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== Fear isn't the 'mind-killer." It's passion! ==
All right, I do return to this. But there is a common trait shared by all of those who are propelling us into civil war. Those who are tearing us apart with passion.
As I said in the linked TEDdish talk, sanctimonious indignation is the mind poison shared far too widely across all spectra of politics and society, having very little to do with how justified (or not) your cause may be. It holds for to ALL of those who think it’s helpful to be “mad as hell!” ….
Okay yes, sure, there are good aspects to being passionate, especially in fighting against evil! We have the trait for good reasons. But it is all too easy for passion to become far more a mind-killer than mere fear.
I'm talking about when your passion takes over, blocking all ability to carefully evaluate your foes, especially their weaknesses, and thus you become less capable at defeating them. When feeling good about your righteousness becomes more important than achieving stated goals - that's sanctimony. When the voluptuous roar of your subjectivity makes you spurn (with malice) any application of objective reality.
When you are unable to recite the catechism of reasonableness: "I am at-most 90% right and my enemies are at-most 99% wrong." Which distills down to the sacred epigram of science: "I just might be mistaken."
== Where the mind-killer is most virulent ==
First, let’s address the by-far-worst infection: the entire Mad Right. Dig it, MAGAs and confederates and Fox-puppets: not one of your incantation memes would survive close, fact-based scrutiny and you know it.
That is the definition of insanity.
But far worse: your refusal to wager over your howl-memes is the very definition of dishonorable cowardice. Your dads and grampas would disown you, if they saw how all of you weasel, when dared to bet on your blowhard spews.
Many of your lie-memes are concocted in Kremlin basements (who else would want you screaming “deep state!” hatred at every single American fact-using profession, now including even the U.S. military officer corps?) Of course you must clutch all the lies passionately, because the slightest glimmer of reason will shatter them.
This means there are simply no sane American Republicans left. Even those who are calm-of-tone and who claim to regret Donald Trump are still complicit in their cult’s all-out War on Folks Who Know Stuff and against every single fact-using profession. There are no incantations or magic spells to cancel or excuse that crime.
(We’ll see in a matter of days whether an honest version of US conservatism still has a place in American political life… manifest in Joe Manchin, if he comes through re: those vital bills, this month. If he does, then live with him, the way Lincoln and Grant accepted help from patriotic southerners who donned blue and fought for the Union. Grit… your… teeth and accept the miracle of a Democratic Senator from the reddest state in the nation, who ousted Moscow Mitch as majority leader and made Liz and Bernie committee chairs. That is... show some acceptance IF he eventually comes through. I guess we'll see.)
== Alas, there's plenty of crazy left-over to share around ==
Without any doubt - and with mountain ranges of proof - the monumental heap of treason and lunacy is on the entire mad right. But that does not mean they have a complete monopoly!
To the portion of the left that’s also so addicted to sanctimony that you harm the cause, please, I beg you to dig this.
STRATEGICALLY we share goals: save the planet, increase justice & tolerance, invest in new generations, all that. (In fact, I've fought longer and harder for all those things - and more effectively - than almost any of those who keep carping me from that direction; bet on it?)
We share overall goals and strategy. But your refusal to re-examine flawed TACTICS is a betrayal that all winning reform movements had to overcome. MLK, Gandhi, Frederick Douglass and so on spent half their time and energy on that, alas. And you who would piss on allies really, really, really need to read George Orwell's Homage to Catalonia.
Think. Strategy and goals are sacred. Tactics - on the other hand - must be disposable/replaceable with new ones that work better. It's called agility and it is key to victory.
Fundamentally, it is BS that any criticism of flawed tactics is an 'attempt to undermine the cause.' That’s a flat out lie, as bad as any clutched by the right and it makes you more like them!
It is utterly proved that some of your sanctimony-propelled tactics harm the broad coalition - a majority of Americans(!) - who share your goals. Especially the reflex to diss allies and to refuse any credit to the two persons who are (at this moment) unambiguously your leaders, who need and deserve your passionate support.
And yes, I mean Joe & Kamala.
Your reflex to seach and sift and growl and dig for any excuse to hate them is why we lose. It's the same betrayal as in 1980, 1988, 1994, 2000, 2010 and 2016. Only, if you try it this time, Stacey Abrams will come after you. With a stick.
== And yes, Maher is right ==
Indeed, while I disagree with him in many ways, that core truth about tactics is what Bill Maher has been saying, all along. And not just him, but also AOC, Stacey Abrams, DNC Chair Jaime Harrison, Bernie and Liz, in their own ways. Tactics to help win in 2022 by TAKING TERRITORY away from the mad/treasonous/red/muscovite confederacy.
And you won’t help that happen by screaming spittle in the faces of those you hope to convert.
Here’s the biggest one to fix. Cut down the obsession with SYMBOLISM!
The entire mad right is obsessed with with symbol crap! Stop playing that mug’s game by going all sumo-grunt-shove with them over emblems.
There are other battles - pragmatic fights - that matter far more for the planet and poor and justice, and every other good thing. Like winning.
== The Crux ==
Okay, don't leave with any impression I'm down with both-sides-ism! While I finger-wagged at the most-fervid left, let's come full circle to recall who is far more wrong, strategically, morally, scientifically, factually and by any metric of decency or patriotism.
I've said this before:
Yes, the FAR left CONTAINS some fact-allergic, troglodyte-screeching dogmatists who wage war on science and hate the American tradition of steady, pragmatic reform, and who would impose their prescribed morality on you.
But today’s mad ENTIRE right CONSISTS of fact-allergic, troglodyte-screeching dogmatists who wage war on science and hate the American tradition of steady, pragmatic reform, and who would impose their prescribed morality on you.
There is all the world’s difference between FAR and ENTIRE.
As there is between CONTAINS and CONSISTS.