dave karpf+ Your Authors @davekarpf -Associate Prof, George Washington University -Author of two books: The MoveOn Effect and Analytic Activism -Tweeted that one Bret Stephens joke that one time. Jun. 21, 2020 1 min read + Your Authors

Thinking more about the Tulsa/TikTok thing...

I don’t have my copy of Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals handy (it’s in the office. The office is closed), but it’s pretty spectacular how many boxes this checks in his list of what makes for a good tactic.


(Paraphrasing, of course)
-A good tactic stays within your comfort zone, while going outside your target’s comfort zone.

-Ridicule can be an activist’s most powerful weapon.

-A tactic that drags on too long becomes a drag.


-a good tactic threatens your target’s actual source of power.

-a good tactic should be fun for the people engaging in it.

-A good tactic should build your capacity for future actions.

-a good tactic should leave your targets and opponents unsure of what you might do next.

All that being said, though...

When I teach my class on this stuff, the biggest takeaway in week one is that a tactics are moments, not monuments. Power comes from long movements & campaigns for justice.

This was a brilliant tactic, and we should applaud it/study it/feel glee.

But it’s also just one moment.

So spare me the hot takes that are tut-tutting the unintended consequences, but also the hot takes that declare “social media is good for democracy again!” or “this is the end of the Trump campaign!”

It was an awesome tactic.

It’s gonna be a long, horrendous slog until November.

What’s next?

You can follow @davekarpf.


Tip: mention @threader_app on a Twitter thread with the keyword “compile” to get a link to it.

Enjoy Threader? Sign up.

Since you’re here...

... we’re asking visitors like you to make a contribution to support this independent project. In these uncertain times, access to information is vital. Threader gets 1,000,000+ visits a month and our iOS Twitter client was featured as an App of the Day by Apple. Your financial support will help two developers to keep working on this app. Everyone’s contribution, big or small, is so valuable. Support Threader by becoming premium or by donating on PayPal. Thank you.

Follow Threader