Usually on Facebook, I see tirades & hatchet-jobs against “the left,” as if it were a monolith of theoretical conformity rather than a cacophony of disparate voices including everything from crazy-pants kooks to war-mongers to the marvelous activists involved in building antiwar protests, Palestinian solidarity, women’s rights, LGBT rights, civil rights, immigrant rights. There just isn’t much cohesion among them—at least not consistently & not nationally & most don’t operate in groups but as freelance activists.
Activists don’t get much respect so those considered the authoritative voices of the left are celebrity academics & journalists who usually don’t have more than forty hours of activism between them & just as often talk through their hats—just because they can & still get honoraria.
There hasn’t been a current on the left for a long time—we’re talking decades–that is rooted in theory, committed to activism, & democratic to the marrow. That’s just a fact which for the present has no resolution. So when I read the damnations of “the left,” I always wonder who the hell from all of the above are they talking about? Usually it’s the one who don’t agree with them.
Overnight, with the election of Trump, commentators from “the left” are taking their revenge with a fury. There’s an overload today of attacks on liberals, inexplicably indicting them without mercy for the presidency of Trump, for having the temerity to be as shocked as the rest of us that Trump won & for protesting yesterday against him. One left commentator called the teen protesters the “Zombie Apocalypse Protesters” & demanded to know where they were in 2008. Eight years ago, most of them were in grade school, that’s where they were.
You kind of give yourself away when you go after liberals like that. Anyone active in the social movements knows that liberals make up the majority of activists. That’s true of civil rights, women’s rights, & all the social movements. Not only do they make up the majority of activists, but they’re the ones who bankroll those movements through donations, large & small. It gets worse. When you organize a demonstration, the majority of those showing up to oppose war or defend human rights are none other than liberals. They’re everywhere in social justice movements. You can’t shake them. They’re determined to change the world. Damn fools!
So while those Zombies were out protesting the social hatreds promoted by Trump, “the left” were denouncing them for all manner of crimes committed before the Zombies were even born.
I think I’m getting it now. I think I want to be a liberal.