Wednesday, May 9, 2018


In the far far away time called the naughts, there was an actually existing left but you'd be forgiven for failing to identify it anywhere within sight. Despite organizing massive ongoing protests, they were scrambling for crumbs, praising minor victories by severely compromised neoliberals awash in corporate cash during a time of major bipartisan consensus. The mere idea of "resistance" was shunned by the Adults-In-The-Room whose realpolitik was happy to horseshoe anyone who thought the state shouldn't murder civilians or that people should have healthcare into the same bucket as people who murdered abortion doctors and thought gay adoption would cause the rapture.

In the midst of this was Dennis Kucinich, a man whose platform has largely been adopted by progressive democrats now, but who was mercilessly mocked by an "end-of-history" consortium of a nominally opposition party pants-shittingly afraid of anyone even calling them “liberal”. No one from the Democratic establishment would touch Kucinich with a ten foot pole during his major primary runs, unless it was to further burrow him into the ground. Media outlets, when they weren't mercilessly shitting on him, were denying him entry to things, events which they’d gladly confer airtime to pitiful primary candidates like Dick Gephardt (you see, Ambien Frankensteins like John Kerry and genuine sleaze like John Edwards were the REAL candidates). Even those who basically agreed with everything Kucinich said made staunch arguments against him, citing electability and the pulse of the nation (I literally heard people say no one would ever vote for him because he's vegan).

Even Jon Stewart, in a rancidly dated clip, mocked him for suggesting that he might appoint a transgender supreme court justice ("All rise for the honorable chick with dick"). Another segment by resistance hero Samantha Bee went to a small New Jersey house party to guffaw at a crowd of mostly women who had the audacity to support a campaign based on peace rather than endless warfare. The hitjob showed her visibly repulsed by an apology letter written to the people of Iraq "in Arabic" (ostensibly for war crimes we'd committed in the region), ending the segment by saying that the whole affair made her want to kill herself.

As the pretty ludicrous debate over Joy Reid's homophobic blog posts has recently brought to light, this aversion to difference was once all-too-commonplace, even among people we now think of as allies. Don't think that our sudden trend towards wokeness and populist policies might not be sold down the river immediately in the name of reconciliation with President Pence. As the DACA sellout proved, there’s always a disposable contingent whose urgent needs will be up for negotiation. In fact, most figures from this era, who not long ago argued that gay marriage was a "distraction" and overturning the patriot act was "unviable" still hold broad power and influence.

We're in an era where impossible things happen almost daily so be sure to take a long hard look at whether something that does not seem achievable may be important to support anyway before you defer to those who lack the vision and urgency to see what the future demands.

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