Tuesday, March 3, 2015

“…where politics is only for the tough, and the crude, and the calloused”

From Jack Danforth’s eulogy for Tom Schweich, who committed suicide:
…Since Thursday some good people have said, ‘Well, that’s just politics, and Tom should’ve been less sensitive, he should’ve been tougher, he should’ve been able to take it’. Well, that is accepting politics in its present state. And that we cannot do. It amounts to blaming the victim. And it creates a new normal, where politics is only for the tough, and the crude, and the calloused.
I’ll post the background from Rachel Maddow when it’s available, but here’s a relevant post.

UPDATE: The Rachel Maddow video:

I disagree with Danforth on one key point.* The problem isn’t a politics of the hardened or the tough. It’s a politics, as I’ve suggested, of those traumatized by an abusive childhood or a traumatic culture to the point that they identify with victimizers (the “strong”) and condemn, run from, and attack victims (the “weak”). We contribute to this ideology by perpetuating the myth that it’s a culture of toughness and strength. It’s not. It’s a sad, compulsive culture of bullying with fear at its heart – not tough but raw and scarred.

* In this context, that is. I’m certain I disagree with him on a vast number of unrelated points.

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