Thursday, October 18, 2012

Lesser Evilism

My friends at Adgitadiaries have an article posted about the dangers of voting for the lesser of two evils....pretty much the situation we are facing with this election and the differences between the Democrats and Republicans. You can read it there.

Here is the thing. We have to acknowledge that the current system is corrupt—both parties are poisoned by big money, big banks and big corporations. When you look at the money required to run for President today it says it all. Morality and ideals are not really a part of  today's political reality. As liberals and progressives we are in a war and when you are at war you have to think and act strategically. In our current situation it would be a colossal strategic failure to allow the GOP to regain control of the White House.  Regardless of how we do it we have to prevent Romney from getting to the White House. Romney as President would be a catastrophe for the elderly and the poor not to mention the middle class. There are lives at stake here and millions of them. If I was strategically allowed to vote my moral conscience I would probably vote for Jill Stein but it would be a strategic disaster. The strategic vote in our current situation is for President Obama as it is the least negative vote with respect to the lives of most Americans and especially the poor and regular working folks. Someday we may become a truly enlightened society where we can carry our morals to the polls but we aren't anywhere close.


karmanot said...

This is a difficult one. We posted the article by Professor Piety to put alternative views out there because moral dimension matters in voting. I too think that philosophical high horses are a luxury, but firm moral
foundations are essential for true and healthy democracy. Views such as
the above are essential to be heard and remind us that incremental
degeneration of the social and political contract is not a matter of
lesser, but evil itself. I have faced this challenge by voting and
promoting local and state progressive positions. I received a note from Diane Feinstein (D) from California defending her intention to cut Social Security and Medicare in 'The Grand Bargain' which is do to be carried as soon as Obama is re-elected. I voted against her. The trend by both Democrats and Republicans to fundamentally destroy the foundations of our social contract and democracy is fast forwarding. Both parties are morphing into corporatist fascist leaning non-democratic entities. Progressives need to rebuild bases in all states, because that's where the power needs to be built, especially if the federal government finds it self weakened by the rise in states rights. For me the most important issues to fore are women's autonomy, seniors, food, health and housing security. Romney must be stopped at all costs. Obama is not a savior, but he can be slowed. I have absolutely no faith in Obama, but believe Romney will bring the end of us and years of mass unrest. For those of us who vote for Stein, there is the knowledge that our popular vote does not elect the President---the Electoral College does. Even so, This is easier in blue states. In red states like yours I can completely understand the decision to vote for Obama as the lesser evil, although I truly believe that lesser will cause great harm in the next four years.

Steve Bates said...

Einstein was a physics genius and in some ways (not personal ways!) a moral exemplar, but his political acumen was no greater than any average man or woman. Einstein's quote (if he did indeed say it) does not allow for the case in which context changes from one performance of an act to the next. And voting strategically in emphatically red states like Georgia and Texas makes a great deal of sense. (Texas might have turned blue by now but for Criminal Tom DeLay's repeated re-re-redistricting and a compliant federal court system.)

karmanot said...

I couldn't agree more about strategically re-orientating at the local and state levels. Einstein's quote on sanity, ironically, applies to static political conditions. Although it drives politicians crazy here in California, the referendum system allows for mass intervention by citizens in unpopular laws, and, while it often produces monstrosities like Prop 8 or prop 13 at least it is possible for citizens as a group to oppose legislative law. I think it is absolutely essential for strategic voting in Red States. Voting in a blue state like CA, however was not the reason I voted for Stein. I voted for that ticket at the Federal level because it represented my true views. On the State level I voted for progressive initiatives and Democrats with one exception----Diane Feinstein, who has indicated she will vote for Social Security and medicare cuts. I simply will no longer tolerate conservative Democrats who legislate against my best interests. It seems to me that the future will lie with States divided into two Americas: The South and the coasts.

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