Are low-level operatives ever paid cash to do what they do?
To return to the beginning of the video, Julian Bond comments: "One of the most cynical things I've ever heard of or ever seen [is] the idea that black people who oppose gay marriage, black people who support gay marriage, can be moved around like pieces on a chess board - it's so scary."
I agree, and I know that ordinary sincere people are exploited, but I also know that there are planty of political operatives who think in exactly those terms: moving people around like pieces on a chess board to further particular political objectives. They know what they are doing when they receive benefits (including cash) for rounding up voters and/or protesters on behalf of a political objective - for example, for the objective of disrupting a meeting.
It's true of black Americans or white Americans or any other ethnic or racial group: professional political operatives do think in terms of moving them around like pawns on a chess board to further particular political objectives.
In this 'Money Talks' era of American politics, we cannot afford to take everyone we meet or see at face value. It isn't just the big money recipients, like John Boehner, who do what the money wants - it's thousands of low-level operatives.
Years ago - around 1970 - I was with my young wife when we spied a lone figure standing on a street corner on La Cienega Blvd. in Los Angeles. This guy was shouting that he was a soldier just returned from Viet Nam (on leave) and he wanted to explain from a soldier's point of view why the anti-war protest movement was all wrong. We listened for a while, and although my young wife was quite taken with the guy, I said to her, "He's a political operative, paid to say this stuff." She was upset with me, but I had served in the military and I knew the guy wasn't authentic, that something was way out of whack.
Years later, during the period when a lot of stuff was coming out under the Freedom of Information Act, I spotted a little article occupying a tiny part of a page of the L.A. Times local news section. The news story was about how FOIA requests had revealed that a soldier (yes, he was a 'soldier') who had served in Los Angeles in the Counter Intelligence Corps (CIC) had indeed been assigned to spread anti-anti-war propaganda, and he had been positioned on corners of La Cienega Blvd. to do so!
Another relevant event from that same era was when a large anti-war rally was disrupted by a group of more than fifty people wearing medieval-like robes and bells around their necks marching into the hall. The effect was to totally disrupt the anti-war meeting. Then, some years later, I met a young woman who explained it to me: she had been one of the robed 'protesters' and she explained that she had heard about some unidentified person that put out the word among people who sometimes worked as extras in the film industry, word to the effect that money could be made by showing up at a certain location and following instructions. The gig paid cash for all those who donned robes and crashed the anti-war party.
Another example, although I wasn't there personally, is the 'Brooks Brothers riot' that jammed into the place where the hand-vote count was being conducted back in November 2000 in Miami -Dade.
People in politics may often, if not usually, not be what they appear to be. Often, things are best explained by examining the effects of their activities according to the result, according to the rule of cui bono. Seldom is it possible to 'follow the money', because it's important to the people with the money that it not be followed, but the rule of cui bono ('who benefits' or 'what is the effect') still holds. If a meeting is disrupted, it often means that there was money involved and the disruption was intended for just that purpose - to disrupt.
I'm not saying that the people disrupting the recent Net Roots event in Phoenix were not sincere. I'm saying that, most probably, low-level political professionals were involved in organizing the disruption ... for the sole purpose of disrupting Bernie Sanders' appearance.
Do you think that all of those $billions go into buying media time? For sure, $millions go into hiring low-level political professionals to do things like make phone calls and assure that people will show up and be encouraged to disrupt. It happened in Portland, Oregon, earlier this year when a crowd of BLM protesters managed to shut down the town hall meeting where anti-TPP activists planned to confront Senator Wyden on his support for Fast Track. Very possibly, if not probably, it happened in Phoenix at the recent Net Roots conference.
It's part of politics, and in this 21st Century 'Money Talks' era of politics ... money is almost always an essential part of it. Politics is the extension of warfare by other means: as Sun Tzu says, "All warfare is based upon deception."
People are used and manipulated all the time. People are moved around like pieces on a chess board.
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