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From The Progressive Populist

Some of our readers have taken us to task for supporting President Obama and the Democrats in the upcoming election instead of promoting other alternative candidates on the left, such as Green Party nominee Jill Stein, or Justice Party candidate Rocky Anderson, or even Libertarian Gary Johnson. But our job is to tell the truth — not what we wish was the truth. And the truth is that Barack Obama is the most progressive candidate who can get elected president on Nov. 6.

We were told in 2000 that there was not enough difference between the two major parties to warrant a progressive vote for Al Gore. You can argue until you’re blue in the face about whether progressives who voted for Green candidate Ralph Nader in Florida share responsibility for George W. Bush’s presidency. We think it is clear that Gore would have been a much better president than Bush, who ignored concerns about al Qaeda’s threat to the US until it was too late. Then Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney used the 9/11 attacks as a pretext to invade Iraq. And, perhaps most significantly in long-term damage, Bush replaced conservative Chief Justice William Rehnquist and moderate Republican Justice Sandra Day O’Connor on the Supreme Court with John Roberts and Samuel Alito, right-wing ideologues who have joined with Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas and increasingly hardline Anthony Kennedy to form a right-wing bloc on the Court that swept aside a century of precedents in 2010 with the Citizens United decision, which allowed corporations to engage in political activity. Now the right-wing majority appears poised to enact a laundry list of right-wing initiatives from the bench.

In a recent interview with Sam Seder, Jill Stein said the relationship of Democrats to progressives was abusive. “The lesser evil vote is interpreted as a mandate and will lead to more of the same,” she said. Obama is “able to do much worse than George W. Bush was able to do in terms of expanding the wars, the Wall Street bailout and the attacks on our civil liberties because the opposition essentially goes away.”

But we are not sure that it does much good for the Greens to run a presidential campaign that gets at most a few percentage points of the total vote. If anything, it seems to demonstrate what little support there actually is for the Green agenda.

Ralph Nader had a national reputation as a progressive consumer activist in 2000, when he got 2.88 million votes, or 2.74% of the total, for president. In 2004 Nader ran again as an independent and finished third with 465,650 votes (0.38%) while the Green nominee, David Cobb, finished sixth with 119,859 (0.1%). The Green candidate in 2008, former Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney, got 161,603 votes, or 0.12% of the total.

We don’t doubt the sincerity of those candidates, or of Stein, a physician from Lexington, Mass., but she is virtually unknown outside the Commonwealth, where she ran for governor in 2002, finishing third with 3.5% of the vote, and again in 2010, finishing fourth with 1.4%. She won a town meeting seat in 2005 and 2008 and lost a 2006 race for Secretary of the Commonwealth.

The Greens are on the ballot in 32 states, including at least six “swing states” and hope to be on 40 ballots for the general election. (The Greens got on the Texas ballot in 2010 with the help of a Missouri-based nonprofit corporation with ties to Republican activists which paid more than half a million dollars from undisclosed sources for the ultimately successful petition effort.) Libertarians, headed by former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson, will be on at least 41 ballots; the Constitution Party, headed by conservative former US Rep. Virgil Goode of Virginia, is on 21 ballots and the Justice Party, headed by former Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson, is on 12 ballots, according to Ballot Access News.

(We believe that all those candidates — and any candidate who will be on enough ballots to contest 270 electoral votes — should be included in the presidential debates, which are scheduled for Oct. 3, Oct. 16 and Oct. 22, as well as a vice presidential debate Oct. 11. However, the two major parties set up the Commission on Presidential Debates in 1987 largely to keep aggressive questioners and alternative party nominees out of the debate.)

Losing general election campaigns discourages a movement. But Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) has shown it is possible to run as an independent progressive populist and win statewide. After starting in the 1970s running also-ran campaigns as the anti-war Liberty Union candidate for the Senate and governor, he ran for mayor of Burlington in 1981, narrowly beating a six-term Democratic incumbent. He followed a progressive course that got him re-elected three times. With that local base, Sanders ran for governor in 1986, finishing third with 14.5% of the vote. He then turned his sights on the state’s at-large seat in Congress when Jim Jeffords (R) ran for the Senate in 1988. Sanders lost to Republican Lt. Gov. Peter Smith that year, but in a 1998 rematch Sanders defeated Smith, 56% to 40%, becoming the first independent elected to the US House in 40 years and the first self-described socialist in 60 years.

