HomeArticleWhy Do Our Heroes Always Let Us Down?

Why Do Our Heroes Always Let Us Down?

Democratic congressional candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is drawing fire from the antiwar left, and not for the first, second or third time. The same leftist contingent which has been energizing Ocasio-Cortez’s campaign and elevating her to the public spotlight has been voicing increasing concerns about her antiwar platform temporarily vanishing from her campaign website, about her walking back from her position on the Israeli government’s massacring of Palestinian protesters with sniper fire, about her weirdly hawkish criticism of the GOP as being “weak on national security”, and her deference to the establishment Russia narrative.

And now, as multiple outlets have documented in articles released in the last few hours, many of Ocasio-Cortez’s supporters have been upset with a statement she made praising the recently deceased warmongering psychopath John McCain and his blood-soaked legacy.

“John McCain’s legacy represents an unparalleled example of human decency and American service,” tweeted the candidate upon McCain’s death, which, for anyone who cares about the late Arizona senator’s relentless push to inflict military violence around the world at every opportunity, is incredibly offensive. McCain was easily the single most virulent warmonger on Capitol Hill, so praising him and his legacy as exemplary of human decency necessarily clashes with the “Peace Economy” platform that has had so many of Ocasio-Cortez’s supporters so excited.

What remains of the American left (and for my right-wing readers I here mean the actual anti-war, socialist left, not the Hillary Clinton “Make sure we refer to everyone on our drone kill list by their preferred gender pronouns” corporatist Left™ that Americans are permitted to support) has become very suspicious of anyone who rises to a position of leadership among their ranks, especially anyone who appears to lend legitimacy to the profoundly corrupt Democratic Party. And understandably so; being a DemEnter progressive is a nonstop lesson in disappointment, heartache and betrayal. Door after door after door gets slammed on all attempts to advance your political agendas, and if you find someone who seems like he might maybe be able to sneak some health in between the cracks, he turns around and helps sell America the new cold war with Russia.

This has been a set pattern for a long time now. I often share this video clip from eight years ago when the progressives who had hoped that the Obama administration would oppose warmongering and fight for economic justice were coming to the conclusion that they had been duped yet again by the “hope and change” song and dance. The term “three-dimensional chess”, a term you’ll always see supporters of a given political figure start using when their hero begins capitulating to establishment interests, is used scornfully in the clip. It happens on either side of the political aisle; I see Trump supporters do it too when I point out the many ways in which he is continuing and expanding the Orwellian neoconservative policies of his predecessors.

What’s up with that? Why do our heroes always fail us? Why does everyone we elevate to fight the oppression machine always end up becoming a cog in that very machine? Is there a lesson here we’re meant to be learning?

I think there is. Out of the constant rise and fall of hope and then disappointment, over and over the lesson is that we aren’t going to get a savior. We can keep looking for one and crowdsurfing them to the frontlines, but each pedestalling will inevitably fail. We will be constantly disappointed by the choices of humans on an individual basis. The second coming ain’t coming to save us unless it’s coming from within, and within all of us.

Every few days I get a comment from a reader who is deeply disappointed in my choices. “I can’t believe you’ve gone and said such a thing,” they say. “To think, I used to trust you! You were my hero!” And I always want to shout back, “Well, that was a bit dumb, who told you to do that?? Who told you I was interested in being anyone’s hero?”

And I’m truly not. I’ve got exactly zero interest in being anyone’s hero or leader or guru or anything like that; I’m just some potty-mouthed bogan with a few ideas and a Medium account, and I like it that way. I don’t have any special powers and if you find my thoughts resonate with yours, great, but I always want you to put your own gut before my ramblings. All I’m ever really doing here is pointing out again and again in different ways how your own best guess as to what’s going on in the world is always going to be superior to the information being spoon fed to you by the paid deceivers and manipulators of the mass media. If people could simply shift to trusting themselves and their own inner sense-maker more than the voices of perceived authority in their lives and on their digital screens, our species could very quickly move into health and harmony, because we’d no longer be streamlined into supporting the unwholesome agendas of an elite class of plutocrats.

