The American Left Sucks At Collaboration
Caitlin Johnstone

In my observation over the last two years, there are two kinds of people involved in speaking to the current political situation: those who content themselves being outraged over TRUMP!!! and those who are actually getting off their butts and doing something. It is also my observation that the former are rabid in attacking the latter whenever the latter dare to refuse to participate in the media-coordinated obsession with one man while his cronies not only clean out the henhouse but it down and run off with the boards and fencing.

Caity and I don’t always agree, but when we don’t I state my case politely and offer reasons. I don’t attack her personally, nor does my blood pressure spike even when I consider her egregiously off-base. She, as do all of us, is entitled to both her opinion and the right to express it so long as she’s not inciting anyone to violence. That we (and a major independent journalism site like CounterPunch) continue to obsess on this ONE THING says to me the subject matter is less important than undermining the reputation of the writer.

That said, the human urge to defend oneself against snark is difficult to resist, but in these times such resistance is vital. If I had ten bucks for every time I failed to do so and started typing a reply, only to stop, take a deep breath and delete, I could afford Starbucks.

I will also suggest people go look up the definition of the term “hyperbole.” There are times when one is writing in hope of stirring people out of their torpor when extreme examples are made NOT because the writer actually expects people to act on them but simply to get their attention. As an editor, I will say in this particular case the chosen example could have been better, but when you’re writing sans an editor that happens. I’ve done it, and I’ve BEEN an editor for almost 40 years. It’s also one of the things that frustrates me about the growing community of independent journalists—that absence of editing—but that’s a discussion for another time.

How about we all stop fussing over this and move on. We all have better things to do, and the GOP is about to not only scrap the CFSB ban on arbitration clauses but render the agency unable to re-enact it. Ever. That means if your TBTF bank decides to open a new account in your name without your knowledge (cf. Wells Fargo) and then charges you money for it, your only recourse will be a hearing with one of their lawyers.

For the last three decades, the US citizenry (as well as in other countries—globalization knows no boundaries) has been brainwashed by the media, including TV and film, into being focused on minutiae. It requires an active effort to retrain oneself to recognize distraction and manipulation, and it saddens me that several formerly reliable independent news sources appear to be embracing that same distraction now as well. Dependent as most are on public support, it’s going to be up to us to ensure the plutocrats don’t co-opt them by making donations whenever we can.

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