the columnists and submit responses to their newspaper’s editors.
Write letters to editors about systemic corruption, which is always timely.
Comment on Reddit. One of my comments has already brought several hundred Redditors to TheProtestParty.com, and I try to keep my eye out for more opportunities like this.
Launch a Facebook page. Someone else will probably have to do this, as I cannot bring myself to log onto that site these days.
Work on local outreach. The Meetup Group is my first effort, but we should be spreading the word at local events. The local Revolution Books bookstore agreed to take my Tear-Off Flyer for the Meetup Group, but no new members have joined since then. Perhaps we can get a booth in a farmer’s market or something. I could stand on a street corner with a “Join the Protest Party” sign. I’ve become involved in a local movement against a Sin Tax in Cleveland, which has put me in contact with several politically active people in the area.
At the Meetup, I hope to elicit more ideas for outreach and get some commitment from attendees to become a little more active in recruiting supporters. Maybe someone will even agree to make a Protest Party Facebook page.