Why I hate politics
The public is not uninformed, the public is well mis-informed- Kevin Hague
The center is oscillating between empathy and anger. Unless it confronts the challenges, it will continue to wallow. What do I mean?
A politician/activist, who sweated blood for a Remain vote or a Hillary Clinton presidency, committing an unconvincing volte-face is empathy. A politician/activist who embraces a revivalist mindset is anger. What’s clear is that the center is exasperated. Unable to cut through, unable to persuade, and not allowed to be heard or listened to. Thus, many have decided to take to these paths. A perfect example empathy is West Yorkshire M.P Yvette Cooper. She has integrity and a strong moral compass. What annoys me is her over interpretation of the result (lower migration/communitarian economy). Many M.Ps have trashed cosmopolitan shibboleths to regain trust, knowing that it’s against the long-term national interests. This volte-face is well meaning, but harmful because it infantilizing and cynical. A perfect example of anger is exhibited by A.C Grayling (Maugham, Applebaum et al). Extremely intelligent and clearly the best and brightest. While they are much more knowledgeable about “what’s going on”, their snarky anger speaks volumes. They don’t hate leave voters, but the cultural and social factors feeding Brexit. They are right to dislike public ignorance and intransigence, but are wrong to assume delusion. Many of them will express their anger through art and science, defend Europe against nasty brits, and play Judy to Punch. Ultimately, most are satisfied to fightback. Pro Europeans will have to go beyond snark and schadenfreude.
There is no substitute to confronting problems, just as there is no substitute to healthy eating. A cosmopolitan “fightback” with passionate paeans and witty rebuttals will not work. There is no brilliant speech, no powerful rally, and no electoral machine that will revoke Brexit or even soften it. Neither would accepting the communitarian mandate help. What will help is confronting people’s problems. Listen to people’s anger and learn from it. Don’t use their anger to promote your ideas. Most of all, don’t project your own prejudices and insecurity on people’s anger. Otherwise the question won’t be “What’s best for the nation” (where Pro-Europeans can win) it will be “Who best embodies the country” or “who will fight for the country.”