The blame game has gone on for about three months now and it’s really time to stop.
It’s time to come together and build a real, broad coalition of resistance.
Every time you find yourself posting online, We need to focus on the future, but… and then go on to blame communists, anarchists, socialists, Bernie Sanders, Jill Stein, working class whites, working class non-specific, the Midwest, the Southeast, non-voters, Putin, or whoever else, you stifle what you say you’re seeking.
We can’t build a coalition by first demanding apologies from everyone who isn’t us. Firstly, there’s no point to it. Secondly, you’re making a demand of someone you hope to embrace in open cooperation, which is the opposite of a cooperative starting point.
A lot of people were wrong. In fact, every major publication in the world was wrong about the outcome of this US election. If you think the blame belongs somewhere, maybe just accept that almost every single one of us was wrong about the election.
That doesn’t mean everyone was wrong about everything.
Hillary Clinton committed war crimes as Secretary of State. That’s not a debatable opinion. That’s just something that happened. It’s a fact.
The Obama Administration committed numerous war crimes and spied on us and our allies and tortured whistleblowers and tortured prisoners and repealed civil liberties and extended executive powers and empowered the Patriot Act. Also not an opinion. Those are things that happened.
And similar things have happened with every US Administration going back to at least Teddy Roosevelt, but probably back to Andrew Jackson, and then maybe even farther.
We have done terrible things as a nation. We have done them unrepentantly. We have done them for as long as we’ve been a nation. Genocide, slavery, and other crimes against humanity are in the fabric of our national identity. These things happened. They happened and we need to account for the fact that they happened when we move forward.
But we need to move forward. We need to understand where we were, what we supported, and how to move forward to make sure none of this happens again. We must remember the past and hold it tightly because our collective crimes are our burden as a people, as a nation.
Because Trump and Bannon are demanding that we relive the worst moments of American history again, right now, and for as long as they hold power. They want genocide. They want war. They want surveillance. They want bombs. They want christian supremacy. They want white supremacy. They want fascism. They want poverty, death, and total control and all the economic advantages that come with that place of power.
It’s not about demanding apologies or standing on a soapbox to tell everyone how right you were or how you are blameless.
And it’s not about when you joined the movement or became politically active. If you didn’t care yesterday but care a whole lot today, that should be good enough.
We are all to blame. Wherever you stand politically and whoever you voted for and for whatever reason you voted that way–we all did this. Together. As a nation.
This is our country. It’s not just a place we live. We are all complicit in the actions of our government because we allow them to govern us. We give them their power through voting, through consent, through passivity, through apathy.
And so we need to build a way forward, together.
Stop punching left, especially. Stop accusing those who have spent their lives as activists, as lawyers defending civil liberties, as confrontational journalists who demand more and hold power accountable just because they disagreed with you.
They had reasons to do what they did, just as you had reasons to do what you did. Also remember that being critical of one powerful person was not an endorsement of a different powerful person.
Unfortunately, there’s no longer a place for moderates in American politics. Being a moderate right now is being complicit with Bannon and Trump. To seek a compromise with them right now is to lose parts of yourself.
You cannot seek compromise with someone seeking genocide and widespread poverty and slavery. There is no compromise to be made that will not reduce you as a human. The only response is defiance, non-compliance, and resistance.
These are the people standing to your right: Nazis, white supremacists, christian supremacists, con men, fascists, and robber barons.
If you look to your left and still see enemies, then maybe you need to look harder at yourself.
What do you really want? Is it acknowledgement of your righteousness? Is it for someone to just tell you that you’re right? Is it for someone to take the blame of what 350 million people decided? Is it to mince words and argue about the right way to resist or talk about resistance? The right way to be a progressive, to be an American, to be a journalist?
We’ve all done this. I don’t exclude myself from this.
This isn’t a call out.
And if you need an apology, you don’t deserve one.
I will say that I was wrong. I was wrong about so many things about this election. And about a lot of other things too. I’m often wrong, and I’m often wrong about most things.
And while that might matter a bit, we have more pressing concerns.
So look to your left and take someone’s hand. It’s time to stand together.
Then look right, with your brothers and sisters, and hold that line, because there are monsters rushing our way and all they seek is blood.