And the longer I look at this thing the more clear it becomes that that really is our only shot. It sounds a bit kooky to say that the only way out of the oppressive Orwellian status quo that is driving us toward war and ecocide is a mass shift in human consciousness, but I insist that it’s far less crazy than the idea that we can solve our problems using political solutions while maintaining the relationship with thought and narrative that our species currently has.

Whenever you try to debate a devout free market capitalist by pointing to the current system’s failures, they’ll invariably tell you that the current system isn’t true capitalism, that due to corporatism and the influences of corrupt governmental power, true capitalism hasn’t yet been tried. When you try to debate a socialist by pointing to the failures of nations which carry that label you get the same argument; those were corrupt, top heavy perversions of the socialist ideology, and true socialism hasn’t been tried yet.

And both are correct: neither political solution to our society’s dilemmas has ever been tried in its pure form. And why is that? Ultimately, it’s because humanity remains a fearful species which latches onto abstract mental narratives in order to maintain a sense of control over the fate of the conceptual self they believe themselves to be, and those narratives can then be manipulated by more clever humans. Happens again and again; systems designed to help humanity give way to the manipulations of the powerful for the benefit of the powerful, because we are too easy to manipulate.

So in the cases of both true free market capitalism and true socialism, the problem isn’t necessarily that those systems don’t work (who knows, haven’t tried them yet), it’s that humanity hasn’t yet moved into a sufficiently wholesome relationship with power and narrative to be able to implement them. Complaining that your system hasn’t been implemented correctly is therefore actually just complaining that humanity has not yet experienced a global shift in consciousness.

But if we can make such a shift, will our old models even be useful in the new paradigm? Isn’t it kind of like a two-dimensional character trying to design city plans for a three-dimension civilization they can’t even imagine? How much relevance would the manifesto of a nineteenth century German philosopher or the ideas of long dead Austrian economists have to a twenty-first century world in which humans don’t move the way they used to and are not motivated by the same things they once were?

This is why I don’t make much of a fuss about one ideological model or the other being the right and true one. A world in which everyone gets what they need and we aren’t killing each other or our ecosystem anymore is obviously something we all want, but I don’t see any way to get there by picking heroes and sending them toward the top of a power structure that has been deliberately designed to funnel power upward and banish anyone who obstructs that movement.

I no longer jump on bandwagons for the same reason I don’t go around babbling about “sheep dogs” and aggressively trying to tear down anti-establishment heroes who aren’t being anti-establishment enough: if you put someone on a pedestal, eventually you’re going to have to knock them off of it, because the solution isn’t in them. It’s in each of us.

How can we overthrow our oppressors if we haven’t overthrown our inner oppressor as well? How can we shrug off the fear-soaked narratives of the propaganda machine if we haven’t detached from the anxious self-talk of our babbling inner narrator that seeks to dictate our entire attention? We can turn off all the screens in our lives that seek to take over our authority, but it’s the screen in our minds which holds our attention that we have to turn off as well.

And that will necessarily move us in a far more harmonious way. We will look like a whole different species. From how I see it now, political solutions are inherently top-down, competitive and divisive, and what we are shooting for is a much more organically collaborative crowd-sourced approach. As we get healthier, we’ll see solutions come together in a distributed, improvisational way from collections of people who aren’t interested in getting noticed, they just want to get it done.

And there are plenty of people like that already. The Bernie campaign brought together huge swathes of them. We are going to see that across all sectors, in science, technology and the arts as people put aside our weird egoic desire for the separating effects of fame and fortune for the joy of making something beautiful, helpful or healthy together, simply for the thrill of accomplishing something bigger than ourselves. The old dinosaur notions of pinning down ideas with patents and so on will be seen clearly for what they are — an attempt by individual egos to colonize inspiration that ultimately inhibits human thriving. Just as we learn to stop trusting the individual ego in others to save us, we will stop trusting it in ourselves, and increasingly we will hand over our internal control to the greater part of our consciousness that does not seek to control, define, claim and deflect, but rather draws from a wisdom that often eludes narration but creates harmoniously.

