We writers are very busy. I know, right now, I have an article on SSH that I really need to finish. I wanted to finish it last night, but I was so tired. Really: I spend about 10 hours per day writing and doing reading in support of it. And admittedly, that is my life. I don’t have much else that I even want to do. But I feel totally rushed all the time. It’s after 3:00 pm today, and I have next to nothing done. I haven’t gotten to the SSH article. I’ve written one Frankly Curious article. My anxiety level is so high, I’d take a Valium, but that would make me fall asleep, get further behind, and make me even more anxious. And I’m sure I’m not alone.
Look at Paul Krugman. He writes a lot. And in addition to that, he has to go out to cool concerts where he hangs out backstage and he has to eat expensive dinners with important people. And he has to go to conferences all over the world. He’s a busy guy. And it must be crushing to use all the time that could be spent talking to John Paul White to write yet another article about how it would be wrong to vote for Bernie Sander like the one he wrote yesterday, How Change Happens.
But I do have more free time because John Paul White never returns my calls. So I thought I would use the one advantage I have over him to help Krugman out. And not just Krugman. What I’m proposing here will help out lots of other people. For example, it will save Jonathan Chait a lot of time. And Martin Longman. And Erik Loomis. And plenty of other liberal commentators who I very much like. That is why I’m doing this. It is a gift. It is a free tool to make their lives better.
So here it goes. It’s really simple, but I can’t pretend that it’s my own idea. I’ve just systematized the process. In general, none of these people are thinking very deeply about any of this, so I’ve just created a system where they don’t have to think at all. Here it goes:
- Start with some recent good news for the Bernie Sanders campaign: polls or a famous person saying something or money raised. Or nothing at all. Here’s a generic opening that I release to the public domain. I hope that everyone finds many uses for it, “Despite what everyone expected, Bernie Sanders has really caught fire. He’s packing people in at his rallies. And he looks certain to win New Hampshire, and has a good shot at Iowa.”
- Next, use several paragraphs to talk about how much you like Bernie Sanders. Now if I were writing this for new writers, I’d have to provide a lot of details. But for the top tier writers I’m talking about, it’s easy. All they have to do is go back and look at pretty much every article they wrote about Bernie Sanders as long as he was polling at less than 25%. Don’t plagiarizer! But professional writers know how to rip themselves off without technically plagiarizing. It’s quick and easy. Exactly how many paragraphs you want to spend on this will depend upon your editorial needs. But don’t go overboard, or you’ll make the rest of this harder. You don’t want to find yourself in a situation where you actually have to argue against yourself!
- Now turn everything you’ve just said (and written for months) on its head. Point out that this is pie in the sky. Note that no one will elected a socialist. Write whatever you want. Just make the point that despite everything, it would be wrong to vote for Bernie Sanders. It doesn’t even have to make sense. For example, Krugman wrote, “Mr Sanders is the heir to candidate Obama, but Mrs Clinton is the heir to President Obama.” See that?! Candidate and president Obama are the same guy, so that statement actually means the opposite of what Krugman means, given both Sanders and Clinton are in candidate mode. But it doesn’t matter. Clinton is good because whatever and Sanders is bad because whatever, but make sure everyone knows that you actually agree with Sanders more.
Done! File that and go spend some more time with John Paul White. You’ve done enough thinking for a career. As for me, I just made a contribution to the Bernie Sanders campaign and bought a very cool shirt. So I feel I’ve done a good turn for both camps. I’ve given money to Bernie, and I’ve allowed otherwise decent liberals to write their hack Hillary articles more easily.
I’m like a saint or something!
Update (23 January 2016 5:45)
Robert Reich takes on Krugman directly and persuasively, Bernie’s Movement. It’s really short. Give it a read.