It’s About the Fight
Every citizen engaged politically--be it local, state or federal—has an inherent expectation about what that means: writing, working phone banks, protesting, volunteering at campaigns, paying attention to the news, voting. It’s seen and expected as a respectable adult activity that betters the race and the country, but I’ve always found that political frame of reference to be horribly naïve and fatally constraining, for it’s missing a crucial mindset and activity: where’s the fight?
Tsk tsk tsk clicks through many reader’s heads, didn’t you get that out of your system in the schoolyard? This is America, where like it or not the institutions of corporations and marriage deem conflict to be a highly undesirable trait, fighting means failure. Fighting means hurt and the opposite of gentleness, what the fuck would Jesus say? Fighting means division, can’t we all just get along? Can’t one see that a fighting perspective to politics only means immaturity and regression?
Get used to continual losing and failure using that worldview. It’s not an opinion, it’s an easily empirical fact, for the American political environment is completely observed to be chock full of Republicans who love to fight, who believe in it, who are very good at it, indeed have been described as existing solely in this political realm to crush Democrats. Fighting isn’t the sole participatory act of engaging in politics, of course not, but without it—often as the very first act of an evolution to progress—all the phone banking, writing and precinct walking won’t mean a damn thing.
Political fighting isn’t an act of brawling backwardness, it’s a necessary evolution in the human existence to force change. In a necessary time and place it’s simply vital; my great personal issue is Energy, one act of change I want to see in my lifetime are solar photovoltaic cells on every single roof in the state. Very nice, but that means the oil companies are going to receive harm from the policy, does one really believe they’ll just sit there passively to deliberate harm?
They’ll fight back, naturally, and then we’ll fight back with ads, protest, votes in Sacramento, whatever it takes within the legal framework provided to us to force societal change. In the precise case of this solar energy policy I believe the harm inflicted on oil companies would not be fatal for them, not hardly, and of course I believe solar on every roof would cause a great deal of good, so I heartily think very aggressive action in all possible legal forms to get to that nirvana of natural energy—fighting—to be a good and necessary thing. It’s called politics, so put that tsk tsk tsk away, this is the real human condition to solving problems.
Political fighting isn’t just about a necessary first step in implementing policy, but also a crucial mindset to events in real time. Eli Pariser stood up and fought to end the war in Iraq, he used a perfectly legal publication tool to make Republicans squeal like stuck piggies, what sissies our alleged bad-ass opponents are, fighting these twerps is too easy. But they do know how to gang up on opponents, that’s precisely what they then did, and Mr. Pariser was under siege.
Forget about what was planned for that day and week for the entire Democratic Party apparatus, everyone and everything, for all of the leadership fights back in the newspapers, in the blogs, on the radio, everywhere. If the god damn corporate propaganda press won’t help in generating buzz then get Senators on the blogs for free, anything to create attention for the cause.
When Republicans whine and cry like that, running to Rush Limbaugh, one can be totally positive one has hit the mark, they wouldn’t run around like that unless they’d just been hit. Hit them harder and much more, then, does one think politics is attacking an opponent’s strengths in advocating of the right thing to do?
Much more critically, not defending Mr. Pariser instantly conveyed the message that not only can Iraq war opponents be pushed around and defeated in this instance, but in all future ones, too, since their people are such wimps. I get fetal in writhing shame every time I think of Mr. Pariser standing out there almost all alone as his people didn’t come rushing to his aid, all of them, everywhere.
When one of your people gets in the fight--on purpose or not--if they’ve done the right thing one never, ever, not in all the millennia that is to come in Earth’s existence, ever leaves them out there alone. It emboldens the opposition, horribly chills any possible future bravery from your own people, and is just a plain disgusting wussy dishonorable way to live. I hope I never have to witness anything like that again, and the liberal community should feel fortunate Mr. Pariser still feels the call to fight for us.
I don’t believe this mindset of political fighting is necessary for American politics, I know it. I wrote about it briefly weeks ago and said in the same piece I finally had to get to Naomi Wolf’s new book. A few hours later right there in the preface was yet more confirmation, Ms. Wolf knows it too, the preface simply states that whatever is to follow, whatever our future is to be, none of it can ever happen without the fight to get it first. None of it.