We are the helpers. We’ve always been here, but until now we’ve been co-opted by manipulators into manufacturing consent for their sick agendas. Very rarely has a helper found a helper to help. Very rarely have two people who only want to work in the highest interest and not self-interest come together to make something, let alone a group of them. As we begin to really see how manipulators move and they start to pop up on our screens like a fly on white paper, the helpers will become obvious as well. We can start to trust our gut again about who and where to put our energy, and out of those new collaborations, beautiful inspired solutions will be born into the world.

Put to one side the anxiety-soaked stories your mind creates and deal with what’s in the here and now, and keep gently bringing yourself back to the reality of your feet on the floor and the air moving through your lungs. Every reset back into peace with your surroundings creates a space where inspiration can come in. This simple internal act of rebellion from obedience to the voice-that-is-me will have far-reaching consequences in the outer world as we draw back subservience from the outer voices of authority, and bring it back into ourselves.

I know that’s not nearly as cool as storming the barracks with flags and rebel songs and the image of our hero inked into our skin, but we’ve tried that before, and we just got more of the same. Every hero we elevate turns to smoke, and every door we’ve tried is closed except this one. So let’s open it and see what happens.

______________

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Latest comments

  • ‘The Hillary Clinton “Make sure we refer to everyone on our drone kill list by their preferred gender pronouns” corporatist Left’: love it! Lol!

  • Overall a correct article. But there are serious questions that are fundamental. What exactly is the philosophy that will allow people to pursue peace not just individually but as a whole? What is the exact goal we are trying to reach and which philosophy will get us there?

    To me there is only one philosophy that will get us there: The Non Aggressive Principle (NAP). And, I argue further, there is only one way to pursue the NAP and that is through seeking only the Truth, inside each of us and from others.

  • bon je vais essayer de laisser un comment. donc, pauvres petites choses d’amérique et d’australie, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez vous a déçus. la belle affaire. c’est curieux, mais je ne suis pas déçu, moi. et pourquoi je ne suis pas déçu par alexandria. parce que je sais que nous n’avons rien à attendre d’un “sauveur” ou d’une “sauveuse”. c’est à nous de nous bouger notre cul et non d’attendre qu’un messie politique va transformer tout seul avec ses petits bras l’humanité entière et ses civilisations. pensez-vous que je crois que melenchon ou macron vont en france changer les choses?

  • I’m 70 now and it’s only in the last 15 years I have seen the light and through the matrix as you put it. Still better late than never. Thanks for the article, well explained.

  • Same old hero deal, you can be fabulously rich or dead, times up sign here and here. Welcome to the club. Yeah something new. Big lesson quit all the stupid arguments between each other. Prioritize. Human life is more important than feeling safe. When others die because their leaders don’t take the same old hero deal, you are not safe.

  • Cease awaiting a savior/hero and become one yourself is what ought to be the response for the citizenry of a self-governing republic. That was the solution posed during the debate over ratification of the 1787 Constitution. It remains the only solution today.

    So, the charlatan’s been exposed, but who quickly stepped into the breech to replace her candidacy? Nobody as far as I know. Looks like everyone just threw up their arms in mutual disgust, wrote missives using fiery rhetoric, but otherwise did nothing.

    Until this behavior changes, expect to continue being groined then kicked in the ribs.

    • I am not so sure that will work as a solution any more. In 1787 there was a self-selected population of independent thinkers, probably the highest average intelligence this nation has ever known. The liberty they espoused doesn’t seem to appeal to moderns nearly as much and coupled with the fact of societal collapse from lack of any cohesive force and an increasing lack of self discipline might explain the cries for a hero and a savior. But like dhe says, any savior will end up disappointing at best and corrupt destroyer or worse.

  • I can only imagine what our world would look like if;
    all the funds that it took for all the wars were used to ‘feed the people’
    to keep our forests pristine, to make sure every ‘Human’ had a roof over
    their head, clean water to drink, be one with Source, (God) Gaia.

