It was a clear morning when a 61-year-old Florida mail carrier named Doug Hughes decided to make public his protest regarding the heinous grip that money has on politics.
So as he has professed to a few in advance, on Tax Day, Hughes flew his gyrocopter from Gettysburg, Pa., to Washington, D.C., and landed on the lawn of the U.S. Capitol. An envious view, to be sure, even though the last part was through restricted airspace.
Hughes was hoping to distribute letters to members of Congress to raise awareness about monetary influence in politics. He got their attention and accomplished his mission. Not surprisingly, he was also arrested, charged with operating an unregistered aircraft and violating national airspace. He faces a potential four years in prison, plus fines and no doubt some punishment for embarrassing those in charge of security.
This was no Cliff Clavin spewing random facts, but a self-proclaimed Paul Revere who had a true warning of a festering, growing threat. In flying under the radar — adding to “one if by land, two if by sea” and now “three if by air” — he managed to surprise and thus succeed in having his message heard.
There is much about the under-the-radar strategy. I want to see the Hughes story done by Frank Capra and become a stirring example for others — not to break the law, but to find ways to surprise the public by flying under what radar is in place until the surprise presents itself and the message — or action — connects.
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