Having been a proud activist for many years, I offer the following list of different types of activists I have encountered along the way. (In all candor & humility, I must confess that I have — at one time or another — filled most of these shoes myself.)
Activist: One who works to achieve a social or political goal, usually as a volunteer, and usually at great cost to his or her income and personal life.
Proactivist: One who works proactively to achieve a social or political goal by cultivating political relationships and organizing like-minded people into large blocks of voters who can exert effective political pressure, especially at critical times.
Slacktivist: Does nothing until it’s too late.
Snacktivist: Only comes to meetings if snacks are served.
Flaktivist: Gives activist leaders flak about everything.
Quacktivist: Shows up late, makes a lot of noise, splashes around, craps on everything, then waddles off to take care of their family or their pets.
Pterodactylvist: An aging hippy who opposes all governments, organizations and organized activities except those promoting world peace, saving the environment, protecting the oppressed, and/or seeking to legalize marijuana.
Back-in-time-ivist: Seek to take us back to the time before the hippies or pterodacylvists — a golden age when men were men, women were barefoot and pregnant, only white male landowners could vote, and slavery was legal. (Also known as “Tea Party activist.”)
Black-list-ivist: Spy for the powers that be; reports on progressive activists so that they can be black-listed, and summarily executed when the right wing takes over the government
Break-your-back-tivist: Wears you out with a combination of great ideas that are humanly impossible to implement, and/or criticisms of your failures to meet their sky-high expectations.
Didactivist: Lectures you on party doctrine, often quoting chapter and verse from whatever text supports their point of view, while completely ignoring whatever practical reality you face at the moment.
Diktat-tivist: A hard-core activist leader who demands total loyalty and obedience from all members of the organization.
Built-like-Shaq-tivist: A very tall, muscular activist, usually a man, who provides security at events where heckling or other provocations might get out of hand.
Smoking-crack-tivist: Stands up at meetings and makes long speeches that make no sense whatsoever.
I’ll-get-back-to-you-on-that-tivist: An activist leader who cannot answer any questions, but always promises to get back to you with an answer, and never does.