You Wouldn’t Have To Knock People Off Their Pedestal If You Didn’t Put Them There In The First Place


by Caitlin Johnstone, Caitlin Johnstone:

Whenever I see someone online repeatedly gushing with enthusiastic praise about me and my writing, I don’t get flattered by it. I don’t get any kind of ego tickle out of it at all; I just quietly say to myself, “Ah shit. You’re gonna get so pissed off when I inevitably say something you disagree with.”

And without fail they always do. It happens over and over again; someone decides I’m the greatest thing since sliced bread and decides to elevate me in their minds to some kind of trustworthy authority figure over what they should be thinking, then eventually I’ll say say something they disagree with because I don’t fall neatly into any reliable ideological box they can trust to remain predictable from day to day, and they have a catastrophic meltdown about it online acting like I just betrayed them.

And in their minds, I did betray them. They trusted me to always show up in their inbox every day saying things that align with their worldview in an articulate and interesting way, and then I betrayed that trust. It’s not a trust I ever wanted and frequently advise against, but I haven’t been able to find an effective way to deter it.

I see this same kind of betrayal reaction from progressives today about Bernie Sanders and Noam Chomsky, Sanders for dropping out and endorsing Biden without first ensuring some “concessions” from his campaign and Chomsky for sharing the same “lesser evil voting” policy he’s been voicing for decades.

I personally don’t get this desire progressives feel to receive “concessions” from the Biden campaign in the first place. Like, what is the motive here? You want Biden’s handlers to lie to you and add some more fake progressive agendas to his platform that have a zero percent chance of ever being enacted if he makes it to the White House? It’s so undignified. It’s undignified for the progressives, and in a sense it’s undignified for the Biden camp as well. Trying to make a lifelong corporate whore do a fake leftist song and dance is like trying to make a cat wear a dress. Stop trying to get Biden’s handlers to write down some lefty talking points for him to struggle to read on camera and just let him campaign honestly as the corporate whore he’s always been.

And of course the odious Mehdi Hasan trotted out Chomsky to have him recite his famous “lesser of two evils” spiel (except of course in this case it’s the lesser of two right wing dementia patients who’ve been credibly accused of rape). What did you think was going to happen? They did it in 2016, they did it in 2012, of course they’re going to do it again. You’ll never see Noam Chomsky more visible than when the US political establishment needs to keep national momentum from shifting toward actual leftist movements.

And I mean I get it. I get it that it’s annoying to never get to have any heroes who don’t end up betraying the trust you put in them and advancing causes that you oppose. Other people get to have heroes; liberals get to have Obama, conservatives get to have Trump, why don’t people who want to see meaningful healthy changes in US policy get to have any heroes?

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