Sanders was a co-founder of the Congressional Progressive Caucus and and has a 100% lifetime legislative score with the AFL-CIO but he has balanced that with the rural state’s native conservatism. For example, he voted against the Brady Bill in 1993 and in favor of an NRA-supported bill restricting lawsuits against gun manufacturers in 2005. When Sen. Jeffords announced he would not seek a fourth term in 2006, Sanders entered the race to succeed him. With the backing of Democratic leaders, Sanders headed off a significant Democratic challenge and went on to defeat a Republican businessman in the general election by a 2 to 1 margin.

In the Senate, Sanders has caucused with the Democrats. He has been a persistent critic of the Wall Street bailout, joined three Democratic senators in opposing the nomination of Timothy Geithner as treasury secretary and led the successful amendment to the Dodd-Frank financial reform bill that required an audit of the Federal Reserve. On Dec. 10, 2010, he delivered an 8-1/2 hour speech against the extension of the Bush-era tax rates and other tax credits in a deal that also extended benefits for long-term unemployed workers. The text of that speech was published in February 2011 as The Speech: A Historic Filibuster on Corporate Greed and the Decline of Our Middle Class by Nation Books.    

In his weekly “Brunch with Bernie” radio show with Thom Hartmann on Sept. 7, Sanders noted, “We have to remember where we were when Bush left office and we were losing 750,000 jobs a month.” He said he would like to hear President Obama say how he would put people back to work. “You’re not going to have the kind of economy this country needs and you’re not going to create the millions of jobs we have to create unless we deal with Wall Street,” he said. “You can’t continue to have a handful of huge banks led by JP Morgan and Chase with so much wealth and so much power. In my own view, you’ve got to start breaking up these large financial institutions. At the very least, they need to be significantly re-regulated.”

But Sanders said it was vital to re-elect Obama and keep the Democratic majority in the Senate and regain the House majority. “This really is a pivotal moment in American history,” he said. “If the Republicans win, I fear very much that along with Citizens United and along with the grotesquely unfair distribution of wealth and income in this country that we’re going to he moving pretty rapidly to an oligarchic form of government, where a handful of families — a few hundred families — have significant control of the economic and political life of this country.”

At the same time, he said, progressives need to organize at the grassroots to put pressure on Democrats to protect Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid and other progressive principles. “Now is not the time to despair and throw our hands up in the air,” he said. “We need to work hard and get in the streets to to make sure the President moves forward in a progressive direction.”

Sanders is up for re-election this year and he deserves your support, as do progressive Dems such as Sherrod Brown (Ohio), Ben Cardin (Md.), Bob Casey (Pa.), Shelton Whitehouse (R.I.) and newcomer Elizabeth Warren in Massachusetts. And yes, the other Dems are worth supporting, too, if for no other reason than to keep Mitch McConnell from becoming majority leader.

See the editorial at The Progressive Populist blog. Reprinted by permission.

Originally posted to jcullen on Sun Sep 16, 2012 at 11:01 AM PDT.

Also republished by These Green Mountains.


Should progressives vote for the lesser of two evils?

25%28 votes
10%11 votes
39%43 votes
0%1 votes
11%12 votes
2%3 votes
0%1 votes
7%8 votes
1%2 votes

| 109 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  Not the time for this pie fight inducing bullshit. (4+ / 0-)
    •  To quote you: "my ass" Nt (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Note to self, stop before I emulate the habits described in this diary.

      by Rustbelt Dem on Sun Sep 16, 2012 at 11:18:20 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  It's only pie-fight inducing if you (10+ / 0-)

      don't really read it.

      jcullen makes some excellent arguments for those who are standing out there determined to prove Progressives are more than a minor faction in the Democratic tent.

      The way to change things, to move the country left, is to start at the local level and work your way up.  This is how the Tea Partiers managed to take control of so many state legislatures, school boards, zoning boards, etc.  In my very liberal part of Texas, the Water Board matters more than anything, and the Oligarchs own it.  

      That's where we need Green Party people.  Make friends with the locals, they'll vote for you at the state level, and then at the national level.

      Start at the National level and you're just a spoiler, letting the really bad guys stay in control.

      I'm not looking for a love that will lift me up and carry me away. A love that will stroll alongside and make a few amusing comments will suffice.

      by I love OCD on Sun Sep 16, 2012 at 11:38:22 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  In all honesty... (0+ / 0-)

        I didn't read the whole thing.  In fact all I read was the first couple of paragraphs.  But any time you start bringing up the schizm within the party, any time you raise the spectre of Nader, you are inducing a piefight.

