Erdogan is calling the Netherlands and the Germany Nazi remnants and trying to provoke riots of Turkish people in these countries. He works hard to make sure Geert Wilders wins in the Netherlands and Merkel loses in Germany. He’s a good, obedient puppy.
In childhood, everybody looks at you through your parents’ eyes. In adulthood, everybody looks at you through your own eyes. And you look at yourself through your parents’ eyes. Saying “this is how society sees us” is nothing but a way to hide from this hard truth.
Talking about the Hispanic vote, has anybody wondered if it might be just a tad frustrating for somebody from, say, Mexico to see Liberals gleefully consume drug wars in the form of entertainment but banish them entirely from their political discourse? Like in never even saying the words and substituting them with “war on drugs”, as if these were interchangeable terms? How should it feel to see the entire complex and tragic issue reduced to the supremely important concerns of American consumers?
The only thing that Liberals are offering on the subject is “just legalize it” because they are convinced that as soon as the whim of a bunch of Americans to smoke a joint on weekend is satisfied, the entire economic, political and cultural reality that feeds drug cartels will magically disappear. Because, once again, there is nothing in existence aside from the wishes and consumer choices of isolated individuals.
And one more thing. After a series of crushing defeats at every level that culminated in the terrible loss in November, one would think a political movement would do some soul-searching, conduct some analysis of what it’s doing wrong to repel one constituency after another.
Maybe I’m looking in the wrong places, but I’m not seeing anything of the kind. I’m seeing endless self-congratulation on one’s profound moral superiority that would be more appropriate to a movement that has actually won something. As they say in Russia, “If he’s so smart, then why is he so dead?”
For instance, has anybody seen a long, nuanced piece anywhere analyzing why such a stunning number of Hispanics went for Trump? Why women went for Trump? Why African Americans didn’t show up for the Democrats as actively as they could? Why Bernie failed to connect with his #1 target group, the white working class? Why voters bought the association between Hillary and pedophilia so easily a week before the election and dropped her from a 10-point lead to a loss? Why Obama sat on the Russian evidence, tanking Hillary’s chances, only to trot it in her face as a sort of mockery when it was of no use whatsoever?
Has anybody seen anybody asking the question of why the progressive agenda is being repelled so actively on the local, regional and now national level in favor of horrible, incompetent people who suck? I mean, you’ve got to be doing something really bad to be discarded time and time and time again in favor of the Brownbacks, the Rauners, the Ryans, the Trumps, and all the ungodly bunch of them. I don’t know these answers. But I want to look for them and I want to do it as part of a movement that will finally end putting on a spectacle of offended dignity and moral outrage and GET. THE FUCK. TO WORK.
Liberalism is about freedom, of course. Liber, in Latin, means free. The question is, freedom from what?
Used to be, it was all about freedom from the rule of capital. Utopic, idealistic, but there was a reference point outside of the self. There isn’t one any more. Today it’s all about the freedom to exercise the whims, the wishes, the choices of individual selves. And you can’t build a shared program of action out of that.
At a recent political gathering, somebody suggested collectively opposing deportations. That suggestion was shut down within minutes.
“I don’t care about immigrants,” one participant declared brusquely. “They chose to come here. I’m African American, my ancestors didn’t choose shit. Why should I care about immigrants?”
There is absolutely nothing you can say to this without appealing to things outside the self. And that’s precisely what you can no longer do.
Women tried to organize for “A Day Without Women”, but that initiative immediately collapsed into “I’m less privileged than you; you are XYZ different from me; my individual experience doesn’t 100% coincide with yours, so we are mortal enemies in the game of consumerist one-upmanship.”
There is nothing but endless fragmentation at the end of this road. All that can momentarily bring the desperately unique and mortally aggrieved individuals together is an outrage over somebody somewhere not being able to satisfy a whim. But that solidarity immediately collapses under the weight of suspicion, “Why are we discussing his thwarted whim right now and not mine?”
Politics is about figuring out the optimal way of being together. But if the very concept of togetherness has collapsed, you can’t do politics any more. And all that remains to do is ask, “How is it possible that I, me, myself, so wonderful and profound, keep losing to these empty, superficial, incompetent fools?”
The road back from this place of confusion lies through finding a point of reference outside the self. Let’s try to become free from the tyranny of the self.