Home / General / Voting is About Strategy and Power. Voting is Not a Consumer Choice

Voting is About Strategy and Power. Voting is Not a Consumer Choice

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You don’t have to agree with everything in this Jesse Myerson essay about why he is voting for Hillary Clinton even though he hates her policies to see that he understands what voting is about:

I’m ending this abstinence a few days early to explain why I will be voting for Clinton, whose politics I find so terrible that I made a meme series entitled “Hillary Clinton’s terrible politics.” I plan not just to vote, but to vote eagerly.

I’ve undergone two shifts in thinking over this long election season that influenced my decision. The first was becoming skeptical of the extent to which I’d bought into an understanding of voting as a self-expressive speech act. The language used in this framework—having a personal responsibility to make your voice heard—started to sound to me like individualistic, sappy liberal bullshit. Voting, I now think, is not chiefly a performance of self-expression, but a stone cold tactic for achieving a political outcome. Better to vote for someone whose politics are terrible, if that accomplishes something good, than to vote for someone whose politics are great, if that accomplishes nothing good, or worse, something bad. In this case, being a New Yorker, whatever my vote accomplishes is negligible: the point is I have shed my aversion to voting for terrible politicians.

That’s absolutely right. The idea of voting as a consumer choice is a cancer upon the nation. Moreover, the fact that people on the left–who might actually have critiques of consumerism–see voting as a consumer choice is tremendously problematic. Voting is about power. You might not have a lot of power in an election. But you have a little bit. Use it the right way. Wasting on a vanity third party candidate holds absolutely zero value. Not voting holds absolutely zero value. Voting for a flawed candidate holds a little bit of value. And it needs to be used in that way. Because individualistic, sappy liberal bullshit is exactly what should all avoid.

This is also interesting:

I also began to question whether the main consideration for leftists should be which candidate is likeliest to enact our agenda—the lesser evil. The fact is, the left is not yet strong enough to extract major concessions. To imagine what it would have been like had Sanders been elected president (as he surely would have if we’d gotten him nominated), just look at what Jeremy Corbyn is facing in the U.K. and scale it up. With Sanders hamstrung, the country would have decided that it had tried socialism and socialism had failed.

Now we are getting more into the counterfactual, but this makes a lot of sense to me. Bernie Sanders might have won this election. He might have lost. But had he won, his plan for post-election change was pretty bloody limited in how to actually enact change. At best, his administration probably wouldn’t be too much better for the left than Hillary Clinton’s. At worst, the Democratic Party divides horribly, his administration is a complete disaster, and the nation turns its back on any ideas of socialism for another generation. We can just look across the pond to see how it turns out.

In any case, vote. And vote for Hillary Clinton, no matter how far to the left you are. It’s the only realistic path forward at this historical moment.

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  • urd

    I refuse to vote for someone who I feel betrays the very principles she claims to represent. I’m not willing to trade my values in for the illusion of power.

    This nation is screwed no matter who wins; it’s only a matter of quick versus slow. And no amount of long winded statements about strategy, and working to gain power back from the right will change that.

    • i8kraft

      I refuse

      I think you meant “I am refuse.”

      • urd

        What are you five?

        • DrDick

          Which is still more mature than you have demonstrated.

        • eh

          Son, I am disappoint.

        • scott_theotherone

          What are you boycotting commas now?

      • John F

        refuse = garbage, he’s not refuse, he’s a self-righteous asshole.

        • CaptainBringdown

          he’s not refuse,

          Opinions differ.

        • urd

          This really kills the idea of rational, passionate discourse.

          I disagree with Erik on this point and some of you lose your fucking mind.

          • DrDick

            At least he has something to lose.

            • urd

              At least he has something to say.

        • eh

          “Adjacent to refuse…is refuse. You have crossed the line between man and bum.”

    • Gee Suss

      Hello, me from 2000. Did you vote for Nader? Did it feel good?

      How did you like those wars in the Middle East?

      Fuck you, you selfish prick,
      Me from 2016

      • urd

        Nope, voted for Gore.

        How did you like Obama expanding them?

        You first.
        Me from 2016

        • Gee Suss

          Then you aren’t a True Progressive(tm). I like how in addition to being politically illiterate, you also don’t understand the meaning of the word “expand”.

          • urd

            If you consider yourself a True Progressive(tm), then fuck no; I’m not.

            Politically illiterate? I love how you fail to prove how my stance falls into this category, and at the same time fail to understand the meaning of “expand” yourself.

            I was expecting some actual arguments, beyond the standard boiler plate that Erik has put out, on why my position is so bad. Instead I get a lot of personal attacks and non-sequitur statements.

            Amazing.

            • You’ve already shown yourself to be a jabbering, irrational narcissist. Why do you think anyone here would consider you worth wasting arguments on?

              • urd

                I’m hearing a lot of excuses…

                • Gee Suss

                  It’s way more fun to make fun of you than to rehash the thousands of reasons why you’re wrong. Especially because you aren’t an honest interlocutor.

            • There’s an old saying, urd. Goes like this: “You run into an asshole in the morning, well, you ran into an asshole. Run into assholes all day, well, you’re the asshole.”

    • rea

      Heighten the contradictions if you want, but for me, having disaster come slow rather than quick means some people at the margins are going to have better lives, and that’s a victory.

      • Captain C

        Anyone demanding the Heightening of Contradictions had better volunteer to have said contradictions heightened on him- or herself first, otherwise they’re just another would-be tyrant.

        • LWA

          It is interesting how many self-described revolutionaries really just amount to “lets you and him fight”

      • vic rattlehead

        I had a left leaning “friend” justify a vote for Trump thusly: “With Clinton, America just slowly declines. With Trump, we get a bullet to the back of the head.”

        I could not stop myself from guffawing. And I told him that given how swarthy he was (Spanish but he’s been mistaken for a skerry Mooslim) in his particular case it was likely he’d get an actual, as opposed to metaphorical, bullet to the back of the head under Trump.

        • eh

          Accelerationism. A favorite among the honky subculture and their sympathizers.

      • urd

        Really? Does a terminal cancer patient have a better life as they slowly die?

        In any case, those who will live better lives will have the money and power to do so. Not likely the people you were referring to.

        • TroubleMaker13

          Does a terminal cancer patient have a better life as they slowly die?

          Hope you find the answer to that someday.

          • urd

            Really? Wow…I thought the previous comments I saw were out there but this one…

            I’m pretty sure wishing someone a painful, cancerous death in response to political views and voting plans is, well, a bit of an over-reaction.

