A conversation between progressives on voting for Obama
Rich Gardner | 09.10.2012
A member of the NW Greens who went by the name Astrique posted an extensive list of reasons as to why a vote for Obama was a good idea. The list comes out to around five pages in my word processor, so I posted it at http://www.prawnworks.net/Why-Im-Voting-Obama-by-Astrique.html. Robert Small objected to it and posted an extensive reply.
Also, we found this piece to interesting and relevant/
Glen Ford of BlackAgendaReport.com
spoke of all the negatives of Barack Obama
but ended with something akin
to the lesser of two evils speech
As I said when my choice of Mayors was
Goode or Rizzo, you still were electing evil
and, in all good conscience, I can no longer
The lesser of the the two evils
still remains evil.
I would add that if we had had a
President McCain doing some of the
same things that Obama has done
the outcry would of been tremendous.
And "honest John" , as I sarcastically
call him, would not of put in the
Healthcare Mandate or taken some of the other
Similarly, I do not tremble at a
President Romney, but I tremble a the
lack of possibility of a
President Stein, or President Gary Johnson,
or President Virgil Goode..
Will we ever...
2) The Russian Revolution really began
in 1825, with the Decembrist movement,
and was 75 years in the making.
What it could of become if not for Stalin,
is one of the great unknowns of history.
Ours may take longer but it's worth
the fight, however long.
3) More recently, Fidel and Hugo, among others
have created revolutionary movements
in their countries.
Revolutions can still happen
though each situation is different
and different solutions require
4) I've been primarily involved with the
Constitution and Libertarian Parties
fighting to stay on the Pa. Ballot,
not because I agree with most of their
policies but because, to quote the IWW,
"an injury to one is an injury to all".
Scant members of the Duopoly have
had the political courage to help with this.
My political family members
are Greens, Independents, Naderites,
the Libertarians, the Socialists,
and the Constitutionalists, among others.
The Duopoly are ex husbands and wives for the
most part, the kind rarely spoken of.
(I admit to some who are friends
but only a few.)
5) Ever since 2006, the Dems
evisceration of Carl, I have not
been able to bring myself to vote
for either of the Duopoly Parties.
Crimes were committed against our
Party, against Nader, against alternative
Politics, yet one is still encouraged
to vote for them.
This support of criminals only
supports criminality and
that only encourages them
to continue in their criminal
behavior, as they are currently
doing in Pennsylvania, and many
6) I am expressing my opinion only
and not that of anyone connected with me
or affiliated with me.
I am not trying to start nor will I
participate in a flame war.
My name is Robert Small
and I approve this message.
I would add that Stephen Lendman, who posts quite frequently at http://www.PhillyIMC.org also wrote a piece that similarly objected to voting for Obama.
That's at http://www.phillyimc.org/en/obama-v-romney-issues-mattering-most.
The following is a piece from John Braxton, who takes the pro-Obama view:
Well said, Astrique.
Not voting for Obama in a swing state (and we have to assume that PA is still a swing state with crucial electoral votes) is tantamount to voting for Romney. That may help someone feel less tainted by voting for a far-less-than-perfect candidate, but it could elect someone with policies that will be far harder on the middle class, the poor, the women, immigrants, the climate, education and social services, and the rest of the world that will bear the brunt of a re-invigorated neo-con administration. We can't afford that luxury.
I agree with Bob Small that we need a revolutionary change, and Obama will not bring that. But Romney will make it far harder for us to work in other ways--other than elections--to organize for fundamental change. National elections are not the time to make a moral statement by voting for the politically most correct candidate who has no chance to win. They are a time to shore up support against a right-wing reactionary tendency. After we prevent that tendency from winning, we can talk about and organize for more fundamental change.
(for identification only: Co-President, AFT Local 2026, Community College of Philadelphia; delegate to US Labor Against the War; Treasurer, Philly Jobs with Justice)
My own view is that we're forced to choose between the Democratic and Republican Parties, both of which are far short of ideal parties that we'd be happy to vote for.
Are we “centrists,” people caught between the two parties? Hardly. A video produced by the Republicans had a “disillusioned supporter” of Obama trying to use what we can see are obvious Republican talking points. The “former supporter” lists such reasons as “out-of-control spending and Obama’s penchant for hanging out with Hollywood celebrities,” neither of which are reasons that any progressive would take seriously. As a blogger points out:
We’ve given up on him because he’s done nothing to roll back Bush’s authoritarian, pro-corporate, pro-wealth policies. If anything, he’s even expanded some of them.
But obviously those reasons wouldn’t really play well in an ad for Mitt Romney.
No, we on the Left want a party that opposes such things as the drone attacks that are being used all over Afghanistan. Also, the idea of Obama and the Republicans reaching a Grand Bargain fills me with dread, but I seriously can't see the Republican Party as the better option. If absolutely nothing else, the state legislatures are positively full of representatives like Todd Akin and Obama at least takes Global Warming seriously enough to at least mention it as a real threat.
Is there any realistic option of getting a party that truly accords with our ideals? The problem with that is that America's current two-party system makes any challenging party pretty much out of the question. We'd have to go over to a parliamentary system and I just don't see that happening. Any possibility of an all-out revolution that will liberalize the situation as opposed to turning into a French Revolutionary-style Reign of Terror? I've always been very skeptical of that. I've always thought it far more likely that a revolution is far more likely to go off in a tyrannical direction than in a better one.
I personally like the idea of the website Daily Kos, where they have a whole section entitled “Better Democrats,” the idea being to not just see to it that Democrats win elections, but to try and influence the party from within and to push out the more-conservative Blue Dog Democrats and to try and place more and more liberals within the party.
And yeah, as far as “lesser evil-ism” goes, I though this was a pretty amusing entry:
Two definitions of "evil" copied below. Surely there's more.
Question is...who's for evil, and who's against? The "ayes" seem to have it.
Then what about, say, 3/4s evil, or 7/16ths evil? or whatever? Can one be partly evil?...to, you know, "acceptable" degrees? Can we have a color code to wear on lapel pins and bumper-stickers to know how evil others are? Maybe there needs to be a test, or a computer app, to codify this. The pale orange people can, you know, organize and socialize and all, as can the warm greens, pinks and purples, etc.....thus setting up some new barriers between people...kinda like religions separate people.
Isn't there a lot of religious baggage to the term? ..."evil" being "Devil" without the "D". Are some More Religious if they support Lesser Evil? ..kinda like most Catholics don't give a fig about their own religion's bans on contraception, etc?...and whoalso think PRIDE in this and that (their high school team or their "honor student" say) is really good even though pride is the worst of the worst Seven Deadly Sins?
Who says the Dark Ages are over?
EVIL [ee-vuhl] adjective
1.morally wrong or bad; immoral; wicked: evil deeds; an evil life.
2.harmful; injurious: evil laws.
3.characterized or accompanied by misfortune or suffering; unfortunate; disastrous: to be fallen on evil days.
4.due to actual or imputed bad conduct or character: an evil reputation.
5.marked by anger, irritability, irascibility, etc.: He is known for his evil disposition.
2- (A lot of quotes about "evil" from notables in history.)
The thing in this campaign (and others before) is that people (even "religious" ones) are intentionally, consciously planning to vote for evil..."lesser" (their definition), or greater.