: Regarding the argument between MDG and SDF, I see SDF's reasoning entirely. I'm a recovering liberal; I was a Gary Hart volunteer in 1984, a Jesse Jackson volunteer in 1988, and a Jerry Brown canvasser in the primary season for 1992 elections. (I met Caesar Chavez!)
SDF: I'd go even further: I don't even see a reason to restate any opposition I might have to "liberals" in order to make a specific argument against voting Democrat. The "liberals" are being stuffed in their agendas by the Democratic Party just as surely as the rest of us.
The process of "passive revolution" has been going a long time now, and a consistent effort in opposing the One-Party System will be necessary to reverse the trend. And in doing so we'll need temporary allies. But I wouldn't go much further than that with the matter.
: The following November I voted for Bill Clinton, and justified my decision the same way MDG does. He did seem like the lesser of two evils, and I had yet to really remove myself from America's election spectacle. "Well," I bellowed at my friend, "at least he'll appoint pro-choice judges to the Supreme Court!"
: "Whew, thank God!" my friend answered back, "thank God the bourgeois judiciary is going to preserve just ONE of our rights!"
SDF: I voted for Clinton in '92 because there wasn't a progressive candidate on the ballot in the state where I was voting. Later, I got to know the Greens in that state and worked to organize them as a ballot-status party.
: I've come to agree with what my friend was trying to tell me, but I cut myself some slack for being carried away with optimism. Let's look at Clinton of '92: He was promising health care, gay rights, responsible environmental laws. To us liberals who had lived through twelve years of Reagan and Bush, having a Democrat in the White House was like the sun dawning on a new age; it was like a dream.
: Well, I cut myself some slack, but today I also slap myself for having fallen for it. As everyone here knows, Clinton has waffled, lied, stroked, bombed and cut to make any Republican proud. Indeed, in my opinion the Republican party has been forced to move even further to the right, thus illustrating Freud's notion of the "narcissism of small differences."
: I can't believe anybody who considers themselves progressive or socialist or anything--even liberal--could vote for Clinton or Democrat. Clinton's single contribution to history should, in my opinion, be that he was the final nail in the coffin of American Liberalism. Lesser of two evils? After Clinton, does that even have any meaning anymore? You'd have to split hairs pretty fine to get me to agree that that phrase applies.
SDF: It hasn't had any meaning since 1975, when the Trilateral Commission consolidated the elite rule of America. Read The crisis of democracy : report on the governability of democracies to the Trilateral Commission (by Michel Crozier, Samuel P. Huntington, and Joji Watanuki: New York, New York University Press, 1975). Read especially the chapter by Samuel Huntington, wherein it is argued that democracy has become too populist and elite rule will have to be reinforced to maintain the governability of the US. This ain't no secret pamphlet, it should be available in your local college library.
Remember that in 1980 Jimmy Carter was promising us a HIGHER level of military expenditure than Ronald Reagan promised.
Remember that the US became the world's biggest debtor nation thanks largely to the acquiescence of DEMOCRATIC majorities in Congress.
It's really been twenty-five years since the One-Party System dropped its factional dispute and endorsed the economics of militarism and class warfare against the poor.
: "Republicans are worse than Democrats!" Okay, and lung cancer is worse than polio. What would you think of a system which forced you to choose one or the other?
: That being said, I disagree with people who stay away from the polls.I know it's not a catchy phrase, but: We commies must vote in bourgeois elections!.
: Often there are many other issues on ballots which demand our attention--English-only laws, tax referendums to use public money to build private football stadiums, anti-immigration laws and the like--that we shouldn't neglect the small voice that bourgeois democracy gives us. So, when people ask me how I voted, I'll be able to answer, "I voted No, No, No, No, No, No, No, and Green."
SDF: The Green Party is on the ballot, last I heard, in eleven states. We could do a better job with the other thirty-nine.
Breaking the spell of the One-Party System will have to mean the presentation of an alternative. Remember the "election" in the middle of Barbara Kingsolver's The Poisonwood Bible, where the spell of the Baptist preacher was broken?