THREAD

HOW WE GOT HERE: PART VI—POLITICS OF PERSONALITY

This thread contains excerpts from Part VI of “How We Got Here.” This part addresses the personalization of politics and the need to instead focus on systems and ideas to achieve justice.

1/20

medium.com/@1JoshGreenber…
“Another fundamental problem in our political discourse, which spans the political spectrum but also applies to the progressive movement, has been the conflation of person and idea.”

2/20

medium.com/@1JoshGreenber…
“We can hate a person's speech without hating the person. In fact, we can hate a person's speech even while loving the person. Our discourse and debate must fundamentally revolve around ideas, not persons.”

3/20

medium.com/@1JoshGreenber…
“When we respond with personal attacks, we accomplish little, even if those attacks appear to be true.”

4/20

medium.com/@1JoshGreenber…
“First, by denigrating the source of the disliked language or position, we alienate him or her, which only makes it more likely that the speaker will respond with further defensiveness.”

5/20

medium.com/@1JoshGreenber…
“Second, by stating that the speaker ‘is’ a certain characteristic and affixing a corresponding label, we cast that person in an immutable light. We thereby minimize the space and opportunity for the speaker to rehabilitate or to express remorse.”

6/20

medium.com/@1JoshGreenber…
“Ultimately, matters of personality severely distract from the core ideas at stake and undermine our ability to defeat those ideas.”

7/20

medium.com/@1JoshGreenber…
“Over the past four years, progressives would have done better to focus on refuting Trump's ideas rather than Trump himself—and, not only doing that, but offering positive alternatives to those ideas.”

8/20

medium.com/@1JoshGreenber…
“The Trump character attacks have been particularly problematic because of the pathological loyalty that Trump has cultivated amongst his followers. Under such circumstances, character attacks against the leader only deepen the loyalty of the flock.”

9/20
medium.com/@1JoshGreenber…
“Most of all, these observations also apply to responses to hateful language: not only must we denounce such language, but we must actively defeat hate with love.”

10/20

medium.com/@1JoshGreenber…
“Oftentimes, progressives have deceived themselves that their advocacy has been grounded on love and inclusion.”

11/20

medium.com/@1JoshGreenber…
“The love only reverberates inside an echo-chamber. The love does not reach the enemy. Instead, it is a love for the ingroup only.”

12/20

medium.com/@1JoshGreenber…
“The progressive echo-chamber of love and conformity is reinforced by social media, where one misstep can lead to vehement, widespread shaming.”

13/20

medium.com/@1JoshGreenber…
“When we degenerate into shaming, we violate another person's rights to dignity and respect, fundamentally undercutting our moral cause—for we cannot defend the existence of some people by denying the existence of others.”

14/20

medium.com/@1JoshGreenber…
“For hateful groups, the perceived suppression involved in shaming tends to reinforce their conspiracy theories, confirming to them that powerful forces in society have aligned to block free participation in our social discourse.”

15/20

medium.com/@1JoshGreenber…
“We must remember that our fight is fundamentally about creating better systems—because systems, not individuals, are the ultimate source of injustice. To create more just systems, we fight against problems, not against people. We fight for ideas.”

16/20

medium.com/@1JoshGreenber…
“In contrast to these feeble approaches, moral ideas—which are inherently true ideas, transcending all individualities and identities—provide the most powerful weapon in the world.”

17/20

medium.com/@1JoshGreenber…
“Progressives and Democrats, however, have lost sight of these truths. By engaging in constant denunciation and vengefulness, they have contributed to a marked spiral in our political rhetoric and have failed to offer positive alternatives.”

18/20

medium.com/@1JoshGreenber…
“At the end of everything, the Democrats have only been left with a 2020 campaign platform that essentially amounts to ‘not Trump.’ This platform is woefully, perhaps fatally, lacking.”

19/20

medium.com/@1JoshGreenber…

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More from @1JoshGreenberg

10 Nov
THREAD

UNDERSTANDING TRUMP’S COUP STRATEGY

Although everything currently unfolding has been predicted far in advance, denialism continues to flourish. Many people are drawing incorrect conclusions with regard to Trump’s strategies and discounting the crisis before us.

1/
But now, more than ever, we need a clearsighted approach to defeat Trump.

This thread is meant to clear up key questions and to highlight crucial strategic considerations at play.

2/
Let’s first be clear about the two distinct but interrelated problems facing our country: (1) a potentially successful coup by Trump and (2) the risk of civil conflict. I will address each of these issues in turn.

3/
Read 47 tweets
9 Nov
THREAD

POLARIZATION AS AN EXISTENTIAL THREAT

While Biden’s victory is thrilling, the difficult truth is that our country remains as polarized as ever. Take a moment to review the rhetoric emanating from the opposing side, and this fact will be obvious.

1/20
Moreover, while we keep hearing that “the people have spoken,” Biden won with just 51 percent of the popular vote. Many citizens who did not vote for Biden remain adamantly opposed to him.

2/20
While it is enticing to gloat in the victory of one’s political tribe, we also need to swallow a dose of reality and remain focused on the road ahead.

The electoral triumph is a critical first step in paving a better future—but that is all.

3/20
Read 20 tweets
27 Oct
THREAD: MASS PEACEFUL PROTEST

For convenient reference, this thread compiles both my writing and videos on the importance of mass peaceful protest, based on perspectives ranging from political science to moral duty

1/11
Read 11 tweets
27 Oct
THREAD: RESISTANCE STRATEGY

For convenient reference, this thread compiles my most important work on the failures of resistance strategy—along with solutions to them.

1/7
Read 7 tweets
27 Oct
THREAD: FORECASTS FOR 2020 ELECTION

For convenient reference, this thread contains my most important pieces describing forecasts—and warnings—for the 2020 election on November 3.

1/4
Read 4 tweets
27 Oct
THREAD: PEACE

For convenient reference, this thread compiles some of my most important pre-election work calling for peace efforts.

1/4
Read 4 tweets

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