      •  " start at the local level and work your way up." (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Pirogue, ParkRanger, Wee Mama, joynow

        But that doesn't work in this cycle.
        I have worked with the Greens for decades, was one of the early Greens before there was an GPUSA (European Greens were an inspiration and education for us in the Anti Nuke movement in the mid 70s).
        But I'm a registered Democrat.
        So I get both sides of this argument and frankly, the Greens are wrong on this.
        If the party had continued on the 1990s path of building local constituencies, attaining local offices and building a real political party, by now, they could have been a credible alternative to the two majors.
        They didn't.
        And what's worse, they decided to short-circuit that approach in favor of jumping in at the top with Nadir.
        And since then, the Nadirites that stayed in the Party after he abandoned them (he never was a registered Green), have become a wreckingcrew. They act exactly like wRongPaulies, a shallow but extremely adamant group of ideologues, mostly white men, who can't seem to figure out why their party doesn't win every election they deign to run in and are driving out the women, the people of color, et cetera, just due to their obnoxious personalities in meetings.
        They represent, for me, the problem with the Left. Actually it's a problem all across the spectrum, extremism.
        Until recently, I spent most of my web time over at Buzzflash and TruthOut. Many good articles, different perspective than you'll find in the Corporate Media and comment sections where, at least until relatively recently, you could find people with interesting takes on the current events. But over the past couple years, there has been a hardening of positions such that every string I comment on, I'm attacked by a swarm of zealots who style themselves "true progressives".
        Now correct me if I get this wrong, but I understand progressive to mean supporters of progress and since progress is an incremental thing, that would mean that Progressives are people who can work for incremental change. These "true progressives" are absolutely unhinged that 2008 didn't herald the ascension of earth to heaven, that "Obama is worse than Bush" et cetera. Oh, and I'm an Obamabot.
        All across the Lefty Media there are these voices, some in the comments, some in the articles, that preach this all-or-nothing, Black&White worldview and are ready at the drop of a hat, to attack anyone that disagrees.
        And if they were actually well informed, if what they were on about was true in detail and intent, it would be one thing but they are often as well informed and documented as TeaBaggers. Actually, there is an eerie similarity between those supposedly diametric opposite groups.
        Some of this can be chalked up to Rove sending his minions to disrupt Progressive sites. I'm pretty sure several of my antagonists at TrOut were professionals. But some of them are just freelance zealots looking for a fight.
        This is one of the reasons that I finally ceased my lurking and became a Kossack. People here are more open to actual discussion rather than flying directly into flame-war.
        And though I may not agree that Obama is the Messiah, I like him very much and have seen him perform under immense pressure, against virulent opposition, with grace and intelligence. His first two years when Nancy held the House, were two of the most progressive years in the past thirty and if he gets a solid Congress behind him, we could see some really wonderful outcomes by the end of his second term.
        The alternative to Obama is not going to be Stein or Johnson or Anderson, not by any kind of majic and certainly not by any legal system in this election cycle.
        The only viable alternative to Obama is Rmoney.
        And no progressive with even half of their brain functioning can support that.

      •  Then (0+ / 0-)

        that should be what the Greens or anyone else are trying to do. On the national level, there is no room for the dialog--yet--because way too much is at stake and every vote counts.

  •  so, this would be 3rd party advocasy by proxy? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AnnetteK, MKSinSA

    It seems curiosity has killed the cat that had my tongue.

    by Murphoney on Sun Sep 16, 2012 at 11:11:07 AM PDT

  •  A questionable statement (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MKSinSA, Rizzo, Dirtandiron
    But we are not sure that it does much good for the Greens to run a presidential campaign that gets at most a few percentage points of the total vote. If anything, it seems to demonstrate what little support there actually is for the Green agenda.
    Perhaps many people do support the Green Party's ideas, but recognize that voting for a 3rd party given the political structure of our country would not serve to advance our Nation towards a different set of ideals. Your conclusion that there is little support for Green ideas is unsustainable in this context.

    "Political ends as sad remains will die." - YES 'And You and I' ; -8.88, -9.54

    by US Blues on Sun Sep 16, 2012 at 11:17:41 AM PDT

    •  Re: A Questionable Statement (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Perhaps many people think I'm God Almighty, but recognize that espousing me as such would get them burnt at the stake.

