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Pressenza commentary - April 2020

There’s a video of Lawrence O’Donnell, spokesperson for MSNBC, saying in 2020 what he’s paid to say, namely that electing a candidate with a platform you approve of is somehow in conflict with electing a candidate who can win. The logic of this is that most people are expected to vote for a candidate with a less desirable platform, which is only self-fulfilling if nobody shouts out that the hold-your-nose candidate has no clothes before a mysterious substance called “momentum” can be declared to exist and the candidate whom people actually prefer can be persuaded to give up.

There’s a video of Lawrence O’Donnell, years ago, saying something that would get him fired from MSNBC in a heartbeat:

“If you want to pull the major party that is closest to the way you’re thinking to what you’re thinking you must show them that you’re capable of not voting for them. If you don’t show them that you’re capable of not voting for them, they don’t have to listen to you. I promise you that. I worked within the Democratic Party. I didn’t listen or have to listen to anything on the left while I was working in the Democratic Party because the left had nowhere to go.”

Every four years in the United States since the time of the dinosaurs and Joe Biden’s full mental faculties, millions of people have volunteered for roles in the most often performed play in history. The tickets are free because nobody would pay a dime to see it twice and everybody’s seen it thousands of times. The play is a debate over whether to hold your nose and vote for some awful swamp creature or not.

This year was supposed to be different. I was going to vote for Bernie Sanders in the General Election, as I in fact did in the primary, not because I don’t have strong disagreements with him, but because his platform was so far superior to those of the other candidates as to really give meaning to the concept of “lesser evil.”

Joe Biden is a cardboard cutout of an almost 50 year Washington politician, a back-slapping, glad-handing, swamp monster. His loyalties are to Wall Street, the corporate lobby, the military industrial complex and private prison industrial complex. 

America is in the midst of converging crises, century level crises. Crises that lay bare every systemic seismic fault that could bring this nation crumbling down.
So, what choices does the entrenched Oligarchy present us?
Donald Trump, an unqualified autocratic fascist, who employs unvarnished racism, possibly in cognitive decline and...
Joe Biden, a man with no core values, a dinosaur from the old days, very likely in cognitive decline, who talks in insincere political platitudes, and has his own racist baggage.

It will take some collective guts to break the 'lesser evil' voting downward spiral this country is facing. Voting 3rd party, even though it 'can't win', sends a message. A message that we the people are aware that the evil in 'lesser evil' isn't so lesser anymore.
We thought the Democrats would receive that message in 2016. But the party has proven to be too obtuse.

"Voting for Joe Biden or Donald Trump would be counter to the goals of every movement for peace, justice, and human and environmental survival." - David Swanson