So its been a few days since the US president election came to a crashing end. Trump won, supported overwhelmingly by right wing politics and media. The knock on effect of which was the shattering of the echo-chambers that left-wing politics used to re-inforce their ideas amongst themselves. A complete break down occurred and we ended up with left-wing violent protests in the street. The left simply couldn’t handle it, the elevated position from which they preached self-righteous bullshit was taken down to the level of the right wing. Finally… the left-wing realised they were not “better” than other people.
Or not, since there’s still so many people calling others bigots, racists, sexists, homophobes, transphobes, you name it. All of these words are essentially shorthand for “I’m better than you”. Especially in how they are commonly used online. I’ve seen conversations where people raise concerns about immigrants only to be attacked for being racists. Their concerns aren’t addressed, their worries still exist. So they turn to the next people who will listen and have a conversation with them. The alt-right. We’ve ‘radicalised’ people into alt-right politics by being aggressively hateful to anyone who disagrees with our politics. We’re the exact thing we hate.
The left has few options now. We can either double down on this behaviour, as I’ve seen happening all over Twitter recently. We can continue calling people racists, homophobes etc, we can continue ending discussion by throwing slurs and perhaps maybe, it’ll work in our favour this time. Or we can stand together, against the violent and undemocratic left-wing, because I can’t speak for you, but they are #notmyleftwing.
I understand the outrage, the anger, the pain and the worry. I’m with you on all of those points. Keep those fires burning, keep that rage and channel it into fighting back against the changes that we are inevitably going to see in the US over the next four years. But whatever you do, don’t be weak, don’t be stupid. This is a crucial tipping point for left-wing politics, where we need to realise that a strong, well thought out, well researched opposition in political debates does not amount to “you’re a racist.”.
Instead do your research, read, read, read, read. For this blog alone I read anywhere between 15-20 articles per day. I use that information in debates I have online, and I talk with people about the things they’re concerned about in real life. I use actual evidence and facts to back up what I’m saying – in some instances, I’ve put in the legwork myself to gather statistics. This is exactly what the right-wing did to secure Trump’s victory, and there’s no reason we can’t do it to oppose his politics from here on out.
In fact, its the only way we can oppose his politics. The more the left digs their heels in about how racist and bigoted Trumpsters are the further away we push ourselves from actual political discourse. The left speaks of giving everyone a voice, yet acts in a way that not only silences our opposition, but also ourselves too. We’re making people not listen to us by behaving the way a lot of you are. We need to stop this. We need to become a strong, rational opposition to the right wing policies that will inevitably exist across the next four years.
When you catch someone claiming to be a leftist and acting in a way that isn’t helpful to our cause – call them out. Tell them that what they’re doing is wrong, dangerous and unhelpful to the left’s cause. Tell them that’s #NotMyLeftWing.