Forgetting Solidarity: Forwarding the Internal Firing Squad Articles

By Zach Oaster

Look. There is a thing in journalism. It is called an "internal firing squad" article -- for a reason. Because journalists get all kinds of clicks by writing articles that lay internal blame for a candidate's loss. Usual targets, always and forever, are people of color (e.g. blacks, hispanics) and "third parties." Now, feel free to criticize the candidate, or criticize the massive multi-billion dollar institution that is the DNC, or those who come from the majority who, in majority, voted for the person who won. You can do all that. But really, realize what it is that you're doing when you forward these firing squad articles that target minorities -- you are punching your allies in the face rather than fighting the forces of elite power that are actually behind this whole mess. You're being a fucking tool.

There have been a few times during the election that I wanted to unfriend people over politics, I admit it. But I didn't. Do you know what makes me want to unfriend a bunch of people today? When people who are pissed and hurt are lashing out at their friends and allies using articles that blame minorities for Clinton losing the election. The last goddamn thing that anyone needs right now is for you to jump on a bandwagon of blame for minorities. Criticizing POC for their voting choices is racist, a form of disenfranchisement, and if you're reading this, you should know better by now... really. POC don't need liberal so-called "allies" shit-talking the fact that they went to the polls and cast a vote that they've fought and died for.

Even criticizing women for not voting for Clinton is a highly suspect form of second wave feminism, and it suggests that women shouldn't have choices if they don't choose to do what elite white liberals tell them to do. Telling women to “vote with your vagina, or else” is way too close to “grab them by the vagina,” don’t you think?

Finally, the third party criticism is erroneous, as there are ALWAYS third party voters (news flash, this is not a new thing) -- and this year the numbers are not exceptionally high. Further, read those articles that you are forwarding. They make wild assumptions, like saying that "at least half" of Johnson voters would have voted for Clinton -- do you know right-Libertarian ideology?

Nearly all of these articles overtly disenfranchise third party voters, suggesting that they are nothing but "stupid" and "arrogant" and unworthy of their view or agency. Stein came in at around 1% everywhere, and that is factually not enough to have "saved the election" for Clinton. In reality, any amount of speculation about such things is nonsense, as the alternative for many of those folks could have been not to vote, rather than this fantasy these articles posit that they would have voted for Clinton. You don't know. The writers of those articles don't know. They just want you to click and forward. You're being a fucking tool.

And hey, what about the other near 50% of Americans who didn't vote at all? You're giving a hard time to the 1% on the political left who did go to the polls who just happen to not agree with you? You know that the reason that the winner won was because over 50% of those who voted (and around 25% of the population) voted for him, right? So you're saying that the 1% is "stupid" and "arrogant" and mostly to blame?

Get over your fascist self.

Stop punching your allies in the face. Go grieve, go hug someone you love, and give some serious thought to how we won't be able to move forward to set the world right unless we take the hands of our allies and resist this new horrible reality.

It's called "solidarity" ...and if you're forwarding these internal firing squad articles, you're not doing it right.

Zach Oaster is a public sociologist, shepherd, and artisan. He is a full-time graduate student of sociology at Western Michigan University as well as a longtime performer of music and organizer around social justice issues. With his partner Lindsay, they shepherd sheep and engage in local food initiatives. Zach also relishes in public social and sociological discourse, curating complex and timely conversations on social media, often confronting Western liberalism from the left. Find out more about Zach at, or on

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