Tag Archives: temper

You All Look the Same to Me

Kaye Beach

May 19, 2011

This is what two ladies who were collecting signatures for a petition at the capitol were told by an irate Republican Representative yesterday.

It also recalls the treatment of a variety of petitioners for the discharge of another bill earlier this session.  Many were treated to rude remarks by legislators who lumped them all together regardless of whether or not they had anything to do with other activists that the legislators were irritated with.  It was clear to me then the “us against them” mentality.  This attitude is very concerning as most people want to work reasonably with their legislators and do not deserve this kind of response.

Yesterday, Rep. Don Armes, upset over calls to his office made by the Sooner Tea Party’s Al Gerhart unleashed his fury on the two women in the House Lobby in front of a large number of astonished onlookers consisting of Capitol staff, lobbyists and visitors.  The tirade lasted for several minutes and despite protests from the pair of signature gatherers that they have no control over the actions of other activists,  Armes continued with his finger in the face tirade against Gerhart saying  “You all look the same to me!”

One petitioner gave up and walked away from the scene while the other calmly tried to bring the outraged Rep’s attention back to the issue at hand to no avail.  Full disclosure-I was the one that walked away from the  abuse.

I think  that this eruption actually demonstrates one of the reasons that HR 1004, dubbed the Key open government rule, is so necessary.

Rep. Armes later apologized to me and explained that the legislators are operating under a great deal of pressure.   I do understand that our Representatives are under an enormous amount of pressure.   Is it possible that some of this pressure I believe could be relieved by a simple change of rules?

(read more about the Key amendment and the discharge petition effort here and here)

As it stands now, bills are denied a fair hearing before legislative committees prior to ever making it to the floor of either House often because a few people in leadership positions simply don’t want them to.

The people of Oklahoma elect their representatives well. . . to represent them. The current process denies representation to thousands through the voice of their elected representative which leaves pressure tactics as one of the few avenues open to get a bill unblessed by leadership to a fair hearing.

This legislative session has been marked by unprecedented bitterness in large part due to minority members’ legislation being shut out.

HR 1004 seeks to remedy this by providing a process by which bills can all be offered before a committee for consideration before being delegated to the legislative waste bin by the opinion of one.

The insult to Oklahoma voters committed  by Rep.  Armes yesterday is by no means the only contentious event that Oklahoma taxpayers have been treated to this session and until our legislators correct their rules to make them more evenhanded and transparent, it certainly won’t be the last.


The Tea Party Marshal Plan

Here are some ideas to help neutralize the nay-sayers and enjoy your rallies.


The Marshal Plan;

1.Choose or elect some marshals. These people will take the role of crowd watchers. If they have a medical or law enforcement background that is a plus.

Some should position themselves so that they see the entire the crowd and be alert for any unusual commotion and some should circulate among the crowd but keep their focus on what is going on around them, not the event.

The marshals should introduce themselves to the police or security ahead of time and let them know that if there is any trouble they will notify them immediately. They should pick a distinctive colored tee shirt so that they can be pointed out quickly to people that might need their assistance. “See the guy in the orange shirt? He’s who you need to talk to…”

These people will need a means to communicate between them. Cell phones are fine and at least one in the crowd and one at a distance should have a bullhorn. All organizers should have their names and numbers. These guys are great for running relief in a variety of situations. They can be the eyes and ears for all of us and diffuse potential problems before it starts.

Choose people that are steady, mature, reliable and friendly.

Never, ever-lose your temper! Nothing good can come from it.

Bull baiters are likely. These are people that will try to get your goat and make you do or say things that they can use to discredit the Tea Party. Assume that anyone that is trying to engage you in a less than friendly manner is doing so for this very purpose. It’s not fair but you can turn it to you advantage if you can keep your cool.

Whatever you do, don’t give them any ammunition.

What you can do to make the situation bearable, if not actually kind of fun is…

3. Give them the Gaze

Watching the world, changes the world.

I despise the surveillance society that is building up around us. Maybe because I’m a mom, I do know what it is good for though. Keepin’ em in line!

Surveillance is a very effective method of social control, plain and simple.

Never underestimate the power of the gaze. Even physics seems to bear this principle out.

Take you camera. Even if it’s a dummy cam-don’t get mad, just point and shoot. The “spy”, “Provocateur” or “we’re not with stupid” signs are a bonus. Just think of how fun it will be to watch the boob on you tube later!

Speaking of cameras…Know that there will be cameras fixed on you hoping to immortalize your mug in an ugly scowl or angry contortion.

You don’t want to look like this, do you?

Lefty’s gone wild. Egging a Tea Party bus in Searchlight, AZ

So shame the devil and keep a smile on your face! After all, you are actually doing something to try and fix this mess that we are in and enthusiasm and optimism is irresistible. A positive attitude is unmistakable and it radiates. You want to inspire others who share your concerns to rouse from their apathy and join you?

3. Never be caught off guard by the media. Memorize a 30 second sound bite that encapsulates your message.

Don’t even be tempted to try and answer a bad or “set up” question. Instead, answer the question you wished they had asked!


Media: “What do you think about so and so that says that the Tea Party peopleare

a. haters b. extremists or c. anti-government or d. ‘insert derogatory label here’

You: “I can’t imagine…but I can tell you why I am here. I am here because….I am worried about x and ….