      This sort of argument is frankly insulting to the intelligence.

      "The curve of the universe is long, but bends towards justice'.

      by SirNitram on Sun Sep 16, 2012 at 01:22:31 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I do think that better progressive (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MKSinSA, I love OCD, SirNitram, joynow

    candidates from parties that are better than the dem candidates should be elected in office.  However, let's start local, and then work up.  Make it work in as many places as possible, and this is where influence is built.  

    However, in the presidential race, let's let the right-wingers split themselves up......

    In NYS, candidates are allowed to cross-party on the ballot.  So, for example, a candidate can have his/her name listed  on the repug line, the conservative line,  and even some other xxx-party line.  So Obama was listed on the dem, liberal, and Working Families Party tickets.  I voted for Barrack on the Working Families Party ticket, because they represented best my ideologies on government.  And the WFP has become the third largest party in that state, overtaking the conservative party line, I do believe.  And even a NY City Council Member in one district ran solely on this ticket, and won her seat here.

    I believe that all states need to have this.  If candidates can cross-ballot, there is a better sense of the electorate  composition.  

  •  Good analysis, (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cedwyn, TheLizardKing, Dirtandiron

    But it won't sway anyone by this point. Anyone who will "take us to task" on a Democratic blog for supporting a Democratic administration are sufficiently balkanized enough to not care.

    Note to self, stop before I emulate the habits described in this diary.

    by Rustbelt Dem on Sun Sep 16, 2012 at 11:21:16 AM PDT

  •  one reason why I hate Nader (10+ / 0-)

    Bernie started his career in the 70s and continued to run for office, finally winning many years later.

    Nader, on the other hand, with an opportunity to build a real third party, didn't bother to do anything after he lost in 2000 to help that party which showed, to my satisfaction, that he was in the 2000 race for himself.

    I suppose most politicians are only in it for what they, personally, can get but I especially don't like them when they run on idealism and then turn out to be just one more attention seeker.

    Sanders, on the other hand, has worked with the system and didn't give up, didn't act like an #%$^%&. I wish that Bernie would sometimes be a little more independent but I'll take him over 98 other Senators (a little shout-out to Jeff Merkley there).

    •  Nader's reputation (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Shahryar, Pirogue, Dirtandiron

      went down the toilet after his 2000 race.  Where he was previously known as a great consumer advocate, he now became known as The Spolier.  He specifically campaigned in swing states to help Bush.  If he had cared about the Green Party, he could have camapigned in states safe for one candidate or the other (Texas, New York, California, Indiana) and gotten the 5% the Green party needed to stay on the balot. Instead, he campaigned in NH, FL, and OR.

      "Valerie, why am I getting all these emails calling me a classless boor?"

      by TLS66 on Sun Sep 16, 2012 at 01:21:29 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Diary could make a positive difference. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    emelyn, Dirtandiron

    In 2000, I worked many, many hours on behalf of Vice President Al Gore.  With the benefit of, I knew that the outcome was going to be a true toss-up.  I implored my acquaintances to vote for Al Gore over Ralph Nader, particularly in the toss-up states.

    I don't criticize anyone for supporting or voting for progressive policies, but what a different and better America (and World) we would have today if only 600 of the 90,000+ Nader votes in Florida been cast for Al Gore.

    In Florida, Ohio, Virginia and Colorado I hope that Green voters will vote for President Obama, so that we do not exponentially compound the tragedy of Bush II by electing Mitt Romney.

  •  The time for "Third Parties"/alternate candidates (0+ / 0-)

    ......was months if not over a year ago, getting ready for primary season.

    Too many people think this is a game that you can just show up for "The Finals" or "Championship Game". It takes a LOT of work and preparation to make a serious run for national office. You have to "win" some credibility in "The Regular Season" before you can make the playoffs, let alone be positioned to actually win the race.

    This also ignores the effects that outside groups, like OWS can have on candidates currently in office. FDR used to say "You gotta make me do it", meaning that you had to build the support for issues/causes so that FDR had the people at his back. Groups and efforts like these build up the importance of these issues to a point where they get national attention - or at least a "pandering", which indicates they "noticed you". Continuing to build on ideas like this over time is the way for alternative ideas to come to the fore and STAY there. When a candidate just shows up a few months ahead of the race it's already too late to build that into a force that will have true political meaning.

