Sunday, September 30, 2012

Because bitching on the internets changes everything

Shorter this guy: Pragmatic liberals are being mean to me because I have unrealistic expectations so I going to whine about their lack of purity and call them names. No idea who he is, but he called Doug J a Manichean monster.

I'm so tired of self-proclaimed hippies claiming to be punched because they didn't get the damn pony they expected, much less the unicorn they dreamed of and practical liberals point out that's not a realistic goal. Probably shouldn't have bothered but I left the woebegone "lifelong" pacifist this in his comments:
I see this long post that tells me what perfect outcomes you want, but I don't see is what ARE you doing to get there besides bitching on the internet? And please don't tell me you're punishing the lesser evil side by withholding your vote, because all that does in reality is give the more evil party the implicit consent to do whatever they want.

You want a third party alternative, then you have to commit to working every single day for years to build one that presents a viable challenge. And you need to accept that you sometimes have to make tradeoffs. Take small progress over grand changes. And even that you might not live long enough to see the results of your work.
But that's too much effort. Much easier to proclaim principled dissent as an excuse for laziness. Meanwhile, we're watching decades worth of actual progressive policies being systemically destroyed because no Democratic hero stepped up to deliver their demands instantly and single-handedly. These "principled hippies" think it's okay to let that happen because, that'll show the man he's not the boss of them.

They don't seem to realize people fought hard for the rights they benefit from today. They fought for years, over multiple adminstrations. Hell, many gave their lives to win the incremental changes that led to larger and better outcomes over time. It's not that I don't have any empathy for guys like this whiner. I do. But if they want things to change they need to focus on the small victories and build on them instead of overdosing on the emo in a transparent bid for validation for their world view.

[More posts daily at the Detroit News.]

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Blogger Marcellina said...


2:45:00 AM  
Blogger Marcellina said...

Oh, and, this, if you have not yet seen it.

3:17:00 AM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

Seen many excerpts but not the whole piece. Thanks.

9:15:00 AM  
Blogger danps said...

Something I've been trying to get across - and by "get across" I mean firing off random emails and blog comments when I think of it - is that the kind of systemic change people like Freddie are looking for won't come at the presidential level. It will take lots of efforts at lots of local levels.

When the "moral majority" types began their ascent in the early 80s it was by winning school board and city council seats, not moon shot presidential runs. They were animated by a big picture vision, but they played small ball. And they played it well enough to make a lot of the big picture stuff succeed.

So those who are talking about third parties now (I pinged Erik to this effect over the weekend) could really be expected to spend some time highlighting the kind of local efforts that can - eventually, many years down the road - create the kind of political space for a third party to grow.

And full disclosure: I happen to think my blog is a place where exactly that kind of activity is being highlighted. The fight against fracking shows, among other things, signs of nascent political activity. We're going to council meetings, scouring legal notices in the local paper, pressing state regulatory agencies to be more responsive, and so on.

That kind of thing is not as exciting to write about (or God knows participate in) as the presidential election, but it is where any third party that eventually emerges will come from.

The relative lack of attention on that from those griping about the two main choices on offer is telling to me. I understand the dissatisfaction, but I don't understand the reluctance to start working the territory where the solution lies.

10:31:00 AM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

Dan, those are wise words. You're one of the very most effective activists I've ever known. Every day I thank the gods that you're on our side.

11:11:00 AM  

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