    I can and do imagine this world, I see thru the veil of ignorance,
    the veil that has kept ‘humans’ dumbed down for hundreds, if not thousands
    of years. . .

    Now is the time for all to come together as ONE HEART, ONE SOUL,
    Mother Earth Needs us Now, We are the Ones We’ve been waiting for.

    • Yes. Exactly. We should organize, or at least start talking about, a global protest against war. We could literally collaborate with people from every nation and hold a world wide workers strikes. A people’s strike.

      Until the governments of the world disarm completely the people of the world should remain on strike. This is exactly the kind of peaceful revolution it will take to bring an end to the killing.

  • If Jesus Christ himself came down and ran on the Democratic ticket, I wouldn’t vote for Him.

    • What if Angelina Jolie were his VP nom?

      But seriously, I’m with you.

      Anyone who would ever again trust that party of monsters after 2016 is a fool, a tool or on the payroll.

  • Caitlin, you are spot on – Our only hope of survival is the complete break-up of the two party system and taking money out of politics (which in reality is one party). And I doubt very much if a hero is on the horizon. Though a group of heroes may work, as MM said “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” The present system, because it is so corrupt attracts those who are of a similar nature. It is our nature that has been corrupted….

    • Seems to me, along these lines, that advocates worker-owned coops such as Richard Wolf, groups like “Fellowship for Intentional Community” (ic.org), and organic farmers springing up all over the country are on the right track. If we can’t go through them (the tower of power that spawned Ocasio-Cortez) then we must find a way to go AROUND them.

  • Your just not allowing me any flaws to find and correct, you go and state it all succinctly, whats left for me to say?
    You should read my fathers book, it will add a new perspective to your outlook, its called “Ecophysics”, its by the late PHD physicist James Paul Wesley and it clarifies the details of the evolutionary process as only a physicist could.
    It basically postulates that machines are a form of life in competition and cooperation with humanity. The idea is that machines evolve as fast as inventors can invent, which is hundreds of thousands of times faster than biological evolution which puts biological life forms at a disadvantage.
    https://www.amazon.com/Ecophysics-application-physics-ecology-Wesley/dp/0398029598
    If we consider technology to be a form of extended life we can then explain what we see going on all around us, the economy has become centered around replacing slow to evolve humans with fast to evolve technology which requires fewer and fewer humans to thrive just at the time the population is increasing, now reduced demand coupled with increased supply = extinction.
    If we consider that machines are making the ecological role of humans extinct along with biological life in general then the acts of the elite become obvious, they are necessarily on the side of the technology and against the human side, this stance sees fewer and fewer elites with more and more power, there is a competition to see who can sell out humanity to technology the fastest so as to secure ever shrinking rewards.
    This has been played out many times in humanities history, but always with imported foreign human labor, local elites undercut local guilds by bringing in indentured servants, slaves and scabs and thereby become dependent on exploitation of the lowest classes.
    Today the lowest classes are machines, but their status is steadily rising and the status of humans falling. Corporate person hood is much the same as machine person hood, it establishes what amounts to rights for machines since corporations use technology to sell technology.
    If we think of the elite as addicts beholden to their machine suppliers, addicts who are willing to turn against the rest of humanity to maintain their supply it works as an explanatory model.
    The elite are traitors to the human race

    • I cant argue with that. You’re not allowing for flaws either other than the “Amazon” part. I will have to get your father’s book somewhere else as Amazon doesn’t need the money and should be not be patronized.

  • Man, your work just keeps getting better. This is my favorite piece yet. Thank you Caitlin.

    May I suggest what this organically collaborative revolution will look like? If I may, I would like to make your idea more concrete. Perhaps this is the idea your next piece could be about. I am imagining a global protest against war.

    This is an idea that has been ringing in my mind and soul for some months now. It is so simple and beautiful. I just keep hoping someone like you, someone who people actually listen to, will take it and refine it and make it real.

