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We should end this mini-debate, SDF

Posted by: MDG on February 02, 19100 at 18:05:50:

In Reply to: Reasons to vote Green posted by Samuel Day Fassbinder on February 02, 19100 at 17:03:52:

: : The Democrats are the same as the Republicans, so why vote for one over the other; that's the line being peddled here.

: SDF: Not really. I argued more specifically and more generally, that the Demopublicans contain a lot of wasted votes, because, basically, bourgeois democracy convinces the working class to hold its nose while the king is crowned, year after year. One example of this, I argued, is "liberal Democrats" who vote for right-wing assholes like Bradley. It's time for the working class to stop holding its nose and start campaigning for its own interests. It's been time for the last twenty-five years -- however, it's only been for the past ten years or so that there's been a Green Party in the US.

Okay, several points. One, I think the Democratic Party can still be repaired, i.e., brought back to a more liberal, progressive platform. Granted, I feel less confident of that all the time, but I'm not as ready as you are to give up on it. Secondly, and simultaneously, one should support the Greens and other third parties. This is not a contradiction; one party - the Dems - are in power. That's a fact. Given that fact, we should push them as far left as possible. By supporting the Greens, we are pushing leftwards in two ways: showing the Dems they are losing a constituency, which they will hopefully move to recapture by moving left, and also by building up the Greens so that if the Dems don't get it, or refuse to accomodate us, we chuck 'em entirely for the Greens. You're obviously at that latter point, by like I said, I'm not ready to jump ship just yet.

: In this regard, the Demopublican and Republicratic Parties are just different versions of right-wing hegemony.

Last time: yes, but one version is still better than the other.

: Against the "lesser of two evils" tactical error, I'll here display some reasons for campaigning Green in this year's Presidential election:

: 1) When the next President continues to commit the usual atrocities, the blood won't be on your hands.

If you pay taxes in this country, you can stay home on election eve and read Marx all night long, but you'll still share some responsibility for what your government does. I won't play the who's more to blame game.

: 2) If the candidate gets 5% of the vote, the Greens get matching Federal funds, and can launch a winning campaign in 2004.

Lenora Fulani continues to get federal matching funds, and all it's done for her is get her a possible vice-Prez seat next to Pat Buchanan.
But to not be so cynical: it would be terrific for the Greens to get 5 percent matching funds, and if I personally didn't think this was such a crucial election vis a vis the Supreme Court, I might very well vote for the Green candidate. In the meantime, the Greens will have to continue working to establish a popular foundation.

:And, contra Stoller, leftist legislation can indeed disrupt the status quo, as it did under Allende's regime in Chile. (As if Marx was right about everything, in all contexts and for all places and times!) A popular movement will also be necessary, per "grassroots democracy"...

Barry's completely off-track with his rejection of legislation. I mean, that's what government does: legislate, i.e. make laws. To argue against legislation as a way of shaping the society you want makes no sense whatsover.

: 3) More states will have ballot-status Green parties as a result of direct popular participation in campaigns.

: 4) If you vote for the Demopublicans, you might as well campaign for them as well, that is if the result of the election means anything at all to you.

I might campaign for Gore or Bradley, because defeating Bush (or McCain?) does mean that much to me.

:This practice of holding your nose and voting is one of the most repugnant aspects of the Demopublican followership, from the perspective of democracy -- not only have Demopublican followers sold out to the campaigns of the highest monetary values, i.e. the rich, but they've sold out reluctantly, withdrawing in an important way from what ought to be the democratic life of the people.

Sometimes in life you have to hold your nose and do what's disagreeable.

:If you're going to vote for someone, you ought to campaign for him/ her as well, which means of course that you ought to agree with their positions.

Or, it can mean you at least agree with them more than their opponent. Like it or not, a Democrat or Republican will be the next Prez; it's lesser evil time.

:That the Democrats have been able to sucker liberals into this reluctant support has meant the ascendancy of scum like Clinton amidst the decline of the Democratic Party. Ending the trap of reluctant support is, more than anything, the main reason for supporting the Green Party in word and deed, across the board.

Sucker? You can't throw a blanket statement over everyone who voted for Clinton over Bush/Dole. Plenty of people did what they felt was necessary given the options, while simultaneously desiring something better.

: That they understand the operation of the democratic life of the people is one of the reasons the Christian Coalition has been so successful in promoting its politics throughout the last two decades. Meanwhile, Cornel West endorses Bill Bradley. Is it any wonder there is no American Left anymore?

You're an American leftist. What makes you think you're alone?

: : Assuming that the two parties are identical in all ways save one, that one difference is reason enough to vote for Gore over Bush: the Republican's official party platform includes passage of a constitutional amendment to outlaw abortion; the Democrats official position is pro-choice.

: SDF: By this reasoning we all ought to vote Green; for they have the best platforms.

: But I'll address the point more specifically -- one's position upon abortions is contingent upon the President being able to do anything about Roe v. Wade, a very contingent possibility (given what it would take for that to happen), and assuming that this will affect REAL mothers in some minor way (frankly, it's between being allowed to abort and being forced to keep the baby, neither of which are life-threatening) somewhere way on down the line, whereas the Clinton administration position on Iraq still kills 4,000 REAL children every month including THIS month, with the WILLING COMPLICITY of the "liberal Democrats" who voted for him in 1996.

: Does the Democratic Party platform demand its pound of flesh from Iraqi babies in the way I've described above? Of course not -- platforms are public relations statements, meant for the fools who can't tell the difference between public relations and reality.

: : And that's that. By the way, in reference to another post: Alex Cockburn is the Left's Rush Limbaugh: more mouth than brains.

: SDF: Why dispute the factual basis of a single one of their claims when you can dismiss them as politically-harmful? Have you been learning debate tactics from Stoller? Has realistic assessment been downgraded to heresy?

Having read Mr. Cockburn for years, I've come to despise the man. He's ofen correct in what he says, but he's a nasty piece of work.

SDF, we've come to the point where we're just repeating ourselves, so unless you have a good reason to do otherwise, why don't we just accept that we disagree on tactics, and perhaps even some ends, though I'm less inclined to believe the latter than the former.

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