I’ve written so much about this in comments at Tiny Cat Pants, Jesus’ General, and Nashville is Talking that I feel I’m plum tuckered out about it. Frankly, the whole thing has left me feeling a little more verklempt than usual.
I’ve always believed that the right wing has had an easier time organizing because of the behavioral tendencies of its target audience. (Bob Altemeyer explains those tendencies better than I ever could.) What passes for the left in this country, though often powerfully sincere, is usually hopelessly disunited and powerless for three main reasons: first, those who compose the left in the U.S. don’t share those easy-to-herd behavioral tendencies of the right wing, at least not strongly enough to be herded in a right-ward political direction. Second, self-described liberals and progressives in this country are dining at the same banquet of imperial exorbitance as the righties, and they don’t want to risk ending that banquet by seriously reforming the republic and doing away with the empire. Finally, our system of government (especially during election cycles) has been usurped by concentrated wealth, especially in the corporate guise; the gravy train of bribery we call campaign finance ensures that there will be no significant representation with a reformist bent.
That said, what I’ve seen in the Brittney Gilbert/NiT dustup makes me wonder if enough lefties in the U.S. even have the mental toughness, much less the funding to organize and seize power from the right wing. Goddamnit. Arthur Silber is right.