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Clarissa's Blog

An academic's opinions on feminism, politics, literature, philosophy, teaching, academia, and a lot more.

A Risky Play

Of course, what I’m suggesting is risky. Dump the fanatical wing that scares everybody away with its privilege rants, safe spaces, 24-hour-a-day apoplexy, shock doctrines, identity lists, and Russia conspiracies. And instead make a play for people who might or might not respond. 

It’s risky because the crazies are always reliably there. But they don’t exist in numbers that are great enough to win anything. I’d risk it but I saw Bernie meekly step aside when two self-involved cows on his stage hassled him and realized that it wasn’t going to happen.

If everything goes right, I hope to vote in the next election. Right now, it seems like the only way for me to do it is to repeat like a mantra, “The other guys stink even worse, even worse, even worse.” And if you can’t energize even somebody as excitable as me, something is very wrong. 

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6 thoughts on “A Risky Play

  1. Demotrash on said:

    I don’t think we need to pander to these folks in a general. The bigger question is can we win a primary without them? It’s certainly possible, just harder.

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  2. Fie upon this quiet on said:

    I definitely agree that we need to stop pandering to the fear mongering. What would the strategy be, though, since reasonable politics seems unexciting to those who need a real inspiration to get them off their phones and into voting booths? Some say a step to the left would help (basically the free college, free healthcare, and other ideas like Bernie Sanders’s). But I don’t know that this country will ever go toward a system that takes on more socialist practices. I wish we could be just like Scandinavia. But I think we’re too far down the capitalist rabbit hole. We’ll destroy ourselves before we treat the population fairly.

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  3. Alex the Physicist on said:

    I don’t think the crazy and self-involved are a huge fraction of the voters, but they “punch above their weight” in the media and many institutional contexts. Their actual arguments would turn most people off if heard in full, but most people don’t hear their full arguments. They hear that there was a kerfluffle and the media (which might not be full of crazies, per se, but certainly has a lot of people who sympathize with Right-Thinking Liberals) dutifully passes along that somebody was deemed racist or sexist. So ordinary, well-meaning, non-crazy, liberal-minded people turn away from whoever was smeared by the crazies.

    And then some people get sick of this game but respond by going to the opposite extreme. They stop caring if it’s reported that somebody is racist. And if the reports only came from crazies, well, yeah, I see their point. But they disregard ALL reports that somebody is racist or sexist and just stop caring because they’re fed up with the lefty bullshit. So they vote for outright racist and sexist assholes like Trump.

    And then the response of a certain segment of the left is to conclude that they need to be EVEN MORE VIGILANT about racism and sexism, so a white guy who does a Southern accent while joking around with his black friend gets fired from his job because a Sensitive White Liberal overheard him and mistakenly thought it was racism.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/09/09/british-conductor-sacked-us-music-festival-joke-labelled-racist/

    We need more liberals talking about class, even if that means courting poor white people whose racial and gender sensitivities don’t match up with a New England Prep School concept of social justice.

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    • “so a white guy who does a Southern accent while joking around with his black friend gets fired from his job because a Sensitive White Liberal overheard him and mistakenly thought it was racism”

      Are we sure that wasn’t an extreme right wing person trying to make liberals look foolish and dangerous? Because if you want to make liberals look foolish and dangerous then that’s the kind of thing an extreme right wing person in mufti would do.

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    • I know what you mean. It got so that I hear the word “sexism” or “gender” and I just check out because I don’t expect anything useful to be said any more.

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  4. It’s not that hard. Campaign around opportunities and unity. Those are very hard to argue against in the US but the dems are addicted to problems (never ending problems that will suck everbody’s energies and never get better) and in narcissistic weaponized identity and endless petty grievances.

    Faced with an optimistic campaign (we can make the future better for everyone!) and a gloomy one (we must work to fight privilege and be intersectional and even then it won’t work!) only the mentally ill will choose the latter.

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