-Its important to have standards, because without standards you can't be sure something is done properly. Standards are what separates quality individuals from anarchy.
-What do you mean? How do standards help us?
-Standards are when you expect to achieve a level of behavior that is considered acceptable or desirable. It is what makes us better than those low quality primitives that just do what ever they want. They have no standards at all. In a moral world, standards are absolutely essential.
-How do I know if I have standards? I want to be a person of quality.
-Typically standards are set by individuals of quality. They debate and discuss what the standards should be. The discussions have very lofty goals and must be very detailed. Once they agree on the appropriate standards we can all live a better life because of the standards they set.
-So the standards make you a more moral person?
-Of course they do! Once you have standards, you know that you are perfect.
-Because you always use the standards to guide your actions, that way you know you are behaving properly. Right?
-The standards. They tell you how to act when you have to make tough decisions.
-How is it any different than not having standards? You still do whatever you want. The standards are totally pointless if you don't actually use them. You are no better than the guys without standards.
-I don't think I like talking to you, I have standards you know.
Oh good. TBogg has dusted off with pride one of my favorite tropes. You know the one, the one where his big joke is at the expense of people concerned over the death sentence passed in a controversial cop-killer case and he tells everyone who doesn't think like TBogg that they are immature children that need to grow the fuck up?
Yeah, that is hilarious. I can't wait for Digby to post another link saying how great TBogg is.
The basic bloggy trope has been kicking around since at least 2001 where those people had the temerity to question whether St. Gore really was really any better than the Republican alternative.
Well it turned out that the Republican alternative really was that bad, and all we heard from then on out is Al Gore fanfic about how it would have been so much better with Al as president and it was all the fault of those people, THANKSRALPH! This was the time when the delightful term the "purity police" was coined, a derivative of the oft used and equally loathsome PC police (a rant for another time).
We were the cautionary tale to keep everyone in line. If we don't vote for the Democrat, the Republican bogey man is under the bed ready to eat our children (just look at all the people those Nader voters killed in Iraq). Every lurch to the right justified with "well at least it wasn't as big a lurch as it could have been." And hey look, gays can marry now!
I get it, I really do. The Republican party is bugshit crazy. There are some areas on the margins where real relief to people is provided by Democrats. Things that cannot be trivialized. The lesser evil argument connects with a solid left.
Here's the problem: If I accept this framing, if I accept that 1% less evil is enough, I embrace despair., nothing less. Because I do not see Democrats and Republicans as two teams fighting it out for what is right, I see a winch and a pawl, one party squeezing tighter and the other merely preventing the backslide. Voting for the pawl means I have accepted that this arc of history is inevitable. That the plutocrats will always win. I am Winston Smith after his treatments, toothless, impotent.
While I admit I may be fooling myself, that my desire to be like Luke fighting Dragline instead of Winston Smith begging for Julia to replace him, is nothing more than a masturbatory fantasy, it is the direction I choose to take, the one I need to take. If that make me a child or a "bro" in TBogg's eyes, well that is a risk I am willing to live with. I also think that maybe people should continue to strive to make sure justice is truly served in Mumia Abu Jamal's case, even it it won't get me into TBogg's heaven.
I guess some men you just can reach.
They will tell us it doesn't matter. They will tell us to go through proper policy channels. They will tell us that we have no voice, no choice, no alternative. They will tell us that what matters are elections. They will repeat this over and over.