Kissing Off the Melancholy of the Left

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We’re about halfway into this Presidential election. You’ve been keeping up with me longer than anyone knew I’d be a thing to keep up with. But here we are, you and me.

How’s it going?

The reason I started blogging at all was how desperately I needed to talk to other people about the reproduction of inequality. Not as an academic, but as a human being who feels injustice the way anyone else might feel the weather.

I suspect there are many others like me out there, those who can’t anymore choke down pills and beer and Netflix to numb themselves to systemic awful. They’ve reached the limit of bullshit. They can’t hold anymore in.

Barack Obama is leaving office with a very high approval rating. This should be a moment for the Left to upgrade their game and demand a bigger mandate. We should be expanding Medicare to everyone. We should be making concrete policy goals to eliminate homelessness, democratize education, and fight climate change. We should be making bigger demands right now and yet a nation of people are voting for the woman who says no, we can’t. No, we can’t have $15 an hour. No, we can’t have a public option. No, we can’t stop the human war.

Hillary is not a Leftist. Whatsoever. I know there are Liberals who will say she is to the left of Trump, but what good is that if her policies are inherently conservative? They literally conserve the status quo. They are not pushing the agenda to the Left; they are ensuring political inaction.

Voices who want to offer criticism of the Clintons’ abuses of power have no platform. Watching MSNBC this year, you could literally watch Maddow and Hayes bite their tongues in an effort to keep their jobs as those critical of Clinton lose theirs. And you can’t tell what’s objective and what’s paid for anyway now that chairmen of Hillary’s super PACs, such as Paul Begala, can report the news on CNN every single night.

The need to justify injustice inspires the need for magicians, like Begala. He’s a one-man spin factory who CNN turns to deflect criticism of Clinton. That’s all he does. Every night. As the chairman of a pro-Hillary Super PAC.

Granted, they’re not that hard to see through once you know what you’re looking for, but if you’ve been following this for long, we’re fighting a monsoon of bullshit. This is why in lieu of policy analysis, all we’re getting is delegate math. This is why primaries are presented like sports matches and not as significance contests with human issues at stake. We are delivered impoverished rhetoric. We have no space with which to broach the politics of morality, justice, and vision.

The circus is pale.

The political discourse is kept just shallow enough that any white guy with 20 minutes of media coaching can sound confident selling us bullshit. There’s no pushback. Not really. You can’t push back on a panel where Anderson Cooper is just collecting 15-second platitudes from eight talking heads.

Now, here’s where things get interesting. At this point, in a rant like this, someone responds to these complaints with, “Well, that’s how it always is. What can you do.”

Right, we need to stop saying that. We need to start wedging critique into everything you consume. You need to be asking why. You need to be pushing back. You need to throw off this melancholy acceptance and realize you’re not powerless. You probably know more than you think and should find the pale circus insulting to your intelligence.

Or at least, this is what I told myself when I started writing.

No, I have no idea what I’m doing. All I know is that my heart hurts all the time and the only thing that has ever made me feel better is finding people who care as much as I do about making justice happen.

I write not because I’m an expert, I write because I’m trying to find you.

And if you’re out there looking for me, there are others out there looking for you.

Keep yelling.