            Are you sure some of you are really progressive because I’m seriously beginning to have my doubts…

            • Someone who advocates killing humans because of their ecological impact, like you, has no claim on the word “progressive”.

              • urd

                Yes, because it is such a horrible thing to enact laws that would mandate the death penalty for people convicted of animal abuse.

                No, you’re right. Its much better to kill animals that have no agency in the matter than those who actually caused the issue in the first place.

                If you are an example of a “progressive” I want no part of it.

            • TroubleMaker13

              Really? Wow…I thought the previous comments I saw were out there but this one…

              Glad I could help.

              I’m pretty sure wishing someone a painful, cancerous death in response to political views and voting plans is, well, a bit of an over-reaction.

              Oh? Did I go too far? I mean, all you did was casually dismiss the potential immiseration of millions of vulnerable Americans, likening them to terminal cancer patients whose lives are worthless and who should be put out of their misery. Is that really so bad?

              I mean, it’s not like you let a cat go feral or something.

            • Bruce B.

              You started it. I’m one of those who absolutely depends on the ACA, and with it gone, something like a million of us are likely to die each year. Certainly in my case there’s no prospect of my lasting another four years without all the things Medicare now covers, and my death is likely to be a bad one, with tremendous pain, mounting psychological disorders, and dementia.

              If Trump wins, I hope that one way or another, you will get to share in the sort of experience you want to condemn me and so many others to. I don’t just want people like you to die, I want you to suffer horribly all the way down, losing everything that matters to you. If my life isn’t worth any effort, yours isn’t either.

        • D.N. Nation

          So what’s your endgame, then?

          And why subject others to your gleeful misery? There are plenty of tall cliffs in this country of ours. Take a long stroll.

          • urd

            Sadly my endgame was taken out of action when Sander lost. I felt he was the best hope to at least slow the rot, and give this nation some breathing room.

            Now, I have no idea. And for the record I’m not subjecting anyone to anything, so you might want to stop with the personal accusations and exhortations to kill myself.

            The fact that my stance has gotten you so unhinged is something that you might want to think about.

            • Peterr

              Just another sellout . . .

              If you sit this election out and Trump wins by a few votes, many people are going to be dealing with that reality for their entire lives.

              . . . who is giving in to the rot.

              Our job now is to see the Democratic platform implemented by a Democratic Senate, Democratic House and Hillary Clinton presidency.

              • urd

                Don”t try to guilt trip me, that argument is utter bs. A vote for someone other than Clinton, and also not voting for Drumpf, is not a vote for Drumpf no matter much you yell and scream about it.

                No, that is your job. Clinton does not represent me, my values or what I want to see in this nation. While she will be better in some areas than Drumpf, I feel there is a very real risk she will be worse in others.

                I don’t do a deal with evil, no matter how minor.

                • Peterr

                  Not me trying to guilt trip you — those are Bernie’s tweets, not mine. But I’m sorry that Bernie isn’t pure enough for you and your ideals.

                  I hope that the thought of him working with HRC and other Dems isn’t too painful for you.

                • TroubleMaker13

                  Don”t try to guilt trip me

                  LOL. At least have the courage of your (admittedly bullshit) convictions.

            • addicted44

              You wanted Bernie because he would slow the rot. But yo don’t care between Hillary even though you admit one would lead to faster rotting than the other.

              How do people who cannot work through such simple logic exist.

              • urd

                I will not support a candidate that actively increases the rot. Sanders would have worked against it, Clinton will embrace it.

                That is the difference.

                • Peterr

                  Sanders would have worked against it

                  And yet, Sanders is now working to elect Hillary . . .

                • Simple Desultory Philip

                  yeah, but logic-wise, it’s still suspect. if it was sanders over trump slowing the rot (still rotting, but slower), you’d be good with it, but if it’s clinton over trump (still rotting, still slower), you’re not good with it? you tacitly acknowledge that sanders wouldn’t be able to reverse the rot. that means that inherent in your premise is that slower rotting is better than super fast rotting, and since sanders isn’t gonna be the prez, why risk super fast rotting when slower rotting is an option?

                • Tyto

                  I will not support a candidate that actively increases the rot would provide only 90 percent of my substantive policy preferences.

                  FTFY.

                  I voted for (and gave money to) Sanders, too. But I’m not sure how implementation of any policy Sanders supports is accelerated by the destruction of signature progressive legislative achievements over the last century and locking in the Supreme Court for the next generation or more. I mean, what are we supposed to build *from* in that case?

        • jim, some guy in iowa

          interesting. the Kevorkian theory of voting as mercy killing

        • It’s better than being dead (and if you aren’t aware that you’re going to die cancer or not you’re being foolish; the green ripper is going to get you no matter how enthusiastically you embrace the purity pony.)

          • urd

            Then your experience with terminal cancer patients, if you have had any, is very different from mine.

            Ever heard of something called quality of life?

            • addicted44

              Ever heard of a terrible analogy?

              Because you made one.

              • urd

                Statement offered with no backing.

            • Everybody dies, you sad little man; some people die slowly, some quickly, some painlessly, some in agony. But even if your body is slowly destroying itself you’re still alive and can keep running forward for as long as you can.

              If your idea of “quality of life” is anything like the moral code you demand that the rest of the world should follow, it would cause nightmares.

        • njorl

          I discussed this with a terminal cancer patient; the answer was “Yes”.

        • DrunkProwlingWolf

          Does a terminal cancer patient have a better life as they slowly die?

          Slow the dying down enough and I’m pretty sure that’s what we call “living”.

          • urd

            Have you ever been around a terminal cancer patient? Living in pain that can’t be treated, knowing you will die in agony, knowing you won’t leave the hospital/hospice alive?

            While some people call that “living”, others do not. Slowing down the dying the last thing those people want.

            • jim, some guy in iowa

              and who are *you* that you think you speak for any of them, for anyone other than yourself? you aren’t a damn bit better than the people you criticize because you’re quite satisfied to condemn other people to the kind of misery you only think you’re suffering

              • TroubleMaker13

                S/he’s got principles. And values. Apparently they involve discarding people who don’t matter to him/her anymore.

        • Simple Desultory Philip

          i mean, i do take issue with the analogy you’re making that america is like a terminal cancer patient. i don’t think you’ve sufficiently demonstrated that america is dying, or even that america is like a body with cancer; i’ll grant you that we have had many ideological “ills” over the centuries but none of them have taken us out yet and a good many of them have been eradicated or reduced significantly. so what exactly is this cancer that’s going to kill us either slowly or quickly? what exactly are you making the cancer analogy TO?

          • Bruce B.

