Self-proclaimed actress, activist and troublemaker Patricia Arquette is hoping to create a stir to get the Trump Administration’s attention. In the last five days, she has posted three photos on her Instagram detailing the plan for an economic shutdown. The political move is set to occur on Monday, March 2nd.
But what is an economic shutdown, and what is Arquette hoping to gain from the action? One thing’s for sure: such a political movement won’t be successful unless millions of people see and are inspired by the message.
In the caption of the first Instagram post concerning the shutdown, Patricia Arquette calls public participation “easy.” She asks participants to not spend any money at all on March 2nd. The goal “is to cause a $238.2 billion dollar blip on the federal government’s records.”
The movement seems to have gained traction through a political activism account on Twitter called Lee8772: HOW LOW MUST WE GO? Arquette revealed the name of the account in her latest two Instagram posts.
Thus, Arquette didn’t create the idea, but she is participating and spreading the word.
Singer-songwriter David Crosby also alerted his Twitter followers about the movement.
Patricia Arquette is well known for her roles in Boyhood, the TV series Medium and the 1993 drama True Romance. (Die-hard fans will also remember her role as Kissin’ Kate in Holes, the Disney channel movie starring Shia Labeouf.)
At the 2015 Academy Awards, Arquette became known as an activist when she used her Oscar acceptance speech to raise awareness about equality and the wage gap between men and women. (At the time, she drew praise from Meryl Streep, Ethan Hawke and Jennifer Lopez.) Her remarks became controversial and since then she has branded herself as a troublemaker.
The concept of an economic shutdown is not new. Activists have tried to inspire such movements on a both a local and national level in 2014 and 2016.
As written on the Twitter account Lee8772, the idea behind an economic shutdown is this:
“There is only one thing Trump & the GOP understand; that is money.”
However, these movements have not yet had widespread success. They can work only if a huge number of people participate.
Patricia Arquette is hoping that her 146k following on Instagram will have leverage. But as of February 27, the public does not seem particularly inspired to follow Arquette’s or Crosby’s lead.
Patricia Arquette’s social media followers have voiced a wide range of opinions beneath her Instagram posts. One follower wrote, “I’m down to do this but I’ve always been confused by this. Don’t we still spend the same amount of money either before or after?” Another user joked “that won’t be hard. I’m broke.”
However, it appears that the majority of comments are negative. One person wrote, “I understand what the cause is for, but I wish there was another way. . .I used to work at a small bookstore and our everyday earnings were very important. Reaching a goal per day was imperative. . .There are billions of small businesses that can be affected.” Others called it a dumb idea and claimed it would only “hurt the little guys.”
In response to such concerns, the account Lee8772 tweeted that small businesses could still participate by opening their stores on March 2nd but not spending any money that day.
Unfortunately for Arquette, social media users do not seem to be jumping on the bandwagon.