Trigger Words, Call-Outs, Normalizing – and Hillary


Hillary has been in the news the past ten days. With her new book. I read another article which nibbles around the edges of why she failed. The nibbling effect is not new. It is a phenomenon which, in my opinion, distorts much of modern political discussion: fake rationale; fake polemic.

In the case of Hillary, we feel ourselves constrained from simply saying she was a bad candidate, who came to the table with way too much baggage, who simply did not understand that way too many people were way too angry to think straight. Why? Because to attack Hillary makes us, in some quarters, sexist. Period.

By the same token, we can’t trash Medicare-for-all, because some will say it is merely a veiled attack on progressives. Or that we are not idealists. It is a moral issue. And if we dare to speak a word against it, we are Neanderthal pragmatists, who care nothing about the disadvantaged. No room is granted to us to argue that maybe the middle-class just do not want another tax hike at the moment.

If we dare to mention white policemen who are shot by blacks, when considering young, black males who suffer unacceptable violence at the hands of white police officers, we are branded supremacists. If we advance solutions to curb the excesses of law enforcement. But also wonder if it is reasonable to review the behavior of those breaking the law in the first place. We are labeled racists.

If we argue that maybe it is better to focus on winning, in order to be best placed to help those who are disadvantaged. Rather than pleasing ourselves by advancing a platform that makes us feel good. We are condemned as sell-outs, corporatists and Trump-wannabe’s.

Trigger politics and call-outs have smothered open political debate. New words, new concepts like ‘normalizing’ censor contribution, even before one’s mouth has opened.

I am an irredeemable supporter of genuine free speech. I truly believe that folks are stronger and more intelligent than sometimes we give them credit. I think the electorate, any electorate can handle hearing the greatest possible range of political views. And can then make up its own mind. Without the need for political-police overreaction. We can’t have meaningful political debate if we keep introducing unrealistic parameters.

I’m not saying there are no absolutes. But our absolutes have become too restrictive. More and more, they allow less and less by way of genuine diversity. Of permissible difference of opinion.

Our need to prevail. Becomes so paramount. That we become the very authoritarians we say we despise.

We appear before the UN and talk freedom and sovereign nation states. While calling for the obliteration of the freedom of a couple of sovereign nation states.

We demand the freedom to be who we are. While standing by silently as black-hooded thugs beat the crap out of someone peacefully demanding their right to be who they are.

We say we want certain words made triggers, to be denied and erased. Not because they cause any actual harm. But because they might prevent our words being heard on their own.

We refuse to countenance examining all the issues involved in finding a solution to a problem, because we have invented an –ism that excludes certain considerations.

This may be amusing. It may be idealistic. But it isn’t very practical.

Oh. And I do not think Hillary lost because she was a woman. Or because she was misunderstood. Or because the media is run by corporations. Or because of Russia, Comey or Julian Assange.

I think she lost because she was a dinosaur from the past, a candidate past her sell-by date, someone who simply did not grasp the political changes that came to the fore in 2016.

And saying this does not make me a sexist, a Republican or a sell-out.

Facebook comments here.

Published in: on September 23, 2017 at 1:44 pm  Leave a Comment  

The URI to TrackBack this entry is:

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: