The main thrust of Chariton's video entitled "In Defense of Jimmy Dore" is, y'know, defending Jimmy Dore. It addresses the recent Twitter kerfuffle involving Dore, Mother Jones contributing editor Shane Bauer, and Francesca Fiorentini (newly of The Young Turks). In it, he takes pains not to take sides specifically against Sam Seder or David Pakman, both of whom he claims not to know personally; however one might argue that siding with Dore is equivalent to siding against those two (and, by extension, Bauer), if one is inclined toward such binary thinking.
- Strict binary thinking is intellectually lazy, especially the kind that says that anyone who disagrees with you is the Distilled Essence of Evil and most likely on the payroll of the enemy (i.e., a "useful idiot").
- The Democratic Party continuously reinforces binary thinking among the voting masses, including self-described Progressives, with its "where else ya gonna go?" gaslighting.
- What liberal analysts call "pragmatism"—continuing to vote for the lesser evil and being satisfied with incremental change—is not pragmatic at all. It's killing us, and the time for that shit is over.
Yes, your hand-egg team can score a touchdown if it runs for three yards on every play. But the planet is telling us that the clock is running down and we urgently need a Hail Mary pass.
Progressive vs. Pragmatic?
I'm not a big fan of Chariton, but he's so right on this particular topic. I have seen his YouTube commentaries getting steadily better, even if the production values are shoddy. Chariton appears to be getting steadily better himself—and doing better. He looks healthier now than a year or two ago, back during his nadir and self-imposed exile after he was accused of sexual improprieties and jettisoned from TYT. (Hmm. Maybe associating the word thrust with him in any context isn't such a great idea.)
Sticking with the tried & true, the "pragmatic" approach, is easy for us humans. Sadly, the tried & true to which we've grown accustomed in the last century-plus is lethal for the human and natural environments—omnicidal and ecocidal, as Caitlin Johnstone frequently says. It includes continued dependence on fossil fuels, numbing ourselves to news of climate change and wars for oil (ho-hum, we're invading yet another country whose government doesn't play by our rules), and consuming whatever toxic sludge the corporate media outlets throw at us.
Advocating radical solution–oriented policies and politicians, those calling for addressing these numerous challenges on a global scale ASAP, is a more difficult path. Greens, Socialists, and other Progressives don't follow this path merely because they are compulsive non-conformists, or because they enjoy being marginalized; they have processed the available information and determined that the alternative they embrace is an imperative, to borrow from Rosa Clemente.
I don't go lobbying for a Nobel Prize in Thinkology just for an occasional ability to overcome the either/or mindset. I don't expect any great reward for following this or that philosophical or political path. But I sure would appreciate it if more of my friends and acquaintances who can think outside the proverbial box would translate that into voting outside the box. They might also carry that into collective action, popular movements that actually bring about positive change.
If you think being a non-conformist voter is hard, imagine how hard life will be when our coastal cities are underwater, when millions of climate refugees are scrambling to the few remaining patches of arable land, when our planet is all done bleeding fossil fuels and we don't have enough renewable energy infrastructure in place to charge up your electric scooter.
Another world is possible, but we have to be ready to make that world.