w/r/t building a broad left coalition: i work with mostly working class migrant teenagers. overwhelmingly they have redistributive economic views; they also care a lot about race, gender, sexuality, trans rights. they don’t identify with socialism. They need Left outreach.
they’re not a guaranteed part of the Left. without people demonstrating to them that they belong here, they’ll probably become apathetic or liberals. the Left public figure my students mention the most, who speaks to them, is AOC.
there is also a subset of students, all gamer teen boys, who are vaguely hostile to feminism and queer movements, but interested when you start talking about economic justice. what speaks to them from the Left is stuff like the Amazon unionisation drive. on-the-ground movements
like... they’re not reading columns about how you can be a leftist and be pro-life. they just don’t really care about abortion and don’t want to think about it. heaps of my students go to Catholic schools btw
I have also known a lot of devout Catholics with conservative sexual views and a genuine commitment to social justice, as they see it. You can’t necessarily count on them to come with you to an abortion rights rally. But they also won’t waste their time organising against it.
real radical Catholics mostly worry about stuff like child poverty and extrajudicial killings. they work side by side with people who are not like them
anyway I’m a big believer in the necessity of organising with people you don’t see eye to eye with, focusing on shared goals, all of that. I just don’t think that you draw people into organising or Left views by validating their reactionary views. That only helps reactionaries.
disclaimer: this is just my personal view based on what I’ve seen and I definitely don’t speak for my students. my own views and interests will of course have a huge influence on what I can get them interested in and what they’re willing to express to me
but I do try pretty hard to encourage critical thinking and engagement and not just parroting my views back to me — if we agree on all points I consider that I have probably failed
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