It can take months, if not years, for a politically-minded group to gain traction in the culture.
Citizens for Sanity did it in weeks.
The new nonprofit’s goal is simple: return common sense to America. That’s not so easy when progressive D.A.s put revolving doors on prisons as well as asking, “what’s a woman” is dubbed bigotry in select circles.
Citizens for Sanity doesn’t churn out white papers or compete with right-leaning think tanks like The Heritage Foundation. It buys space on billboards and newspapers to mock what it sees as the Left’s cultural overreach.
And those messages routinely go viral on social media.
A Milwaukee billboard read, “Biology Is Bigotry. No One Is Born a Woman.” In Phoenix, residents saw a Sanity sign declaring, “Waiting in the ER for 10 hours is a small price to pay for the gift of open borders.”
An instantly infamous Martha’s Vineyard newspaper ad mocked locals for their progressive hypocrisy.
“Our beautiful island home of Martha’s Vineyard is very small and the mansions have very expensive artwork, Persian rugs, and unchlorinated saltwater swimming pools that are very difficult to clean … for these reasons, we cannot accept any undocumented Americans at this time and respectfully ask they be sent to a working class community they can enrich with their global diversity and romantic poverty.”Citizens for Sanity advertisement
Citizens For Sanity Gain Traction
Ian Prior, strategic advisor for Citizens for Sanity, says those snarky messages have put his organization on the map. Sanity gained 28K twitter followers in just a couple of weeks, while another viral campaign generated two million views in 48 hours.
“It demonstrates the potency of this kind of messaging,” Prior says.
Citizens for Sanity isn’t targeting liberals per se, according to Prior. It’s the far-Left progressives eager to hurt society with their punitive measures and anti-science mantras.
“It doesn’t divide along typical liberal-conservative lines,” he says. The broader questions his group asks can be asked by both parties.
“Why are we pushing in our schools that kids can change their sex and they’re not gonna tell their parents? Why are we leaving the borders open?” he asks.
Driving The Messaging With Wit
Desert-dry wit hammers home those uncomfortable questions.
“Satire and humor is always the best way to break through,” Prior says, comparing that approach to how the satirical Babylon Bee, a right-leaning faux news site, operates. “You really get people thinking, not just shoving [information] down someone’s throat.”
The Babylon Bee is routinely attacked, both by Big Tech and news outlets that are eager to minimize its satirical impact. That hasn’t happened yet to Citizens for Sanity, but Prior says the group’s work has already drawn the ire of one community.
Some complained on social media, Prior notes, after Sanity bought ad space in The Providence Journal. The post was tied to Gov. Ron DeSantis shipping 50 migrants to the tiny enclave of Martha’s Vineyard.
The ad only ran for a day, but the blowback was considerable.
“It shows how sensitive the woke left has become, always trying to portray themselves as the victim,” he says.
The Paper, an Albuquerque-based media outlet, attacked Sanity as a “far-right” Qanon-style outfit whose messaging could inspire violence.
The line between reality and satire can be razor thin in modern society. Prior recalls seeing a billboard ad in Portland, Oregon saying, “Your White Fragility Is Showing.” Except it wasn’t his group’s handiwork.
Citizens For Sanity Look To The Future
Prior wouldn’t disclose the group’s funding sources nor does Sanity plan to endorse any specific politicians moving forward. The message is more cultural than political, even though the group acknowledges President Joe Biden in several of its humorous messages.
Citizens for Sanity got a quick jump out of the starting gates, and further Prior knows the group’s mission involves patience more than a few social media wins.
“It’s not something that’s gonna be won over the course of three weeks or three months,” he says. The goal, he notes, is to “show people what’s happening in the country and to get people to wake up.”