May 23, 2023
The Astroturfing of Generation Z
By: Brian Parsons
“Anytime there’s an actual grassroots movement that isn’t funded by people trying to create a grassroots movement, I find that interesting.” – George Clooney
In politics, the term Astroturf refers to a contrived grassroots movement. Astroturfing is when the establishment or similar interests back a candidate or cause but deceptively hide where the support originates so that it appears as if the support is organic and composed of ordinary people. Because politicians must appeal to the sensibilities of the commoners for their votes, who better to influence them than their peers?
You may have noticed a similar strategy with hiring dozens of conservative influencers by the campaign apparatus of Florida Governor Ron DeSantis. The Everyman shtick is the script, but one cannot debate that most funding and press come from establishment sources such as corporate billionaires and media moguls like Rupert Murdoch.
Last year I wrote about the penchant of the American left to promote sacred cow minority blocs like puppets on a string, such as ethnic, gender, or age groups. The objective is to promote causes while deflecting duly earned criticism as a character flaw of the accuser. The examples then included famed climate activist Greta Thunberg and gun control activist David Hogg. The latest example is the Biden Whitehouse’s campaign to hire an army of social media influencers and target their operation toward Generation Z to bolster his 2024 re-election bid. Biden previously employed this strategy by hiring an army of TikTok influencers to push COVID vaccination and saw a measure of success.
This campaign to recruit Gen Z influencers is already being realized on Twitter with a very canned message by DNC Influencers Harry Sisson and Chris Mowrey. If you’ve noticed one of these two young men on TikTok or Twitter promoting the homologous voting bloc of Gen Z, it’s not by accident. From the top to the bottom of the leftist press, we’re being told how Gen Z thinks and how Gen Z votes.
In discussions of Gen Z, the idiom that the right is having babies, but the left is raising them comes to mind. We are presented with a defiant posture by a voting bloc that feigns repression while not even being on the radar of your average American. I’m mostly sure the Baby Boomer class is still stuck on Millenials.
During the most recent Idaho legislative session, the legislature made several electoral reforms, such as banning ranked-choice voting and student identification in Idaho elections. As a response, several national left-wing activist organizations, such as the gun control lobby March For Our Lives and electoral activists Babe Vote, have launched lawsuits against the state, citing voter suppression. In promoting these suits, they have produced a video of students as young as fourteen feigning outrage over their inability to vote using their student ID. In this video, activists tout these electoral reforms as a direct attack on Gen Z. They don’t explain precisely how requiring state-issued and standardized identification represses young voters, but know that you should be outraged.
Suppose member states of a union have no legal standing to challenge the election irregularities of their peer states. How do non-voters have legal standing to challenge voter identification requirements? They don’t. An Astroturf campaign is on display to use sacred cows to promote well-funded leftist campaigns.
Because activist organizations such as March For Our Lives have a captive audience, dabbling in voter ID is an easy transition from gun control. The commitment of March For Our Lives to student identification as a valid form of voter ID should be tested and promoted for purchasing firearms. There is an argument to be made that voting is significantly more dangerous than firearms. It has been estimated that two hundred sixty million people were killed by democide in the twentieth century alone. Choose your leaders wisely.
Whether ethnic, gender, or age minority blocs, the left excels in building collectives to harness the most votes where common attributes are found. Whether selling the message that white supremacists are the biggest threat in the country or that everyone is out to get Generation Z, they pit entire groups against one another to create contrived boogeymen and mobilize active but often naive voter blocs.
Whether it’s an actual get-out-the-vote effort, or merely an attempt to build a self-fulfilling prophecy, expect the results of elections to mirror the priming of the leftist press. As in the late-night mail ballot miracle of 2020 or the abortion mobilization of 2022, the leftist press specializes in framing electoral narratives. Because of this, one should not be surprised to see a significant injection of Gen Z mail ballots throughout the 2024 elections.
Brian Parsons is a paleoconservative opinion columnist in Idaho, a proud husband and father, and saved by Grace. You can follow him at WithdrawConsent.org or find his opinion columns at the American Thinker, in the Idaho State Journal, or in other regional publications.