I remember as I became an adult, beginning to adopt responsibility for the actions of my country. I was a voter and, even though my candidates frequently lost, I accepted that I was a participant in the imperialist and capitalist society that was visiting harms on the rest of the world. And I started using the language of “we” when talking about my own culpability in these harms. Today, regarding the failure of the UN to achieve the sustainability goals, Ross Douhat says:

Lofty goals could be forgiven if they inspired progress, but I worry that they were sometimes less a spur to action than a substitute for it. Yes, the pandemic created setbacks, but let’s be honest: We dropped the ball.

That’s bullshit. I didn’t drop the ball. I’m being disenfranchised by fascists that are gerrymandering the shit out of the country. My voice and agency are being drowned out by a firehose of money coming from oligarchs that can hire whole stables of unscrupulous lobbyists that make sure that their voices are heard and not mine. I’m being overwhelmed by a flood of disinformation that rises like a tide from a stockyard waste pond over the civilized discourse of the country.

It’s not my fault. And I don’t have to accept responsibility for it.

We need to stop saying “we” and start saying “they.” It’s the billionaires and the unscrupulous greedy people that accept their money who are to blame. Not us. And don’t let them make you forget it.

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