Wednesday, July 27, 2016

The Lesser of Two Evils Is Still Evil

I see both sides are already gearing up to tear into people that don't want to fall in line with either of their less than awesome candidates. On the right, Ace of Spades weighed in by telling the #NeverTrump crowd firmly:
Yes, #NeverTrumpers, You Are In Fact Morally Responsible for the Hillary Clinton Presidency You're Agitating For
In other words, shut your ass up and get in line. Ace at least acknowledges that Trump has shortcomings but views Hillary Clinton the way most people on the right do, as evil personified. Now, personally, I don't think Hillary Clinton as president will be THE END OF ALL THINGS as many on the right are predicting. Is she corrupt? Probably. Is she an Establishment politician through and through? Absolutely. If she getting my vote? Not at all. And you have to consider that with the Republican advantage built-in at the state level plus a likely Republican Congress, how much is a Democratic President going to get done?

Not enough to cause Armageddon in my book. If Trump wants my vote, he needs to damn well earn it and he hasn't. If the consequence of that is Hillary Clinton winning the election, then so be it. Run a better candidate next time.

On the left, Dan Savage is already starting in on the Green Party. While Ace had a clearer case, Mr. Savage represents all the intellectual laziness you'd come to expect from a Progressive Democrat. Yes, I can understand how people of color and LGBT individuals might view a Trump presidency as a threat to their rights and even their safety, Mr. Savage's critique ignores the fact that their rights are already being shish-kabobbed on the state level already and will continue to do so unless the Democratic Party gets its act together and builds another 50-State Strategy again*. The risk and the doom Savage references? It's already here. We pretty much face a choice in November of electing Trump and burning it all down or Hillary and watching it as it all burns down, shrugging her shoulders and saying, 'Damn those pesky Republicans'

And I'll admit, he might have a point about the low visibility of the Green Party, but he's dead wrong about the Libertarians. They might not have the most office holders out there, but they've got some and they're certainly present (at least in Iowa) pushing for Statewide Offices where ever they can. I will admit though, the Green Party (at least in Iowa) I find to be somewhat frustrating, because I'm honestly not sure what they're doing**. The problem isn't that they pop up every four years, it's that folks like Savage*** and Ace insist on people shutting up and getting their ass in line whenever they do.

I sort of threw in on a lively Facebook discussion a few months back and pointed out the inherent difficulties of starting a new political party or even building an existing one. It's sort of like trying to start your own brewery when you can only get one batch of hops at a time. Make it hard to get a good flow of beer going, you know? (It should be noted I got mildly scolded for my griping and maybe rightfully so- maybe the answer is to roll up my sleeves and get to work, but the way the two corporate parties stack the system against any and all competition makes it literally like pushing on a damn mountain. Which I'm not opposed to doing, but I'd like to have a democracy that gives me a fair shot to do so and right now, the system is rigged against it.)

Look, if you want to vote for Trump or Clinton, that's fine. I respect that, but please don't tell me to shut up and get in line. My vote needs to be earned and if one of them manages to do that between now and November, lucky them. But I'm done voting for the lesser of two evils. It's still evil and as a strategy it hasn't done a damn thing for this country since I've been alive.

Earn my vote. And if you don't, don't whine at me about it. Run better candidates next time.

*Maybe this exists already, I don't know. Not being a Democrat, I don't get invited to their meetings all that much, so if' it's already there, great. But Howard Dean- and you can say a lot about him- made some incredibly smart moves when he ran the DNC, reasoning, not without some logic that the Democrats couldn't control Congress unless they became a 50-State Party and it worked. (God, did it work. Best thing the Democrats have done in years was putting Dean in charge of the DNC. They should do it again- I'm no Democrat, but I love people who play smart politics. And Dean did.) What the hell happened to that strategy? It got results and it should make a rousing comeback instead of embracing the lamentable Republican obsession with ideological purity. Principles are nice things to have, but they don't matter all that much if you don't win. And who cares if the Democrats win the White House when their party has been devastated on the state level and the Republicans are moving a radical right wing agenda through and attacking the at-risk/minority groups as it is. 

**Look, the power of incumbency rules in American politics- it's something like a 90% advantage in Congressional races, which is why you really and truly need to be caught molesting puppies or something to lose your seat in a 'non-wave' type of an election year. In 2000, with Al Gore being a sitting Vice-President coming off of eight years of unprecedented economic growth, Nader should not have been a factor. In any way, shape or form. The fact that he was, suggests more about Gore's shortcomings that Bush's appeal- either way, the implicit lesson for the Democrats there should have been: 'run a better candidate' or 'let Bill Clinton campaign in Arkansas or Tennessee', the lesson for the Greens should have been to raise their middle fingers and tell the Democrats that. I have a feeling they suffered because of the left's overall revulsion about Bush, but Savage does have a point. If you can't run candidates for every major national/statewide office, how viable are you?

***Oh, the irony of a successful media personality talking about privilege from a position of inherent power and privilege.

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