Sunday, October 05, 2008

You Cannot Unduly Influence a Cement Block

Regarding my question from a few days ago about the double standard being applied to 501c3 organizations endorsing political candidates and unduly influencing elections:

How about 501c3 arts organizations holding charity functions featuring 10 minute harangues by the hosts about how rotten Republicans are? Anyone morons in the audience getting unduly influenced there?

Bruce writes in with an answer:

Nope. I went to one of those Monday night, because an old friend who's never gotten over the 1960s was one of the featured artists and I was there to humor him. Yes, every time someone new took the podium, we got a reiteration of the obligatory two-minutes'-hate for Republicans.

But excluding myself, the 501c3 organization's staffers, and the artists themselves, there were fewer than a dozen people in the audience, and all of them looked like they too had never gotten over -- or combed what was left of their hair since -- the 1960s. So I don't think anyone was being unduly influenced by the harangues. It was more like they were whistling past the graveyard, trying to reassure themselves that they had not in fact wasted their lives espousing a succession of stupid leftist causes.

Someday soon, they will be geezers in government-funded nursing homes, boring everyone to tears with the stories of their great moral battles. "Hey, remember how we boycotted grapes back in '74? Ah, those were the days!" Personally, I feel just a little bit sorry for the pathetic losers.

But only a little bit.

I think I see the loophole there. If your audience is so strident, so close-minded, so immune to rational argument and persuasion, it is impossible to unduly influence them. Damn, those liberals writing the tax laws thought of everything!

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