Tuesday, June 23, 2020

How Not to Build the Left

Free David Shor! Or at least give the poor data analyst a job, since he's been fired and now ostracized for the thought-crime of promoting the idea, based on an excellent study by political science professor Omar Wasow, that maybe riots associated with social movements do more harm than good. You can read the sorry details in this piece by Jonathan Chait that reveals the bizarre attacks leveled against Shor by those now intent on policing the left against such thought-crimes.
This is madness. These kinds of attacks, cancellations and firings should have no place in the progressive movement and all those involved should be thoroughly ashamed of themselves. This is not how you build an effective mass movement for change. On the contrary, this is how you undercut it at a moment when the public is quite open to large-scale change. Really, who wants to join a movement which utilizes such Orwellian tactics to deal with political disagreement? Well, some do I guess but most will check out the moment they get a whiff of this stuff.
The fact of the matter is that there is an emerging progressive coalition in this country--call it the Biden coalition--which has a fair chance of routing Trump and Trumpism and rebuilding our sorry country. This emerging coalition reaches far, far beyond the metropolitan woke and the feverish name-calling they marinate themselves in. These "normies", hailing from all parts of this very large country, want their country back and are not interested in giving it to an intolerant left. That left must lose that intolerance and realize it's a part and only a part of this much larger coalition.
Then, get to work on the hard task of actually persuading people that progressive solutions are the best ones for the country's problems. That's how you build the left.
A case study in why the White Fragility rules don’t work.

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