[Marxism] Vote for Clinton?
knhiebert at shaw.ca
Wed Aug 31 14:03:49 MDT 2016
I think I understand the argument for voting for Clinton. In a nutshell, she is the lesser evil.
I want to point out what I think are the shortcomings of voting for the lesser evil.
Of course, you can always use your vote to choose between the two most likely contenders for an office. Some people regard that as a "useful" vote.
In my opinion it is much more useful to use your vote to build a left alternative.
As a thought experiment, think back to the Johnson-Goldwater election of 1964. Which was the more useful vote, a vote for Johnson? Or a vote for the SWP or another small left party?
I would argue that the most useful vote was for the SWP or another small left party.
Each time you vote for the lesser evil you postpone the building of a left alternative. And you arrive at the next election with the same alternatives, a weak left and a choice between the candidates of the Republican Party and the Democratic Party.
The Green Party of Canada probably does not qualify as a left alternative. But I think the growth of the party illustrates the point I am making.
The party was launched in 1983. They didn't get more than 1% of the vote until 2004. And they didn't elect an MP until 2011. The people who voted for the Greens up till that time, were they wasting their vote? Not in my opinion. The handful of people who voted for them at the beginning encouraged others to vote for them in subsequent elections. And they grew to be a political force.
If you limit yourself to the lesser evil, you will be helpless when the lesser evil becomes so unpopular that the greater evil wins. What will you have to show for your efforts?
If you want to build a left alternative, the best time to start is now.
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