            Not to mention that cancer doesn’t kill you in a day. It’s possible to have cancer that can no longer be stopped but that can be slowed, and to have months or even years of good life before it gets to the stage that urd is talking about.

    • That which hits the fan will not be evenly distributed.

      Also: I thought GG always used his real name when posting here.

      • urd

        He does. Is that the best you could come up with?

    • Shorter urd: “me, me, me, me, me, me, me”

      • urd

        Shorter Erik: vote like I tell you or you are an unsophisticated, uninformed voter.

        • West of the Cascades

          No, you’re just an asshole.

          • CP

            No, not *just* an asshole. The other two words apply too.

        • You aren’t unsophisticated or uninformed. You are selfish and prioritize yourself over others. You are part of the problem.

          • urd

            Nice try to shove thoughts into my head, but wrong. If anyone is the selfish one it is you: by pushing forward an agenda that is doomed to failure and likely to make life worse for more people for a longer period of time.

            I would have expected better from a historian.

            • I care about how a given administration affects my friends and family, the women I know who need an abortion, the people I know reliant on the ACA for health care, my comrades at work who don’t want Friedrichs II to destroy public sector unionism, my LGBT friends fighting for civil rights, etc. You care about how your own righteousness.

              Of course, you also respond to a post about cats driving species to extinction by wanting humans to die, so maybe you are just a terrible malevolent human.

              • urd

                I do understand that you care about how this election will affect your friends and family, and the women you know.

                But you are essentially trading these limited freedoms in exchange for the massive ones they will lose when TPP (and related bills) are passed. As for the ACA, I know people who are getting screwed by this law, and it will only be worse in 2017.

                I have no disagreement that Drumpf will be an unmitigated disaster. But Clinton is going to be her own disaster; she is by no means a friend of the people.

                You had a chance for a better option with Sanders. That option was squandered; don’t complain to me about the shit sandwich that you have to eat.

                And for the cats issue; you seem really keen on the idea of killing as many feral cats as possible instead of looking for alternatives, so maybe you should look in the mirror before making judgements on my humanity.

                • eh

                  Deep brefs, homie. Do you have any friends (i.e. not coworkers) who are not white?

                • Snuff curry

                  If only BlackadderErik had done like the good witch advised, and killed everyone in the worldall other voters he and Bob would be free to fuck at willSanders would be king.

                • Jay B

                  Limited freedoms = frivolous things like living wages, better healthcare, better working conditions, better courts, civil rights, civil liberties, better international relations, better climate change policies, better civil service, human rights, equal rights

                  Principles = Staunchly opposing a trade deal which the candidate also opposes and not voting for her because of it.

                  Also, it sucks that people are getting screwed by the ACA, but what’s lacking is any, you know, real time analysis about what the health care industry was like before it. Hint: IT WAS WORSE THAN TPP.

                  Your principles are a fucking joke. The differences between Sanders and Clinton on legitimate policy decisions are minimal. He supports her. Chomsky supports her. There are reasons for both, and they align with those of this post and nothing, remotely, like your vaunted ‘principles’ which seemingly begin and end at your nose.

                • Simple Desultory Philip

                  i fail to see how the tpp passing is going to overturn roe v wade. i DO see how a conservative allowed to appoint the next 1, or 2, or maybe even 3 supreme court justices might do just that.

            • SatanicPanic

              Why don’t you provide us some historical examples? Where have we seen a country that was suffering (alleged) decline be deliberately destroyed by its citizens come out the better for it? Extra points for examples where the country ended up being led by a far-right dictator.

            • Nice try to shove thoughts into my head

              No one’s doing that here. It’s the CIA. Through your fillings.

          • sharculese

            Screaming and stomping your feet about how we’re all doomed over and over again won’t stop us from noticing that you can’t articulate why.

            We’ve all seen a tantrum before.

            • DrDick

              urd disgraces 4 year olds with these displays and even the 3 year olds are feeling a bit uncomfortable with the situation.

              • urd

                Yet I find it odd that people here have little problem with those commenters who have essentially wished for my death. I would think that would be a bit more of an issue.

                It takes so little for some people here to lose their ability to engage this issue rationally.

                • Gregor Sansa

                  I think that people have overreacted to your posts. I also see nothing to indicate that wasn’t the reaction you were going for. And whether you intended it or not, I’m pretty sure that you don’t actually mind the thing you’re pretending to be offended about.

                • TroubleMaker13

                  I also see nothing to indicate that wasn’t the reaction you were going for. And whether you intended it or not, I’m pretty sure that you don’t actually mind the thing you’re pretending to be offended about.

                  What tipped you off? Was it that s/he rushed in to be comment #1 with the trolliest response humanly possible?

                • Gee Suss

                  Would you like a fainting couch or a waaambulance?

                • urd

                  I pretty sure having people wish for my death wasn’t what I was looking for.

                  I actually wanted good reasons, beside what Erik has repeated time and time again, for why I should vote for Clinton.

                  That this causes people to react the way they have only adds to my concern about the state of this nation.

                • urd

                  No, I’d like an actual discussion on the matter.

                  For all the protestations about how important it is to vote for Clinton, most of you are doing a piss poor job of doing anything that wouldn’t already convince the converted.

                  Great outreach.

                • The Temporary Name

                  Let me describe troll outreach to you:

                • (((Malaclypse)))

                  I actually wanted good reasons, beside what Erik has repeated time and time again, for why I should vote for Clinton.

                  No, really, this means you are an idiot and should stop embarrassing yourself.

                • Let me describe troll outreach to you:

                  “My troll outreach? Lemme tell you about my troll outreach.”

            • urd

              If I really have to point it out you have not been paying attention.

              Climate change: we are now looking at decades, not centuries, for massive sea level rise, human migrations, mass starvation, eco-wars, etc. If you don’t think this is going to have a massive impact on this nation you just don’t want to face it.

              Racial Inequality: Racial tension in this nation are getting worse, not better. Look at BLM and how they are treated; at the different treatment of the white ranchers versus the Native Americans. Clinton will do little to resolve this matter, much like Obama did nothing substantive until it was far too late.

              Social Inequality: The rich continue to get richer and the ranks of the poor swell. This is never a good mix.

              If you want more examples I can provide them, but this should be more than enough to illustrate that I can articulate why.

              Feel free to show why I’m wrong on these counts.

              • addicted44

                Every situation in which Hillary will be miles better than Trump.

                Are you sure you’re not a Poe pretending to be every caricature that the original article complains about?

                • urd

                  Could you please back this up with some facts? Your statement is not evidence.

