The Deadly Logic of the Lesser Evil

August 1, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper |


We had to vote for Obama and the Democrats, we were told, to put a stop to the great harm that was being done by George W. Bush and the Republicans. But did voting for Obama, and having Obama as president, prevent the fascism that has increasingly characterized the Republican Party from reaching a dangerously new level with the Trump candidacy? Obviously not. But why not? Because Obama and the Democrats, as well as Trump and the Republicans, are products and representatives of the same system of capitalism-imperialism, and that system has its fundamental dynamics and ways it has to function, which mean that anyone who rises to the top of that system must continually commit crimes against humanity.

Funneling good sentiments and intentions into voting for Democrats, time after time—accepting and “validating” the logic and assumptions of this system, rather than opposing the whole system and its endless crimes, presided over by both Democrats and Republicans—has made people complicit with these crimes and has contributed to the situation we are in, where an overt, undisguised fascist candidacy, embodied in Trump, is contending seriously to assume the leadership of this system, and it is now being insisted that only voting for Clinton, who is guilty of many despicable and monstrous crimes against humanity herself, can stop Trump and what he represents. As for the argument, “Well, yes, Clinton is not what we really want, she is actually quite bad, but she is ‘the lesser evil,’ and there are realistically only two choices—either Clinton or Trump—so if you don’t go for Clinton you are helping elect Trump,” this actually amounts to nothing more than the argument that, “As long as you accept the logic and ‘choices’ dictated by this system, you have to accept the logic and ‘choices’ dictated by this system.” Doesn’t the fact that this system has produced someone like Trump as a “legitimate” candidate, heading one of the two major political parties of this system—doesn’t this powerfully demonstrate the utter illegitimacy of the whole system? And the fact that Clinton and the Democrats will only oppose Trump with arguments that amount to insisting that they are better representatives of this same system, and can do a better job of perpetrating its crimes—doesn’t this powerfully demonstrate the urgent need to break with the logic and assumptions of this system and rise up against it and those who represent it, including Clinton as well as Trump?



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