The Book Burning Party That Saved a Library

This is a prime example of how a smart & engaging social media strategy can show the value of Government Services. Watch this all the way through then share your thoughts!

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David Dejewski

An inspired and bold strategy. Exciting, in fact. I admit I smiled as I watched this.
My thoughts are that this worked because the strategy was disruptive and unique. I’d not like to think the effect it would (likely will) have on people once the copy cats start duplicating this strategy. Trick people into thinking we’re doing one thing, build a fever pitch, then reveal the true intent. Sure they leveraged social media – and quite well – but can you imagine getting a dozen “fake” crisis campaigns per week on your Facebook page? I’d probably avoid them the same way I now avoid chain letters.

Peter Sperry

I found this interesting because we had a similar issue in our county and reached a similar result using much different methods. Funding for schools and libraries in the county reached a critical point in the last budget cycle and we were facing severe cut backs vs property tax increase. The school and library administrators came to public hearings with detailed information on facility usage and program results. They also highlighted each and every cost savings initiative they had already implemented and made a convincing case there was no more left to cut without seriously degrading services. The local Tea Party activists, rather than going into a knee jerk opposition to the propery tax increase, asked about possible cuts in other sections of the county budget. Our, county supervisors, most of whom are closely aligned with the Tea Party, we’re able to point to 10 year track record of fiscal responsibility during which the county had recorded some of the lowest spending and tax levels for any county of similar size in the nation. In particular, they had just come off a 4 year run of holding the line against tax increases during the economic downturn. With that kind of credibility behind them, the supervisors were able to fund about 50 percent of the school/library needs with yet further belt tightening elsewhere and were able to get Tea Party acceptance of limited property tax increases.

I also have to wonder, how is:

“A vote against the library tax is a vote to burn books”

Any different from:

“A vote for Obamacare is a vote for death panels”

Public policy activists from Sam Adams to Saul Alinsky to current politicians have long known that it is much easier to win by demonizing opponents with appeals to emotion rather than reason. Often activists are able to prevail even when facts and logic do not support thief position, simply my getting the public to despise the opposition. But, keep in mind, when one side uses these tactics, they legitimize them for use by their opponents. Unfortunately, few activists give much thought to the long term harm that results from dividing a community with angry emotional attacks on the oppositions ethics and morality. They may, however, want to carefully consider the old saying “what goes around, comes around”.