The power of repetitive images
I attended several anti-war rallies in the lead up to the war in Iraq. They were thrilling experiences, but ultimately they were futile because they really didn't persuade anyone who wasn't already leery about the coming conflict.
Oliver Willis makes a good point about why these kind of protests don't work:
I've been thinking about that as well. I'm not a huge fan of protests, but the reason protests as of late have been so horribly done is that they're just a stew of competing issues. Why, at a protest against the Iraq war, are people talking about AIDS and Freeing Mumia? And puppets - WTF is up with all the puppets? It makes no sense. I've discovered in the past couple years that movements on the liberal side of the aisle need to throw out these desire for "consensus" and replace it with unified purpose. 500,000 people sporting a single color or logo would make news and some think.
It really comes down to perception. Many liberals look at 100,000 people marching in the streets of New York city and see a powerful force of people. But many moderates and conservatives look at the same picture and just see a disorganized mess. The numbers impress liberals. The chaos of the rallies turns off middle America.
You know what makes an impression on people like that? Images like this:
Liberals need to learn the power of repetitive imagery. The Republicans love to swim in a sea of red white and blue. Democrats should as well, but they shouldn't use the colors of the flag as just a prop but as a way of sending a message.