I recently posted my analysis of the UK elections in what I thought was a fairly objective and sensible manner. A number of comment threads broke out, but one particular commenter (Spike2Heart) was pretty damning. Here is his initial comment:
As usual, the real reasons the Democrats/Liberals/Progressives/Labour lost is staring them in the face, but they refuse to acknowledge it.
The most important reason you lost is because you hate everyone who disagrees with you. The second most important reason you lost is because you don’t really care about brown people, LGBTQ+ people, poor people, disabled people, or any of the disenfranchised, oppressed humans that you claim to support. The only reason you talk about them at all is to use them as a reason to hate those who disagree with you. Your message is never, “Let’s rise up the oppressed,” but “Let’s attack the oppressors.”
The proof comes right from J.M.S. Pearce’s own post. The first words are “What a thoroughly depressing night for someone like me.” It’s all about how Pearce feels. Next is, “this my sound elitist.” no sh!t, how could Pearce sound any other way, since he is, in fact, an elitist? He proves it by saying that all those people he has talked with you don’t just lap up his every word and tell him how wonderful he is are just a bunch of plebians. Finally, he lets his true feeling for the unwashed masses be known when he wishes ill upon the people who voted against what he wanted, fortelling economic and social disaster for those who will suffer the most, when he and his tenured, middle class colleagues will be unaffected. Then, those Trump voters, I mean, Tory voters will see he was right.
Most of the comments are in the same vein. A recurring theme among Democrats/Liberals/Progressives/Labour is to tell lower income working people how they are always voting against their own interests. It may be true, but the level of condescension in that sentiment shows how f**king clueless the Democrats/Liberals/Progressives/Labour elites are. “Just let me tell you how to think and act, then your life will be fine.”
The DNC is going to lose the election in 2020 again, because they have designed their policies to block anyone who isn’t white enough and rich enough from having a voice in the debates and getting nominated.
Amid all the blaming of everyone but themselves, a few comments in this thread did show some insight. One person asked who would be the DNC nominee that they should put forward. Corey Booker. Deval Patrick. Julian Castro. Andrew Yang. Prove to the marginalized voters that the DNC really gives a sh!t about them.
None of this means jack if they can’t win, so the DNC needs to learn how to win in the actual political environment that exists. They need to stop blaming social media, corporate media, Russian bots, and everyone else for their losses. Every problem that Pearce lamented about existed before the election was started. Labour and the LibDems failed to overcome those obstacles, so they don’t deserve to be in the government. The world is full of enemies to freedom and democracy. There are oppressors everywhere, and they don’t care about the rules, or your feelings or what you want. The Democrats/Liberals/Progressives/Labour have to live in the world that exists by learning how to win no matter what the Republicans/Conservatives/Fascists do.
If the DNC fails to come up with plans to get people registered, protect their access to the polls, keep putting out real news, tweet 10x for every Russian bot tweet, talk constantly about the good they will do, and, most importantly, get over their attitude of hate and blame, then they may be able to win.
Until then, they will continue to show that they don’t have the courage and strength to help the people who need it.
And my reply was:
With all due respect, you don’t know me enough to make those sorts of claims. What a thoroughly depressing night for someone like me is explained as follows.
I am an internationalist who believes that the UK should remain an integral part of the EU. As a remainer, the direction the UK is taking, given the present government’s direction, is rather depressing.
I am a teacher who works in a very challenging socio-economic demographic on the frontline with children and families who are below the poverty line. My job entails working in a sector that the present government has, for 10 years, decimated (and I mean destroyed), where it has decimated every single support network that was in place to help these people, and decimated the opportunities of many who languish in the lower socio-economic demographic cohorts. I was speaking to an educational psychologist the other day about why we have so many more problem families and children to deal with, and the prevailing evidence and opinion from the experts is that austerity is absolutely to blame.
Indeed, I could talk to you about the above paragraph for a very long time. I can’t tell you how much this present government has ruined the lives and opportunities so many and has made everyone’s job in education that much harder. Austerity has been absolutely damning for the education sector.
