Skip to main content

View Diary: The Ethic of (Ir)Responsibility (238 comments)

Comment Preferences

  •  Great essay.... (3.75)
    However, no amount of scholarly analysis undoes the fact that Democrats in the House, Senate and presidential elections have consistently shifted rightward, a sort of can't beat 'em, join 'em tactic. This leaves progressive-to-liberal Democrats with few options. By the flogging Nader and Nader voters have received here, I'd say the only option left is to not vote at all, a tradition with libs who have rarely had decent representation. Of course, most here simplify the issue by saying "a vote for Nader is a vote for Bush" or "hold your nose and vote Dem, at least we'll WINNNNN!" ignoring that this tactic will only "win" you the booby prize, a washington full of fake-ass democrats who cave on every fundamental issue, let the Repugs walk all over them and generally make the dem party look even worse. And so it has been for the past four years.
    My reply would be a vote for anyone but Democrats OR Republicans is a rejection of machine politics and the pandering, wheeling and dealing, self serving BS that is Washington. Clinton was only slightly better than Bush when it comes to pandering and self serving politics. He did do some positive things, but behind the curtain the wizard was busy furthering corporate globalization and privatization, signing backroom deals, and using politics as a blunt instrument against his foes, much as Bush II does. Bush's oil misadventures in Afghanistan and Turkmenistan (and all of Central Asia) are only finishing a job that Clinton started, and he was just as delighted to help Unocal by engaging and assisting brutal dictators in the region as Bush now is... and this is the guy who is supposed to be the "hero" of the modern Democratic party. Get the point?

    Nader may be pompous, driven by ego etc. as people love to claim, but is John Kerry (or any other nominee, Dean and Clark included) any less driven by some degree of self serving motivation? I mean, let's be real honest here, do you REALLY think Kerry, A pampered Forbes living in a megamillion-dollar home, a penchant for wealthy heiresses, and a lengthy yet impossibly mediocre career in politics is in it for "the cause?" And this is who progressive Dems are expected to support as their leader - someone who shares little to nothing in common with our values, is out of touch with the problems we face, and is an uninspired career politician with little to show for it.

    Yeah, yeah, I know. I'm a dreamer, an idealistic, youthful kid, how cute and all of that. NO - I have values and principals that I plan to stick to, once you give those away you don't get them back. I won't hand my ass over to support some schmuck my heart doesn't believe in. I am sick of being told that the alternatives are merely "stealing" votes from one of the two major parties. You can't steal what was never yours, and it goes like I've said before: Lead and I will follow - pretend to lead, and I may just pretend to follow.
    •  system does not allow for idealism (none)
      the U.S. Constitution was not designed to allow for a politics of idealism. On the contrary, the political system as structured by the Constitution is inherently skewed to the interests of wealth and property, ie corporations and the landed gentry of the nation.

      That said, i feel your pain, i really do. I am a ultra left wing socialist-libertarian. My own ideology notwithstanding, i vote democratic and vote for politicians that i know will dissapoint my ideals more often than not. I hate to say it but in the American political game you gotta be a realist and realize that by sticking to them ideological guns you constrain yourself to the margins of the system. Sure, this is an horrible reality of politics, politicians are ego-driven, vainglorious individuals who *must* sell their souls to run in the first place and the machine will determine the winners and losers most of the time, but it is a reality that must be faced and accepted. Change is possible but it won't happen by voting for Nader this time around.

      It is at times like this, when the nation is so evenly divided and there is a clear choice between the ideological imperatives of the persons running for president that idealists have to, as a matter of responsibility, morality and ethics, vote for the lesser of two evils. Bush, the neocons and the radical Republicans will take this nation to a place that will be worse off for all those whom with your ideals you would want to protect and enrich. By allowing ideology to curtail your voting for Kerry (or whomever the Democratic nominee is)you will in effect be complicit with the Republican majority that will rule come 2005. (I use 'you' as a generic 'you.' There are plenty of others that also believe as you do. I myself voted for Nader last time around and i feel horrible that i did so. It cost my family and a great number of american citizens a great deal. I won't do it again.)

      •  idealists (none)
        "It is at times like this, when the nation is so evenly divided and there is a clear choice between the ideological imperatives of the persons running for president that idealists have to, as a matter of responsibility, morality and ethics, vote for the lesser of two evils. "

        aaah. But when they do that, they cease to be idealists, don't they? There IS a clear choice, I'm sorry that you still think it is between Bush & Kerry.

        You sell your soul if you want. I happen to be fond of mine.

      •  repeating myself here... (none)
        I can't really agree that there's a clear choice between the two main candidates.  The Democrats supported this war and all the recent military actions we've gotten ourselves into.  Kerry and Dean were arguing that the war was unnecessary and handled badly, but no one has come out saying that the war is illegal, that Bush is a war criminal, etc.  Kerry's opposition (if we can call it that) is completely unprincipled.  And the Democrats show this same unpricipled "opposition" to almost all of the Republicans' policies.  Except for social issues it's basically one-party rule.


        Bush is not a dictator!  He wouldn't be able to implement his evil policies without Democratic complicity.

        People are terrible. They can bear anything.

        by soulfrieda on Fri Feb 27, 2004 at 05:01:27 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  social vs international realtions (none)
          whomever is president will be part of a greater evil, the military-industrial-contract complex and thus no one capable of being president- actually having a chance of being elected i mean, Kucinnich has a very interesting platform but only has a real chance if can somehow get everyone some maui bud to smokewill ever be party to my ideals. So i look at their stand on social issues and electability. Nader wooed me last time by virtue of his legacy. His candidacy failed though and it failed in such a manner that we now have a president that is so counter to my social issues that i fear for the future of my daughters in this nation if he and the Republican party continue to hold the government hostage as they are wont to. That is what i mean by 'clear choice.' Not that there aren't problems with the stance Kerry takes on defense and international issues but that between Kerry and Bush, i want Kerry filling judicial vacancies; I want Kerry to nominate the Cabinet; I want Kerry to veto anti-choice bills.

          Is there anything clearer that the choice between Bush and Kerry when it comes to our social welfare in the next 4 years??

    •  Does Wealth Inherently Determine Committment? (none)
      "Kerry, A pampered Forbes living in a megamillion-dollar home, a penchant for wealthy heiresses, and a lengthy yet impossibly mediocre career in politics is in it for "the cause?" And this is who progressive Dems are expected to support as their leader - someone who shares little to nothing in common with our values, is out of touch with the problems we face, and is an uninspired career politician with little to show for it."

      You know, much of this characterization could have been plausably applied against "that man," Franklin Roosevelt.  And Ted Kennedy has put together a nice little career helping out everyday Americans and those who are less fortunate.  On the other hand, Ronald Reagan came from a modest background, and he did tremendous damage to the interests of working people.

      From an electoral appeal standpoint, sure, I'd love to have someone like Clinton (or Clark, Gephardt, Edwards, or even Lieberman) who came from a modest background and can plausably empathize with everyday Americans.  But in the end, it's what somebody does that matters.  

      Has Ted Kennedy known the dispair that comes from being poor or feeling you have awful options in life?  No.  Has he done anything to combat the circumstances that prevent people from suffering from poverty or despair?  Hell yes.  So, does it matter that he (and by extension, plenty of other liberal politicians who came by wealth through career success or by birth, including Kerry, Edwards, Jay Rockefeller, Herb Kohl, Mark Dayton, John Corzine, etc.) doesn't share the same life or life experiences.  No.

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site