This keeps coming up, this idea that if progressives don’t like how things are going in Tennessee, we should just leave and go elsewhere. (See here for an example.)
As a small-town girl myself, I find this interesting because I know that’s how it works. Rather than dealing with folks who crop up who are different than you, you just run them off. Run off your gay kids, run off your smarty-pantses, run off the non-whites, run off the non-Christians. Just run ’em all off. (Step two is to make up religious reasons why they had to go, to try to keep those who are left behind, who miss them, in line.)
Then you can live a little lie about how your town or state is just like you say it is, because there’s no one to challenge it.
But, really, this move only works in a good economy. It only works, when it works, because people can afford to move.
Otherwise, even if folks want to leave, they can’t.
Not that I want to leave. Shoot, I love this place, even with all its silliness. I just bought a house.
But I’m just saying, no one’s fooled. We all see this for the temper-tantrum it is, designed to keep power in the hands of the same old people.
My second favorite thing I’ve noticed is this newfound tendency to insist that Mike McWherter has nuanced positions we just can’t know because we are too stupid to get them. I used to dog on Republicans for insisting that Tennessee Democrats think they’re smarter than everyone. I mean, shoot, of course that feels too close to an indictment of me.
But then, damn, you see this kind of nonsense, where folks are chastised for taking what McWherter says at face value, as if what we really need is just someone who can properly interpret the complexity of what he’s saying.
When I read Cynic’s post over at Ta-Nehisi Coates’s place this morning, it reminded me of that.
In each case, the controversy requires an esoteric reading. The great preponderance of the evidence is dismissed as concealing what the enlightened few are able to recognize as the hidden truth. Small deviations, instead of being ignored as insignificant exceptions, become freighted with greater meaning than the norm. And these arguments are immune from rebuttal. Any action, any words that would seem to contradict the esoteric reading can be dismissed as cover. Anyone unable to see the hidden meanings that are so readily apparent to believers can safely be ignored, because they refuse to see the truth.
I mean, doesn’t that seem like what’s happening? That we’re being told McWherter’s words have some meaning not obvious to us because we’re too stupid? But that we should just trust that everything’s fine, take the word of the people who can correctly interpret him?
That, in the end, ends up being what disturbs me about the “like it or leave” position. So far, it’s advocated by people who mean “it” to mean “the fact that we’re insisting on complete bullshit.” At some level, it’s not a disagreement on policy. We’re having a basic disagreement over whether some Democrats think other Democrats should just shut up and take whatever bullshit is dished out.
That’s not a political disagreement.
That’s a basic disagreement about reality.
Seriously. I’m supposed to leave the state because I refuse to accept people who are doing dumbass shit are secretly smarter than me?
Ha, has their ever been a more patronizing proposition? I must either not worry my pretty little head about things or I must leave?
Yeah, good luck with that.