Those of us paying attention have been terrified about the right wing takeover of the courts since even before Bush v. Gore. But most people don’t pay attention and have been willing to vote for Republicans for lower taxes, punishing black and brown people, or for “the economy.” Thanks to those people, we now have a radical Supreme Court willing to throw out centuries of precedent to get their desired outcome. The most notable, obviously, is the overturning of Roe v. Wade. But there are more horrific destabilizing decisions to come, and we need to be scaring the crap out of the people those potential decisions would affect. Everything we take for granted as settled law is on the table. EVERYTHING. You like birth control? This court could very well outlaw it. You or a close relative is gay? This court could outlaw same-sex marriage and even gay sex.
But here’s the most important thing the court might take away, at least from a messaging and political standpoint: Social Security and Medicare. Conservatives hate, I repeat *hate* these programs. They have been trying to get rid of them since they were created. Why? Because they’re very popular, and there’s nothing conservatives hate more than a government that helps people. Government is always bad, always inefficient, always ineffective. Social Security and Medicare undercut these core beliefs, but because they’re so popular, Republicans haven’t been able to destroy them through legislation. But now they have an unaccountable court who can do it for them with a stroke of Alito’s pen.
We need to be scaring the crap out of anyone old enough to care about Social Security and Medicare that those programs are in real danger. We need them to understand that if they don’t want these programs to disappear with no one there to do anything about it, their only choice is to vote straight Blue. We need to be targeting the crap out of people on Facebook (I know, but old people use Facebook), on TV, on message boards, Internet advertising – the works. Someone searches for “Medicare benefits” or “Medicare advantage” or “Social Security check” and they need to see content that warns them of the real danger this Supreme Court poses to them. We need a coordinated messaging tsunami scaring the crap out of these folks, who too often vote Republican, because they should be terrified.
This same digital messaging strategy should extend to other groups, but targeted to whatever they care about that this court might destroy. Someone searches for “IUD” or “birth control” and we scare people about how birth control is in danger. Someone else searches for “end of life care” and we explain how this Supreme Court might make it illegal for anyone to refuse treatment, even those people with terminal illnesses in severe pain. You don’t want Grandma with late-stage Alzheimer’s to have a feeding tube forced down her throat (because she can no longer chew or swallow) to extend her painful life? Well then you better go vote for Democrats.
Some of this messaging can be done through paid advertising, but some of it can be done through coordinated social media efforts by thousands of people, much the same way Russian troll farms work. If anyone is interested in volunteering for this type of effort, please message me directly.
Our democracy is in critical condition. We must make sure everyone knows what that means for THEM.
This is a Creative Commons article. The original version of this article appeared here.