Clickbait politics

This ad, from the Democratic Party, doesn’t give you any new information — Trump says Obamacare is dead. So fucking what? He’s an idiot. If Fox News reported he was the first man to walk on the moon, he’d tout that success from the Rose Garden (“A lot of people say so, and besides Aldrin was captured by the Viet Cong.”)

But with high-contrast nun-in-a-blender text, the Dems exhort you to ADD YOUR NAME and “Tell Donald Trump Obamacare is here to stay!”

Well, what’s that going to do? Trump is finally going to buckle because Democrats want to keep Obamacare? He’s willing to let California burn— the fuck is he gonna care about a bunch of Dems writing their names down?

The ad is designed to get you fired up and wanting to react quickly to stop a thing, but switches stopping-a-thing for “getting on a Dem mailing list and getting asked for money.” Will that stop this thing? Fuck no. Maybe, if in 2018 the Dems manage to actually win some seats, this could tangentially help stop future things.

But “IT REQUIRES A LOT OF SMALL ACTIONS TO WIN LONGTERM VICTORIES” doesn’t connote “act now” to an overstimulated public.

I understand why they do these things — I really do. When I was at EQCA and we were desperate for money to keep doing things like fighting people who want to bully trans kids out of gym classes, we were stuck in the position where we couldn’t just unleash a tirade of invective against the smarmy grifters and psychopaths that were duping their congregations into supporting tax graft for the top by making sanctimonious attacks on trans children — one of the bitterest truths of politics is that most people will do the right thing if they think about it, but will almost always do the wrong thing if they don’t, and if people don’t think about it, they think every trans kid is a 50-yar-old bearded trench-coat flasher who shouldn’t be anywhere near bathrooms in general.

So you get bullshit like this from the Dems, and then anyone bright enough to actually engage with politics realizes they’re being used in a cynical ploy that feels like it springs from the very capitalist nihilism that is so detestable in politics — with an extra bit of ire at the hypocrisy, since the whole thing about Democrats is that they don’t believe in crab-bucket politics.

God, I wish I had an answer to this — I don’t think it’s an easy problem. But it’s one that Democrats have to solve to redeem the soul of the party.