                  No, I think Erik’s concept is bad policy and politics, no matter how he dresses it up. In my opinion, it is that kind of thinking that has led us to where we are now.

              • Val

                So you think not voting for Hillary Clinton/Democrats – ie increasing the chance of a Trump/Republican victory – is going to help with any of those issues?

                I don’t agree with telling you to jump off a cliff or whatever, but that is truly a breath-takingly stupid and irresponsible position you’re putting there.

              • randy khan

                So, these are the issues you pick to support your claim that Clinton “betrays the very principles she claims to represent.”

                Fascinating.

                Clinton has campaigned and made specific proposals to deal with these issues. She went out of her way to mention climate change as a critical issue during one of the debates. On the social inequality point, in particular, she’s proposed taxing and spending policies that would have significant redistributive effects, specifically including significant tax increases for the wealthy and additional spending on programs that will benefit the bottom 10-20 percent in terms of income. (And, while I agree that the rich are getting richer much too quickly and that we need to do more to address poverty, the percentage of the population in poverty and the actual number both have been going down since their post-recession highs.)

                I’d add that citing climate change, particularly, as a reason to hope for a quick end rather than “slow rot” is remarkably dumb. Doing nothing will hasten the point where it can’t be addressed, while even less effectual efforts will at least increase the window before it’s irreparable.

                • Simple Desultory Philip

                  seriously. re climate change: we know that at the VERY LEAST clinton will honor the commitments that obama has made. and while those may not be good enough on their own to reverse things, it’s certainly a damn sight better than what the orange cheeto who thinks the whole thing is a hoax made up by china would do. such as, oh, i dunno, go back on all those obama commitments and use a friendly legislature to prevent the epa from regulating carbon emissions. how any sanders supporter can look at the two candidates here and say yep, basically the same, no potentially catastrophic differences at all, just mystifies me.

              • Jay B

                Racial Inequality: Racial tension in this nation are getting worse, not better. Look at BLM and how they are treated; at the different treatment of the white ranchers versus the Native Americans. Clinton will do little to resolve this matter, much like Obama did nothing substantive until it was far too late.

                Good Lord. This is, I just, what, can’t…even.

                That you think this, and think Obama is a neo-liberal sellout on race, without ever even for a second try and understand why the racists have come out of the woodwork, I mean that’s weapons-grade stupidity. HINT: It’s because of the existential threat he poses to white supremacy. Even STILL, because Presidents aren’t dictators, they can’t simply decide to simply decide that racism is gone and declare it by fiat.

                And climate change — Clinton will do more on climate change in four years than the Green Party will have done in its entire existence.

        • vic rattlehead

          “You’re not the boss of me!”

          *blows raspberries*

        • nixnutz

          I don’t think uninformed is the issue here, this is actually a sociopath’s version of utilitarianism. The choice is between feeling like you might not be the most righteous person in the world and hurting millions of vulnerable people, one of those things is an unspeakable tragedy and the other is completely irrelevant.

          This is a person who would kill your entire family for a parking space, there’s no reasoning with them because their starting premises are so profoundly fucked.

          • urd

            Wow, citing facts not in evidence. Please try better next time and actually engage wheat I said instead of making ad hominem attacks.

            • TroubleMaker13

              Please try better next time and actually engage wheat I said instead of making ad hominem attacks.

              So insensitive. Some people have Celiac’s disease and have to avoid gluten, you know.

    • D.N. Nation

      This nation is screwed no matter who wins; it’s only a matter of quick versus slow.

      “Woo, flaming car crash versus the possibility of preventing it!”

      Herpa derpa doo!

      • urd

        Nope, take the extreme dose of chemo versus slowly waiting to die. Your belief that Clinton will help to prevent what is coming, instead of nurturing it along, is quaint.

        I’m not voting for Drumpf or Clinton. I’m not going to throw my values away on a meaningless vote that will do nothing to change the nation’s medium term outcome, and in all likelihood make it more drawn out and painful.

        • so-in-so

          So, SMOD 2016 then?

        • lizzie

          Um, do you know what chemo is for…?

          ETA: Your cancer analogy is not working, please stop using it.

          • urd

            Actually the analogy is a great one. The corruption and rot in our political system is like a cancer. More and more people feel less connected to their government and feel that is slowly dying.

            I’d love to see you put forth a better analogy.

            • sharculese

              Here’s my analogy. It’s like if a bunch of adults were saying “hey shit isn’t ideal, but let’s look for more ways to make it work.” And then off in the corner there were a couple of children throwing a fit because their Happy Meal came with the wrong toy.

              Whoops, I confused ‘analogy’ with ‘precise description of what’s happening.’

            • DrDick

              The primary cancer on our political process is selfish, over entitled twits like you.

              • urd

                Hardly, it’s arrogant self appointed asses like yourself who think they know what is best for everyone.

                And by the way, when things go to shit in this nation, I won’t be the first affected, but I won’t be far behind. So you can take back you over entitled assumption and apply to someone else.

                • And by the way, when things go to shit in this nation, I won’t be the first affected, but I won’t be far behind.

                  Well that’s some comfort, anyway.

                • (((Malaclypse)))

                  And by the way, when things go to shit in this nation, I won’t be the first affected, but I won’t be far behind.

                  Knowing that this is being written by someone probably straight, certainly white, and certainly a dude, is what makes it so very very perfect.

            • TroubleMaker13

              I’d love to see you put forth a better analogy.

              Sure. People like you are like insufferable emo teens who show up to the dinner table and sneer “WTF, mom!?!? Meatloaf AGAIN??!? Why can’t you ever make a vegan souffle like I asked?!? Fuck you, I’m going to the mall to hang out with Josh and the kool kidz!!”

              • urd

                No wonder people think the progressive movement is dead…

                • TroubleMaker13

                  Well, you’re all over this thread working overtime to convince them, so, yeah…

            • eh

              Have you seen the incredible Corbin Bernsen/Earl Boen/Molly Hagen vehicle, “The Dentist?” It speaks directly to the ridiculous category error you’re making here, except instead of finding cancer in everything, he sees tooth decay. I highly recommend checking it out.

              • urd

                I’m still waiting to hear why my analogy doesn’t work.

                • lizzie

                  See sam’s response below.

                  Whether dying quickly or slowly is better entirely depends on the preferences of the individual person doing the dying. Which is where your analogy breaks down, because electing a president is not an individual decision.

                • eh

                  Your analogy doesn’t work due to a category error.

