The corporate-owned media is at it again, urging Democrats to vote for a sensible centrist like Joe Biden. According to Jennifer Rubin at the Washington Post:
“Warren is a much bigger risk for Democrats (and the survival of our democracy) than is Biden. There may be candidates who could, if they managed to rise to the top of the Democratic polls and win nomination, be as competitive as Biden, but Warren and Sanders fail to attract a chunk of voters that Biden grabs, and by the way they are campaigning, they are unlikely to remedy that deficit.”
Poor Elizabeth Warren. Not only is she a “bigger risk for Democrats.” Her very emergence as a contender imperils “the survival of our democracy.” And I thought a Trump presidency was bad!
Unsurprisingly, the Jeff Bezos-owned Washington Post is against Warren, Bernie Sanders, and other progressives. Bezos loves his billions and doesn’t wish to share them with anyone. Taxes, after all, are for the little people, not for the mega-billionaire owner of Amazon.
It’s amazing how the mainstream media peddles the same narrative election cycle after election cycle. Democrats are always told to reject “radical” or “extreme” politicians like Warren and Sanders, even though Warren is a former Republican and Bernie is basically FDR-lite. Instead, Democrats are supposed to embrace the “sensible centrist,” someone like Joe Biden, who is basically a corporate hack who will run and rule as an Eisenhower Republican (just as Barack Obama did, as he himself admitted in an interview).
It’s funny how the “radical” Republicans got their man (Donald Trump), but Democrats are advised to reject “radical” candidates who promise them better health care, student loan debt relief, taxpayer-subsidized college education, affordable housing, and the like. That’s crazy talk! You can’t have your man (or woman), progressives. You need to vote for solid old Joe Biden, or Milquetoast Mayor Pete, or someone similar who’s “safe” and “moderate” in their views.
What arrant nonsense. We need to vote for the man or woman we believe in. The one who excites us. The one who stands for what we believe in.
For me, that candidate is Bernie Sanders.
24 thoughts on “Don’t Vote for the Person You Believe In!”
In principle, I think pragmatic considerations about electability are legitimate.
But I would find it absurd to argue for supporting Joe Biden because of them.
– The sole basis for claims about Biden’s better electability are based on a slight difference in polls about the general election.
– There is an enormous enthusiasm gap – many people are enthusiastic about Bernie Sanders, significantly fewer about Elizabeth Warren, and it is questionable whether there are any real Biden enthusiasts, at all. This is, obviously, crucial for voter turnout. Theoretically, it should have been taken into account in the general election polls, but it has not necessarily been given enough weight.
– Even the very general election polls that are cited for alleging Joe Biden is more electable clearly contradict the narrative that the more “centrist” a candidate is the better he fares in the general election (polls). Indeed, Biden has better results than Warren, but Sanders also has better results than Warren. Probably, this does not have to do so much with their position on the left-right axis, but rather with the fact that both Biden and Sanders have more appeal among the working class / lower middle class (of any race), while Warren’s support is concentrated among more affluent people.
– According to surveys Biden voters are among those who follow news least, and many probably have not even seen Biden’s appearences recently. I think it is clear that Biden is a rather vulrnerable candidate for several reasons – the signs of mental decline (many of his statements seem even less coherent than Trump’s, and obviously Trump would exploit that relentlessly) and affairs with Biden’s son profiting from his vice-presidency which may not have been of a criminal nature, but are hardly compatible with the ethics standards of many voters. During his long career on the right-wing fringes of the Democratic party, Biden has also said a lot of things that look inacceptable by today’s standards while Sanders has been consistent for decades. While a Republican of an earlier standard Republican type may hardly have exploited this, we can assume that Trump would point out how much Biden is at odds with current progressive thinking (of course, that way, Trump could hardly convince many Democrats to vote for himself, but Biden’s credibility may be damaged so much that many people who would otherwise have voted for a Democrat would not vote for Biden).
