Friday, April 10, 2020

Oh god, not more politics

There is nothing more condescending than people online going "sorry your candidate lost, Bernie fans. Now, all aboard the Biden train! Toot toot!" People who say this seem to not understand that Sanders supporters have, like, an actual ideology that goes beyond "go team!" Has there been some cultish behavior around Sanders? Sure, of course. It's inevitable. But fundamentally, it's really not about Sanders as a person; it's about wanting actual substantive left change in this stupid fucking cruel and horrible country. And to just blithely glide over people's concern that a real moment has been lost: you're treating politics like sports, is what you're doing. Your candidate lost! Too bad for you, but that's just the rough-and-tumble nature of politics! Time to get with the winner!

To which I say: I'll vote for Biden. Don't worry your pretty little head about it. But, I hate to break it to you, this isn't how it works. Demanding that voters reconcile themselves to a candidate they find deeply distasteful is not a winning electoral strategy. Biden needs to appeal to us; to convince us that he does understand our concerns and is willing to make at least a serious effort to assuage them and prove he's not as calcified as he looks (and, not that this post is really about specifics, but "I'll lower the medicare age to sixty!" is not a promising step in the right direction). And when you say that people mockingly go "me me me, it's all about me, with you people! You must support Biden for the good of the country!" and yeah okay, I'm not crazy, I recognize the need to get rid of Trump, but at the same time, you need to recognize that, like it or not, yelling at people is not an effective strategy to make them change their behavior.

But here's what's really maddening about this: "we" chose Biden because "we" apparently thought he was the most "electable" candidate (I know I say this a lot, but let me reiterate: I think the concept of "electability" is hot garbage. Nonetheless, it's what we did). "We" did this, and yet by the way you're hectoring disappointed leftists, it's totally obvious that you knew damn well that he doesn't have the universal appeal that you claim to have believed he had. So, as always, you just assumed that we should be the ones to have to eat shit: it's never ever the alleged moderates: it's always, always us. Your calculation of electability was "he'll appeal to the moderates, and we can just browbeat the people with real ideologies into supporting him."

Well...I hope it works. That is simultaneously a sarcastic and an absolutely serious statement. Because, yes, now that we're in this situation we really do have no chance to dance with them what brung us and I know that and most Sanders supporters know that and you know it damn well too and I hate it and it's maddening but here we are. But I will tell you, even if Biden wins in November--which given what a hideous malevolent sucking void Trump is still seems like a strong possibility--this can't go on forever. Electing crappy milquetoast Democrats in the face of demonic Republican nihilists is not a sustainable strategy. And I actually care about that. Do you?

See, this is why I generally just write about operas these days. They're much less emotionally charged.


Blogger Pan Miluś pontificated to the effect that...

I heared opinion of some people from USA left who are planning not to vote as they feel Biden is as poor option as Trump as they either find him less competent then Trump (despite politically being on the same side) or don’t agree with Biden on any policies.

8:13 AM  

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