A reader left this comment:
I’m a leftist. I’ve long been disillusioned with the political elite, but this election is something altogether new in my experience. Maybe it’s that the disillusionment is more personal and closer to home. I feel like I’m in a desert. It’s as if friends and co-workers and the common “thought communities” I normally traffic in have become Stepford versions of themselves, sputtering predictable (and predictably lame) defenses of Clinton and everything she and the democratic party stand for. Yelling at anyone who disagrees because obviously it can only be ignorance or childishness. I’ve recognized the tendency on the left toward identity politics and usually have seen it as sincere, but insular and reductive and therefore unhelpful (and at times annoying). But now I really *see* it, and get what I didn’t get before: how a comfortable, non-reflective class, that is used to having nothing at stake in an election (it’s all a game), uses the emotion of identity politics so pervasively and smugly to distract from and never have to face its own failings and naked hypocrisy. It’s so obvious and disgusting to me now. And suddenly I’m on the other side of it! The mechanical rush-to-judgment and policing of boundaries of what is an acceptable view. If one good thing comes out of this election — and I don’t know that it will, but I hope so, and if what I’m experiencing isn’t actually in isolation — maybe it will be that we learn to finally see each other, on the left and the right, as just folks just trying to find and sort through what’s real and honest and sincere.
I find myself here, at TAC, for the first time with some regularity. I find myself searching for voices that are trying to interpret the strange and momentous events unfolding around us with some humanity — humanity toward those we may not share everyday perspectives or experiences with but may yet still have some things in common — rather than assuming an inevitable reversion to the mean, and slouching into worn prejudices. Reading columns at TAC, at times I feel a familiar reflex to disagree with this or that, but the disagreement seems different, less charged because more and more I find common cause and solidarity here. For example, the Benedict Option. It makes perfect and immediate sense to me, even if my version might more resemble a hippie organic vegan commune. 🙂 Point being, I’m seeing the political spectrum with more granularity — which may mean I am seeing people, and not just politics — which is hopefully a good thing, and I’d like to think there could just be some good thing from this horrendous nightmare we can’t wake from.
Welcome to TAC. I’m glad you’re here.