Sunday, January 22, 2017

The left needs to get back in touch with reality

Yes, marches are good, but don't be so quick to pat yourself on the back if you aren't ready to truly engage with the political process. Remember "Occupy?" Yeah. Let's not end up like that.

The most important part of this is for the left to get in touch with reality. The left has been hijacked by philosophy and fantasy, by this idea that thinking the right things and believing the right things is enough to make the right things happen. Well, guess what? The Secret doesn't fucking work. This is not how reality works.

STOP putting your self image above the harsh realities of others' lives. Don't sit here and tell me that black lives matter but then refuse to vote, or vote for somebody you know can't win because you can't sully your perfect self image with a vote for somebody so imperfect as Hillary Clinton. Do you understand what that means when you do that? It means that your perfect little image of what a wonderful, worldly, enlightened person you think you are is more important than stopping the WORST candidates who will do the most damage to those black lives that you claim matter… Or those queer lives or those Muslim lives or those female lives or those poor lives. Understand what you've done and what you encouraged others to do, apologize, grow up, get working! This is how you change things in reality.

Showing up in a pink hat is not going to do jack shit if you don't understand what really happened or you don't commit to making a real difference. Pay attention to what's going on in your local government. Local government is often a test ground for federal government. If you're so naïve to think that what happens in, say, Iowa, just stays in Iowa, you've got to get back to reality. These politicians all talk to each other, they all know each other, they operate like any other business. A lot of them aren't even from the places that they represent, so what does that tell you? They don't care about you and your district and your community. They care about their careers. This is how it works. It's not ideal, but it is reality.

Contest unfair legislation. Write your Congress people. Write your local government representatives. Write charitable organizations. If you had extra money, donate it to charitable organizations that you know make a difference. Pay attention to your local politicians, both the Republicans and the Democrats. You can be critical of left wing politicians, but don't make it your personal mission to trash them. None of them are perfect. Everyone knows the politics is a notoriously corrupt establishment… Don't act like the people that you have more in common with our magically not corrupt. Don't elevate politicians to hero status or angel status. Realize that they are going to fuck up sometimes but make a list of fuck ups and support the ones who fuck up the least. This is reality.

Above all VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE! Vote in your local elections. A lot of states, cities, counties have mailing lists that will let you know about whatever is going on and will notify you about things you can vote on. Sign up for it. Offer to give rides to people to the polls. Offer to help pay for people to get ID cards so they can go to the polls. Vote for candidates that can actually win, who may be imperfect. Look at all of the imperfections of Donald Trump and millions of people still voted for him anyway because they knew he could win. They didn't vote for Jeb Bush because he was a better candidate and a better all-around human being.

Politics is a dirty business and if you're not prepared to get your hands dirty, then go home, shut up, let the grown-ups do this. Get back to reality.

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