            • randy khan

              The problem with your analogy is that it’s not a big dose of chemo versus small doses that merely prolong things. Rather, the choice is between no chemo at all (or maybe strychnine instead of chemo) versus small doses. (This assumes I even remotely buy your analysis of Clinton, which I do not.)

            • Simple Desultory Philip

              ok, see, here you’ve actually articulated what you think the “cancer” is, so that’s SOMETHING at least. according to you it’s “corruption and rot”. now, i’m pretty sure “rot” is also a metaphor for…something…though, because i doubt you’re saying our government is literally decomposing due to an infestation of gram-negative bacteria.

              i also still don’t think that you’ve sufficiently demonstrated that corruption in our government is at the level where it’s going to “kill” america no matter whether we elect clinton or trump. but at least we know where you’re coming from when you make all your doom and gloom pronouncements about how we should all just allow corruption to progress infinitely faster under trump since you really, really don’t like clinton very much.

              i’m a cancer survivor, though, and lizzie is correct. the chemo analogy really isn’t apt. chemo has some nasty side effects, sure, but the point of chemo is to attempt to purge the “corruption and rot” in this scenario at its root, or sometimes to slow its progression to extend the life of the patient in a way that is still *working against* the cancer. but upthread, you claimed that bernie would work against the rot but that clinton would accelerate it. so clinton-as-chemo doesn’t work.

          • TroubleMaker13

            Lemme guess- this is one of those “chemotherapy is a Big Pharma/cancer industry conspiracy” cranks.

            • lizzie

              Oh Christ, you’re probably right.

            • so-in-so

              The analogy seems to be “the patient is dying of cancer, we might as well use them for horrific experiments”.

            • sam

              I keep being baffled by this analogy too. Because we were pretty fucking happy when the doctors at Sloane Kettering figured out how to extend my mother’s original six-month prognosis out to seven years (the first 5-6 of which were pretty comfortable, all things considered).

              She was never not “terminal”, and even in her final days, when she was *really* dying, she basically had my dad break her out of the hospital to see me graduate from law school. None of us, including her, would have traded that for anything.

              Cancer is evil, Chemo is awful. This analogy is worse and more insulting than both.

        • D.N. Nation

          I’m not voting for Drumpf or Clinton. I’m not going to throw my values away on a meaningless vote

          So you’re not voting? So edgy.

          • urd

            Where did I state I wasn’t voting? I said:

            I refuse to vote for someone who I feel betrays the very principles she claims to represent. I’m not willing to trade my values in for the illusion of power.

            I’m still voting in local matters because they are ones that have possible positive outcomes, and can help to offset some of the shit from the national level.

            Making bad assumptions? So edgy.

            • eh

              I can respect your way of thinking: voting for principles vs. voting for the big picture. Sure, principles can feel like the big picture, but it’s really more of an is/ought distinction that separates these voting philosophies. The problem is asserting that one is incontrovertibly better than the other, which isn’t true.

            • randy khan

              Since the context of this particular discussion was voting for President, I’d say D.N. Nation had it right.

        • The Temporary Name

          I’m not going to throw my values away on a meaningless vote

          If there’s one thing a meaningless vote can do it’s show your whole life is a LIE.

          • urd

            Wow, that’s quite a statement. I find it amazing how my position makes people lose their mind.

            • The Temporary Name

              What position?

              • Simple Desultory Philip

                i mean, don’t you know that holding your nose and voting for somebody you find distateful because the other guy is a literal fascist makes ALL YOUR VALUES INSTANTLY VAPORIZE IN A PUFF OF LOGIC??!! well, it’s true. i read it on the internet.

                • TroubleMaker13

                  Yes, but even though it instantly annihilates your values, voting is meaningless.

        • doormaker

          The fun thing about being a millennial is that, ever since i was old enough to understand what the words mean, I’ve been told that the USA is going to collapse Any Day Now!

          But I am patient, and can wait for the collapse of American society that will happen in 2000 2001 2003 2006 2008 2009 2012 2014 2016.

          • CP

            As a fellow millennial, I don’t think that’s just us.

            In the sixties, Reagan told everyone that Medicare spelled the downfall of American society or at least of freedom (that and long haired hippies having orgies in college dorms). In the fifties, it was black people, and also card-carrying communists in Hollywood. In the forties, fifth columns composed of every Japanese American ever. In the thirties, it was Jews who caused the Great Depression, and also the Jew Deal that was destroying America. In the twenties, immigrants (quite a few of them also Jews), and for some reason, booze.

            For a non-trivial subset of the American public, pants-wetting terror couched in apocalyptic rhetoric is a way of life. (And yes, sadly, that crosses over into the left as well, though rarely as spectacularly as on the right).

            • Jay B

              To be fair, the closest we’ve come to societal collapse — and it was REALLY CLOSE — was as a direct result of a raft of conservative policies enacted by Bush, the conservative Supreme Court and the GOP Congress. Two wars, Katrina, voting rights eviscerations and a global economic collapse all enabled by the people who hate government so much they long to run it.

    • UserGoogol

      If it’s inevitable we’re doomed, then nothing we do matters and we might as well just fuck everything. Our actions only matter if they can make a difference.

      • CP

        If it’s inevitable we’re doomed

        Every time an asshole invokes “we’re doomed” to justify inaction, much less “better a quick death than a slow one,” I always wonder why the fuck they haven’t shot themselves in the head already.

        I mean, we’re doomed, right? Surely it’s an even quicker death that way than either Death By Trump or Death By Benghazi-Killary.

        • SatanicPanic

          I imagine people were saying this in, say, 1899. Things must have looked very bleak back then, I suppose we should have just blown up everything because we never were going to get better.

        • so-in-so

          Shooting themselves doesn’t let them gloat about how much smarter or more principled they are while they and we slowly die.

        • addicted44

          Because they don’t really mean “We’re” doomed. They mean “I, privileged person, will be fine either way. You are screwed and I, the intelligent privileged person that I am think the smart thing for you to do is put a bullet through your head, because you’re doomed anyways”.

      • urd has some sort of baffling solipsist take on ethics which boil down to “the universe is meaningless and purposeless, therefore my own morals might as well be axiomatic, and all of you are selfish scared fools for not accepting them as such”. The last person I knew who made arguments like that also believed that most humans were “philosophical zombies” without any real inner life.

      • Simple Desultory Philip

        i can definitely get behind fucking everything, as long as everything gives ongoing enthusiastic consent.

    • NonyNony

      So basically what I gather from this thread is that you think representative democracy is a failed model and you aren’t going to participate in it anymore.

      Do you have any suggestions at all for a model that you think would be better? Because sitting in the corner and refusing to be a part of the solution is no way to go through life.

