Sunday, December 27, 2015

What To Do With Garbage

Martin BooMan Longman reminds us exactly what we should do with all the excremental existential whining from the "I won't support Hillary if she's the nominee" dudebro crowd thinkpieces, which is ignore them and the people who write them looking for attention.

I’m not sure whether it’s more accurate to call it clickbait or troll bait, but there’s a genre of political writing that’s good at getting everyone’s blood pressure up despite being almost completely worthless. Basically, these pieces are debates on take-my-ball-and-go-homism. The latest is by Ben Spielberg and can be read at theHuffington Post.

Mr. Spielberg assures us that he is well aware that any Democratic president would be preferable to any Republican president, but he wants us to know that he will not be voting for Hillary Clinton if she is the nominee. If you care, you can go check out his reasoning, but I’m not interested in his reasoning.

I’m only interested in the timing.

And Spielberg isn't alone,  Salon's Walker Bragman is as bad or worse.  They have two things in common: one, only Bernie can save the country, and two, if he's not the nominee, they will stay home.  Martin points out the idiocy in that logic in December, 11 months before the election:

In his mind, at least, Mr. Spielberg’s solitary vote is something candidates will bargain for. If he threatens to withhold his vote, it will increase his influence.

This is absurd, of course. Literally no one gives a crap whether Ben Spielberg votes or doesn’t vote. For his decision to have any meaning at all, he must persuade people of the merits of his case. He must universalize it. If everyone used his logic, then progressives would have more leverage over the Democratic nominees. In this way, he can satisfy himself that his threat of non-participation satisfies the Golden Rule.

But, here’s the key, only if he’s being dishonest about not voting. If everyone threatens to not vote, they increase their power and can get some positive change (maybe), but if people actually follow through, stay home, and enable the Republicans to win, they’ll have done real damage to their cause.

That’s why Spielberg pays lip service to the idea that losing in 2016 is worth it so that the left doesn’t lose in 2020. But that’s a throw-away line. No one intelligent actually believes that you can do better by losing the presidency than by winning it. That may sometimes be the result, but it’s too speculative and low-percentage to ever be a rational strategy.

So, when you read these take-my-ball-and-go-homism pieces, remember, they’re so stupid and dishonest that you don’t need to respond to them.

If this were October 2016, that kind of rhetoric might merit a rebuttal. In December of 2015, it’s not worth worrying about.


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