You may be familiar with Cloward & Pivin. In a nutshell, their political strategies called for community level organizing aimed at overwhelming governmental and social systems to bring about radical social and political change by way of creating and sustaining social and financial crisis. They were the strategic darlings of the radical left in America for quite some time.
The Cloward and Pivin strategies were applied with varying degrees of success to welfare, housing and voting rights campaigns.
Conservatives, by nature, aren’t of a mind to purposefully overwhelm systems or create crisis as a transitional vehicle or political strategy. Perhaps, however, the time has come to adopt exactly the Cloward & Pivin mindset.
How would a conservative go about such an effort? There is no conservative equivalent of ACORN, the unions are obviously not in the conservative picture, and the GOP…., not exactly a bastion of convervatism lately either. However, it’s clear that conservative issues are not going to get a whole lot of attention from the current White House or Congress. Maybe, just maybe, we need a Cloward & Pivin strategy for conservatives.
Just for giggles, try this on for size and fit. Every conservative in the country immediately changes their withholding status to the maximum number of dependants allowable. That simply means less withholding tax and more cash in your pocket as long as you stay on the maximum number of dependants. (Don’t spend the extra money you’ll need it later.)
The resultant impact on Federal and State cash flow would be immediate and dramatic. A political and a financial crisis all rolled into one! An overloading of the system by way of a legal option! Tax collections would plummet, state governments would cry foul and aim their anger at a tone deaf, free spending Washington; what to do? The problem for the politicos is vexing as it’s perfectly legal to change your dependant status and “manage” the amount of withholding taken from your pay check.
The message delivery is simple, get off the current path, stop the deficit spending, reduce the budget, shrink the scope of government intervention and support a strong dollar policy or we stay right where we are, all 50 million of us claiming 8 dependants each and taking care of the cash ourselves.
Ah, just another exercise in Astroturf they will say. Get off it you’ll have to pay your taxes eventually yea, not so fast, Homer!
Stage two: on March 15th we all file for extensions on our 2010 taxes. 50 million requests for extensions! Still not getting the message?
Stage three: we wait for the IRS to catch up, send us those nasty letters and then we all ask for tax court hearings, yup, all 50 million of us. Under normal circumstances it can take 8 months to schedule a tax court hearing. 50 million tax court submissions might just, wait for it …….overload the system. It could, literally, be years before the tax court even processed the requests let alone schedule the hearings. Spoken from experience! Can you hear me now?
Cloward & Pivin were, for a time at least, highly successful and their strategies are applied to this day by organizations such as ACORN, Rainbow Push Coalition, Labor Unions and others. Perhaps we should attempt to emulate that success in a different direction!
We have a proud tradition of civil disobedience, we have a political and legal class that veers Constitutional interpretation farther and farther from the belief system that created it. We also have power! We may have forgotten that we have that power but it is there, just waiting for organizing influences and ideas.