    So it's "vote for Obama and other candidates who can win today, as he is the most progressive person we can actually elect", then as soon as this election is over we go to work "making them do it" and building outside issues oriented movements to make more progress going forward, and also supporting future candidates who can help us in the future. Start looking for the next Rocky Anderson type - but a Rocky Anderson type that can WIN - on Nov. 7.

    "Because only three percent of you read books - and only fifteen percent of you read newspapers - but right now there is a whole and entire generation that didn't know anything that didn't come out of this tube." - Howard Beale

    by Audible Nectar on Sun Sep 16, 2012 at 11:49:20 AM PDT

  •  Unless Obama changes some of his policies (0+ / 0-)

    I wont be voting Dem for POTUS ever again. I am voting Obama this time  so  the SCOTUS does not turn full on right.  But thats the only reason between the NDAA and the potus standing back while Occupy people were arrested  and brutalized made me sick.. Drone attacks on Americans  and  his drug ware  escapades are just ill. Add to that the Potus setting a Honorable precedent in not prosecuting Bush for his slaughter of Iraqi people and the torture of others. In my view Obama is a ok POTUS but he fell short of all my expectations some of which he set. He will get my vote but not much more. I wwil vote d in other races but I wont be piggend holed to the party again.

    "We need a revolution away from the plutocracy that runs Government."

    by hangingchad on Sun Sep 16, 2012 at 11:53:26 AM PDT

  •  A vote for a Presidential Green candidate (5+ / 0-)

    is, functionally speaking, a vote for the Republicans in a tight state. Barack Obama is far from perfect, but anybody who believes that a Romney administration would be better on civil liberties, foreign policy, economic, environmental, banking and financial regulation, and Supreme Court issues is either delusional in the extreme or indifferent to the actual real suffering that will result from a Republican win. Just as Ralph Nader was indifferent to the suffering that was going to occur with a Bush win in 2000.

    •  No it's not. (0+ / 0-)

      A vote for a candidate is simply a vote for that candidate.

      •  Such a simple analysis might be appropriate in (3+ / 0-)

        an election for 7th grade class president. In national poltics it is woefully inadequate.

        What counts in adult electoral politics is the end result. I am quite sure that Bush's handlers were gleeful that Nader was drawing so many votes away from Gore. They don't care even a little bit that it was a combination of Bush and Nader votes that won the election (or made it close enough to steal) in 2000. All they know is that the Supreme Court now has a 5-4 majority and is poised to obtain a hard majority for the ultra-conservative side of things if Romney gets the election handed to him by Obama defectors.

        I urge anyone leaning toward voting Green to think long and hard about what will happen to their agenda if another Scalia or Alito gets appointed to the Supreme Court. SCOTUS is the final arbitor and they will be able to slap down any green or progressive measures they see fit if that happens.  Please keep Citizens United firmly in mind as you go to the polls come November.

        The world is a den of thieves and night is falling. -Ingmar Bergman

        by Pirogue on Sun Sep 16, 2012 at 02:06:20 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The US Needs (0+ / 0-)

          real change.

          Anyone leaning towards a lesser of two evils needs to think if they want to support a lesser evil. If they want to embrace that evil as their own.

          I did that in the last two elections, but I'm thoroughly done with that argument, having seen what was done with a huge mandate for real change.  

          I don't believe change will happen in the US until movements like OWS become strong, and until 3rd parties are polling around 10%, then we will see change in a positive way.

    •  I'm not voting for Romney (0+ / 0-)

      Ergo, I 'm voting for Obama.  

      Makes as much sense as your assertion.

      You may think that. I couldn't possibly comment.-- Francis Urqhart

      by Johnny Q on Sun Sep 16, 2012 at 04:44:03 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  At some point... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Rizzo, White Buffalo

    when we collectivity cross a line of lies and distortions, of unspeakably horrible policy, enabling of even war crimes, and such erosion of human rights, leading far down into the nadir of that slippery slope, after which righting all the wrongs becomes so much harder if not almost impossible, that to add my vote just makes me part of the collective madness.

    I will not vote for lies.

    I will not add my voice to the pardoning of torturers.

    I will not support prosecution and persecution of more whistle blowers than in all previous administrations combined.

    I won't support the drones, the kill lists, the deaths of innocents, the coddling of the incompetence of the wealthy class, the spying on Americans, the treatment of protestors, the lack of support for striking workers, the betraying of the middle class and the poor, the enrichment of the wealthy class at our expense.

