Politics and life


Matthew Yglesias counsels progressives with advice that could apply to all political persuasions.

If you’re a progressive and you feel that the political system isn’t doing what you want, it’s misguided to look at this as a personal failure of elected officials. It’s, if anything, a personal failure of you and people like you. Justice and equality doesn’t just happen because it’s nice, people need to make it happen. If it’s not happening, then its advocates are failing. And I do think there’s a lot of wisdom to the old Le Tigre song “Get Off The Internet.” Reading and talking to like-minded people about how powerful people are failing can seem like action, but it really isn’t. 

Yglesias suggests two steps: write your elected representatives and talk about politics, annoyingly if necessary, in the course of everyday existence. That last bit should extend to those who aren’t particularly engaged as partisans or progressives or conservatives and it goes to what is possibly the biggest problem facing “Politics” as it presently is: the idea that there is, or is supposed to be, some separation between politics and life.


Politics and life

  1. It is always astonishing to read progressives and other left wing types write about how they don’t talk enough about politics. It is personal = political with many left wing types and they never shut up about politics. Left wing types far too earnest fishwife, less hectoring would be useful. 

    Regular people are not supposed to talk about politics or religion at dinner parties because it leads to vexations but that’s dumb rule for political types to follow. Political types talk about politics all the time – it is our hobby. Know when it is appropriate to talk about politics and when it isn’t. 

  2. Was he talking about all the lefties on the Macleans forums?

  3. Thank you Matthew Yglesias (and you, Aaron, for posting it) for saying what I’ve been trying to say for two years, but without the incomprehensible sentence structure, stumbling for a word long enough to lose train of thought and other impediments that are my normal mode of operation.  And especially the timing, since I’m to speak to a group tonight on why I think its important to get involved.

    For TonyAdams and the Turd, Lefties get on here and other forums to “earnest fishwife and hector” to get that out of their system.  Then they sit in a room and say nothing when someone complains about monstrously high taxes (they aren’t) and government interference.  You wouldn’t know that because you probably think everyone is agreeing with you by their silence in the real world.

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