If you ask most of your Democratic friends about the state of America and the culture wars, most would say the battle against oppression has never been more grave. The right is at our throats. What’s strange is there is a paradox here – The left believes they are losing the culture wars, even though they control 90% of the media(look at major endorsements of Trump v Hillary), the messaging on every television channel, and the film industry. Yet the right has dominated legislatively since Reagan(de-unionizing, placing judges, repealing labor laws) and they believe they are losing their country more than ever.
First lets highlight that panic and fear are powerful motivators, even when your status doesn’t warrant panic. Anecdotally I hear Republican voters say “this is the most important election of our lifetime, no matter if you like Trump or not we have to get those supreme court judges, because if the other side gets them we will lose the presidency for the next 50 years.” OFF TOPIC- of course we lose to them, our language is weak and passive. On the left you only see this kind of language used towards celebrities that have tweeted something racist or homophobic. The big difference is where Republican and Democratic leadership direct the energy and anger of their voters.
So what are the results of each of these strategies? The Republicans have run the table on placing judges, stopping dem judges, passing tax cuts, killing unions through labor laws, and generally any economic legislation. The Democrats have succeeded at keeping their voters permanently on the hook with No-Legislation Attached Issues. Whether intentional or not, our voters don’t attach organization and legislation with change. We keep fighting stupid games with stupid prizes. And rest assured the class that funds the republicans, they don’t play stupid games- they play the most important games with the most important prizes. They use legislation to shape the economy in their favor as we argue.
Why does the left take up this strategy? The same reason as the right, their donors. How many corporations have run racial inclusion, BLM, social justice ads since George Floyd? The is a complete perversion for many reasons. This is capitalism rotting just causes from the inside out. We are seeing companies that engage in near slave labor overseas, yet also claiming to stand for racial justice in the USA just to sell more sneakers, hamburgers, and purses. Talk about delegitimizing a cause, make the whole fight nothing but lip service via tv ads that include no solutions. The second reason businesses are so keen to take up these social justice narratives is specifically because there is No-Legislation Attached! Why is the CEO of Citigroup, one of the major banks that no doubt plays a role in racist policies that make it more difficult and expensive for African Americans to buy a home, now being highlighted by the left!? It is much more affordable to shoot out a tweet and cash in on a hot marketing fad than to actually help Black Lives in America.
There is a lot of talk, but how much do Black Lives Matter when we cripple so many hard working black women with a stagnant starvation wage that we refer to as minimum wage? How much do Black Lives Matter when we let predatory lenders prey on the impoverished and unbanked in their community? How much could a Black Life matter when we let them die in the street if they do not have insurance? Those questions require legislation, the kind MLK and Bernie Sanders fought for, and it is going to cost. This is were our supposed “friends” at the DNC stop agreeing with us and take up their donors position that we must be destroyed. MLK told many around him that once he started down the road for economic justice for workers, he wouldn’t be around much longer. He told those around him, his white allies will soon abandon him on his next fight – the fight for economic justice would cost them, literally. While his white allies might have taken some risk backing him, they had plenty to gain, they seemed like heroes for not being racist. Yet he knew they only wanted the image or “checked box” of helping, and when it came to making this system fair on economic grounds, they had no intention of seeing Black Lives prosper.
“What good is having the right to sit at a lunch counter if you can’t afford to buy a hamburger?” – Martin Luther King Jr.