Shitty Activism Got Trump Elected

– by The Shitty Activist

feelings_cartoon_dailysignalIn the wake of the Trumpening, activists around the country are asking themselves the same question: WTF happened?

Many factors are likely to blame, most of which have already been analyzed by people who actually know what they’re talking about: Clinton’s middle-of-the-road positions failing to inspire Democrats. Trump’s speaking to the economic anxieties of the working class. Anti-immigration sentiment, racial prejudice, and Islamophobia.

It’s likely that all of the above issues played a role, with pumpkin spice lattes figuring in there somehow. But I’m joined by a large number of leftists who point to another reason for Trump’s rise: the backlash against shitty activism.

For the last year and a half, The Shitty Activist has tried to expand the influence of activist causes by offering ways to overcome the many (often self-imposed) obstacles to victory. I’ve invited activists to adopt stronger stances that can inspire action that may lead to genuine and lasting change; to put the brakes on the name calling, the crying wolf, the PC language policing, and the censorship; and to take themselves a little less seriously by joining in on a laugh once in a while.

Unfortunately—as was the case during my 12 years as an activist—I failed to change many minds. While resonating with a few, usually my suggestions were ignored, and all too often my constructive criticism was deliberately misconstrued as opposition to the very causes I dedicated most of my life to advancing. Once a shitty activist, always a shitty activist, I guess.

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Activism or Spam? (satire)

– by The Shitty Activist

(The following satirical piece is based on a true story)

antispam_ashby_computers

Graphic: Ashby Computers

As an activist, I know how hard it is to get the word out about a cause. Unlike corporations, we can’t hire our own PR firm to do the job, so it typically falls upon ourselves to spread the message, usually via social media.

I’m admin for the Reddit page (called a “subreddit”) for activism. My job is to moderate the forum and delete any posts that don’t adhere to the rules, mostly those irrelevant to activism and other forms of spam.

It’s pretty easy to determine whether a post has anything to do with activism or not, but spam is a little harder to define. Luckily, Reddit has clear rules about spam, which includes any posts that might be considered “self promotion” of any kind. This doesn’t just mean hawking cheap sunglasses, but also linking to any original pieces you may have written and posted on your own blog.

If you’re not familiar with Reddit, you might be asking why linking to an essay you wrote on a particular topic is treated the same as soliciting pornography. The answer is simple: because it’s the rules. And if you’re an effective activist like I am, you know how important it is to follow rules made by those in charge—whether they appear logical or not—without question.

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