Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Voting Stein but remaining Democratic

As I have previously explained, voting for a candidate not in my party is not necessarily "disloyal" to my party.  There are times when it is necessary to "discipline" the party, to keep it from losing its soul.  And for the Democratic Party, and for me, this is one of those times.  I actually don't have to make a very hard choice, for if I were to vote for Hillary Clinton in the state of Texas where I live, it could not possibly make a difference to the electoral college to help Hillary Clinton get elected President.  Given this fact, I can freely chose to vote for Hillary or someone else and still not be accused of "electing Trump" by not taking the strongest possible reverse vote in a simple majoritarian system.

If I did live in a state in which Hillary probably would, might, or might possibly win, it would be a different story for me.  I would have to think harder, because I would, in my mind, consider myself somewhat responsible for Trump getting elected if he did get elected.

I though about this a lot, because of the unexpectedly horrible and often criminal actions of George W. Bush.  I had been thinking there wouldn't be much difference...but the result proved to me the possibility of failure of imagination, a very common human foible.  You can fail to imagine how horrible things might be under another Republican President.

Even if a state were almost certainly a win for Hillary, it would still be worth voting for her, to be part of that.  To deviate from voting begins to incurr some actual electoral risk, because we wouldn't know how many people were going to make that, possibly last minute, choice.  If enough people all of a sudden decided to hardly discipline the party, they might cause an electoral loss.

At this point, my sense is, right now anyway, I wouldn't want to risk that myself, but I'd also want to hear more, and I could change if Hillary "veered to the center" of an already center stance.

But for me, I have an easier choice.  Since my vote cannot help the party anyway, I can only apply soft discipline, and in this case I strongly feel I should.

Especially after the Platform debacle in which TPP and it's ilk were not completely denounced, and the illegal occupation and settlements in Palestine denounced too.

Trump is doing better on TPP, saying he would tear it up.  I know one person who essentially endorsed Trump for the first time merely on hearing that.  I'm a bit more than a one issue person, though, and I barely trust either Trump or Clinton.  Both are the very highest calibre of liars.

Trump also sounds less Zionist than Clinton, and that's a plus.  And he sounds less aggressive towards Russia in the Ukraine and Syria, those are more pluses.

But the Zionist media and Zionist blogosphere is constantly reminding me of the 20 or so reasons I cannot possibly let Trump be president.  And I suspect that's true, but I'm impotent on that.

Actually, in 2000, I did not feel guilt over my useless-anyway vote for Nader.  What made me feel guilty was that I sent $20 to the national campaign, and that could have been used in Florida, the ultimately critical state.

I realize that election and many others were simply being stolen in many ways anyway (such as the 91,000 erronously disqualified voters described by Greg Palast, that's the #1 way Florida was stolen) but a sufficent majority can defeat a limted theft, and the theft ultimately is usually limited.  Because the outcome including all errors and thefts was so close, a bit of Nader campaigning in Florida could have made a difference, in my view since 2001.

This time, a hardened Clintonite could say I'm messing with the election even worse this time by blogging, posting to social media, and talking to friends about it.

In that regards, if someone hypothetically were to think that, the answer is, for me,  what I'm doing is more important than any Presidential campaign.  It's shining the light around and trying to find the truth.  This is my most important political work.  Voting, campaigning, and that stuff, is a distant second.  Furthermore, I reject Alinskyism.  Alinsky wrote that organizers, and everyone ultimately must lie in the sense of telling partial truths...and then he would strip them down even more for rhetorical and political effect.  My model of democracy, "mass democracy", is different.  Until you can achieve a mass victory the right and honest way, it isn't worth trying to steal it through Alinskyism, Trotskyism, or anything like that.  In my view, always retaining honesty, is the most important thing.  I say "vote with your eyes open, but nose held firmly closed if necessary (as it usually will be)."  Only that way can you be immune to the partial truths, smears, of others.  You realize the world is a very messy place.  That's the only kind of stance in which I could vote for someone like Hillary Clinton anyway.  If I became squeamish at the sight of any shadow, I could not use voting effectively.  I would have no alternative but to vote for botique party candidates who are pure of heart and mind because they've never done any governing and never will.

