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      Week-end Wrap – Political Economy – March 19, 2023 by Tony Wikrent   Global power shift China Leads A Successful Middle East Summit Ian Welsh, March 16, 2023 Something which has slipped past most people’s radar is that China recently acted as the intermediary for peace talks between Iran and Saudi Arabia. The two countries have been at each other’s throats f […]
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Too much of a good thing.

I’m about to say something controversial.

If the left hadn’t come up with “Defund the Police”, the right would have created it for us.

I think I registered my caution at the time it happened.

I get what the intent was and I am fully behind Black Lives Matter. I’m not just saying that. I really mean it.

But that slogan was just damaging to the cause and I wasn’t behind that concept. At all. Demilitarize the police would have been my preference because it is much easier to explain and defend. In other words, let’s make sure the police don’t see the rest of us as the enemy. Let’s take the 9/11 terrorism alert mentality down a notch. Not all protestors are out to destroy the country. In fact, our biggest terrorism threats are white extremist and nationalism groups and that has been common knowledge among the FBI for more than a decade. It’s not black people.

There is some rather overdue criticism of “woke culture” lately that I think deserves attention. That is not to say that being woke and mindful of other peoples’ culture and experiences is a bad thing. It’s not. But there is something going on around wokeness that feels like something out of Mao Tse Dong’s Cultural Revolution.

I had a supervisor whose wife was a teenager during the Chinese Cultural Revolution and participated enthusiastically. In her case, she attacked any fashion item that smacked of western capitalism. She thought it was particularly educational to find someone wearing a nice pair of Levi’s and then squirt the button fly 501’s with a syringe of bleach. Yeah, imagine saving all the money you could scrounge, finding a way to smuggle in a pair of expensive jeans and then have some twerp destroy them in the name of culture.

Those kids were celebrated. And probably feared. They’re the kind of kids that make you sleep with one eye open.

Their method of compliance was shame. What are the chances you would wear those jeans again in public with big bleach marks on them? And if you had a pair of jeans that hadn’t been destroyed yet, the best thing to do would be to never wear them at all.

Shaming is a very powerful tool but weirdly enough, it’s only effective against the left. The right doesn’t seem to care about shame or at least we haven’t found their tender spots yet. The seemed to tolerate just about any criminal, unethical, immoral behavior that the big Orange could do. But we have a little army of cultural revolutionaries that are constantly shaming us and correcting even the smallest perceived infraction with demands to engage in public self-denunciation, re-education and endless apologies. How many times did we demand that Hillary Clinton apologize for living?

So, I direct your attention to Lindsay Ellis’s review of her “cancellation” by Twitter mob. It’s pretty long but worth the watch. Lindsay is a YouTube film critic and a best selling author. She is also about as far from a right wing, insensitive a-hole as you can possibly get. In this video, she reviews her “crimes” and does bend to pressure somewhat. I don’t think she needed to. But she also shows how painful it is when the mob doesn’t know your own background.

The other piece is a The Good Fight podcast interview of James Carville. He’s looking at this from a very broad perspective. You might not like it if you are looking to reform people on very specific issues to your particular and demanding specifications. Tough. That’s not the way to gain allies.

I will disagree with him to some degree. Living with people who aren’t like you, especially when it comes to religion or politics can be exhausting. I’ve had to do this my entire life and, I’m sorry, we all have our limits. Sometimes it would be such a relief if there were more members of the family who were less religious or conservative. At least there would be someone to talk to at wedding receptions who wouldn’t be blessing people or talking about how evil liberals are. Yeah, it would be nice if THOSE people took Carville’s advice.

Nevertheless, his broader message still stands. Love your neighbor and do your best. That goes for the Twitter mobs as well. Knock it off already guys.

There is a reason why the word “racist” is banned in the comment section of this blog. It’s because we were bludgeoned by that word during the 2008 campaign by the Obama contingent. There were many reasons why we became opposed to Obama over time. Mostly this had to with his lack of experience, lack of reason for running for president, lack of a political coalition, lack of a coherent message that he didn’t steal from Hillary Clinton and something that came across to the rest of us as empty aspirationalism instead of content. Plus, his campaign and its operatives were quite willing to bend the party to its will with some heavy psy ops when it wasn’t intentionally burning down the house by jettisoning the “old coalition” of working class and women for the “new coalition” of eggheads and African Americans. It was not a formula that could last past the Obama years, as we saw in advance and were later proven to be correct.

One of the most disgusting things the Obama campaign did was accuse anyone who didn’t support Obama as being racist. It didn’t matter if we objected to policy, or campaign behavior or sucking up to Wall Street or his lack of concern for the displaced in the wake of the financial collapse of 2008, we were all racists. They told us that we just objected to him because he was black. It’s sort of the equivalent of telling us that we objected to Trump extorting a foreign country and corrupting the justice department because he’s a strong guy who makes the libs cry. That’s what Obama’s operatives did. They took focus away from policy and behaviors and made it all personal prejudice. As a consequence, they put us in a box with all the right wingers and White supremacists and plutocrats. They attempted to shame us into compliance. Is it any wonder why Democrats lost a good chunk of the working class that they didn’t think they needed and came back to bite them in the ass?

So one day, we said f\{} that s%*% with calling us racists. We’re not going to fight on their turf. That’s not who we are and we’re not going to let some commenters assigned to getting this blog in line and lock step push us around. So, we banned the word. You couldn’t just knee jerk accuse people of racism in the comments. You had to describe the action you didn’t like. It turned out it wasn’t about racism.

As Carville says, words are very important. It’s been the policy of this blog to mean what you say and say what you mean. Don’t use memes and slogans like “neoliberal” because no one has defined what that means except it is unpleasant and can be hurled at anything a mindless lefty doesn’t like. If you can’t describe it in simple terms that show you grasp the concept, then don’t use it. And if you abide by the “keep it simple stupid” and love your neighbor (or try to no matter how tiresome it is) rules, you shouldn’t have anything to apologize for.

We are trying to be good allies. People should remember that before they engage in shaming. On the other hand, if the left didn’t invent shaming by wokeness, the right would have to invent it.

Something to think about.