Pretending a bad idea is good for political reasons doesn't help anyone.
"over the last few weeks it has been used by different people with all sorts of intentions"
I was on the underground at the weekend and heard a couple of drunk lads in football scarves chanting "from the river to the sea, Arsenal will win the league". (I think it was Arsenal? It was a bit indistinct but the scarf colour matches).
Amazingly, they then had a brief conversation about how "some people think that's a bit problematic", before switching into a chant about a sexy Argentinian. I swear I am not making any of this up.
How much ink was spilled explaining how "Defund the police" didn't mean "abolish the police"? As a rule, if you spend more energy explaining why your snappy slogan isn't problematic than you do campaigning for what it is you _do_ believe in, it's probably an unhelpful slogan.
Surely "covfefe" is an even better example of Trump's coterie defending literally anything he says than "obamagate".
Whoever was his press secretary back then (Sean Spicer? Sarah Huckabee Sanders?) announced "I think we all know what the President meant".
In mid 2020, in the early stages of a frightening pandemic, after outdoor sporting events and other gatherings had been banned because we still had little understanding of the nature of transmission or the long term impact of the disease, the BLM protests / riots swept across the west.
This impulsive reaction of the crowd was “Zamboni’d” as being necessary because “racism and oppression is a public health issue“ and they soon had the blessing of over a thousand activist doctors to do as they pleased. We knew this was bullshit, and deep down they probably knew this as well, but they were following intersectional logic, not science. It looked utterly incoherent to anyone outside their epistemic bubble; a “two tier pandemic”.
This profoundly damaged the public perception of healthcare professionals as being rigorous and apolitical, and fed directly into the later anti-vax movement.
I'm really curious about what are the best ways for activists to behave then.
Let's hear the ways that trying to change the world for the better, hidden and tucked in a corner, not causing any concern, and imagine how that will turn out.
No lasting victory for humanity was won without causing disruption.