Disclaimer: If you still listen to Chapo Trap House, I have nothing against you, this is not a personal attack on podcast fans of any kind!
It's time the Left come up with some fucking standards for our public intellectuals.
Long story short, Virgil Texas, the hack podcaster of Chapo Trap House fame, has been outed as a creep and a groomer of young girls.
It seems that Virgil and his contemporaries all rise to fame the same way, and it seems to be the only tier that the Left has for the people we allow to represent the Left, "How big is your social media following?"
Social media isn't real life, and if you think it is, log the fuck off, right now. Social media is a bubble, an algorithm echo chamber, it can be a useful tool when organizing, but it's not organizing.
Too many Leftists think that they are immune to the online bubbles that created the Trump cult or Qanon, but then they fall right into the hands of the Left podcast grift, like Virgil's Bad Faith Podcast. And even worse, Leftists seem to think we are immune to predators and that we are immune to being problematic. This is why so many white "ally" leftists turn on you the minute you challenge them or hold them accountable.
Virgil Texas is the living proof that we are not immune to predators in our ranks and won't be until we change our whole culture. Not just our internal culture among leftist spaces but the entire culture where we find ourselves organizing.
We also need to kill any need to validate our identities as Leftists, because that is how we end up elevating problematic people into positions of representation. Public intellectuals are vital to a movement because they are the ones who relate our messaging to the public outside of our spaces.
Further, as said before, organizing is not about having all your hot takes validated. Organizing is about meeting the material moment and fighting for the working class's needs. We all have opinions about how to achieve things like Medicare for all or housing justice, but having an opinion and a following doesn't mean you've been organizing.
There is a bounty of public intellectuals who do actual work, one of the best being Cornel West. There is also Naomi Klien, or hell, the entire National Political Committee of DSA would make a better representation for the Left than any goddamn podcaster.
In conclusion, stop elevating people just because they validate your world view or your identity as a socialist, instead elevate the people who are using the means at their disposal to help the most people at once. We need more Cornel Wests, we don't need a Virgil Texas!