Public Agitator (Abolition of Abortion)

The Hill Agitator is agitating on Capital Hill, influencing elected officials toward action. The Public Agitator works in the arena of ideas like the Public Figure , but in a different way.

People like the Public Figure . She is attractive, eloquent and convincing. She looks good on camera and people like to listen to her even when they disagree. The agitator on the other hand is that person people love to hate but can’t ignore.

Let me explain before you pass judgment.

The default state for most people is apathy. They need to feel uncomfortable before they will act. Agitators make people uncomfortable. They incite action. Effective movements know how to offend people into action. The Sons of Liberty did this when they dumped tea into Boston Harbor. They offended all of England and it worked.

Strangely, people like getting offended. Rap music is popular partly because it is so offensive. Why else would Howard Stern be so popular if he were not so offensive? Offensive people make the news because they are interesting. Offending people can be effective but it can also be disastrous. The pro-life movement must learn to harness this powerful tool without misusing it.

The key to effective agitation is to manage and focus the offense on the injustice, not the campaign to alleviate the injustice. This is an art we have yet to learn.

Our Founding Fathers used a one-two punch agitation tactic. Benjamin Franklin, a Public Figure and a later Floor Champion, condemned the Boston Tea Party and said that the tea should be repaid. This sort of talk redirected the agitation away from patriotism and towards the British. The Boston Tea Party forced the British hand and ultimately solidified the revolutionary cause among the colonies.

Another key with public agitation is to agitate the right people. The Boston Tea Party caused the British to blockade Boston Harbor, which magnified and exemplified British oppression. This agitated the other colonies who had to give up their food to keep Boston from starving.

In the movie Amazing Grace, William Wilberforce didn’t take his opponents to go smell the slave ships. He took his supporters. If we want the pro-life base to act we must make them uncomfortable.  Instead of showing bloody fetus pictures to pro-choice people, we should show those pictures at church. The goal of the agitator is simple: keep the base from apathy.

We are talking about pastors who put an aborted fetus in a glass jar on the pulpit and then preach a sermon about what it really means to be pro-life.

Agitators must communicate with the Architect so that their actions fit within the overall strategy. Otherwise, their actions could cause more harm than good. And most of all he must listen to the Heavenly Architect. God is the ultimate strategist.

I don’t think it would be a good idea for the Public Agitator and the Public Figure to be officially associated. In fact, a certain amount of animosity may be helpful, though it wouldn’t be necessary. Our bodies work together even though if you were to put a brain cell in your stomach the stomach would destroy it. There is a difference between getting along and working together.

What do you think?

If you have any questions or comments, we would love to hear from you. Leave me a comment or send me an email. If you would like to comment on any post in particular here they are:

Thomas Umstattd Jr. is the author of Courtship in Crisis, the former head of PracticalCourtship.com, and co-founder of the Austin Rhetoric Club, a homeschool speech and debate club in Austin, Texas. He is a professional speaker and CEO of Author Media. He sits on the board of directors for several nonprofits, including the Texas Alliance for Life.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

2 thoughts on “Public Agitator (Abolition of Abortion)

  1. Dangerous. Not everyone can be an effective agitator and the long term effect of shock tactics like a fetus in a jar is to desensitize the supporters to the issue. Example: World hunger and commercials showing starving kids. I’m sure those commercials used to boost involvement and no one ‘likes’ that people are starving, but it quickly becomes another commercial we are used to ignoring.

    People absolutely need to a ‘kick’ into action, but some tactics need to be reserved for certain times.

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