This Protest Didn’t Help Maryland Conservatism

So I saw this gem on Interstate 97 on the way home from work today:

It’s hard to see, but the photograph is of three people joined by one U.S. flag and six very small, hard to identify signs that seem to indicate that these folks want to see President Obama impeached. I can see “Save the Constitution” and “Remember Benghazi”, and four smaller signs that say “Impeach Obama.”

This entire episode did absolutely nothing to help the plight of conservatism in Maryland. And while there are any number of reasons why these three folks on the bridge didn’t help move the ball forward today, here are a few off the top of my head:

  1. Prior proper preparation prevents poor performance: The signs appear to be written on 11″x 17″ pieces of construction paper, at that. Cars that are moving at 65 MPH are going to have a pretty tough time deciphering that as they go past, but we’ll address that point momentarily;
  2. Messaging Matters; the main message of this triumvirate seems to be “Impeach Obama.” Except, these folks forgot two major pieces of information about most of the drivers seeing these signs
    • Voter turnout was 74% during the 2012 Presidential Election, so at least a quarter of the drivers who saw these signs weren’t even interested enough to vote last year;
    • Maryland is a heavily Democratic state, so those drivers who did vote more likely than not voted for Obama;
    • All of the drivers, regardless of their voter participation or voter registration, probably have no context whatsoever for “Impeach Obama.” They probably are more low-information voters who are not attuned to online media, or if they are even semi-informed are following the stories by the mainstream media and have not been presented with any context that would lead them to understand why anybody would want to impeach the President.
  3. Timing is Everything: Know when people are not really receptive to random dudes putting out a cryptic message? During rush hour, when they’re driving home from work. Know why? Because it slows traffic down. I said in point #1 that it’s hard to read a small, out-of-context sign at 65 MPH, but it becomes a lot easier to do that when everybody is slamming on their brakes to see what it is you’re doing on top of that bridge. 
So basically, the dudes on this bridge made no gains through their “protest” (if it’s worth calling that) and possibly set our side backwards a bit given the fact that what context was provided was that three white dudes were calling for President Obama’s impeachment. While there are times that organized protest is appropriate and useful, it is no substitute for actual voter education, voter registration drives, candidate recruitment, fundraising, door-to-door canvassing or other activities that actually win elections.
I hope these folks can find a more constructive outlet for their outrage, and help us do some good here in Maryland.

EDIT: Apparently this was a national event organized in some way shape or form, so the ball was dropped all over the country today and not just here.

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