I approached and asked them if they were aware that the President had a 63% approval rating (64% I realize now!) and he said, "We're are not interested in being popular".
"We are not interested in being popular we are interested in defeating HMO's."
"Fair enough," I said, "Is this the best way to effect the change you seek? Comparing a popular president to Adolf Hitler?"
"He is like Hitler! The Nazis did not start by killing the jews.. (there followed a short/flawed history of Nazi Germany)"
"I agree with you on single-payer health care, and probably many other issues. This is the wrong way to go about influencing people like me to fight with you or influencing those who may be open-minded to your ideas..."
"We are not interested in changing people's minds--"
"Are you going to have a violent uprising or something then?"
"We should talk more I have a lot of work to do unless youre going to help us..."
There is a lesson in that exchange for us progressives. Too often we forget that our mission is to actually accomplish change not to vent our frustration at the way the world works. This requires changing people's minds, giving like-minded people avenues to use their energy, and plenty of careful effort to not alienate people.
The LaRouche kids, by having that photo (which I will try to post but I am on a public computer and its difficult) instantly eliminated many people that may have contributed or fought with them.
It is important to remember this even when we fight against someone as clearly damaging to our country as the last administration. Demonizing them can have a nasty affect on people that may ultimately agree that Bush et. al. broke the law. Let's guard ourselves against becoming like the LaRouche folks.
My pet issue is Afghanistan. It is easy for me to sometimes accuse the President of being "no different than Bush" which is no more true than to say that he is no more different the Hitler. It is ridiculous.
It is far easier to spot externally than internally. For our cause to move foward we must be more alert than the LaRouche folks and twice as active. That is what I took from the exchange.