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Week's End Thoughts & Reflections, November 3, 2018

"Whilst men are all for their private profit, the public good is neglected and languisheth." —Cotton Mather

Resist Trump Tuesday October 30, 2018

Over the past month or so I have made a modest volunteer contribution to Indivisible Oregon's campaign to get out the vote on behalf of Jamie McLeod-Skinner in Oregon District 2 and Carolyn Long in Washington District 3. I have not been able to bring myself to knock on doors or make phone calls. The one morning I helped out with reminder calls to volunteers about events they had signed up for brought home my discomfort with this sort of thing. Even with a script I found myself mumbling incoherently as brain and tongue failed to act in harmony. That may seem odd given that I have come to be fairly well at my ease reading my poems for an audience or blathering here at this space for whoever may come upon these scribbles. Maybe I should have made myself do it. Others have, and I hold them in high regard for it.

My efforts have been behind the scenes with data entry of volunteer contact information and carpool coordination for canvassing in Eastern Oregon and Vancouver, Washington. More out front I've weighed in with this blog and shared information about campaign events and actions on social media to the extent that many Facebook friends and acquaintances are likely tired of hearing about it. I confess that I have felt besieged by well intended email and texts these past few weeks. I doubt that I am the only one.

These efforts count for something, I hope, paltry as they are next to the tremendous dedication of countless volunteers with Indivisible and other organizations who have been canvassing and phone calling like maniacs for months. They are truly admirable.

No one knows what election day will bring. No matter the outcome, for good or ill, Tuesday will not be the end of things. We must summon the fortitude and stubbornness to keep at it. What else are we going to do?

CBS reported yesterday that early voting totals in twenty-seven states have already exceeded total early votes in the 2014 midterm elections. In Texas the early-vote tally has eclipsed the total vote for 2014 including votes cast on election day. This comes despite widespread efforts at voter suppression, most notably in Georgian and North Dakota. In states with closely contested Senate and gubernatorial races, "everyone is voting," while Democrats reportedly have the edge in states with high turnout but no "marquee" elections for Senate or governor. I would like to think that high turnout on both sides favors the Democrats because anti-Trump factions outnumber the Trump base. This may be wishful thinking. But as those who come to this space regularly may have figured out, I am after all an eternal pessimist. Let's hope for the best.

I thought I would have no more to say about Jordan Peterson and his fellow intellectual dark websters, and I don't, no doubt much to the relief of anyone reading this, but I would like to pass along an amusing column by Marina Hyde and a bit of insightful commentary by Helen Lewis about her recent interview with Peterson.

This passage will give you a taste of Hyde's take on Peterson and the rest:

Peterson is also a leading member of the arseoisie, or the "intellectual dark web", as they prefer it. Again, are you familiar with the "intellectual dark web"? I do hope not. It’s a self-styling by a loose group of soi-disant intellectuals you’d cross continents to avoid having a pint with (although they didn’t go with that tagline in the end). There isn’t space for a full passenger manifest, but they include Peterson, talkshow host Dave Rubin, Newsweek columnist and perma-pundit Ben Shapiro and a bunch of other people bizarrely obsessed with what students do, even though we’ve known since time immemorial that students often act like idiots, and mostly grow out of it unless they’re Hamlet or whatever. Think of the intellectual dark web as a very whiny superhero team. Marvel’s A-Whingers. Guardians of the Galaxy Brains. The League of Extraordinarily Fragile Gentlemen.

I think she pretty much nails them.

Keep the faith.

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