But, of course, electability is not everything. While electability (the general election polls) may be an argument for favoring Sanders over Warren, Biden is so far to the right and so extremely hawkish and in favor of neoconservative regime change wars that it is not even clear whether he or Trump would be the greater threat to the world.
I know what you mean. But “pragmatism” got the Democrats Hillary Clinton in 2016. That didn’t work out so well …
I also support the Bern, because he’s the only true revolutionary-capable candidate, and we need a revolution in so many ways. In looking at the situation, with plutocratic “centrist” leadership in control of the Democratic party, I would offer him one piece of advice: If not nominated by the Dems…”Please, Bernie, run as a third party candidate with Tulsi!” Yes, I do realize that might ensure that Trump is re-elected but Trump is no worse overall than any likely non-Bernie Dem would be, and the Dem leadership needs to get the message loud-n-clear that the majority of their rank and file have had it with their centrist-plutocratic-status quo BS! And there’s a whole lot of ex-Trumpers who might support a real revolutionary, not the conman Trump who delivered nothing that he promised to the status-quo-fed-up who gave him their votes in 2016…I suspect that Bernie actually would have a very good chance to win as a third ticket.
I agree. Especially if Bernie is cheated again by the DNC.
We need more choices, not fewer.
Greg Horrall — I’m afraid you’ve overlooked the fact that Trump truly is a POTUS like no other. Reagan despised environmentalism, but even he did not succeed in emasculating all regulations that he could that provide us some “protection.” So, much as I do not look forward to a Corporate Dem moving into the White House in Jan. 2021–assuming GOP can even be turned back–it would not be equatable to four more years of what we have now. We need someone to work at undoing Trump’s damage. Not much point in praying for actual progress until we get back to “where we were”!! I’m afraid I see about zero chance of success for Bernie as a third-party candidate. Americans just don’t lean that way! They’ve been too thoroughly programmed to vote for one of the two right wings of the Party of Property (wording courtesy of the remarkable Gore Vidal).
Speaking of Gore Vidal, he is fantastic in the 1992 political satire “Bob Roberts” (which anticipated Trump and his followers). He has a laugh-out-loud line in which he deadpans the statement: “This is America. Virtue always prevails.”
I found that movie kind of underwhelming, but had forgotten Vidal’s participation. Yeah, that’s pretty hilarious!! (which is a sad commentary on USA, obviously)
For GregLaxer…Please note that my opinion is that Trump is “no worse overall”. It’s for sure he is worse in many ways, and his gutting of enviro regs is one of those, but I’m not at all sure he’s worse overall…Would we really have been better-off overall with Hillary??
I do think that he has actually had some good intentions on a few things, among them his expressed desire (Caveat: Yes, we are talking about a congenitally lying conman here) to get America out of all of its wasteful wars, and that whenever he has actually had a good idea, albeit purely a random bit of luck just as any idiot can sometimes have a genius idea, he has been blocked by the deep state, i.e. the internal permanent government apparatus which supports the mainline plutocratic class’s interests. When he doesn’t get his way, Trump also does fight back against the deep state. So, that’s one big way that it’s good to have Trump in there instead of another Dem centrist…At least Trump doesn’t give a rubber stamp to all of their desires.
As to Americans possibly going for a third party candidate…Don’t forget Ross Perot once got ~19% of the popular vote. I’m 100% sure that Bernie + Tulsi could do way better than Perot, and that means they’d have a great shot at winning.
Your essays give me hope in frightening times. Please keep them coming.
As I understand it, the most recent “credible” opinion polls have Biden back ahead of Warren and Bernie (but it’s very close), so the Dem. Establishment propaganda may be yielding results. Here’s something I found quite interesting: ABC TV News did a piece last evening on Kentucky elections. A white-haired (and white-skinned) Democratic woman assured the reporter “There are no SOCIALISTS in the state of Kentucky!” Two observations: 1.) this statement is undoubtedly in factual error; and 2.) it shows an appalling lack of grasp of the history of labor struggles in Kentucky, where bona fide Socialists lost their lives in the fight for survivable working conditions in coal mines, etc. Behold the USA in the 21st Century! If you have a strong enough stomach! “Trump Digs Coal!” Uh-huh.