      • I’m sure urd is going to take up armed conflict against the corrupt state to create a better tomorrow and not sit in his room….

      • Simple Desultory Philip

        it’s the “take my ball and go home since i didn’t get exactly what i want” theory of politics – influencing exactly nothing in any society since forever.

    • scott_theotherone

      Aw…special snowflake is special! Tell the Lollipop Guild, the Star-Twinkle Toddlers, the Sparkly Unicorns, the Cookie Baking Apple-cheeked Grandmothers, the Fluffy Bunny Bund, the Rumbly-Tumbly Pupperoos, the Snowflake Princesses, the Baby Duckies All-In-A-Row, the Laughing Babies, and the Dykes on Bikes we said hello.

    • Sly

      This nation is screwed no matter who wins; it’s only a matter of quick versus slow. And no amount of long winded statements about strategy, and working to gain power back from the right will change that.

      OK, Denethor.

      • Simple Desultory Philip

        +1 Palantir

    • Rufus T Firefly

      How to put this politely. Ah, yes:

      Fuck you, asshole. Grow a pair and just vote for Trump already.

      There. Statescraft.

    • I’m not willing to trade my values in for the illusion of power.

      You only care about things that affect you personally, no thought is given to how these things might affect other people.

      Sounds fairly fucked up and self centered to me.

    • Shorter urd: I care more about my precious fee-fees than how women, LGBT people, racial minorities, and the poor will be affected if Republicans get into power.

      Go fuck yourself, you selfish prick.

    • efgoldman

      I refuse to vote for someone who I feel betrays the very principles she claims to represent.

      Based on your previous posts, you value cats more than you do human beings, so go fuck yourself and stick your ballot up your ass.

    • Docrailgun

      “This country is screwed” is a very conservative-leaning libertarian thing to say.

    • davidsmcwilliams

      I'm sure a well-reasoned and rational response would've changed his entire worldview in an instant.

    • blackbox

      This nation is screwed no matter who wins; it’s only a matter of quick versus slow

      Whoa, it’s Gary “The Sun Will Swallow The Earth Anyway” Johnson himself on LGM.

    • ASV

      It’s not about you.

    • Harkov311

      This nation is screwed no matter who wins

      I don’t suppose you like to enlighten us with an explanation as to how we might have avoided being screwed. Or hell, for that matter, even tell us in what way we are screwed. You’re not really suggesting that Clinton’s and Trump’s policies are equally bad, are you? If that is what you’re saying, explain how. I don’t see it.

    • wkiernan

      We’re all going to die; it’s only a matter of quick versus slow.

  • If you don’t think your vote counts for the presidential, then find an election where you think it does count and go vote for that. Arguably, your vote for city council or mayor has much more immediate impact on your life, anyway. But while you’re there, cast your vote for president (and senator, congressperson, governor, and so on).

    • njorl

      All votes matter. Even just showing up to vote increases the value to a politician in the next election of catering to your voter demographic, regardless of how you vote. That has value.
      Demonstrating that you will cast your vote in an informed and effective manner has the most value.

      • Bruce B.

        Yup. I have friends in several southern states that are inevitably going to go for Trump who vote on that principle – it shows that they’re there, which matters when it’s time to plan campaign priorities for tilting things blue.

  • Karen24

    You know who votes strategically? The Religious Right. They threw their organizing might behind Republicans since 1980 even when the Republican candidate exemplified everything they should avoid, simply to get anti-abortion and pro-school-voucher judges. That has worked quite well for them. Copy their strategy.

    • Gee Suss

      This is exactly right. Even Trump ran within the party. Even Bernie ran within the party.

    • Yes. And they are not afraid to primary their candidates from the right, nor are they afraid to be called out because of it. A useful lesson for the left.

      • addicted44

        Except the primary people voted for Hillary.

        The religious right is not about to primary McConnell with a person more to the right. Heck, they refused to primary assholes like Mark Sanford.

    • As exemplified by their support for Trump. Doing so is a laughable betrayal of their stated ideals, essentially declaring their complete hypocrisy and moral bankruptcy to the world. But he can get them what they want and Clinton won’t, so.

      • efgoldman

        Doing so is a laughable betrayal of their stated ideals, essentially declaring their complete hypocrisy and moral bankruptcy to the world.

        Their ideals, in order of importance to them, are
        1) Memememememememe!
        2) Fuck anybody with darker skin, or the wrong religion, or who speaks a language other than English
        3) Hypocrisy

    • yet_another_lawyer

      Also, they vote for anti-abortion politicians even though they don’t get close to everything they wanted (there’s still something like 700,000 abortions a year).

    • DrDick

      Yep. Strategic voting, if consistent, works. Of course, like Movement Conservatives and the Religious Right, you have to get involved in the primaries and the campaigns for it to work. Far too many of these “my vote is precious” folks cannot be bothered to turn out before the general election, after most of the selection process is already over.

  • And to put a very specific edge on it: voting is an act of collective power. Talk about whether an individual vote “matters” or what an individual vote is trying to “express” misses the reality that votes aren’t supposed to do ANYTHING in the singular.

    And this is where I blame small l-liberalism from the 18th century on down for insisting that voting was an exercise of individual reason, intuiting out what was the empirically correct decision from a position of disinterested patriotic virtue. That’s always been bollocks. A political system in which the individual vote matters is an autocracy or, at best, an aristocracy.

    Whereas democracy is supposed to be about the demos making collective decisions, which requires organization, forming coalitions, hashing out agendas. And contrary to the small-l liberals’ intense fear of group political activity, this is a good thing. Political parties, not individual voters, are well-suited to both organize power in useful ways and to really think about politcal problems.

    Hence why I’ve argued for a long time now that parties, at their best, are thinking engines.

    • Yep

    • LWA

      Agreed, and a point I don’t see mentioned often, is that joining a coalition of voters requires ancillary attributes from a citizen that are beneficial to the entire republic.

      In order to be part of the Democratic coalition and elect Hillary, I need to recognize and respect the varying needs and interests of the other group members even when I don’t share them.

      That sort of mutual respect and recognition of interest, of being able to accept a perspective that is different than my own is the most important part of how successful societies are created IMO.

      The “bespoke democracy” consumer model of voting, that wants a government custom tailored for one set of interests only, carries with it an unstated contempt for other viewpoints and experiences and interests.

      • Karen24

        This is an extremely important truth.

        • econoclast

          Agreed. What’s shocked me is that the majority of the Democratic coalition (women, people of color) is completely terrified of a Trump Presidency, and this fact counts for nothing with some people. These are the people who are on your side! Why aren’t you on theirs?

