David Neiwert, who’s a like-minded inspiration to me, has something to say on Facebook. You may not be surprised to know that I agree with every word of it. In fact, if I had penned two books on the subject instead of blogging incessantly about it, I could have written the following myself:
Friends may have noticed that I have become very cranky of late on the subject of voting for Hillary Clinton in the general election. Put into simple terms: If you are a #NeverHillary voter — or a Trump voter, which in the end is the same thing — just unfriend me now. You are not a friend of mine.
I have spent the past 14 years trying to warn the public about the proto-fascist threat coming down the road at us through the auspices of the increasingly radicalized conservative movement and its official organ, the Republican Party. I’ve even published two books describing this threat — five and six years before it actually emerged.
During that time, I’ve received fair amounts of praise from my fellow progressives for the work I’ve done exposing these trends, and lots of pats on the head. But what I’ve noticed is that many progressives are only interested in using this information as a hammer for bashing conservatives with, rather than taking seriously the underlying issues it exposes, particularly the progressive abandonment of rural areas. And I know that, when I’m not around, a lot of these progressives have been happy to characterize me as an alarmist.
Well, now those trends have all come home to roost, and that “alarmism” has proven precisely accurate. The warnings have come true in no small part not just because conservatives drove their bus over the cliff, but because many progressives — especially those in institutional progressive organizations — did not take them seriously either, and took few steps to address the underlying dynamic. And this is especially true of the leftist ideologues who seem to think that all you have to do is magically elect a progressive president and everything will be better, because their failures to keep the ball rolling in between presidential elections led to the rise of the Tea Party and the enshrinement of the radicalization of the American right.
And now these same, clueless progressives are insisting that — even with the steam train of extremist right-wing populism, the historical foundation of all fascist movements, heading straight towards them in the form of the Trump candidacy — their Purity of Essence will keep them from ever voting for the last remaining politician capable of keeping him from attaining the presidency.
Look, I support the Sanders campaign’s desire to take their movement into the convention, since I support most components of their agenda (though not all). I think progressives need to push the Clinton camp leftward — not just now, but after the election too. You’ll not hear me disparage the Sanders campaign and its doggedness.
But if you can’t understand that a Donald Trump presidency would be an extinction-level event for American democracy — and especially if you are so fanatically blinkered that you think that Clinton and Trump are actually comparable or similar — then you have neither paid any attention to the matters that I’ve spent the past 14 years focused on, and/or you simply have no respect for it. You are, on a very deep level, no friend of mine.
So you can just go hit that “Unfriend” button now. Because if you don’t, I will get around to it eventually.
It’s not going too far to say that this neatly summarizes my entire political outlook and the reason I’ve been blogging for over ten years instead of doing something more lucrative that might put some money in my bank account.