I Think There Is Room For All
Typically, the media portray preppers as right-of-center, Christian, obsessed with storage foods and guns. Yep, that certainly covers a fair amount of us, and historically, that is probably a pretty good snapshot.
But there is a lot more to the preparedness movement than just that. Hippies in a commune probably will come through an economic SHTF, a famine, a pandemic, and lots of other events better than a lot of folks. Back-to-the-land families being relatively self-sufficient on a small farmstead out in the rural suburbs, home schooling the kids and maybe dad having a job in town just to cover other expenses will do OK. I know one of our readers is a military wife, feeding her family organic, promoting healthy living at the co-ops and in the PX or Commissary, and homeschooling her kids. There are some radical leftists who believe that global warming is mother Earth's war against over population and the human infection... but they have some preparedness traits. LDS church members come from all walks of life and political persuasions, but a basic promotion of their church is family preparedness.
I think we do our movement ill by keeping things just to "our type of people." I'm not suggesting that you tell everyone you know about your food, guns, gardens, silver, etc... in detail, but let's try to open up the idea of preparedness to a wide variety of people... The "big tent" that Reagan spoke of the Republican party as having. In many ways it is already happening. Many of the people who read Mother Earth News also read Guns & Ammo. The LDS churches in many areas open up their members' expertise in different topics to the public through preparedness fairs. Your local farmers' market will likely have grass-fed beef and organic eggs being sold to democrats, republicans, libertarians, anarchists and commies. If you check bumper stickers in the parking lot of the next gun show, you'll see a bunch of Ron Paul and Mitt Romney stickers, but you will also see some Obama '12 stickers. And likely as not, that young, gay, African-American couple getting in the Obama Volvo also believes that tough times are around the corner and they might have just picked up an AR15 and a couple of cases of MREs at the show.
I encourage you to find any sort of common ground you can with people, just to open a conversation. You might not agree on the whys and the hows, but at least get the conversation going and you might agree on something. These folks might not necessarily form the nucleus of your new survival group, but if folks from all walks of life are going to be impacted by SHTF (whatever it might be), wouldn't it behoove us to encourage folks from all walks of life to prepare?
After all, we are all Americans (no offense to my readers in Canada, Great Britain and other countries - the same applies to your countrymen) and we are all better off when our neighbors are prepared.
I'm going to give you a challenge for the rest of this week and the weekend. Find at least one person a day that you wouldn't normally talk to, and open a basic conversation. It can be as simple as, "Remember that flu pandemic scare from a couple years ago? I saw on the news where a new form of swine flu has started affecting humans. It hasn't been widespread yet, but what if it becomes more dangerous? What do you think would happen here at work (or church or school or the grocery store) if it does and things need to shut down for a couple of weeks? Wow. What would you do?" and just let them think and reply. Don't jump right into SHTF and guns and freeze dried food. Just get the mind churning. Maybe close with, "I think I might stop at the drug store on my way home and pick up some extra flu medications before flu season really hits us."
Report back here in the comments section and let us know what you found out. Remember, it should be folks you wouldn't normally strike up a conversation with, not your buddy at the range or a fellow homeschool mom. Maybe that guy at work you nod hello to as you pass in the halls, or a family of a different cultural background that is in the same grocery aisle as you.
Good luck and let's open up the Big Tent!