Zach Green may not be working for the GOP and of course I have no hard evidence that he is. But one thing is certain… he couldn’t have done a better job of destroying the unity the Progressive community on Twitter was enjoying had he BEEN on the GOP payroll.
I’ve been on Twitter for about thirteen months now and during that time had never seen a major conflict among the many and diverse members of the Progressive community. With a few exceptions, which I’ll get to later, the entire list of people I followed were engaged and focused on one thing… countering the right wing bullshit machine and electing candidates who shared their views.
While I don’t consider myself a Progressive in the accepted sense of the term, my own views in regard to final outcomes tend to coincide with theirs more often than not and I found myself supporting them in most of their efforts… except the constant warfare some of them… the exceptions I referred to above… seem to have declared on the few actual liberals who dare to go against whatever the “grain” is as declared by those who get to declare such things.
Anyway, for the most part the Progressive community went along it’s way for my entire tenure on Twitter without a lot strife or dissension, most of them having actually having fun and enjoying the good fight while basically supporting and reinforcing each other’s views against the one percent and their open attempt to assume control of the country.
As is always going to be the case when such situations exist, someone came along who immediately sensed a way to make money from it or in the words of the trade to “monetize” it. I use the quotes because I don’t use the word in the sense that you’ll find when you look it up in a dictionary. The dictionary tells us the primary definition is “To establish as legal tender” or to give monetary value to something, in other words to convert something into money.
For the purposes of this post, I’m using the term in the sense that investors and financial types use it to describe the monetization of assets… establishing a means by which money may be readily earned through the manipulation of an asset or assets. This is what Mr. Green and his family are doing. They’re taking a situation that already existed, namely the cohesion and camaraderie of the Progressive movement on Twitter, and manipulating it in order to provide revenues for their company. And not incidentally I suspect, destroying it in the process.
Another way to put it is that they’re privatizing a political movement, something that has traditionally spelled the end of any movement unlucky enough to be usurped in such a manner. We have only to look at the last twenty years to see the disastrous results of privatization on any form of community endeavor that has found itself snared by the Wall Street parasites in their relentless drive to privatize and thereby monetize everything in sight.
THIS is what I, as someone who, if any “ism” can be applied at all, considers himself a modern Populist, fight against and I see no difference between our public school system being privatized for the financial benefit of some Wall Street syndicate than I do the Progressive movement on the internet being coopted and privatized for the financial benefit of Zach Green. But it doesn’t necessarily stop there.
There are those among the Progressive community who see Mr. Green as a right wing plant, someone deliberately attempting to sew strife and discontent among progressives in order to destroy the momentum their efforts had built up which had resulted in Mr. Obama being reelected in spite of the Rove sabotage machine. Indeed many see the soft white fingers of Turdblossom himself holding the strings attached to, if not the whole 140X operation over the past few years, at least the entities financing it. I’m not sure what I think myself. I certainly have no hard evidence that this is so but neither has anyone from Mr. Green’s organization provided any hard evidence that it’s not.
As someone outside the actual Progressive community I would like to think that I can be 100% objective but to also be 100% frank, my total contempt and disdain for data mining and “analytics” operations such as those conducted by Mr. Green and his family tends to color my own views in regard to the situation. If you’re one of those types that goes all hostile and hysterical when someone points out that your particular emperor doesn’t look so good naked, then you’d probably better stop reading here for the sake of your blood pressure. I’m not here to tell Zach Green’s side of the story, that’s his job.
What appears to be the case is this: For several years Mr. Green and the various offshoots of his base “140” organization have worked solely for various right wing candidates and organizations in providing data used by those organizations to manipulate public opinion in their favor. In many cases, one or more of Mr. Greens organizations has actually been the manipulator of the data gathered and correlated by another. There are numerous examples on the internet of Mr. Green touting the efforts of his organizations on behalf of right wing causes.
What there is NOT however, is any evidence of Mr. Green or any member of any of his organizations having applied themselves to any solely Progressive causes over the same time period. Indeed the entire 140 this and that operation seems to have sprung up as an integral part of the effort to establish a strong Right Wing Internet presence to counter that of the left, which had basically dominated the netroots after the right took control of the “mainstream” media.
I’ve looked over some of Mr. Green’s web pages that detail his involvement with these right wing organizations including one the detailed the rates he was either getting or expecting to get for his services and several of the fees being charged ran into the $5k-10k per month range. It’s obvious that no local grass roots bunch has this kind of money to blow on services that don’t provide a ton of benefit for their cause and that none of the larger PACs or groups WOULD do so if they weren’t getting their money’s worth. If it was one or more of the biggies that was putting the bucks in Mr. Green’s pockets, then might as well, in the absence of any hard evidence either way, suspect Crossroads as any other.
It doesn’t really matter which specific group(s) the money was coming from. What matters is that throughout the past several election cycles, Mr. Green has willingly… happily if we consider the self congratulatory reports he’s posted… served as a paid agent of the same GOP/Tea Party propaganda apparatus that the rest of us have been busting our asses fighting, (some of us for decades now) helping them construct many of the campaigns that Progressives supposedly came together on the social networks to oppose.
None of this is to mention that the main thrust of the entire community seems to be shifting towards attacking the left rather than the right these days but that’s a subject for a whole ‘nother post.
So… what we have is a situation in which a paid operative… indeed one of the principal architects, at least on the Internet… of the GOP propaganda machine has suddenly renounced all allegiance to his former employers and decided to use the apparatus… that only came into being as part of the Great Thundering Right Wing Noise Machine and that was bought and paid for by the GOP… to “Unite” progressives and somehow thereby literally bite the hand that up until a scant few weeks ago was feeding him?
And let’s not be forgetting that a particularly timely bogey man… remember, the GOP thrives on creating straw or bogey men… happened to spring up in the form of #tgdn just as Mr. Green was about to launch his entirely new enterprise in a 180 degree about face.
You know, I’m sorry if it offends some of the more sensitive pearl clutchers among you Progressive folks but I’m having a tad bit of trouble getting myself around that one. I’ve sat here the last several days/nights and watched virtually the entire community that I had felt a part of for thirteen months literally tear itself apart in three days.
I’ve watched people I had come to consider my friends literally tear each other to shreds over something so trivial as “twibbons” and hashtags. I’ve seen a thread in which one of my favorite favorite Twitterfolks blocked two others for no more reason than… and this is a quote… “dissing the #UniteBlue I believe in” when all either of them had done is express the reasons they themselves had reservations. I myself got my first block ever by someone whose Twitter company I thoroughly enjoyed shortly after expressing some of my own thoughts in her presence.
I’m not about to say that Zach Green is still a full time employee of the GOP Internet apparatchik simply because I have no real evidence this is so nor frankly do I care one way or the other whether he is or not. The important thing to me is that he couldn’t have done a better job of destroying the community I had spent the last year enjoying being part of if he HAD still been on their payroll. And he did it for the same damned reason that the vaunted one percent do the things they do to F**k up this once great country… for money.
If you’ve made it this far, thanks for letting me vent. I’ll let y’all get to your unfollow and block buttons now. Since I’ve noticed that numbers of followers seems to be a big thing in the Unite Blue universe, I hope you won’t be laboring under the impression that unfollowing or blocking me will serve as some kind of punishment for any blasphemies I may have committed against the Twitter gods. While it’s never a good feeling to have people turn their backs on you, I was fighting my fight without y’all before I discovered Twitter and I’ll go right on fighting it if I lose every follower I’ve got and get blocked by everyone I follow. I’ve got bigger things to worry about.