          (Rhetorical “you”, not anyone here in particular.)

      • CP

        The “bespoke democracy” consumer model of voting, that wants a government custom tailored for one set of interests only, carries with it an unstated contempt for other viewpoints and experiences and interests.

        Yep. Every “both parties are corrupt and we should do away with them and just adopt common sense solutions” fantasy inevitably just ends up adding up to a “everything should be the way I want it to be” tantrum.

    • Peterr

      It’s one thing if rightwing followers of Ayn Rand want to talk about voting as an individual act. It’s all about the “I” for them, whether it’s about voting or anything else. It’s what they do.

      But then you’d expect that the left, which preaches working together and caring for each other and community and solidarity and other such collective actions, would be much less likely to accept the individualistic frame of the right.

      Sadly, you’d be wrong, at least in part.

      • Davis X. Machina

        Atomistic individualism is surprisingly bi-partisan.

        • CP

          Yeah, it’s an outlook that runs through all of modern American society. Not going to say individualism is always bad, but let’s just say it’s caused a lot of problems along the way.

          • LeeEsq

            A very communal society can also extraordinarily reactionary and hierarchical that punishes all those who fail to conform. The idea of egalitarian and non-conforming communalism is a very recent one. Most communal societies haven’t exactly been one what small-l liberals and leftists wanted.

            • CP

              True, and a lot of the modern individualism is probably in part the result of backlash against that extreme “community/state > individual” mentality (fascism and communism in the last century). But the backlash in a lot of ways has generated its own problems that badly need to be dealt with.

        • I got called a fascist a few weeks back for making the argument that people should put the common good above their own feelings, and for saying that expecting a presidential candidate or party to 100% agree with one’s own positions is selfish.

        • LeeEsq

          And generally better than coercive communalism.

      • Following Isserman, I blame the religious anti-nuclear activists and their influence on the New Left. Politics is not about getting right with Jesus by testifying with your body.

        Outcomes matter.

      • LeeEsq

        Leftist intellectuals are in a weird place when it comes to individualism. Most further left ideologies prefer a communal or at least community oriented version of society regardless of the basis of said communalism. Communalism can require a degree of conformity and many Leftist intellectuals and advocates have been somewhat high on the can’t conform to community expectation levels and drawn towards individualism for that reason.

    • (((Hogan)))

      A political system in which the individual vote matters is an autocracy or, at best, an aristocracy.

      Ankh-Morpork had dallied with many forms of government and had ended up with that form of democracy known as One Man, One Vote. The Patrician was the Man; he had the Vote.

      • sonamib

        I never get tired of this quote.

      • I was thinking of using that quote, which should surprise no one.

    • Stephen Reineccius

      This argument was absolutely necessary for me to hear when I was throwing my Bernie-bro esque tantrum at the end of the primaries. I needed to have beat into my head that coalitions were actually a good thing and not just ways of buying off people.

      I legitimately thought that coalitions were corrupting influences in politics. I held some weird far far left everything is awful with a distrust of collective action taken from the Enlightenment. It was weird, and I’m glad I’m over it.

      • Davis X. Machina

        Hurrah for the Overlapping Consensus! (cf Rawls on Political Liberalism)

      • I’m very glad to hear that!

        Yeah, breaking out the “co-option” mindset is very important for actually achieving progressive outcomes.

    • Davis X. Machina

      Hence why I’ve argued for a long time now that parties, at their best, are thinking engines.

      Yet here we are with non-trivial support among the demos for a three-step program to make it all better.

      • Get the parties out of politics.
      • Get the politicians out of politics.
      • Get the politics out of politics.

      Espousing this sort of nonsense is the golden ticket that earns the respect of the bien-pensants, though.

      • DrDick

        There are a surprising number of people who miss the fact that people have different interests and priorities and thus disagree, which is why we have politics in the first place. Of course a nontrivial portion of these are puritans who cannot bear to sully themselves with compromise.

      • Same as it ever was, I’m afraid.

      • efgoldman

        Espousing this sort of nonsense is the golden ticket

        Right. Get the surgeons out of surgery, the lawyers out of courts, the engineers out of trains, and the pilots out of cockpits. That would work.

    • DrDick

      Exactly and protest votes get exactly as much as attention as they deserve, none at all. Both parties will completely ignore you as someone who simply throws away their vote.

    • Snuff curry

      Voting as immunization. You don’t get a lolly or a pat on the back: just do the right thing, you fucking babies.

  • Lasker

    I don’t think Sanders would have faced anything like what Corbin has, and would also be more capable of dealing with it, but agree with the general concern. even as a Sanders supporter, a small part of me breathed a sigh of relief when Clinton eventually won the nomination.

    I do feel that despite not being nearly as far left, DiBlasio, as a progressive departure from nearly two decades of center – to – right mayors, has suffered from this. Erik has mentioned lefty disappointment with him but here in NY I don’t see that so much as the constant drumbeat media mini scandals gradually undermining him. yes, I’ve been disappointed by Diblasio, but much more by the incompetence that has left him vulnerable to attacks from the right than failure to be progressive enough.

    • nixnutz

      It was disappointing that he got stuck in the afternoon at the convention while they gave fucking Bloomberg a primetime slot. I mean, I did enjoy that speech because Bloomberg is uniquely positioned to troll Trump but I like de Blasio. Vision Zero may not have accomplished a lot but I never even dreamed I’d see a mayor who prioritized pedestrian safety. His affordable housing plans haven’t done much either but at least he hasn’t given away the city to developer donors like most NY mayors.

    • EliHawk

      I think Corbyn wouldn’t have faced the same Press headwinds Corbyn does, because he at least has some presentational skills and the like. But between the symplisitc solutions, one page blueprints for policy, idiotic theory of change, and squabbling campaign (Remember Devine and Weaver fighting each other in the press for months on end? Joy.) his actual administration would have been pretty lousy.

  • Harry R. Sohl

    Poor Trump… confused a honey badger with a kitty-cat.

    Shorter Clinton: This pussy has teeth!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zu4xpDuf84A

  • thicket creeper

    And don’t vote for a third-party candidate just because of a closer agreement on policy issues. The presidential election is not merely a plebiscite about policy. It is also about choosing the leader of the executive branch, a huge enterprise that affects the whole world. Electing someone whose policy positions you prefer but who could not run the show effectively would be a disaster. Running the show effectively takes specific skills and experience with large complex entities. Without experience as a state governor or above, the risk of failure is high. Stein could not govern if she were elected. You can be elected to Congress and occupy the back bench while you learn the ropes, but you can’t do that as President.

