If You Were a Leftist Teenager During the Iraq War, You Were Gaslit 24/7 by Everyone
Holly Wood, PhD 🌹
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Yes, but no. Yes: gaslighting, crazy-making, David Brooks sucking big-time, news as theater. I felt the exact same way. No: “They’ve been wrong when it matters. I don’t trust them. Neither should you.” This is the kind of fallacy that will keep us all in our little silos and out of power. Interesting that you highlight Ezra Klein and Matthew Yglesias, who were *in college* when the war started and have since owned up to their giant mistakes. You want to tell me you didn’t have any stupid opinions, do anything pretty regrettable, when you were in college? I marched against the war in college, and I voted for Bernie, but the idea that anyone who made a mistake 14 years ago or criticized Bernie “can’t be trusted” is some pretty deluded and dangerous BS. There are no perfect saviors, including Bernie. There were legitimate concerns about all of the Democratic candidates, including Bernie, in terms of their feasibility as a national candidate. There are no perfect politicians/activists/writers, including you and me. Someone who stated an opinion you disagree with that one time does not make them an ultimate-and-forever villain. This kind of all-or-nothing thinking sounds like — surprise! — the logic that led us into the Iraq War in the first place. Remember “You’re with us, or you’re against us?” That’s you, now, in this column. You seem to be replicating the same logic of the abusers. Let it go, recognize the gray, and you will be a better writer and more successful activist because of it.

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