Darn, a “senior moment”! I’d meant to point out in my previous comment that I ASSUME–I know, a dangerous practice in this day and age!–that the writer in WaPo MEANT to suggest that Eliz. Warren’s “threat” to “democracy” lies in her being named the official Dem. candidate (highly debatable that Dem. Establishment will go there) and losing, allowing GOP to retain the White House, via Trump or a substitute for him.
If the U.S. does not stop the war-whoring for corporate plunder — as in Trump’s latest grab for Syria’s oil — and redirect national resources away from war-profiteering and into the domestic economy — none of Bernie Sanders’ and Elizabeth Warren’s wonderful plans will amount to anything. As George Orwell said in The Theory and Practice of Oligarchical Collectivism (the book-within-a-book from 1984):
“The primary aim of modern warfare (in accordance with the principles of doublethink, this aim is simultaneously recognized and not recognized by the directing brains of the Inner Party) is to use up the products of the machine without raising the general standard of living.”
Only one candidate now running for the Democratic party’s presidential nomination seems to have any appreciation of this truth or any plans for doing something about it. Certainly no one in the “top tier” of the poll-driven rat race appears at all cognizant of where all the money went that would have already long since paid for national single payer health care like we have here in Taiwan. Anyway, my preferred candidate — and if I have to write in her name on a ballot, I will — has introduced legislation which would clarify the immediate issue regarding international banditry and and U.S. war-workers as pimped-out thieves. See: Tulsi Gabbard Introduces Bill to Withdraw Troops from Syria – Resolution Says Syrian Oil Belongs to Syria, by Dave DeCamp, antiwar.com (November 3, 2019).
International law has a term for the crime which President Trump has now boastfully committed the U.S. to perpetrate in Syria: namely, “Pillage.” If anyone needed an actual crime as a basis for impeaching President Trump, they now have it.
The Democratic party, of course, will ignore this actual war crime, the commission of which they heartily endorse, and will instead attempt to amuse and distract the browbeaten U.S. electorate into giving a tinker’s damn about baggage-laden Joe Biden or some guy named “Mayor Pete” or two women senators with nothing but “lady parts” and hormonal estrogen to “offer” American voters. Personally, I can take Bernie Sanders seriously on domestic issues and Tulsi Gabbard seriously on foreign policy issues, but none of the others appear to me in any way committed to identifying and solving real problems. Elizabeth Warren has already signalled that she will take all the corporate bribery offered her while associating herself with 2016’s failed candidate and her three-year-old fantasy about “Russians” doing stuff to rob her of her personally entitled political pony. A pretty sorry collection of contestants, in my book. And only far worse waiting in the wings for the second round of balloting at the convention where “super delegates” will do the actual selecting.
I want the U.S. to summarily end these endless imperial banditry expeditions and finally demobilize the U.S. military from World War II. I know of only one presidential candidate in the Democratic party who currently comes anywhere near doing what I want my government to do: Representative Tulsi Gabbard. So, let us see who among the other representatives in Congress will sign on to this legislation and start the process of compelling U.S. presidents to end these vast money-laundering scams one at a time. “The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step,” the Chinese like to say. Way past time to start stepping in the right direction. End the “racketeering for capitalism,” as General Smedley Butler would say of U.S. Warfare Welfare and Make-work Militarism.
P. S.: “Joe Biden”? Really!!?? “Joe Biden”? Something seriously fucked-up about any political campaign that would consider this used-up-and-washed-out pretender as a viable “choice,” let alone the “front runner.”
Michael–Yes, precisely, that’s the Dem. Party Establishment for ya! That’s who wants to put Biden on the ballot for next year. You will surely have to write in Ms. Gabbard, for she is–as was inevitable–toast, as they say. And thus, to quote Bob Dylan yet again: “Is there a hole for me [us] to get sick in?”
Joe Biden is the ultimate figurehead. At this point the DNC Dream Ticket is probably Biden/Klobuchar. Gotta have diversity! (No diversity in opinions or positions, of course.)