    Just think. Everyone in the world is connected now. What is stopping us from organizing a world wide protest against war? How quickly could the idea of it take hold in the collective consciousness of the people of the world? Who among us will disagree with the idea of ending war? And if we spread the idea around the world, what is to stop all the people of the world from protesting together all at once.

    The main argument the “leaders” of mankind have used against movements to end war is something like, “If we stop fighting, then they, all the other bad people in the world, will come and kill all of us”. But if we get everyone one in the world involved in the protest then that argument no longer holds water. If the people in every country of the world go out and demand of their respective governments that they halt all military operations, then that is it. War will end.

    Some people might say, “Yeah, but not everyone will get involved”. No they won’t. Those who benefit from war won’t, but enough people will that it doesn’t matter. What percentage of people, globally, would agree that war is bad? What percentage of people would be willing to protest war? Seventy-five percent? How about fifty percent? If half the people in the world go on strike at the same time, it would be enough. It would shut down the global economy. Governments would have to listen.

    This is what I wish you would talk about Caitlin. I know, as you said, you don’t want to be a leader, but unfortunately it is already too late for that. You are a leader Caitlin. People listen to you. Sure, keep telling people that they need to follow their hearts, that they need to evaluate ideas for themselves, but you do lead people to ideas. Lead them to this idea. Help lead people through this revolution and evolution you are talking about.

    God bless you Caitlin Johnstone. Thanks for all your work.

    Chris C.

  • “The only thing that’s going to ever bring about any meaningful change is ongoing, dedicated, popular movements that don’t pay attention to the election cycle.”…chomsky

    • George Carlin is one of the greatest comedians of all time and one of my personal heroes, but on the point of not voting, he is simply wrong. Elections do matter. For proof, one need look no further than the U.S. Supreme Court, which now has arch-conservatives Neil Gorsuch sitting in a stolen seat and Brett Kavanaugh about to sit in another seat, both appointed by Donald Trump. Their presence on the Court will have a tremendous impact on the lives of millions of individuals and on society as a whole. Do I seem to be advocating voting for the lesser of two evils? Indeed I am, because not voting at all is, in effect, voting for the greater of two evils. It’s just basic logic.

      • If refusing to vote for psychopaths is throwing away my vote, I’m morally bound to do it.

      • Isn’t that inscribed above one of the closed doors Caitlin mentioned? Sounds really familiar. Or maybe it’s from the CIA psyops handbook?

      • In 2000, all my so called liberal (ie: closet conservative) friends told me “This election is too important to throw away your vote on Nader – look at the Supreme Court! Vote your conscience next time and I’ll join you.”

        I voted for Nader.

        In 2004, all my so called liberal (ie: closet conservative) friends screeched “This election is too important to throw away your vote on Nader – look at the Supreme Court! Vote your conscience next time and I’ll join you.””

        I voted for Nader again, but none of my liberal friends joined me; they spat at me instead.

        In 2008, all my so called liberal (ie: closet conservative) friends shrieked “This election is too important to throw away your vote on Nader – look at the Supreme Court! Vote your conscience next time and I’ll join you.” (They also called me a racist and a fool if I were to vote my conscience.)

        I voted for Nader yet again, but none of them joined me as they’d promised.

        In 2012, all my so called liberal (ie: closet conservative) friends screamed “This election is too important to throw away your vote on Dr. Stein – look at the Supreme Court! Vote your conscience next time and I’ll join you.”

        I voted for Stein, but none of my liberal friends joined me as they’d promised.

        In 2016, all my so called liberal (ie: closet conservative) friends screeched “This election is too important to throw away your vote on Stein again – look at the Supreme Court! Vote your conscience next time and I’ll join you.” (They also told me I was sexist pig for refusing to vote for rape cheerleader Hillary Clinton.)

        And now I know they’ll never join me in voting for the best candidate. That was just another of their poison lies.

        But the Court is finally veering further right under Trump; maybe a broken so called liberal clock is right once every 16 years or so?

