Because The Stakes Are So Small

March 22, 2008

Oh student politics. How I love to watch you flop about, so very noisy but so very, very ineffectual. I have so loved watching you grow up into the modern left wing of politics, dealing with issues that are profoundly important and failing spectacularly to accomplish anything whatsoever. It is so much more important that all voices be heard and understood and validated than it is to, say, get a good strong grip on economic policy or the consequences of international trade. I just want to take that beret off your head and ruffle your hair. Stay precious, you little scamp!
The Torontoist reports on a protest turned not so much “ugly” as, the video would indicate, “noisily petulant”. The money quote, I think (are parent-funded, university marxists allowed money quotes? I suppose that they are, provided every letter gets a share) from the website of the group “AlwaysQuestion” who ostensibly organized whatever it was describes the police “assault” on their peaceful demonstration:

“One student was dragged across the floor against his will, while another was pushed and pulled to the point where his shirt almost ripped in two.”

Can you believe it? His shirt was almost ripped in two. It’s hard to imagine police being more thuggish and oppressive than that!
God, you people are so useless, and so self-important. And, one notes, so very very privileged. It’s like watching a peacock puff itself full of air to make itself look larger. It’s hard to believe that  people who’ve focused on dollar returns and getting results rather than feel-good consensus have been getting so much more traction out of the electorate lately than the current generation of self-aggrandizing fops. Who could have predicted that?
Rolling Stone writer Matt Tabibi wrote an eloquent bit about this a while back:

“Anyone who’s ever been to a lefty political meeting knows the deal – the problem is the “spirit of inclusiveness” stretched to the limits of absurdity. The post-sixties dogma that everyone’s viewpoint is legitimate, everyone‘s choice about anything (lifestyle, gender, ethnicity, even class) is valid, that’s now so totally ingrained that at every single meeting, every time some yutz gets up and starts rambling about anything, no matter how ridiculous, no one ever tells him to shut the fuck up. Next thing you know, you’ve got guys on stilts wearing mime makeup and Cat-in-the-Hat striped top-hats leading a half-million people at an anti-war rally. Why is that guy there? Because no one told him that war is a matter of life and death and that he should leave his fucking stilts at home.”

One of the reasons Obama’s speech from the other day was so inspiring to me was it presented me the chance, the slim hope, that there might be somebody out there in the political arena who holds progressive, left-leaning views on the critically important public policy issues of our time without also being a patronizing, cripplingly smug and completely ineffectual ninny.
I have a dream.