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May 17, 2015

Here we go.  Last night I was at a gathering with my ageing lefty friends and we were talking about Hillary and Bernie.  Then someone said “I’m tired of voting for the lesser of two evils”  I responded.  “I hate when people say that”.  I think I went on to explain why, but not in a very sophisticated way.  So I will try here.  No leftist should ever say “the lesser of two evils”.  Why?  Let me count the reasons.

1.  Its false.  Electing Hillary Clinton would not be the same as electing Jeb Bush.  Just like electing Al Gore was not the same as electing George W. Bush. (Sorry Tim Robbins and Susan Sarandon but you were wrong)  The election of George Bush solidified corporate control in this country in a way we may not escape from, sent thousands of citizens to die only to make the elite richer and engulf the middle east in flames.

2.  It’s not ours.  It is a right wing meme that is intentionally used to suppress the vote.  The right knows something we fail to understand.  They do not win on issues.  Elections are won and lost on turnout.  And if they succeed in creating the picture that Hillary is nothing more than a corporate shill regardless of how progressive of a campaign she runs.  WE STAY HOME. AND THEY WIN.

3.  It shows breathtaking political naiveté. Too many on the left act like the presidential campaign is a contest that we get to participate in.  It is not.  As politically active people, it is something we must work with.  If all you do, to affect the political landscape in this county, is vote you need to step up your game.  Particularly if you call yourself a leftist.  We will never “get” to vote for a real honest to God populist like Bernie Sanders.  We have to make it happen.  If you are left voting for Hillary Clinton against your will, then you didn’t work hard enough.  Its not something that was done to us.  Its something we created by not creating the other.  But it may not be that what should happen is to get Bernie Sanders the nominee but instead to use his candidacy to build the movement to create the body politic that will save this Country.  The presidential election is one battleground. We must claim responsibility to be fully engaged in the current political reality not expect an engraved invitation to a imagined utopia where the “Democratic Party” magically nominates a progressive to be president.

You cannot use this phrase,  Just stop it.  We can still save democracy.  But it won’t happen by us sitting on our asses hoping .that someday the “Democratic Party” will give us a real progressive to vote for.

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