        But I don’t trust so called liberals (ie: closet conservatives) anymore, and I will NEVER vote Democrat again at any level in any election.

        It will NEVER happen.

        But yeah – look at the Supreme Court.

        If all the so called liberals (ie closet conservatives) had voted for Nader and Stein, it might be the finest SCOTUS in history.

        But all those elections were too important for any so called liberal to vote their so called conscience, so this is what we have.

        Liberals (ie closet conservatives) are responsible for this mess.

        No one else.

        Congratulations.

        • I guess you haven’t been following the workings of the SCOTUS over the past 14 years, but they have already done a shitload of damage. Worse is yet to come. But some purists don’t seem to care, as long as they are not affected personally. It’s just tough luck for other people, for whom the consequences of Republican presidencies are all too real.

          • Rob wrote:

            “I guess you haven’t been following the workings of the SCOTUS over the past 14 years, but they have already done a shitload of damage. Worse is yet to come. But some purists don’t seem to care, as long as they are not affected personally. It’s just tough luck for other people, for whom the consequences of Republican presidencies are all too real.”

            I guess the purely conservative so called liberals didn’t care enough about other people to vote for the best candidate instead of the corrupt facile warmongering conservative Democrat of the moment.

            Oh well. I guess they’ll keep pointing the finger at those courageous enough to vote their conscience rather than looking in the mirror and seeing who really caused the SCOTUS mess.

            And worse is certainly yet to come – I know because I’ve seen the damage so called liberals have done in the last 18 years, and they’re doubling down on their corruption, irrationality, warmongering and blame of everyone but themselves.

            Keep up the *good* work folks! :+)

    • Some people seem to be missing the point that electoral politics are about gaining power by winning elections. In the American system, as currently structured, that means voting for candidates from either the Democratic or Republican Party, no matter how distasteful that may be. And though the differences between the two parties may seem small, they are real, nonetheless. Withholding one’s vote or giving it to a fringe candidate with zero chance of winning may feel inwardly satisfying, but it has the effect of adding a vote in favor of the worse (Republican) Party.

      As the United States continues its slide into fascism, people need to think about which party is pouring more grease on the slide. And please don’t believe the nonsense that they’re both the same. That’s a narrative that does not stand up to critical examination.

      • Some people feel that voting for THIS party of planetary rape and destruction makes then more virtuous than those who vote for THAT party of planetary rape and destruction.

        And some people feel morally and intellectually superior in condemning those who reject the idea that supporting planetary rape and destruction at whatever speed and under whatever absurd banner is wholly unacceptable to any decent human being.

        Some people like to present their horrifying moral foreclosure and cheerleading of planetary rape and destruction as practical and mature.

        And some people like to fantasize that the US is sliding into fascism, and use this as a fearmongering tactic to herd the easily led into voting for THIS evil rather than THAT evil, whereas others recognize that the US arrived at fascism a long, long time ago.

        Some people…

        What are you going to do? :+)

        • I won’t argue that the American system has had fascistic features for quite some time, but there is a big difference between our current “soft” fascism and the “hard” fascism that may be in our future. Do not be so foolish as to think that things cannot get worse–much worse.

          Our goal must be to turn the ship around and steer it in the opposite direction. That cannot happen except by gaining political power for the great mass of people, something that can be accomplished either by electoral mechanisms or by violence. Personally, I prefer elections.

          • The US electoral process is corrupt and rotten to the core; if one supports Democrats OR Republicans, then one IS the problem.

            Violence is also unacceptable.

            But as Caitlin is saying above, awakening is the way to go.

            Drop the party line & become a part of the solution rather than perpetuating the problem of corrupt warmongering fascism and terror as championed by our grotesque duopolist system.

            Good luck. :+)

            • That sounds great in principle, but how does one do it in the real world?

              • One votes Green?

                One goes cold turkey in ever again supporting either wing of the US duopoly’s death & planetary rape machine?

                In the real world – at least in the US – Democrats and Republicans are THE problem, so stop being a part of the problem. One doesn’t have to do anything but stop supporting monsters.

