The XX Factor

Book of the Week: “Get Opinionated: A Progressive’s Guide to Finding Your Voice”

In Get Opinionated , our own Amanda Marcotte has written a fabulous manifesto for liberals, trying to define exactly what that word might mean in a cynical age. It starts with railing against George Bush. It then takes a detour through Obama, who, she writes, turned out to be less a progressive leader than someone who “read the national mood and fed it back to us.” Now it’s time to take a page from Dick Cheney ( boo, hiss , says Amanda) and whoever else on the right has an actual manifesto of their own they want to offer up, and match it, instead of continuously writing up lists of things we hate.

I’ve been a political blogger for over five years now, and the Obama victory made me realize how many of my political opinions are about what I don’t believe instead of what I do. Now that we’ve got power, we better start getting opinionated.

If this sounds unfun, then that’s because you don’t know Amanda Marcotte. The book has many delightful sections on, say, the Rapture (she is from Texas) and Fox TV (she lived for many years in Austin) and the sex appeal of “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” (she is very green). My favorite is the Marcotte dictionary of political classifications: Sister Punishers, Manic Pixie Dream Girl Liberal Chicks, Less Fun Feminist Liberal Chicks, Your Mom the Swing Voter, and Lady Libertarians. If you want to find out what those are and place yourself among them, then you will just have to read the book.