Author Topic: The New Puritans  (Read 105 times)

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Offline Ptarmigan

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The New Puritans
« on: August 11, 2020, 07:25:13 PM »
The New Puritans
https://taibbi.substack.com/p/the-new-puritans?

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In 2011, Alex Morse looked like a progressive star. At age 22, he’d become the first openly gay mayor of Holyoke, Massachusetts, was the youngest person ever to hold the office, and soon after became the first Bay State mayor to endorse a recreational marijuana ballot initiative.

Bright, quick, and with a sense of humor, he appeared headed places. His announcement last year that he was running for congress against Richard Neal, the House Ways and Means committee chair and a master collector of corporate cash, made him a focal point of the movement to remake the Democratic Party in a less donor-fattened image. 

Last week, Morse’s career took a dark turn. The College Democrats of Massachusetts sent him a letter telling him he was no longer welcome at any of their events. The group later released a letter accusing him of a variety of things, most particularly “having sexual contact with college students, including at UMass Amherst, where he teaches, and the greater Five College Consortium.” The College Dems claimed he met college students on apps like Tinder and Grindr; Morse taught a political science course at UMass-Amherst.

Alex Morse was a Progressive star in 2011. Today, he is persona non grata.

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The College Democrats explained that a major part of Morse’s offense was that he sought the contact information of students at their events:

Mayor Morse came to College Democrats of Massachusetts events and got to know our membership, and then sought out students that he met at our events privately on social media, in a manner widely understood by our generation to indicate intimacy.

If you’re wondering if it’s possible that the College Democrats just defined communicating on social media as a kind of sexual act, you’re not wrong. It got worse. In their letter to Morse, the group explained that when Morse wrote to those adult students – who, of course, gave Morse their contact info voluntarily – they lacked the free will to ignore his communications:

We have heard ​countless​ stories of Morse adding students to his ‘Close Friends Story’ and Direct Messaging members of College Democrats on Instagram in a way that makes these students feel pressured to respond due to his status…

American college students, it seems, are so intimidated by someone with a political job title that they lack the agency to ignore an Instagram shout-out. The College Democrats elaborated (emphasis mine):

Mayor Morse is a widely-admired and well-connected gatekeeper to progressive politics in Massachusetts and nationally, which makes the task of refusing his advances fraught for college students who wish to enter progressive politics themselves… the Mayor’s various positions of power create a significant and undeniable power imbalance between himself and the college students he sought out… where such a lopsided power dynamic exists, consent becomes complicated.

This is not a sexual harassment issue in the classic sense of someone who actually has power over someone else, for instance in the workplace or in a classroom. The concept here is that students who might “wish to enter progressive politics” will feel uncomfortable refusing, or even just not answering, so mighty a personage as the Mayor of Holyoke, Massachusetts, for fear of what that might do to their job prospects someday, in a field they have not even chosen yet.

Here is the subtitle of the article.

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The attack on congressional candidate Alex Morse for consensual sexual relationships is disturbing for many reasons, but mostly because it reveals a new American phobia toward adulthood
Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake.
-Napoleon Bonaparte

Allow enemies their space to hate; they will destroy themselves in the process.
-Lisa Du