One thing I won't do, however, is leave the Democratic Party by choice.  That is still my Party, I am being the loyal person, and a true leader, merely by saying that, and explaining how and why it must be disciplined, softly, for this election.

Merely a soft discipline could cause miracles.  What if Jill Stein, the Green Party Candiate, got more than votes than Hillary in Texas?  That couldn't change the electoral outcome, but it would make serious history, and a strong point.  (BTW, I fear the possibility of this is quite low, and even lower after the customary vote theft.  Remember: in a "democracy" you must have a supermajority to blow past the stops, not just whine that the stops aren't there.)

And this can be done without even in the slightest affecting the result of the election.

Meanwhile many people, friends and co-bloggers wonder why I remain committed to the Democratic Party.  It's quite simple, really.  Until the Green Party actually wins national elections it is not really an electoral party, it's a proto-electoral party.  Someday, maybe, it will win.  That certainly happened with the Republican Party in 1860 when out-of-the-blue it won with Abraham Lincoln.  The Republican Party became from that moment onwards a major electoral party that has continued to win national offices at a middling probability.

Where is the Green Party?  Has never won a national election...not close...down in the small percents so far.

I suppose that could change, but I'd like to see some evidence as such, not just be asked to believe, as I was in so many elections in my life (starting for me with John Anderson, who I did not vote for, but I did not vote at all in that election, not feeling too motivated to re-elect Carter).  So we got Reagan who turned my world upside down.  Later, when I supported the Greens in 2000, Nader got a few percent but GWB became president and my world went far downer.

Now, boutique parties like the Greens could do immense good, IMO, if they focus on actually pressing national issues, such as TPP, endless wars, and so on.  But in reality, actual 3rd parties spend about 90% of their time trying to program their listeners that the "two party system" is evil (yes it is, but only a supermajority party could change that, and your stinky % party doesn't get close enough to do anything but spoil), the two parties are identical (no they are horrible and far horribler, and not to see the latter is profound failure of imagination, as has happened to me to my deep regret at least twice).

You may think this stuff ("the two parties are identical") is fine and good, but it's not for me and I won't be supporting it.

I'm a loyal Democrat, in the Party of FDR and Kennedy.  This is a party that has won many elections, represents the self-identification of a majority of the people in the country, and has created the most important social democracy, starting with Social Security and Medicare.  Marx said it best, get in front of the largest People's party, or even Bourgeois Party if that's the largest and lefter one, and lead it, and that's what I choose to do.  I "lead" by being me.

When another party can possibly become the largest People's party, when you have solid evidence that it can win, and not just hope and faith, then let me know.

WRT my other candidates, I will vote Democratic all the way except when there aren't any Democratic candidates.  I have mostly felt good about my Democratic representatives, and bad about my Republican Governors and Senators.

Sanders, btw, did what he had to do in endorsing Hillary softly, by saying what he would do.  I continue to have the greatest respect, though I agree with critics if he had waited until the delegate vote it would have been better.  I suppose the problem is...the fundraising...and the endless clamour of Clintonites to get on with it, based on unofficial counts of the superdelegates.  The only official count is the first one on the Convention Floor, and that is what I always wanted to wait for, and still am wating for that, and want to see it done properly.

I'm not privy to the discussions and agreements, getting an endorsement now may have meant something to Hillary's fundraising and she may have given gifts or made threats, we'll never know.  Sanders was no doubt under serious pressure from the inside as well as endless Clintonite pundits.

I (will) accept Sander's loss, my loss, our countries loss not to find the better person, even more well liked, and with a renewal of New Deal type promises, and to get back towards the country.  Now at best we'll have Clinton's neoliberalism or Trump's fascism (at best).

Move on to the next thing to do, which IMO is vote Green if in a solid Red state, otherwise Hillary.

I'm still reading the news, though.

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