United We Stand Border Coalition Tea Party Rally: Sharron Angle, J.D. Hayworth, less effective...

On Sunday August 15th 2010, a group called "United We Stand for Americans" ("UWSFA") [1] will be conducting a rally on the border in Arizona in order to call to secure the border and to oppose John McCain. Participants include Sharron Angle, JD Hayworth (McCain's opponent), and Sue Krentz (wife of the murdered rancher Rob Krentz).

To a certain extent this is a good and necessary thing. After all, in order to get people to vote for someone you have to have rallies and speaking engagements and get your base riled up.

But, as far as opposing illegal immigration goes, it's probably not going to have much of an impact.

First, the tea parties - their protestations to the contrary - are associated with the far-right. Yet, opposing illegal immigration shouldn't be a partisan issue and causing a good chunk of Democrats to turn on their leaders over this issue would be very helpful. The chances of many Democrats embracing the full tea parties ideology is slim, while the chances of many Democrats speaking out against illegal immigration is very high if people worked at it. In this particular case, UWSFA is preaching to the choir rather than trying to reach out to those who might be on the fence.

And, as far as opposing illegal immigration is concerned, rallies aren't anywhere near as effective as doing things in smarter ways and using leverage.

"Leverage" in this case means getting others - politicians and the media - to do things your way rather than the way they're doing things now. The UWSFA rally will do absolutely nothing in that regard.

For a tangible example, consider the articles "'Tea party' groups plan Arizona rally against illegal immigration" by Sandhya Somashekhar of the Washington Post (link) and "Judge who ruled on Arizona law is well versed in immigration cases" (link) by the same author.

What if UWSFA could get those like Somashekhar to do real reporting? What if they could prevent her from referring to Arizona's new immigration law as "hard-line" and Hayworth as "a hard-liner on illegal immigration"? What if they could have replaced a puff piece on Judge Susan Bolton with an article about her apparently faulty legal reasoning? And, what if they could get Somashekhar or other WaPo reporters to follow the money on this issue, and question politicians about their obvious lies about this issue? If the WaPo wouldn't just retail politicians' lies about this issue but felt the need to call politicians on their lies, wouldn't that put pressure on politicians to secure the border for real? Politicians rely on the media to retail their lies, but groups like UWSFA do absolutely nothing to interfere with that "supply chain".

Wouldn't helping me work towards that goal be the much smarter, much more effective way of doing things rather than begging for money on Facebook? [2]

If you want to do things in smarter, much more effective ways, see these tips.

[1] unitedwestandforamericans.org
[2] twitter dot com/UnitedWeStandUS/status/20849400941