                It’s sooooooooo simple. :+)

  • “I am not a Labor Leader; I do not want you to follow me or anyone else; if you are looking for a Moses to lead you out of this capitalist wilderness, you will stay right where you are. I would not lead you into the promised land if I could, because if I led you in, some one else would lead you out.” –Eugene V. Debs

    In the meantime, more hope and carnage.

  • From one potty-mouthed bogan to another, you have nailed it with narrative as king, elevating heroes always leading to hopes crushed between the rock of ego and the hard place of political reality and with this post, the door never opened. The only way forward, the only genuinely evolutionary path is personal responsibility. The answer is inside each and every person where only they can bring about real change.

  • Great explanation of why we are more likely to go extinct in the next 20-100 years than we are to change the workings of the human mind.

  • That John McCain did and Hillary Clinton will (also Bush/Cheney) with resolution for what they have commited. Reveals our abject state of affairs. Pure nihilism brought on by our self-absorbed trance.

  • Our “heros” let us down because we allow ourselves to be drawn moth/flame to the next plastic jesus savior.
    Our system has evolved to favor a lesser form of human.
    As someone here was recently advocating, random selection is a way out. Is analagous to stock market where it turns out that monkeys throwing darts at wall are better stock pickers than highly educated (and smart) brokers.
    Because system is designed (has evolved) to play to our weaknesses.

    My thoughts and prayers go to all the inocent people that our senator from arizona, john mccain, murdered.

  • What do Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and B.S. feel about freeing Assange, Snowden and BDS ? Lesser evil is what it is. Evil.

    • Nice, very beautiful rhetoric, quite a pep talk. But you should operationalize the lofty ideas. That is, if someone were sitting on a ledge high above us, what would he actually SEE us doing?

      Operationalizing a concept means exactly what I said: what actions would I see, not some abstract idea of a mindset.. For example, decades ago, parents were encouraged to respect their children. Great! Wait a minute. If I respect my child, what am I actually DOING? What can you SEE me doing? The answers to those questions are operationalizing the concept of “respect your child.”

      This whole essay today is full of lofty exhortations that need operationalizing for everyday folks.

      • See my post about. It is precisely what you are requesting.

        • *above

        • Chris, thanks for replying, and I do “hear” you. But I think my point still holds for all your ideas even though your ideas are really great. HOW to organize a world-wide protest against war? And the same question of what specific actions or steps do we take on our journey of trying to build a world-wide, or nation-wide, movement holds. HOW do we spread the word around the world? How do we implement a world-wide protest? Etc. throughout your good post.

          I hope you see what I’m getting at. I’m not trying to rain on anyone’s parade. I’m trying to get goals, strategies and tactics delineated so we can move……before it’s all over. And yes, I’m having a really hard time finding any hope fibers, much less a hope rope, to hang onto.

          • Thanks for your reply Toni. I appreciate you taking the time to consider it.

            To answer your questions, we spread the word. That’s all it takes. We are all connected. The are six people between you and anyone else in the world. All we have to do, each of us, is work to convince people that this can be done. The more voices there are spreading the message of a plan to end war the faster the word spreads and the sooner the world is ready. When a large enough contingent of people is onboard, we set a date for the protest to begin. That’s it. That’s how.

            I discuss this more on Steemit at https://steemit.com/war/@eddisonflame/8lj2webm .
            Please consider contributing and joining in the conversation.

    • Chuck, I’m sorry about my letter posted as a reply to you. It was meant as a response to Caitlin.

  • The only a hero can continue to be a hero is to die young before the human foibles can be expressed . A pity this privilege was not granted to McCain before his psychopathy was evident.

  • How would she become a Democrat candidate if she was not already a sell out?

    Caitlin, may I recomend the Alexander Technique and The Coming Insurection by the Invisible Commitee?

  • God doesn’t like kings. God doesn’t like cities.

  • Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has taken a leaf out of Obama’s book – say the right things, make them sound original & inspired, say just enough of them to get elected, then backtrack and obfuscate – but keep smiling and pretending that nothing has changed.

