We Need to Talk About Defeatism

Feeling defeated and discouraged

Are there days that you feel like no meaningful change or accountability will happen in politics?

While those are perfectly understandable reactions to have considering the news, I want to invite you to think about what effect spreading that feeling in a very public way has. I’m primarily aiming this conversation towards people who spend time on social media making posts and/or commenting on others’ posts.

Let me give you a few examples of what I’ve seen just in the past few days.

Responding to posts talking about how masterful the January 6th Committee was as they kicked off their hearings, and laying out what all they would be proving over the next several hearings, I saw a ton of responses like:

  • None of this matters unless Trump lands in jail
  • None of the Republicans who need to hear this are watching so this is useless

Just yesterday, as news hit that Senator Chris Murphy (D) had worked out the framework for a gun safety bill with 10 Republicans (enough to get past the filibuster), I saw things like this:

  • What’s the point unless it bans assault rifles
  • Everyone knows McConnell will just kill the bill

Now, I’m very aware that there are trolls on the internet who leave comments like this for the very purpose of discouraging folks on the left so they don’t feel hope and therefore won’t take any kind of action. But a lot of these comments were coming from folks on the left!

And so, I ask, if you are one of the folks that are feeling down, feeling hopeless — would you rather live in a country where the January 6th Committee hearings have a positive effect and that gun legislation starts passing through the Senate for the first time in 30 years? If so, I invite you to NOT share your defeatist attitude on social media. All you are doing is further suppressing the will of folks on the left who otherwise would make calls to their Senators and push public opinion to get the results we want.

Again, it is a human response to feel defeated and hopeless at times. I want to encourage you to find people that you can share these feelings to privately, or find folks who are optimistic and working to make positive change and let those actions help get you out of your funk.

Hope is the fuel that drives us to push for a better future. Please don’t extinguish it in others.

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7 replies

  1. All we have is HOPE! When we lose hope due to derogatory, hopeless remarks, negativity, check out. As a gun advocate for twenty years hope has been stomped on, but even a glimmer of change in gun legislation is HOPE! I so nope this happens.

  2. This needed to be said. Thanks.

  3. Love this – thank you!

  4. What an excellent reminder. Thoughts are things! and if we speak, that’s amplified. So say and think good things to every extend possible.

  5. Thank you! Eeyoreism harms action. I understand it, but in my small group, each whine decreases tangible action (get out the vote efforts, donations, candidate information sharing, which is a huge issue here) by about 5%. So it only takes whining 20 times to pretty much destroy someone else’s effort.

  6. Love you final quote! I am an Administrator for our indivisible FB group. I’m continually getting on people for primarily 2 things: (1) spreading information that doesn’t sound true and has not been verified and (2) being negative about our own Party. Your blog helps support the latter. Thank you!

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