Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Chomsky Endorses Lesser Evil Voting

Chomsky has just written an "8 point brief" defending Lesser Evil Voting, which he calls LEV, as the most moral choice.

I agree completely, and I am grateful for this.

His telling of LEV is that the outcome (winner) is all that matters.  Those people who can affect the outcome (those who live in swing states wrt the President) have the capability to possible make things better by electing a less bad President.  Slightly less bad means better.  The alternative slightly worse choice will negatively impact, possibly in horrible ways, millions of people, even though it may not as likely affect comfortable voters as much, we should beware of their fate, being concerned for the actual welfare of others--that's the meaning of morality.  It's far less important to identify oneself as moral by picking a "moral" person, that's self image not morality according to Chomsky.

Now he makes it clear that those not in swing states can and should vote their true preference, or a protest vote, non vote, or whatever.  That's part of Chomsky's definition of LEV.

He's also making it clear that it's another issue entirely whether one candidate or another is the militarily less dangerous choice.  He feels that Trump is the worse choice, but some have made interesting claims that Hillary is likely to engage more warfare.  He's feels Hillary is safer than Trump, but he's not going to argue the matter.  Your disagreement may change your definition of the LEV for the President this time from the otherwise standard choice--Democratic Party.  (I'd add "when possible" as they don't always run in some Texas districts.  In those cases vote Green, or even Libertarian, as opposed to Republican.  Republicans generally don't believe in Global Heating, and are the worst on all issues, sometimes unbelievably so.  It is very important that non-Presidential Republicans be universally defeated.  They've done dastardly things like shutting down the government and threatening default to get their way without actually passing new law, all in service of the plutocracy.)

Chomsky says voting shouldn't be taken as a big deal.  LEV makes enough difference to bother doing, but not much more.  There isn't much choice really on offer through electoral politics.  Other aspects of politics are more important, and you should devote more time to them.

I can only quibble.  I think the image matters a tiny bit.  I think the hope for change matters a tiny bit, though not enough to change LEV in any way.

I think we should watch polls for a surprise upswing of a 3rd party.  Several times they have fielded winning candidates, though just once (in over 200 years) with Abraham Lincoln, did a former 3rd Party become one of the 2 dominant parties.  It's very very hard to do, I'd never count on it happening again by way of persuasion (I've been thrice burned by John Anderson, Ross Perot, and Ralph your hero going to do better?).  I'd want to see data, though I understand for Lincoln it was a complete surprise to experts of the time (I don't think polling was quite as serious either).  And then, in order to change the system, it needs to be not just one of the two dominant parties but a super majority party.  Show me the numbers.  Surely a supermajority wants a similar kind of change, say--full employment and everyone taken care of, but they've been very capably distracted into different clans who disagree on how it can be done.  And the solution is poison to the other.  Diabolical.

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