I’m going to say something that might seem counterintuitive. It may also seem like I’m swiping at your political beliefs (regardless of what they are). I’m not going to get into the pros and cons of conservatism, liberalism, or progressivism as we tend to imagine them. I’m just going to make a point about stamina, in this case, the stamina of the progressive agenda as I understand it at the moment.
The greatest threat to progressive stamina right now isn’t from Donald Trump or Mitch McConnell, but from the predictable overreach of a certain set of so-called liberals who remain fundamentally detached from the experience of the American working class.
Overreaching on Roseanne doesn’t build capacity for basic universal income, even though the Connors would likely benefit from Bernie-Sanders-style economic policies. At the same time, I recognize that a progressive focus on class that doesn’t also speak to systemic racism is counterproductive and likewise problematic. That said, it bears repeating: when BLM protestors confronted Hillary Clinton during the 2016 primaries, she “explained” why they were “wrong” about her record, values, and agenda. When BLM protestors confronted Bernie Sanders, he sat down and ceded the stage. He literally gave them a platform. Maybe that’s too nuanced a distinction in an era of increasingly frenzied (if still anemic) values-signaling. Our current discourse is basically like Starbucks: overpriced, no real substance or nutrition, whipped and frothing in the hopes of producing an illusion of value for the sake of profit.
Feel free to discuss.
Note: Since I used Starbucks’ products as a metaphor, I should be very plain and clear: the incident in Philadelphia is all the proof anyone should need that systemic racism is deeply rooted and sinfully thriving. I’ll come back to this later today. Right now, I have to make an inventory run for the truck.
UPDATE: The Roseanne reference was made before the events that resulted in Roseanne Barr losing her television show. Here I’m speaking about earlier criticisms of the initial reboot that seemed misguided and underdeveloped. I don’t retract those concerns, even though Roseanne Barr (not Roseanne Connor) has since said things that have seriously undermined whatever point of view she may have shared with her fictional counterpart.