Charles R. Twardy

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In a recent newsletter, Jesse Singal notes that recent MAGA gains among Democratic constituencies should prompt progressives to pause and question their own political assumptions & theories:

Quote from Singal saying Trump's continued inroads should prompt soul-searching from the Left: what have they got wrong?

It is quite a string of anomalies. A scientist would be prompted to look for alternate theories.

Singal suggests part of the problem is essentialism:

…activists and others like to talk and write about race in the deeply essentialist and condescending and tokenizing way… It’s everywhere, and it has absolutely exploded during the Trump years.

…both right-wing racists and left-of-center social justice types, [tend] to flatten groups of hundreds of millions of people into borderline useless categories, and to then pretend they share some sort of essence…

The irony.


Aside: I’m also reminded of a grad school story from Ruth.

Zeno: …Descartes is being an essentialist here…

Ruth: Wait, no, I think you’re being the essentialist….

_____: I’m sorry, what’s an essentialist?

Zeno: [short pause] It is a derogatory term.

(Yes, we had a philosophy teacher named Zeno. I’m not sure if the subject was actually Descartes.)