I am now registered disabled and what this government plans on doing with the NHS, steering it towards the US model, directly affects me and millions of people in this country. I can tell you for sure that NICE will be the first to be carved up and delivered to the US pharmaceutical industry. This benchmarks 25% of the world’s drug purchases. This is what is depressing. I regularly meet with a whole host of people in the disabled community who are suffering as a direct result of the present government’s policies.I was asked to be a candidate for the Green party a few years back as I worked volunteering to help my local community wean itself off a dependence on oil and towards a more sustainable future. These Election results will do nothing to help our environment and help the world deal with its biggest problem. Who do you think will suffer the most? Yes, the poorest in our communities. Rather than hate, I have actually been tangibly helping.
I could go on, but you should get the picture.
His reply, to which I will respond interlinearly:
Everything you write proves my point. Democrats/Liberals/Progressives/Labour have just left everyone to hang. They did not do what they needed to in order to solve those problems in the political reality that exists right now.
This is a really odd tack that he takes throughout his comments – to accuse the left (as I will call it) of something without showing how the right does the opposite! How do the right “solve those problems in the political reality that exists right now?” Because, and there were some hilarious memes about this, the Conservatives did their best not to care about pretty much everyone apart from the rich (with tax breaks) for ten years and then claim they would fix everything after getting voted in. But they broke everything! What little vague detail they did have in their manifesto, outside “Get Brexit done!”, concerned dealing with problems of their own making. And how have the Tories not “left everyone to hang”?
I mean, how the hell have the left “left everyone to hang” when they haven’t even been in power for ten years?
Why not? Because they don’t care. These are issues that need to be taken care of, no matter which party controls the government, but the Democrats/Liberals/Progressives/Labour sit on their hands, telling everyone, “We’ll take care of it when we get into power. Just you wait and see!”
When there is a problem that needs correcting, people of strength and courage step up and work on it, no matter what others are doing. They don’t wait for the right weather or the right party to hold office.
Where the hell is his evidence for this? I can tell you, from working in education during Labour years, and then the Tory years, that Labour manifestly took care of education. Took care of education, and all the areas around education (welfare-speaking) that affected our job and the children and parents we work with. What has this to do with courage and stepping up? This was to do with evidence-based policymaking (as opposed to the Tories coming in, with Michael Gove, and changing the curriculum to look like what he learnt when he was at school, because he’s alright, Jack). The Tories have stripped down these supportive organisations and sectors to their bare bones. How the bloody hell is this taking care? They have now created a whole slew of problems that now desperately need solving. I could bang on about socio-economic policy failures until the cows come home, here.
These are just mere assertions absent of any evidence. Word salad.
How many people voted for the Democrats/Liberals/Progressives/Labour in your elections? All those people signalled that they want the problems to be worked on. Then work on them. Don’t sit around, hoping that things will get worse, and finally people will see the light and vote for the Democrats/Liberals/Progressives/Labour.
“How many people voted for the Democrats/Liberals/Progressives/Labour in your elections?”
Interestingly, more than the right. Remain/liberal parties got 53% of the vote, Leave/right got 47%. The problem was where those votes were – first past the post lost the left the election.
“Then work on them.” – this is twaddle. How can ordinary members of the public simply “work on” issues that are so deep-rooted and societal that only strategic government intervention and financing can hope to make a dent? What am I supposed to do, as a teacher, to solve all the socio-economic problems in the deprived area in which I work? What bizarre nonsense.
How much money was spent trying to win the elections? Wouldn’t that money have made more of a difference going directly to the organizations that are working on the problems in the day-to-day?
Oh, and this doesn’t apply to the Conservatives? In the last election, the Tories outspent Labour by £7.5 million in the campaign. I don’t know the figures for this campaign but am pretty sure the figures for online spending had the Conservatives way out in front. Spike2Heart appears to love a double standard.
All the Democrats/Liberals/Progressives/Labour politicians say they will take care of the poor and oppressed if you vote for their party/parties. They can prove it by taking care of the poor and oppressed right now. That is how we “resist.”
Again, how do people not in power even do this? I can’t understand what the hell this guy pragmatically even means? Okay, so there will be local MPs over the last ten years who have been Labour MPs – but they have not really been able to direct key policy, being the minority in the House of Commons.
People have to live by their values, not just vote by them or whinge on a backwater blog.
My original article was not a whinge in any sense. Actually, it was a fairly objective analysis of just what happened. The irony (or hypocrisy) is that Spike2Heart’s comments were themselves rather whingey.
Perhaps his comments, though he lobbed them all in the same bowl, were more tailored to American politics?