  • Brett

    It’s like with the Bernie campaign’s fundraising. He and his followers by themselves didn’t have much money to spend on a campaign, but pool their contributions together and you have something that could potentially make a big difference. It’s the aggregation for a purpose that counts, whether of votes or of money.

    Side-tangent, but personally I wish we could go further and require that people vote (while making voting as easy as possible). You already have to do your civic duty of paying taxes – why not require you to do your civic duty of voting? Politics doesn’t stop affecting you just because you don’t vote.

  • bw

    So at the risk of threadjacking I’ll pose a real-life election scenario that’s been nagging at me. Obviously, the stakes are much lower, but it’s an interesting case because of the questions it raises about strategic voting. (I mentioned this case on a thread here about a month ago but am bringing it up again.)

    In San Francisco tomorrow we have a State Senate race between Scott Wiener and Jane Kim. Both are on the SF city council (aka the Board of Supervisors). Because of the dumb jungle primaries California has now, both candidates on the ballot are Democrats. Both are fairly liberal as far as national politics goes, but Wiener is more of a centrist (which in SF means people who understand that you need to build more housing to handle demand for it, or face skyrocketing prices) and Kim is more of a “progressive” (which in SF basically means NIMBYs who deny that a huge push to add housing supply will help relieve the pressure on the market). As you might guess from my tone, my policy preferences are closer to Wiener’s.

    The salient fact in this election, though, is that the SF city council is currently split 6-5 between “progressives” and “centrists”. This means that if Wiener loses, the Wiener bloc will have actually optimized their chance of retaking the city council for a couple of years – because Wiener will go back to the council and the mayor will (probably) appoint a centrist to replace Kim. There is no chance the CA legislature will flip to Republicans, and Kim will probably be a perfectly good Democrat on statewide matters. On the other hand, if Wiener wins, Kim stays on the council and the NIMBY loonies are highly likely to retain their 6-5 majority.

    If you control the city council, it seems to me that you have much more direct influence on the housing issue than if your preferred guy goes to Sacramento to join a solid Democratic supermajority.

    The technocratically-minded Silicon Valley types who are my neighbors (and big Wiener donors specifically because of his positions on housing) can get their arms around the idea that voting for Kim and giving her a “promotion” will actually be most likely to help them on the local issue they care about most. But that’s not stopping them from voting for Wiener anyway out of “principle” – even though rumor has it that even the housing developers recognize the same dynamic and have started funneling money to the Kim campaign so they can get her the hell off the city council.

    Are my neighbors being just as dumb as Jill Stein dead-enders? Or do other considerations sometimes come into play in murkier, lower-stakes cases that can override the imperative to vote “strategically”?

    • nixnutz

      I would say that if they’re looking for new jobs you shouldn’t put a lot of weight on the prospect of them staying on as Supervisors. The loser might well leave soon as well.

      Although I think you’re not wrong, the Board of Supervisors is probably more critical, also the meaning of progressive is going to be very different at the state level so maybe voting for Kim is win/win. I haven’t followed California/S.F. politics since before Newsom and the carnival special election though.

      • bw

        I thought about that. Wiener’s hyperambitiousness kind of bothered me about him from the very beginning, even before he was elected as a Supervisor. I could see him pulling something like that before his term is up. However, I called up both campaigns and their reps both categorically affirmed that both Wiener and Kim are committed to finishing out their terms as Supervisors if they lose.

        Also, even if Wiener leaves next year or whatever, the mayor will still pick a (probably moderate) replacement for him. (This doesn’t even take into account this cycle’s Proposition D, which makes this even more complicated by taking away the mayor’s ability to do this if it passes).

        Anyway, I’m mainly raising this less to ask “Who the hell should I vote for?” and more “Does strategic voting have its limits?”

  • lawtalkingguy

    the first reply guy, assuming he isnt a troll, is exactly why the Bernirevolution or any other political movement grounded in people who just want everyone to know how smart and special they are and how everyone else is a compromising money loving sheeple.
    These people already accept that death is the final outcome so why bother trying? Better let everyone know how smart I am. Hell, better let the Nazis take over, because than I am practically Nelson Mandela!

    • Simple Desultory Philip

      it’s exhausting, and it’s like 80% of my facebook feed. hooray, central california town full of special snowflake white privileged yoga teacher massage therapist organic new-agers. they’re *still* relitigating the primaries and posting photos of their ballots with sanders written in. i do my best to point out to them how, you know, politics and reality work, but when hillary wins tomorrow i’m going to glady take a break from certain corners of the internet for at least a month. sigh.

  • msdc

    The language used in this framework—having a personal responsibility to make your voice heard—started to sound to me like individualistic, sappy liberal bullshit.

    I realize that Myerson (and Loomis) are both trying to reconcile their wise and just voting decisions with their longstanding political self-image, but the liberals have always been on board with voting as a lever for pushing liberal policies. You two may be thinking of sappy progressive bullshit, or sappy Green Party bullshit, or maybe sappy Salon column bullshit. Hope this helps.

  • Docrailgun

    If one cannot find any other reason to vote for Clinton, take a look in one’s closet at the wire coat hangers there and think about the daughters of one’s friends having to use them in back alleys instead of being able to have legal abortions in licensed clinics.

  • Jay B

    It’s almost as if people who were alive between 2000 and 2008 and see the vast, but not complete, improvements Obama has helped make in this country and think — Pffft. That’s nothing. Why not try someone obviously worse than Bush, who was the worst President in at least 150 years if not in our nation’s history. Improvements are too slow. What we need is a massive, smoking, crater of a country to “rebuild” (in my image, somehow). THEN WE’LL BE COOL.

    I can’t hate these people enough.

    • so-in-so

      Because they see their privilege and advantage in life dwindling and that isn’t an improvement to them. But yeah, hate is my feeling too.

  • wkiernan

    Seriously, does anyone actually think Bernie Sanders could have won this election? I like him, but I always assumed that if any person runs for President who has been calling himself a “socialist” for the last thirty years, he would get so thoroughly trounced in the general election that, in contrast, the elections of 1964 and 1972 would look like “squeakers.”

    I’m looking at it from the viewpoint of a 61 year old, who grew up in an atmosphere of “socialism = communism = Satanism” to a degree that young people born after the end of the Cold War can scarcely imagine. There are a lot of voters my age and older.

    • econoclast

      I think this is unknowable. Trump seemed obviously unelectable to me in the general election, and yet he’s only going to fall short a few percentage points.

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