In our excitement for even a hint of revolutionary fervor ostensibly permeating mainstream debate, we’ve enabled misogyny and Great Man narratives to go unchecked. This is troubling ground to build if we want to fight from it.
And, of course, it’s not only through this week’s Brand hagiographies that “lazy sexism” has been troublingly permitted in the name of radical politics — it’s pervasive.
Take, for well-worn example, the ongoing yet baffling difficulty many supporters of WikiLeaks and pro-transparency projects seem to have with any criticism of Julian Assange; the willingness with which thousands of Assange acolytes outright rejected sexual assault claims against him.
To avoid another maelstrom myself, I simply posit: It is at least logically possible for a man to both be a sexist creepbag and espouse some good political ideas and projects.
I don’t mean to draw any strict equivalences between Brand and Assange. I could list a whole host of examples:
Recall the viral spread of the “Stand with Rand” sentiment, when Sen. Rand Paul mounted an epic filibuster of John Brennan’s nomination to CIA director. I too stood with Rand’s critique of the Obama administration’s unchecked executive power when it comes to drone kill lists. But I don’t stand in any solidarity with the racist Kentucky Republican…
If you thought Russell Brand was a total and complete moron before, here he is sitting in a very expensive hotel room talking about how much he hates the rich.” (…)
“Stop for a second. The guy is a moron, Stu. But what part of this is not accurate.” Glenn asked. “They don’t care about the average person. Government does not care about the average person. They only care about their ‘real’ constituents, the ones who have money, the corporations.”
“Because we know what he is actually saying. He’s saying the answer to this is much, much, much more government,” Stu responded. “I know his answer.”
“I know that, but we didn’t get to the answer yet. And this is the problem. This is how they are going to win, if we don’t recognize that what he’s saying in the first half is 80% true,” Glenn pleaded. “Government is not making you a drug addict. That’s your choice. That’s a Marxist philosophy – that government always controls me. No, no, no it doesn’t. Even in a concentration camp. You still have a choice. So the government doesn’t control your choices, you do. Beyond that, everything else that he is saying here so far is pretty fair.”
Pat was still not convinced. “I don’t know about that,” he said. “I don’t know about that.”
Richard Metzger won’t like being told he and Glenn Beck agree on so much.