There is a vast gulf between those who think politics is a sporting joust where fair play is an individual (not state) responsibility and those who think winning an election will stop the imagined home invasion of millions, a baby genocide, and the programmatic conversion of the economy to a road to serfdom. The biggest difference is that the latter are not perennial losers. The ferocity of their agenda powers them to repeated electoral wins on the narrowest of coalitions, while the opposing majority opts out of participation in the absence of any motivating zeal. The zealotry of the conservative agenda kills people, but quietly so does the mercilessly grinding and bloodless status quo. Our task now is to mount an opposing social and democratic agenda that would move us forward and to sell it to the populace with an urgent conviction befitting a platform of rescuing millions from the horrors of unchecked and unmitigated market tyranny over their humanity. Our task is not to collaborate with our own undoing nor to offer a helpful hand in the unparalleled rollback of our modern society. Our task is to obstruct, however we can, every step of their inhumane agenda while offering our own worthy program of social improvement that we can rightly be proud to campaign upon with a galvanizing and mobilizing zeal.
We are in the political fight of our lives to stop what little we have left from being swept away, and yet we’re still being tone-policed by the centrists who lost us everything on how to win in a political climate they do not recognize, do not understand, and are utterly unprepared to deal with. Every concession to an arbitrary middle instead of towards justice is another constituency that we leave behind, weakening our solidarity, weakening our electoral coalition, and weakening our ability to take and retain power.
Those afraid to Engage in Politics will preside over very little of it.
Further reading from Arsenal For Democracy…
– A world without politics (would be bad)
Horrific outcome tonight. Mass collective action is probably the only path ahead for the next year or two at least. Early thoughts: The number one contingent most responsible for Donald Trump winning is people (not necessarily whom the media expected) who voted for Donald Trump. Don’t blame others first. (This wasn’t third parties and wasn’t about young people.) Second most responsible: All who systematically disenfranchised and suppressed voters over decades or didn’t do much to stop it.
I’ll leave for another time the rest of my reaction but the third most responsible group are the people whose strategy failed tonight as it has failed so many downballot races over the past 22 years. I don’t know what the future direction of the Democratic Party is – but it can’t be more of this. The environment, the economy, and our democracy (including human rights and civil liberties) seem to have gone off a cliff tonight, and I guess we’ll have to assess what the hell happens next to resist that.
Pretty weird how many non-Millennials who support Clinton have decided to attack Millennials for their presidential voting preferences when Millennials are literally the only age demographic with more than 50% support for Clinton across most polling. Maybe first go figure out why 35-48% of your own generations are voting for the candidate of the white supremacists and *then* come back and talk to us about this / apologize. (If you’re 50 years or older, more of your peers outright plan to vote for Trump than for Clinton, by varying margins by generation.) This attitude is not a productive way to garner Millennial votes … or even get young voters to show up for any of our candidates this November.
Anyway, folks, Arsenal for Democracy is back in production — because the entire rest of political media is hostile to our generation.
Last night I attended the Newton MA School Committee final hearing and vote on Massachusetts ballot question 2. The committee voted to endorse “No on 2” (my position as well). Question 2 would vastly expand (without additional revenues) charter schools in Massachusetts.
Pretty interesting that the New York & California money only rolls in to promote charter schools in Massachusetts – supposedly because public schools are failing to educate kids in low-income districts – and never to replace the huge annual funding cuts in the budgets of those districts when revenues run low. It’s almost as if the big donors actually have an agenda more concerned with diverting public dollars to private operators and breaking up unions than with any substantive assistance to struggling districts.
This past weekend amid a tropical storm that hampered turnout, voters in Colombia very narrowly rejected – upsetting polls showing an overwhelming public approval – a referendum to endorse a permanent peace deal between the government and FARC rebels after 50 years of civil war. (Some previous discussion of this here.) The country’s militarized right-wing was joined bizarrely by “Human Rights Watch,” the global NGO, in campaigning viciously against the peace deal.
The Nation detailed this in an article headlined “Did Human Rights Watch Sabotage Colombia’s Peace Agreement?”
HRW has been embarrassing itself very publicly on the global stage for a couple years now, particularly with regard to its propaganda seeking a Western military invasion of Syria. This should be the last straw. They are not promoting a human rights or peace agenda. They are pursuing some arbitrary set of agendas in various countries that is inscrutable to the rest of us and very dangerous for the people’s lives who are affected directly. Five decades of war and HRW is gloating about helping to defeat the referendum to end it? What is wrong with you?
I believe (based on extensive previous evidence) that Burkina Faso would not be getting attacked by Al Qaeda were it not for France’s selfish decision in 2014 to deploy counterterrorism troops to the country indefinitely (and to put them up regularly at the hotel that was attacked on Friday). Burkina Faso is extremely poor and fragile, but it’s working hard to secure its fledgling democracy. Burkina Faso doesn’t bother anyone or get involved in these matters, but France used its influence to meddle and endanger everyone there. This is spreading terror, not containing it.