Quitting the Sex Debate Drug

The Democratic Leadership Council, the organization that produced such figures as Bill ClintonAl GoreJoe Lieberman and Terry McAuliffe, has long been pushing the party to forget blue-collar voters and concentrate instead on recruiting affluent, white-collar professionals who are liberal on social issues. The larger interests that the DLC wants desperately to court are corporations, capable of generating campaign contributions far outweighing anything raised by organized labor. The way to collect the votes and — more important — the money of these coveted constituencies, “New Democrats” think, is to stand rock-solid on, say, the pro-choice position while making endless concessions on economic issues, on welfare, NAFTA, Social Security, labor law, privatization, deregulation and the rest of it.

— Thomas Frank, What’s the Matter with Kansas? (2004), p. 243

He says the same about Republicans. It’s a good book, I highly recommend.

What’s the name of the political party that is offering to do anything about the inflation? We are on the way to seeing a $100 tank of gas. It’s already a reality in Canada, so why not in the US?

What’s the name of the political party that has a plan to stop supranational corporations from buying up housing and land?

What’s the name of the party that promises to stop the funneling of even more taxpayers’ billions to the pharma industry over COVID? Does anybody even mention the new pharma handout that Biden is preparing at this very moment?

They aren’t doing any of it because we let them. We take the happy pill of sex debates and forget to care about anything else. The only freedom neoliberalism guarantees is the freedom to have sex. It’s everything else that gets taken away. But we don’t notice because we are fixated on sex.

We can stop any time. It’s addictive but we can quit. We can refuse to participate in this con. And we can help our friends quit the drug of sex debates. Whenever anybody on either side mentions abortion, gently veer the conversation towards inflation, gas prices, your grocery bill, and the affordability of housing.

Drugs work because they give pleasure. We have to be ready to sacrifice the pleasure we get from being conned this way, and that won’t be easy. The question is, can we even try? Or are we too far gone?

2 thoughts on “Quitting the Sex Debate Drug

  1. “We are on the way to seeing a $100 tank of gas.”

    I am past that way; my last fill up cost me $165. Full disclosure – I live in a RV which is also my car. As a home it gets great gas milage , not so good as a car.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It’s a good book, I highly recommend.

    And I distinctly recall that much of the left threw a temper tantrum about that book when it was published 18 years ago.


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