    McCain really was a warmongering monster who would have happily started another global war. He was quick to judge and blame, and lash out at anyone who didn’t fit his narrow idea of the ideal person (white, American, Republican, neoliberal, religious, rich, racist, etc).

    He wasn’t a kind, peaceful, compassionate person – not by any stretch of the imagination. Human decency was the last thing he could be accused of.

    Memories are very short and forgetful when it comes to generating media sales. McCain’s only claim to fame was surviving his capture in Vietnam – something he traded off for decades. Who else would select a lunatic like Sarah Palin as a running mate? You have to seriously question his judgement on that one.

  • Hi Caitlin – I’d love you to spell out exactly what you are accusing John McCain of having done that makes you hate him so much. Is it the bombing missions in Vietnam before he was captured? If so, I wouldn’t blame a serving soldier for obeying an order. Or is it the military actions he voted for and argued for as a senator? If so, tell us exactly when and what. Otherwise it just comes across as empty name-calling. (PS: Your ‘Capcha’ needs fixing. This is the third time I’ve tried to post this comment and it tells me (1) I haven’t done the Catcha thing properly, and (2) this is a duplicate post. It’s only duplicate because of the unsuccessful tries…

    • This article may help explain Caitlan’s comment on John McCain:

      https://www.counterpunch.org/2008/06/13/mcnasty/

      • Dana, I think we need Caitlin to drop EVERYTHING and spend ALL of her time henceforth spelling out EXACTLY why McCain was not so great.

        I mean, it’s not like anyone can Google “criticism of McCain” and come up with 36 million results in 2 seconds like I just did.

        If Caitlin doesn’t do as Tony requested, and IMMEDIATELY, the only reasonable conclusion we can arrive at is that she’s a poopy poop-head and namey name-caller. >:l

        Spectacular article, by the way – thank you for sharing it. :+)

    • Here’s Caitlin’s opinion on the death of John McCain: https://caitlinjohnstone.com/2018/08/24/do-not-let-them-make-a-saint-of-this-asshole/ . I think this spells things out in the detail you’re looking for. BTW, I think Greenie did a good job pointing out your willful, indignant ignorance — I read it the same way. And your angry impatience with the Capcha? Sounds like a frustrated, inexperienced Internet troll. Or maybe it’s time for better glasses? In any case, we’ve got your number should you need any further assistance. Have a great day.

  • Hi Caitlin – I’d love you to spell out exactly what you are accusing John McCain of having done that makes you hate him so much. Is it the bombing missions in Vietnam before he was captured? If so, I wouldn’t blame a serving soldier for obeying an order. Or is it the military actions he voted for and argued for as a senator? If so, tell us exactly when and what. Otherwise it just comes across as empty name-calling.

  • I knew it. Another one out of the Obama playbook – young, good-looking, articulate, positive, vibrant, charismatic, minority, making promises everyone wants to hear. Then BOOM. It blows up in your face.

    Don’t get fooled again.

    • I wrote the following before reading your comment and feel compelled to add it at this point in the commentary.
      As for Alexandria (with her oh so feminist two last, patriarchal, names) the salon photo says it all. (A great portrait photographer captures the revealing moment – as in “a picture is worth a thousand words.”) She has such a radiant smile. Has anyone noticed? I mean like boffo wow what a smile! But here is this salon moment: the REAL face behind the SMILING face. The face of a maniac! If I were a voter, I’d want the ordinary spineless corrupt democrat over a fanatic of any variety, promising the moon while lusting for power. I believe the gist of the article is to follow your instincts and not be duped & swindled & disappointed yet again. Well, these are mine.

  • Hey – she’s a woman, a hyphenate, Latin and *swoon* she REALLY admires McCain.

    What’s not to love?

    Chope and Hange, baby.

    Because when faux-leftists like Obama (and if she plays her identity politics cards right, New Obama Ocasio-Cortez) use drones to kill children, that’s okay because they’re not as dead.

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