On Bernie or Busters and Performative Leftism

I’m not a Bernie or Buster-I would vote for Hillary if I lived in an unsafe state. But I will defend those who will never be able to do so as follows: imagine you are, say, the family of Ricky Ray Rector (murdered by Hillary’s husband with Hillary’s approval), or the grandparents of Abdulrahman al Awlaki (incinerated in a “signature strike” approved of by Hillary’s State Department) or a steel worker whose life was ruined by his company moving his job to China encouraged by Clintonian “free trade”. For them, the choice isn’t political, it’s personal. It shouldn’t be hard to understand why some will never be able to vote for Clinton, even if I wouldn’t endorse the decision on purely political grounds.

Having said that, while I’m entirely sympathetic to those who will never be able to vote for Clinton based on their having been direct victims of her policies, for those who are not there’s a reasonable basis for suspicion.  In particular, those claiming to suffer from visceral reactions of revulsion and disgust preventing them from pulling a lever to head off the least worst outcome recall Amber Frost’s  “performative male feminists” who “get a high from the production of piety.”

As Frost suggests, the question for performative leftists of all stripes is “whether (they are) primarily preaching from a pulpit of sincerity or not” . Some of those delivering the most strident anti-Clinton performances often derive from relatively privileged groups who largely escape the worst consequences of right wing politics-whether those of Clinton or the reactionary rightists who might defeat her.

Politics for them functions a vehicle for their own self-expression rather than a battlefield in which they are in the direct line of fire.

While “unctuous” and “histrionic”, on an individual level  this species of politics is relatively harmless.  The problem comes when these attitudes become associated with the broader left.

By denying the marginal differences between the corporate far and center right, the left sends a clear signal to the most vulnerable international and domestic populations-those who will suffer the most under a far right regime-that their main function is to serve as props within our own personal dramas so as to “make a statement” about who were are or aspire to be.

The left is required not only to challenge this perception but to insure that it is the opposite: that the most vulnerable are not just incidental to the left agenda but at its core.

Good faith solidarity, rather than fake solidarity begins and ends with that point.

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