A Post Election Essay by a Liberal


Let’s just call this person the Crappy Activist, since the actual blog title does not conform to Craft Blog standards:

After the election, I had hoped that activists would finally realize the failure of many of their current tactics and do some soul searching to figure out how to become more effective in the future. Instead, I’ve seen the opposite: a sharp uptick in pointless and usually unjustified name calling, an almost complete avoidance of any personal responsibility, and a dreary, dismal humorlessness.

Based on my observations, I’m sad to report that most (though not all!) activism in the U.S. has devolved into little more than feel-good symbolic rallies, ineffective online petitions, and endless social media blathering whose purpose almost seems to be to avoid taking the very actions that could result in a win. I hate to say it, but my honest belief is that the single greatest threat to activism is activists themselves.

Amen.  I think the activists of today are mostly activist role playing.  They are like historical re-creators, reliving some long-lost conflict by dressing up and shouting “power to the people.”

They are as effective as Renaissance Faire actors.feelings_cartoon_dailysignal

Having been denied the opportunity to protest Vietnam, or even the Bush wars [they were too young]  and having been told not to protest the drone strikes by Obama, they jumped into BLM and Occupy Wall Street with glee. Raising awareness became more important than accomplishing something.  Enforcing conformity of speech and thought became even more important.

Did all this lose the election for Hillary?  I dunno.  I think letting those guys die in Benghazi mattered.  I think promising to continue or accelerate the Obama policies mattered.  Eight years of being told the economy was improving, while middle-aged former middle managers retired or went to work at Burger King, that mattered. Being Hillary mattered.

Oh hell.  That last one mattered a lot.

Advertisements

5 thoughts on “A Post Election Essay by a Liberal

  1. onwyrdsdream

    “Based on my observations, I’m sad to report that most (though not all!) activism in the U.S. has devolved into little more than feel-good symbolic rallies, ineffective online petitions, and endless social media blathering whose purpose almost seems to be to avoid taking the very actions that could result in a win.”

    When he used most rather than all, it guaranteed it wouldn’t have any effect. The people reading will take the most convenient interpretation for themselves, claiming that sure, group a and b may be ineffectual, but our cowboy poetry changes lives. Worse, they’ll chunk things that have some effect in the useless bucket, due to selection bias. Should have just said all current, even if it was a slight exaggeration, due to the makeup of his audience.

    Though since it doesn’t hurt me if they’re ineffectual I won’t repost there.

    Like

    Reply
    1. theshittyactivist

      I don’t believe that “all” activism has failed. I want to critique the stuff that doesn’t work while encouraging the stuff that does.

      However, you are probably right that people will just assume their activism doesn’t fall into that category.

      But maybe…just maybe, a bit of doubt will seed itself in their mind. Meanwhile, if I had condemned all activism, people would’ve just shut off immediately.

      Like

      Reply
  2. theshittyactivist

    Thanks for reposting and commenting on the piece. I personally believe there are still many things to “fight” against, I just think that a lot of activism has become about feeling good over doing good.

    So, as you say, people are playing the role of activist without really trying to accomplish anything. In fact, I would argue that a lot of them are afraid of real change, but want to assuage their own guilt from sitting idle.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. Dave Alexander (formerly ukuleledave) Post author

      The right actually will be respectful of left-leaning protests, providing they are peaceful, and not built on a straw man argument. We are very, very tired of being accused of racism, evil, ignorance, etc. That may be the whole election, actually. The campus protesters at Missouri and Yale will be activists (or baristas) in the real world shortly. Yet they seemed so rigid. Brittle, even.

      Thank you for coming here. You’re welcome to stay and see how the other side thinks. Disagree — and notice that at least on this blog, we don’t shout each other down. (Some of the boys were pretty tough on a very far left French blogger a few months back, but we’ve calmed down since then.)

      Like

      Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s