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OpEdNews Op Eds    H1'ed 9/22/20

Announcing Biden's Worst Nightmare: the "Justified Outrage" Movement

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There's No Way All My Outrage will Fit on this SIgn.
There's No Way All My Outrage will Fit on this SIgn.
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Joe Biden, Meet JO Outrage

"Call Me JO."

If serious opponents of our disgusting duopoly unite and rise in revolt, that movement "calling card"--as Internet meme, billboard, bumper sticker, T-shirt, lapel pin, what-have-you--could soon be provoking horrifying nightmares in what's left of Joe Biden's brain. Or (if we're lucky enough to dodge the fascist Trump bullet) in the younger, more agile amygdala of "Vice-Bastard" Kamala Harris.

JO stands for "Justified Outrage", the deeply inspired, in-your-face name I just arrived at. The new name, that is, for the previously nameless satyagraha movement I've been promoting throughout this "Tracts for Our Times" series of articles.

If I plume my own cap in calling my "Justified Outrage" movement name deeply inspired, it's for two important reasons. First off, it splendidly fulfills the principle of "condensing revolution to a few tasty sound bites" I emphasized earlier in this series. Movements facing a propaganda war where we're vastly outgunned in money and media access must keep our message short--if not necessarily sweet. "Justified Outrage" screams to the world that we're mad as hell, mad enough not to take it anymore, and mad for very good reason. It's a movement name that "spits bullets"--the bullets we'd actually be using if we weren't wise enough to renounce violence.

In today's raging propaganda war, words must become our bullets. And having limited ammo to fire, we must aim our words with lethal precision.

Which brings me to the second reason "Justified Outrage" seems almost divinely inspired. Without my planning it, the initials JO lend themselves to a brutal frontal attack on the nauseating fake populism of our elite politicians. Especially since JO is pronounced exactly the same as the nickname of banking elites' favorite "Joe" Biden--in reality, the farthest thing from "a common Joe".

By coincidentally sounding like "Joe", the movement acronym JO accomplishes rhetorical wonders. In the prospective "calling card" slogan "Call Me JO", it contrasts real grassroots solidarity with Biden's big-bank-financed astroturf populism. "Call Me JO" suggests personal identification with the movement, making every member the face of "Justified Outrage". By its pronunciation, JO can suggest a common male or female nickname, making it a common-cause name that transcends gender. And by suggesting such a common nickname, JO suggests the intimacy and familiarity of a real "of, for, and by the people" grassroots movement.

And those are just the inward-facing, solidarity-building advantages of the JO acronym. As an outward-facing movement attack weapon, it can accomplish even greater wonders. As one potent example, consider that it drops the e in the "Joe" of Joe Biden. The JO movement can scream out that the e in "Joe" stands for "elitism" and "extortion" (the electoral kind). Reject elitism and extortion (drop the e) and all you're left with is JO--Justified Outrage. The movement can ruthlessly badger Joe Biden to "Drop the E"--reject elitism and extortion by embracing its populist program.

Strange Bedfellows: Justified Outrage and Satyagraha

Readers of this series will inevitably find considerable--even shocking--tension between my sometimes vulgar suggested rhetoric (see here and here) and my invocation of the saintly Gandhi's satyagraha. A simple, superficial answer is that I'm an adventurous, eclectic American writer and organizer, willing to seize valuable ideas where I find them. As quintessentially American poet Walt Whitman put it, "Do I contradict myself? Very well then I contradict myself (I am large, I contain multitudes)."

With due respect to Whitman, my "vulgar satyagraha" strategy is not about embracing contradiction. Rather, it's about heeding the advice (or just the practice) of history's best minds: embracing complexity and trying to reconcile its apparent contradictions as logically as possible. Far from embracing contradiction, I'm trying to apply rigorous logic to the acknowledged complexities of an utterly bizarre--and dangerously dysfunctional--political world. If most recent political strategies have failed, it's not for lack of logic; it's for failure to acknowledge the most crucial complexities.

If (against all odds) my "Tracts for Our Times" contribute to saving civilization, future readers may benefit by studying how my strategy ideas gain added refinement and precision from tract to tract. This results directly from facing added complexity: complexity found in my own political reading, or in plausible arguments against my strategy by informed critics. For example, my proposed movement's very name--Justified Outrage--results from arguing with an informed critic (and huge Gandhi admirer), who plausibly asked why I, having invoked Gandhi, had embarked on the very un-Gandhian path of destructively fomenting more rage when our nation had enough already. And to do so, using vulgar language to boot.

While criticism along these lines had naturally occurred to me already (how could it not?), having a live commenter on my series publicly challenge me served as a "fly in the ointment"--prodding my even deeper attention to current political complexities. The important resulting political analysis--probably my deepest ever--deserves two separate sections.

Too Much Rage? Hardly--It's Just Insanely Misdirected

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Patrick Walker is co-founder of Revolt Against Plutocracy (RAP) and the Bernie or Bust movement it spawned. Before that, he cut his activist teeth with the anti-fracking and Occupy Scranton PA movements. No longer with RAP, he wields his pen (more...)

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