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.

[Read more…]

GUEST POST: I’m a Democrat Who Voted for Trump. Here’s Why.

[Below is a guest post from an anonymous Democrat who voted for Donald Trump in the 2016 Presidential Election.]

– by Anonymous Democrat

trump_democrat_1000As a lifelong Democrat and long-time activist for social justice and environmental causes, I’d like to explain to you why I voted for Donald Trump in the 2016 Presidential Election.

If you’re like many of my friends, you’re wondering why I crossed party lines to join the surprisingly high percentage of Democrats who voted for Hillary Clinton’s much-reviled opponent.

It’s a great question and I promise to be honest with my answer. However, before I do so, I want to share some of my politics with you so you can’t dismiss me as simply a right wing conservative in disguise.

[Read more…]

Ask A (Shitty) Activist #1: Does Reformism Work?

cropped-the_shitty_activist_logo1.jpgIn our first ever installment of “Ask A (Shitty) Activist,” we get right into the mix with a question from Life Loving Libertarian, who asks:

“What is your opinion of this article on why reformism does not work?”

He links to an article posted on The Last Bastille, written from an unapologetically libertarian perspective, explaining why reformism, or working within the system, doesn’t accomplish anything.

On The Shitty Activist blog, I’ve brought up many times how I believe the most effective activism seeks to transform (or replace) the system without being confined by its restrictions. I’ve discussed why I think it’s important for activists to be “unreasonable” and avoid the temptation to pull their punches in order to get grant funding from corporate foundations.

Suffice to say, The Shitty Activist believes reformism might have a role in society, but it’s often weak and self-limiting when conducted under the banner of activism.

Now, let’s address some of the points in the article, the first of which is a mention of the all too frequent lack of strategy in the activist world. The author wrote, “If there are no strategic goals, then what milestones could possibly ever be used to measure incrementally progressive successes?”

Unfortunately, it’s hard to disagree with that statement. While many activists are constantly reassessing their goals and finding ways to improve, sometimes even the best activists get caught up in what I call “feeling good over doing good.” That’s the phenomenon where long-term movement goals take a backseat to an activist’s craving for the heady feelings that come with an easy win or public approval, or the dirty high from complaining about what’s wrong instead of doing the hard and uncomfortable work of addressing root causes.

[Read more…]