Politics Is For Power (2020) Eitan Hersh

Amusing Ourselves To Death With Politics

Many who claim to care about politics or be involved with politics are actually slacktivists who just watch news and treat politics like it is sports; entertainment. The polarization of politics and media present a chicken-and-egg scenario of which came first, a polarized electorate, or polarized politicians. This book, as others, points to things such as C-SPAN, technology, and Newt Gingrich as contributing factors, along with the civil rights movement and the move of conservative Democrats out of the Democratic Party in the South. The book lists examples of people who accumulate actual political power for their ideas or causes through tactics such as canvassing, local organizing, helping their neighbors, etc — hard work. Many white people don’t have any skin in the game (post-materialism) and are politically motivated by frivolous fringe issues (save the Whales) and not with things that are issues of life and death for many people with no voice (i.e. abuse, economic opportunity, etc.), and also will not stand up to support liberal issues they should in their own communities (NIMBYs). As with other books, this discusses the weakening of political parties, and the nature of the DNC and RNC today as mostly shells at the local level. Highlights the hypocrisy of liberals and nimbyism whose actual politics fade when it comes down to it. Mentions ethnic groups tend to see a linked fate with one another, and thus vote similarly. Political hobbyism is bad because it furthers polarization and no-compromise politics. Talks about the catharsis of doing something now vs. The power of actually planning something in the long term (I.e. Gorsuch and Kavanaugh and how Dems lost the 60-vote approval by filibustering the former). Watching politics and political Hobbyism makes people feel good, so they continue to do it, despite the fact it ultimately accomplishes little or nothing; it is a hobby or an identity.



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