I like Tulsi and have contributed to her campaign. My ticket is Bernie/Tulsi, which is far more likely to beat Trump. Also, my ticket is more diverse: a Democratic socialist Jew and a non-Christian woman of color who’s critical of regime-change wars and imperialism.
I wonder why the DNC won’t embrace “my” ticket? 🙂
W. Astore — I’ll put on my thinking cap (did they still have those when you were in grade school?) and pull multiple all-nighters until I can figure out why DNC isn’t enthused for a Bernie/Tulsi ticket!! 🙂 I heard a few days ago Kamala Harris was shrinking her campaign significantly. Just a matter of time before the field of hopefuls withers to single digits, I’d say.
My sense, Greg, is the DNC wants corporate-friendly candidates they can control. Both Bernie and Tulsi are too free-thinking and they both possess a spine — disqualifying marks for the DNC.
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I for one will not be voting for the POTUS candidate from the either of the major parties, since both parties are now overtly militaristic and imperialistic, and neither wants to do anything serious about climate change. Both are advocates of the neo-liberal so-called ‘free-trade’, which has lead to much of the income/wealth disparity world-wide. They — along with the MSM — both effectively filter-OUT any progressive candidates. The only parties whose platforms I agree with are The Green Party and the Socialists, and I will probably vote for the Green Party’s candidate.
I used to vote Democratic, but after Clinton’s and Obama’s betrayals, I no longer feel like a Democrat in the WH makes any positive difference. And I’m not going to engage in a Keynesian beauty contest* or ‘tactical voting’, since that really doesn’t translate my beliefs into the ballot-box. I perceive my responsibility/job as a voter to vote for the candidate who best represents my political beliefs, not to try to ‘handicap the horses’ and ‘vote for a winner’.
Eddie S.–Is there a shred of difference between Neo-Cons and Neo-Liberals?? I long ago gave up trying to distinguish between them!
I think that complaints about the US presidential election campaign being far too long have merit, but when you consider that so many people vote based on name recognition, it is a good thing that Warren and Bernie have so much time to expose Biden as the candidate with nothing to offer. Each time Biden flubs, that is, each time he makes an appearance anywhere, the lack of any real program becomes clearer to more average Americans who are absentmindedly watching the news. His presentations are not inspiring, made in the manner of a robot fully programmed but with a few circuits malfunctioning.
Socialism – a scare word of long standing. Anti-Socialist laws were passed in Germany starting in 1878. Bismarck introduced worker compensation and a kind of social security system in order to head off the appeal of Socialism. How it is that a program keeps coming back again and again if the needs that it addresses are met? It’s because the power of great wealth is mighty and always vigilant to any threat. Big money in America has a long history of beating back threats, with the only big breakthroughs coming when the Great Depression discredited it and when we had that marvel of congressional clout, LBJ, in office…but he stepped on the landmine of Vietnam.
Capitalism is a fabulous machine for producing stuff. The trouble is that unless it is harnessed justice and fairness are lost. Bernie and Liz know it!
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Thanks for mentioning LBJ … what he did for the American people has been all but forgotten thanks to the fiasco that was Vietnam, and that – as us old-timers say – is a damn shame. A good man gone down, his sense of “right” and what he saw as the true obligations of an elected government unable to withstand the greed, the ambitions and the duplicity of the appointees and “experts” – both military & civilian – who had little regard for the Constitution or the Rule of Law, plenty of think-tank studies to justify their position on anything and everything, and who would eventually come to be the true “power behind the throne.”
Let’s not go overboard and make LBJ a damned saint, I mean really! Lenny Bruce did a bit about Johnson having to practice saying “Ne-gro, Neee-gro” to get out of habit of using the term he grew up using down by the banks of the Pedernales (splg.?) River. Any progress he brought in the realm of civil rights and social safety net was WRUNG from him by threat of the whole damned country going up in flames!!
A good article about media/DNC efforts to undermine Bernie Sanders.
The Nation sees it differently!
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