Sunday, August 14, 2016

Vote Hillary for Prez, Play Hacky Sack with Rednecks

I have a pretty low opinion of Noam Chomsky.  I tend to find him a cranky, paranoid a-hole.  So I was pleasantly surprised to read this cogent argument for voting the lesser-of-two-evil candidates, or "LEV". Especially this bit:
The left should devote the minimum of time necessary to exercise the LEV choice then immediately return to pursuing goals which are not timed to the national electoral cycle.

So, quickly vote LEV, then get on with the larger process of political change.
I think may arguers against LEV have deluded themselves into thinking that the masses of unheard/unvoting people are really with them, but afraid to vote their conscience. This is a common fantasy on the left and the right: more support for their side than is reflected in elections.
I think this might be true among a small number of voters. But far more are not at all "with them" - either because they don't care or simply disagree.
People's voting habits generally reflect their political beliefs.  You can see this as polling matches up with geography.  In places like Berkeley, CA, with high numbers of progressive voters, you don't see many center-left, neo-liberals elected to local office. Neither, in rural, right-wing conservative towns like Bristol, TN, do you see many moderate Republicans.
Yet in races involving large, politically diverse electorates, such as senate or presidential races, that is exactly what you get: candidates who appeal both to their more politically extreme base, as well as the moderates and swing voters.
If you want a more extreme candidate - a socialist, or a creationist, you shouldn't be withholding your vote in general elections. Instead, you should be working to convince people in Berkeley to accept Jesus Christ as your lord and savior and that abortion is murder, or that people in Bristol, TN should raise the top marginal tax rate back up to 90% and rewrite the second amendment.
Of course, that's a bit more difficult than the faux sense of personal pride in not voting for the LEV.

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