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Something I want to say about America. All great powers in history have been aggressive, expansionist, racist, hierarchical, and behaved towards people, internally and externally, with psychopathic cruelty. The USA started out with higher ideals. 1/13
It gradually evolved into a country that embraced (both in its public discourse and its laws) the ideals of equality before the law, free speech, and basic human rights, long before those ideals had actually been realized. 2/13
But so many people here did the work. The Americans who fought to defeat fascism in Europe, the civil rights movement, the feminist movement, the trades unionists... the incalculable sacrifices of ordinary people trying to realize those ideals. 3/13
And those foundations are still frail. The norms and ethics we live by as a result of those gains in how we treat black and brown people, how we treat women, are still *clearly* all very fragile. And our institutions still exhibit the cruelty that was at the heart of slavery 4/13
in mass incarceration and other forms of systemic racism. There is still massive economic inequality. And we still incinerate areas of the world at will, from Vietnam and Cambodia to the contemporary Middle East. 5/13
Our many hard-won arms control treaties haven't got rid of hypocritical warmongering any more than the gains of the civil rights movement got rid of racism. They were only tiny steps towards realizing the ideal of a better world order. 6/13
If it's all still so new and so imperfect and so fragile, don't we need to strengthen it? And urgently? Can we let Trump just put a match to everything achieved by social movements and incremental policy change, and the diplomacy that has made those small gains? 7/13
Because when I see people on the left in America saying the US is still the greatest force for evil in the world, or that it's no better than any authoritarian regime, I think they're trashing all those achievements, 8/13
meagre as they may be compared to our ideals. Yeah, that's all we've managed so far. And it was really fucking hard. So those who say they won't vote for Biden, or whoever, because they'll still represent the bad in America, are saying fuck you to those generations 9/13
(and often the most oppressed among them) who fought and did the work. They're saying let Trump take a torch to it, because we're still no better than anyone else. What do they think happens next? What do they think rises from the ashes? 10/13
When people say no matter who's elected we're still no better than Putin or Xi Jinping, they're saying screw all the efforts generations have made to be better because they haven't made enough difference. And all I want to say to them 11/13
is why not try a little harder, no a fuck of a lot harder, to preserve the gains, none of which have anything to do with economic deregulation and the free market ideology you rightly and proudly despise, or the Iraq war we all know was a horrific executive act. 12/13
Right now there is one massive obstacle in the way: Donald Trump and the GOP who support him. They're the enemy. Fight them. Out of respect for everyone else who has fought for justice, just fight them and get them out. Please. 13/13
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