Dear liberals, leftists, independents, whatever you call yourself if you’re against Trump, we need to stop using tactics that have continuously failed us.
Among the most tiring method of “fighting Republicans” is the humor we use to argue with them. As one high profile example, Trevor Noah invited Tomi Lahren, a conservative political commentator who has recently come into the spotlight for her racist remarks on the Black Lives Matter movement, to come speak on the Daily Show. Many of my liberal friends on my Twitter timeline were compelled to share the article, saying that he “obliterated” and “destroyed” her (particularly violent click-bait language), but Noah really just spoke to her in a calm and slightly patronizing manner, and by the end her opinion was relatively unchanged. A Twitter conversation between them after the show stated that they were just “people with opposing viewpoints” as if she didn’t just compare the Black Lives Matter movement to the KKK, and Noah said she was always welcome on the show.
These tactics, of using humor to make light of the serious violence that Republicans have caused, are getting us nowhere. They are purely being used for entertainment on the liberal side, as well as the conservative side, in the same way many liberals will watch Fox News for its comedic value. If we were to look back 50 years from now and see that we were making jokes about systematic oppression while also continuously upholding systematic oppression within our own ideologies, it would be with shame.
In addition we need to call attention to the same values within the Democratic party and liberalism that we would make fun of Republicans for. This humorous approach to conservatives’ poor polices also highlights the false sense of superiority many Democrats have. Liberals make fun of conservatives for being overtly racist while the Democratic party platform still functions on discrete racism.
The liberal and Democratic Obama administration is still bombing countries and allowing state sanctioned violence, for example by not stepping in during the injustice of the DAPL pipeline. The Patron Liberal Saint and Millennial Daddy, Senator Bernie Sanders, recently said, “Yes, we need candidates of diversity, but we also need candidates – no matter what race or gender—to be fighting for the working class.” Bernie Sanders was obviously using this as a way to address Hillary, who campaignedsolely as a “Woman Running for President,” but its real message was to disavow identity politics in the Democratic party, which is a major statement for a party that is still alive today because of voters of color. These are the issues we should be addressing in the Democratic party before we can even begin to think about cracking jokes at Republicans.
After the election of Trump, it should be clear now that comedy to educate the masses on fascism isn’t working. We need to seriously mobilize and get angrier than Republicans have been. Laughing off the issues wont solve anything, as a Republican controlled government is the reality for the next two years.
This isn’t to say comedy isn’t a valid form of relief from the day by day evils of the world. However, when it’s using violent forms of rhetoric as the content and laughing at it, instead of taking it as a serious threat, it gets old. For the next two years before midterm elections, if we’re going to have constant news coverage of what horrible things the Republicans are doing next, can we not humanize these actions by giving them a humorous appeal?