Here is the alternate perspective:
That's why the comparison to Sasha Baron Cohen is so apt. When confronted by very unusual behavior or unusual situations, people have a tendency to be agreeable and to play along. Most people don't like confrontation and will instinctively go to great lengths to avoid it. If you doubt this, go watch Borat or Bruno or any episode of the Ali G Show. It is this same human tendency that serves as the basis for all of Cohen's comedy. He specializes in getting people (often famous people) to say things that they would not normally say.Having been confronted by very unusual situations in my lifetime, I have absolutely played along, usually leaning on my wit to defuse uncomfortable situations and gently warn folks if they were crossing lines.
Another few things about the ACORN thing got me to thinking as well:
- I'm sure I will be called an ACORN apologist for this post, as not following the national pop-culture party line that OMG ACORN IS TEH SOCIALISM & BAD usually equates to a "defense" of the organization in our "with us or against us" mentality. I'm not defending this organization, or pimpin' 20 year old preachers' daughters while wearing a chincilla jacket. I want to examine the narrative explanations and motivations behind the story.
- ACORN recieves such small funding from the Federal government that right-wing hysteria over their influence is laughable and strains an already suspect credibility. That the ACORN story has been a narrative of right wingers for years, apparently, is one more reason I end up on the "left" side of the aisle.
- Straining that credibility further was the behavior of GOP politicians like Sonny Perdue of Georiga and Bobby Jindal of Louisiana for "defunding ACORN" and making a huge deal out of it. Neither of those states had funded ACORN for several years. Political theatre without result is what the GOP got kicked out of office for in 2006 and 2008. One only wonders why they continue to ride a derailed train.
- There are many, many other more influential and insidious organizations that recieve fat government grants and subsidies, with far less scandal.