Moral outrage alone won't work
by Dave Winer Thursday, July 7, 2016

Most days Twitter and Facebook are what I call a "moral parade."

Something just happened. People say how shocked they are. How it's time to Do Something. They feel for the people who were harmed. They have identified someone to be targeted. Time to make them pay!

Which is about as useful as the Moment Of Silence that Republicans have for victims of gun violence. After the latest mass killing, in Orlando, Democrats said enough with the M-O-S. Thoughts And Prayers aren't enough. We need to change something to make this stop.

Yet, when we had a chance to make a sustained national issue of gun violence, when one Democratic candidate was clearly taking the NRA-endorsed position, we couldn't muster the energy to make that a ballot box issue, right now, in the moment. It couldn't have been easier. You want change? That's how you make change. 

Candidate loses election because they support the NRA. Wouldn't you love to see that headline? You want to stop gun violence. That's how it will happen, if it ever does. As long as the feeling is sustained, and it becomes and remains a ballot box issue.

And btw, allowing for gun manufacturers to be held responsible for mass killings done with their products, how did that get off the table? The weak remedies proposed by Democrats sound like something that was pre-negotiated with the NRA. You want change? Make the mass-killing guns money losers. That'll probably do more to stop gun violence than any of the remedies being voted on (or not) in Congress. 

So now we've swung around to Black Lives Matter. A very worthy cause. Can we do something about it? Not unless we sustain it. Because the opposing forces aren't just doing their own Moral Parades. They are sustaining the constant belief that black lives don't matter. 

And as long those who are outraged by these events can't sustain the feeling, won't organize when the emotions have settled down, and only indulge in moral parades when called on by events, nothing, nothing, nothing will change. Nothing.