    I will not be complicit.

    And if by not supporting such corruption, that makes me somehow to blame for some alternate direction of history, rather than putting the blame where it belongs, on those who gave me these horrible choices, then the madness is complete, for I am not to blame.

    We could all collectively follow a different route. But the group think tells us that is impossible, becoming such an entrenched meme that no one dares to question it's dubious logic. Thus, we are told, we must all collectively go the wrong direction, time after time, year after year, decade after decade. And those who cry out, pointing to truths, to better ways, to our collective conscience, and who say,"This is wrong..." are vilified and blamed, rather than placing the blame where it really belongs, on the corrupt ones who put us, time and again, into these moral conundrums.

    And yet we're all expected to reward them once again, we are told, in increasingly loud tones of the righteous, to go along, follow the crowd, or at least be silent while we are labeled as idiots, as fools, as the epitome of all the wrongs that will befall us, even after we got in line the last time and held our noses and gave our hard earned money, only to be laughed at and ridiculed by the blatant, overt actions thrown in our faces from the ones we helped to elect, as if WE are the reason for failure, and not the corruption that we oppose.

    It is the collective insanity that is the blame. Those of us who turn back to sanity are not to blame for this, but certainly, the group-think will turn against us, since the those who enable this madness, those who are responsible, refuse to turn their gaze upon themselves, where their denunciations and finger pointing deserves to be aimed.

    "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act". -George Orwell

    by ZhenRen on Sun Sep 16, 2012 at 12:52:01 PM PDT

    •  That's exactly right. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I voted for Obama in 2008, and therefore I am somewhat responsible for his actions, even though many could not have been predicted, in some case because he promised to do otherwise.

      I won't support the drones, the kill lists, the deaths of innocents, the coddling of the incompetence of the wealthy class, the spying on Americans, the treatment of protestors, the lack of support for striking workers, the betraying of the middle class and the poor, the enrichment of the wealthy class at our expense.
      If I do it again, I have approved of all these things and many more.
    •  Impassioned and such valid complaints and yet (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I'd like to see the passion going to demanding the change in other ways. Not voting for the Dem who does some bad things isn't some loud, effective statement. It is not easier to move toward something better by having a republican president doing all the more bad things, hurting all the more people.

      Movements and protests, educating about the issues so more can understand and care, finding creative ways...
      That's passion that can matter
      The point is changing things for the better and even being impatient with incremental change I could not bear being part of a big change for the worse.

      I understand you are taking a moral position but that isn't the same as being morally superior to those of us making other choices. We weigh things as well, not just going along, following the crowd.

  •  Intriguing. Four people who believe that Obama (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TheLizardKing, Dirtandiron

    has done more harm than Bush. I must have missed Obama's illegal war that killed hundreds of thousands of civilians.

    Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary? . . . and respect the dignity of every human being.

    by Wee Mama on Sun Sep 16, 2012 at 03:43:10 PM PDT

  •  I mostly agree, but question diarist's assumptions (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    The diarist appears to believe that those who insist on voting based on purity positions rather than on what is most likely to advance the values they claim to stand for are still, nonetheless, primarily motivated by political goals.

    I see no sign of that. What I have seen over 26 years in progressive politics is that such purists TELL THEMSELVES they care about political outcomes, but what they really care about is feeling good about themselves--often needing, as a part of that, to condescendingly view others as dupes and/or sell-outs.

    Their motivation is not about the course of history. It is about their personal psychology. Politics is a means towards personal gratification for such people, rather than being more about changing the world for the better.

    This phenomenon is a natural result of the fact that the American left has been completely colored by the counterculture of the 1960s (which I tend to think of as "the Children's Crusade") ever since that time. I wrote in detail on this phenomenon here.

    Have a flagon and discuss the news of the day at the sign of the Green Dragon, or hear me roar on Twitter @MarkGreenFuture

    by Dracowyrm on Sun Sep 16, 2012 at 05:50:12 PM PDT

  •  parties typically have platforms (0+ / 0-)

    and litmus tests, like limitations on slavery and increased tariffs for the GOP in 1860. Sanders has no impact on Dems, who have apparently taken no high profile position on the issues he says are critical. Except for his work with Dems in the senate he is a failure on the issues he identifies. Either he would form a movement, like a civil rights movement or he should join the Democratic party. His effort to get an amendment is no example of informed leadership, rather a political stunt.

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