Tangible Results, Awareness Raising, and the Lack of Realpolitik on the Left

There is an anti-bullying activist of C-list fame whom I attended college and had a bad relationship with in Charleston. I won’t mention her name although she is barely famous enough I wouldn’t feel guilty about doing so. She had a suicide attempt after her fellow high school students made a Facebook page and trashed her on it. I have had closer suicide attempts and been bullied much, much, worse then her but that’s beside the point. She survived and now goes on tour talking about mental health she is a curious character in this regard. Notwithstanding the ways in which she personally affected my life and was, ultimately, the breaking cause of the hypervigilance in my prefrontal cortex from PTSD that precluded me from graduating college, my objective view on her as an activist is sour.

That is for three reasons: her myopic focus on ‘Reviving Ophelia’ cases ostensibly similiar to her own and labelling that as general ‘mental health’ (one would be hard pressed to find mentions of the intellectually disabled or veterans with PTSD or opioid addicts or demographics other than affluent, ableist, and culturally white female ones in her polemics), her lack of policies or solutions and just raising awareness through sob stories (relying heavily on her own with toxic levels of self-pity), and, despite having a degree in psychology, having contributed nothing to the research or clinical fields of that discipline.

In the end, she is not making any attempt and any measuable or tangible results. Myself, I measure success in inches gained and lives saved but she has no measure for success and just pours her words into the ether. On the left, it is quite similiar as there are many groups out there about issues but they advocate into the ether with no plan to win anything. They don’t do things like draft policies, lobby politicians about them, look at poll numbers to see what can pass and what can’t. They just do “awareness raisin” Since raisin is a noun for a sour and bad-tasting dried grape I would like to call them “Awareness Raisins” Do not be an Awareness Raisin.

The aforementioned mental health pseudo-advocate is a typical Awareness Raisin. It is a tradition known for solipsism and self-pity. Seeing everything in terms of her own personal struggles without any apparent empathy for anyone else’s but her sob story is so cute that she is a metaphorical kid with cancer and no one notices her lack of empathy for other demographics or the complete lack of trying to accomplish anything tangible to make the world a better place. She is such an Awareness Raisin that it is doubtful that anyone other than herself has ever benifited from anything she has ever done.

My first foray into politics was on the Obama Campaign in 2008 which had nothing to do with fixing my own problems and everything to do with making the world better for others with tangible results and every issue I work on I regard the same way as a political campaign. Politics, charity, and social causes are about winning material victories for just causes and almost nothing else. It is about policy, poll numbers, oppo research, messaging, and all of the other exhausting, emotionally wrenching, exceedingly difficult, efforts that go into winning social and political fights.

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