March 13, 2016
I’m beginning a new practice of posting quick notes and thoughts, short works in progress, as I consider topics of the day. This is the first one.
Nothing brings out the venom and divisions like an American election. I’m deeply, deeply critical of Hillary Rodham Clinton, and not that impressed with either Bernie Sanders or the American electoral system. This is, according to the popular wisdom of the day, a terrible and even untenable position: I must believe in one or the other. All of this is inevitably accompanied by a great deal of finger-wagging, something I’m familiar with as a long-time critic of mainstream gay politics and of Obama.
I'm seeing a lot of pompous windbags on the purported left complain about how some of are just too "ultraleft.” They demand to know: how dare those of us who claim to be "radicals" tell the rest that perhaps the visions they aim for are simply not enough, not daring enough, that the "lesser of two evils" argument is shit, or that electoral politics are not where we focus our energy. We are told, over and over, that we are simply spoilt brats, in essence, and that we simply don't care enough, and so on, and why don't we actually *do* something. Of course, all this comes from people enmeshed in and enamoured of a deeply corrupt and flawed "election" system which is really the silliest in the world: Hey, your vote counts except, like, you know, at the very end -- when it totally doesn't.
It should come as no surprise that many of these potshots about those of us called "ultra lefties" and silly radicals are hurled by people safely ensconced in secure jobs, in and out of academia, who make a living off their punditry. Which is fine, really it is, but at least have the honesty to admit that your criticisms are more about hoarding and shoring up your social cachet as We Who Speak Truth and not the result of actual engagement with our ideas. Funny how you like to dismiss the rest of us as being too dismissive -- in the most dismissive ways.
If it is blood and snark and ultra lefty arguments you seek, along with several critiques of all the nonsense you see around you in what will prove to be an intense and, I think, heartbreaking (because I already see friendships ending, including some of my own) election: You are in the right place, darlings. Fasten your seatbelts.
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