Words are powerful. Don’t use their words, don’t accept their labels. Naming is claiming. Define yourself!

The point is-You pick your message and stick to it like glue, and you won’t have to worry about being made out to look like a jerk no matter how they slice it.

4. Backlash!

Feeling the heat?

Smarts doesn’t it. But what did you expect- flowers?

Congratulations! Pat yourself on the back. You now know that you are making a difference

See the backlash for what it is. A confirmation. Evidence that our efforts are paying off. And don’t take it personal, it isn’t. Even good dogs will bite when they are scared.

You might have noticed that the slings and arrows seem to be coming from all sides. In fact, you may be getting it from your own political party.

HINT: Ignore what they are pointing at. Instead, figure out what is they are defending? Answer that question and the rest is gravy.

5. The numbers are the demonstration

I have been told that “Numbers ain’t everything” True in many cases but in the court of public opinion numbers are a lot.

At a political rally-the numbers are the ONLY thing!

If you are thinking of skipping the upcoming rallies because you’d rather avoid the controversy, I hope you think long and hard on that one.

Ask yourself, “Am I ready to concede my cause?” Because that is exactly what it will signal to the world and good luck trying to ever regain the momentum once it has been lost.

Ever seen a “rally” of 3 or 4 or 5? Nope. There is a reason for that.

Rallies (also referred to as “demonstrations”) show the popularity of our cause and to affirm to one another the rightness of it.

The strength of our numbers is what will bring the timid supporters out of the closet and into the light. The strength of our numbers will embolden good lawmakers to do the right thing and bad ones to fall back.

6. The time tested tactics of Divide and Conquer.

Divide et imperaA strategy for achieving political or military control    

A combination of political, military and economic strategies that aim to gain and maintain power by breaking up larger concentrations of power into chunks that individually have less power than the one implementing the strategy.


You would be insuperable if you were inseparable

Divide and conquer works like this:

In politics and sociology, divide and rule (derived from Latin
divide et impera) (also known as divide and conquer) is a combination of political, military and economic
of gaining and maintaining power by breaking up larger concentrations of power into chunks that individually have less power than the one implementing the strategy. In reality, it often refers to a strategy where small power groups are prevented from linking up and becoming more powerful, since it is difficult to break up existing power structures. Government is more easily maintained if factions are set against each other, and not allowed to unite against the ruler.

In modern times, Traiano Boccalini cites “Divide et impera” in La bilancia politica, 1,136 and 2,225 as a common principle in politics. The use of this technique is meant to empower the sovereign to control subjects, populations, or factions of different interests, who collectively might be able to oppose his rule. Machiavelli identifies a similar application to military strategy, advising in Book VI of The Art of War
[3] (Dell’arte della guerra
[4]), that a Captain should endeavor with every art to divide the forces of the enemy, either by making him suspicious of his men in whom he trusted, or by giving him cause that he has to separate his forces, and, because of this, become weaker.

The strategy of division and rule has been attributed to sovereigns ranging from Louis XI to the Habsburgs.

Sir Francis Bacon touts the cunning maxim of “separa et impera” in a letter to James I of 15 February 1615. Likewise James Madison recommends in a letter to Thomas Jefferson of 24 October 1787 [5], summarizing the thesis of The Federalist #10
[6]: “Divide et impera, the reprobated axiom of tyranny, is under certain qualifications, the only policy, by which a republic can be administered on just principles.”

In Perpetual Peace: A Philosophical Sketch by Immanuel Kant (1795), Appendix one. divide et impera is the third of three political maxims. The other being Fac et excusa (Which basically means-it is better to beg for forgiveness than ask for permission) and Si fecisti, nega (if you did it-Deny it!)

Typical elements of this technique;

Creating or encouraging divisions among the subjects in order to forestall alliances that could challenge the sovereign.

  • aiding and promoting those who are willing to cooperate with the sovereign.
  • fostering distrust and enmity between local rulers.
  • encouraging frivolous expenditures that leave little money for political and military ends.

The use of this strategy was imputed to administrators of vast empires, including the Roman and British, who were charged with playing one tribe against another to maintain control of their territories with a minimal number of imperial forces. The concept of “Divide and Rule” gained prominence when India was a part of the British Empire, but was also used to account for the strategy used by the Romans to take Britain, and for the Anglo-Normans to take Ireland. It is said that the British used the strategy to gain control of the large territory of India by keeping its people divided along lines of religion, language, or caste, taking control of petty princely states in India piecemeal..

You have seen this all before.

It is the very same tactics of schoolyard bullies and practiced for the very same purpose-Power and Control

They don’t want you to be too powerful or feel too free.

They will use ridicule, blame, shame and intimidation to isolate their targets from one another.

They will try to tease, taunt, goad, torment and antagonize you into losing your cool and look like a fool and use that against you.

7. The Default Rule

This last bit of advice, is the best advice I have ever been given. It will serve you well should you encounter any situations not foreseen.

This rule is my default rule and has served me very well in all things;

Be as wise as serpents and as gentle as doves.

Don’t forget to enjoy yourselves and bring sunscreen!