[Marxism] Lesser-evilism and the Democrats

Derek Seidman derektheredrebel at yahoo.com
Thu Mar 18 07:19:12 MST 2004

On the Left Hook discussion list the most heated,
reoccuring theme is lesser-evilism and support for the
Democrats. Below is a short message sent to our list.
I'd be interested in hearing anyone's comments. 


The only way to break out of lesser-evilism is to vote
in Democrats. The left flourished under under JFK and
LBJ; it withered under Nixon; it became virtually
extinct under Reagan. It took a long time under
Clinton, but the left did start to come to life in the
late 1990s. The anti-globalization movement would not
have taken off without the protective umbrella of
Democratic Party power. One of the reasons this
happens is because Democrats have a better history of
delivering economic growth. When people feel more
secure about their jobs and their economic prospects,
they are more likely to support things like single
payer, etc. and to tell their boss to stuff it. A
strong labor market acts as a kind of de facto labor
union, allowing workers to make an end run around the
repressive labor laws. It also makes people less
fearful, and encourages non-conformist behavior. When
times are bad, people lash out at the poor and
immigrants and cling to their jobs in terror. Hard
times make people right wing; good times make people
left wing. Much of what I just said is
counter-intuitive, but before blasting away at me,
think it over. 

Every intervention by a left party in a Presidential
election has resulted in either of two scenarios: 1)
the party's vote total, and its institutional residue,
are insignificant, or 2) the party's vote total throws
the election to the most conservative mainstream
candidate, resulting in left wing decline for the
subsequent four years (at least). 
There has never once been an exception to this in the
history of the United States of America. 
This is why "minorities" don't vote en masse for third
party candidates. It's political suicide.

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