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And, yes, I DO take it personally: Supporting one of the two major-party candidates in the 2012 presidential campaign offers no solution for anything
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Thursday, January 05, 2012

Supporting one of the two major-party candidates in the 2012 presidential campaign offers no solution for anything

For those who are extremely dissatisfied with the status quo in American political life and are seeking ways to change it, supporting one of the two major-party candidates in the 2012 presidential campaign as the principal form of activism offers no solution. That’s not an endorsement for resignation, apathy, non-voting, voting for a third party, or anything else. It’s just a simple statement of fact: on many issues that progressives themselves have long claimed are of critical, overarching importance (not all, but many), there will be virtually no debate in the election because there are virtually no differences between the two candidates and the two parties on those questions. In the face of that fact, there are two choices: (1) simply accept it (and thus bolster it) on the basis that the only political priority that matters is keeping the Democratic Party and Barack Obama empowered; or (2) searching for ways to change the terms of the debate so that critical views that are now excluded by bipartisan consensus instead end up being heard.


How can you pretend to vehemently oppose the slaughter of foreign civilians, the deprivation of due process, a posture of Endless War, radical secrecy, etc., when the President behind whom you’re faithfully marching is an aggressive advocate and implementer of those very policies? It’s certainly possible — based on lesser-of-two-evils rationale — to vote for a President who does these things while simultaneously opposing those policies. But for those who insist that all political salvation lies exclusively within the Democratic Party: the only course of action to reconcile these conflicts is to de-prioritize them, to decide they no longer really matter, and thus remain content with a President and a Party who does these things with such abandon.

watching the 2012 presidential campaign go forward and knowing that the garbage that's been shoveled at us during 2011 is nothing compared to what's coming our way between now and november is, for me, one of the most depressing ways imaginable to start a new year...

if sticking my head in the sand could do anything other than foster delusion and denial, i'd do it... unfortunately, i believe that keeping my fingers on the pulse of what's happening is a good thing... i believe we all have an obligation to keep ourselves informed... it's part of what human beings are here for... how can we look out for each other and contribute to our common good if we deliberately choose to be ignorant...? equally unfortunately, staying in touch has consequences for fundamental serenity if not basic sanity... sigh...

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