Many progressives such as the political commentator Noam Chomsky have over the years espoused a strategy of voting for the Democrat in swing states as the “lesser evil”.
Bill Clinton and Barack Obama were the so-called lesser evil the previous two election cycles. Neither are a lesser evil but enablers of evil. If one votes for a degree of evil, then one should not be surprised when evil results. Clinton deregulated the finance sector, exposed American workers to the vagaries of “free trade,” implemented regressive welfare policies, and continued aggressive US militarism abroad. Obama unconditionally bailed out the banks; attempts to cut back social security; engages in wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Yemen, and Syria; conducts assassination drone strikes; and indulged in confrontations with Russia and China; and promotes liberalisation of trade (TPP).
By buying into a “lesser evil” the corporate-political duopoly will remain in power to continue policies that benefit the elite and their interests, further enrichment; unfettered finance, and a belligerent expansionist foreign policy. The media and many so-called progressive pundits make the time-worn argument that supporters of minority third parties split the vote and are spoilers. As long as enough people accept this, then the status quo will always persist. The result is that a right-wing government always assumes office in Washington. This bodes ill for the working class.
Much of what Trump stands for is anathema to socialists. Yet Clinton’s positions are as equally as obnoxious to socialists. We have no evidence of Trump’s political threat given that Trump has never held political office so no such evidence exists but what does exist is plenty of evidence that Clinton pursues a menacing policy to workers both in the USA and abroad. Trump has no political track record upon which to judge what he would do if in the Oval Office. But we do have Clinton’s voting record when she was a senator and her actions when she was a Secretary of State. Clinton’s time in political office, therefore makes it more predictable what she will do as President and not just come to a conclusion from vote-catching campaign speech rhetoric as in the case of Trump.
What is palpable is that there are negligible differences between the Democratic Party and the Republican Party. People who view the Republican party, especially while “led” by Trump, as a great evil, leads to the logical recourse of voting for the Democratic Party, reasoning that whatever pain the Democrats inflicted on others would be less than Republican-inflicted pain: something akin to a quick death versus a lingering death. In the end, the victim is dead anyway.
In 2016, the American voter will be presented with the option. A vote for either the Republicans or Democrats will, in effect, be a vote for more austerity and a pro-war vote. Neither Trump nor Clinton have any intention of being on our slide. They profit from the system that exploits and is destroying us. They peddle false promises. They tell us what we would like to hear. They appeal to the crasser parts of our emotions. They give us sound-bite slogans which the media manipulate into some sort of policy difference. We can predict here and now that whoever wins the US election will not succeed in making capitalism work in the general interest of its citizens.
We, the people, have more power than we think. To exercise our power, we must insist that our elected representatives serve us. If they don’t, we need to vote them out as quickly as possible.