Conservative power: crowdfunding for police officer who shot Brown surpasses funds for victim's family

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Since the rise of the Tea Party faction, conservatives have shown undeniable online crowdfunding powers. Today, competing crowdfunding pages on a nationally charged political issue re-confirmed this fact.

A crowdfunding campaign for Officer Darren Wilson, who sparked a national firestorm with the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, has outraised money for those of Brown’s family memorial fund, Slate points out. As of this writing, Wilson’s gofundme.com page raised $234,000 vs. Brown’s $212,000. An additional crowdfunding campaign for Wilson has raised another $123,000.

Wilson’s crowdfunding page Facebook shares also topped Brown’s by roughly 30 percent, at 26K vs. 20K. And, a separate Facebook page just to show support for Wilson has already amassed 64,000 likes.In reaction to the negative media attention against Wilson and calls for justice, his supporters rush to the defense, especially those from Conservative media outlets.

On Darren’s Facebook page, users left supportive messages, “It’s a sad time in this country when officers can die to protect us, but prosecuted for protecting themselves! Your sacrifice everyday is so so appreciated!”

The fact that the conservative reaction to a (generally speaking) liberal issue shows that conservatives do have power online.

This has been especially true for independent movements. The Tea Party, a grass-roots faction of the Republican party, has been successful at outing moderate incumbents through overwhelming online small campaign donors. “An analysis by the Center for Responsive Politics shows that some of the highest-profile Tea Party-supported candidates have collected significant sums of money from individuals contributing $200 or less,” explained researcher Michael Beckel on the blog of OpenSecrets.org, which maintains a database of campaign contributions.

Social media is often something that skews liberal. Sentiment of Twitter reactions are, on average, far more supportive of liberal issues than conservative. But, in action, grassroots conservative movements have shown that they can meet or exceed their well-networked liberal counterparts.


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