When it comes to the value of writing about national politics in the US, I am decidedly ambivalent.
On the one hand, I know that political writing, especially coming from a “nobody” such as myself, is a godawful way to persuade anyone of anything; that reasoned persuasion isn’t really the nature of politics; and that the very structure of social media and the internet is designed so that anything I write will likely go unseen by those who don’t agree with me already.
This is all quite dispiriting.
On the other hand, I know that there are other people writing things on the internet, and that some of these other people are disseminating weak ideas for bad reasons. Even worse, I know that it is in the nature of the hot-take economy to prioritize “engagement” (meaning: provocation, sectarianism, and demagoguery) far ahead of wisdom or accuracy.
This is all quite infuriating.
What is to be done? Is it better to rail at the void, fully understanding that the void will not hear you, that the void does not listen, and that even when it appears the void is listening, it is most often hearing what it wants to hear, rather than what you’ve said? Or is it better to maintain your self-respect by refusing to rail, and by telling yourself that silence is less an admission of defeat than it is a conscious decision?
For now, at least, I’ve decided to rail.