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The Decline


Love trumps hate. The phrase makes me cringe. You know what trumps hate? Anger. Anger is the only thing that has accomplished anything ever. The weekend, health care, suffrage, abolition. Punching nazis in the fucking face. Don’t let the false dichotomy of the "both sides" argument fool you. Fascism wants you dead.

This refrain was parroted endlessly by liberals in their echo chambers after the election of Trump. And again after the terror attack in Charlottesville. We are for diversity of tactics. Writing this song, throwing a brick, signing a petition on the internet, marches, town hall meetings, punching nazis in the face… walking and chewing gum at the same time.

The simple truth is that if you love people you will hate the systems that oppress them. Karl Popper famously said "tolerate everything but intolerance". The right wing isn’t angry. They want to appear angry. But they are not. They are scared. They are scared because the status quo is slowly being whittled away. They call us snowflakes, we call them broflakes.

I’m writing this more than a year after the song was written and recorded. The deception that Clintonian Blairite liberal centrist pragmatism is somehow opposed to the radical left is becoming more demarcated each day, and that’s a good thing. And the deception of the marginalized conservative, that hard done by average Joe, has to stop. "They control all three branches of government, have consolidated single-party rule in numerous state legislatures, literally control the media script, and yet still claim to be an oppressed minority."

And therein lies the rub. How do you explain the systemics of oppression to a class of people who have never been marginalized? My favourite quote, "When you are used to privilege, equality feels like oppression," is apt but perhaps even moreso is the following: "If a white man wants to lynch me, that's his problem. If he's got the power to lynch me, that's my problem. Racism is not a question of attitude; it's a question of power."

So while it’s all nice and well to say, "love trumps hate" or wear a safetypin in a rather performative gesture of solidarity, it does nothing to undermine the power structures that cut across gender, race, and class. Power structure that have been in place long before Trump and will continue to exist long after.

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