The opening paragraphs alone are enough to endorse it, for the understated view of the situation.
By Anand Giridharadas. Non-paywalled link.
Polls swing this way and that way, but the larger story they tell is unmistakable. With the midterm elections, Americans are being offered a clear choice between continued and expanded liberal democracy, on the one hand, and fascism, on the other. And it’s more or less a dead heat.
It is time to speak an uncomfortable truth: The pro-democracy side is at risk not just because of potential electoral rigging, voter suppression and other forms of unfair play by the right, as real as those things are. In America (as in various other countries), the pro-democracy cause — a coalition of progressives, liberals, moderates, even decent Republicans who still believe in free elections and facts — is struggling to win the battle for hearts and minds.
The pro-democracy side can still very much prevail. But it needs to go beyond its present modus operandi, a mix of fatalism and despair and living in perpetual reaction to the right and policy wonkiness and praying for indictments.NY Times
Team Fascist has been more successful because they are more experienced and determined at engaging the electorate at psychological and emotional levels. A liberal response based in various dry policy issues doesn’t engender similar loyalty or enthusiasm. To Giridharadas’s taste, the Inflation Reduction Act is better policy than the student loan cancellation which he says is something of a mixed bag—but the latter has the chance to be life-changing for voters who will not forget it, and the former is more abstract, and wasn’t sold to voters as a liberal accomplishment. Not for the first (or last) time, Republican candidates are taking credit for the capital improvements in their districts financed by a law they voted against.
I was also endeared to the article by its pointing out the Democrats are much better at asking you for money—over and over again—than at fostering a sense of participation and membership. It’s always nice to have priors confirmed, when he points out how the Right uses church groups, shooting ranges, and other places to cement emotional membership. There are too few Democratic groups doing the same. We can be proud of belonging to just such a group.
Fighting Fascism should be, occasionally, fun. Not just the constant feeling of dread.