Revisiting ‘The Lesser of Two Evils’ Mentality
The real face of our two-party but one-establishment system of politics seems to have made a rare appearance again with Obama’s speech last Tuesday. That is, to those among the wannabe gullible majority, since a small fraction have known this true face for a while. The good news is that finally we are seeing a significant number of apologists who are coming to the realization of being taken for a ride during this last election. The not so good news has to do with the depth of this new realization, thus the extreme vulnerability of being misdirected and exploited again, over and over, as has been done for decades.
Last May I put forth a discussion topic on the issue of casting votes based on the ‘lesser of two evils’ decision-making process. Here are the questions I posed back then, which I am posing again now that we have more people waking up to smell their new Whitehouse Roses:
“Don’t you consider this, at least to a degree, to be acceptance of ‘no hope for real change’ when it matters the most, during elections? First, to readily accept that we are limited to only choices that have been declared as viable by the same MSM and establishment we seek to change. Second, to helplessly adopt a mindset that says evilness is an inevitable prerequisite for viable candidates.”
Then this on the fallacy of justifying one’s choice-making process based on the ‘degree of evilness’:
“When it comes to ‘evilness,’ there is no reliable standard of measurement. Let’s say, for example, that the pre-selected options are: Senator Obama, Senator Clinton, and Senator McCain. How do you measure their degree of ‘evilness?’ For arguments sake, let’s say there is a ‘standard of evilness’ measurement, and when applied to these candidates you get the following data: on a scale of ‘0 to 100’ on the evilness measurement index (‘100’ being absolute evil, ‘0’ being no evil qualities), McCain ranks 98, Clinton 96, and Obama 94. Based on this do people feel justified in voting for the lesser of the given three, even though that candidate still ranks extremely high in ‘evilness’? I’m just asking. I really want to get your take on this.”
Many referred to the previous administration’s figureheads as evil; many of us would find that aptly put and easily justified. After all, they sanctioned torture practices, extraordinary rendition, and world-wide assassinations; they took away civil liberties and put in place police practices ironically named the Patriot Act; they increased secrecy and decreased (ceased) accountability; they established untouchability and granted themselves immunity fit for kings, such as the State Secrets Privilege invocations; they spied on and illegally wiretapped Americans with no cause or oversight; they lied and engaged in preemptive wars …
Do we all agree with the evilness of all the practices mentioned above? Then, let’s be honest with ourselves, and let’s objectively plug in the same standards to the man who was marketed and sold to us by the establishment and its media tentacles as the ‘candidate of change, for change’:
The Obama Administration has agreed with and continued the Bush Administration’s illegal domestic wiretap practices. They have granted immunity to all involved in these unconstitutional and police state practices.
The Obama Administration has granted immunity to all criminals who’ve been engaged in illegal renditions and torture practices.
The Obama Administration has continued the previous administration’s secrecy practices, including the invocation of State Secrets Privilege, and the Executive Branch’s immunity from judicial oversight.
The Obama Administration has condoned and promoted the previous administration’s assault on American’s liberties through the Patriot Act.
The Obama Administration has fought against any rights for national security whistleblowers and blocked the passage of legislation attempting to grant protections to those who expose Executive branch criminality, waste, and abuse.
And now, with the latest on Afghanistan and the hints on Iran, we are seeing yet another side of this administration – previously coined evil for its predecessor. This time we are at least seeing some deserved reaction. Here is a recent commentary putting it in perspective:
“O=W” is a bumper sticker beginning to show up on liberals’ cars. After the president’s speech Tuesday night at West Point, I suspect it will spread rapidly.
For eight years, conservatives endured the agony of watching President George W. Bush attach the label “conservative” to a host of policies that were anti-conservative: Wilsonian wars, American empire, vast budget and trade deficits, increased entitlements, and the subordination of America’s interests to those of foreign powers. Now the shoe is on the other foot, and liberals are bidden to hold their tongues as President Obama makes Bush’s wars his own. The usual Washington sellout is in gear.
For me this paragraph is the best part; rarely found in other carbon-copy blogs and sites:
It should not come as a surprise. America is now a one-party state. The one party is the Establishment party, which is also the war party. Unless you are willing to cheer permanent war for permanent peace, you cannot be a member of the Establishment.
The paragraph above perfectly sums up the state of our political system. This is the point and inevitable conclusion I see missing in almost all other articles, editorials, and blog pundits. Don’t get me wrong. I see plenty of criticism out there directed at the Obama presidency, BUT, they all miss the real context, the core issue, thus, in the end they accomplish nothing in terms of the needed awakening.
For instance, a well-written commentary by a well-respected writer happens to have this very misleading title: “How the War Hawks Caged Obama.” Come on; give me a break! This is not some poor wild animal captured in a zoo, or a little child instructed by his parents, or an in-puberty adolescent engaged in mischief through ‘bad’ friends. This grown up president hand-picked his men and women, including the evil generals, such as Gates, HE decided to keep. I understand the blinded partisanship, and even more blinding denial, to treat this case as ‘…oh they made him so,’ or ‘…it is the pressure by the bad guys below’…But be a man, be honest with yourself and others, and treat this evil-doer just the same way you did (Yeah, I checked how you characterized (justifiably) the evil-doer administration before him) the other one.
Overcoming the destructive notion of Wasting One’s Vote
Last year, during the final stages of the primaries and the elections, I stood almost alone. I knew candidate Obama’s track record, which told me pretty much all I needed to know; that there weren’t going to be any changes, if not those for the worse. Not only did I have to counter-argue ‘vote for the lesser evil’ view, but I even had a few instances where a few ignoramuses actually accused me of being a racist! Their reasoning was: being an African-American minority proved Obama’s credibility and viability in bringing about the needed changes. Not only does that line of thinking itself happen to be absolutely racist, but it also defies any logic I could think of. I mean come on, I was looking at people who justifiably attacked and vilified Condoleezza Rice and Powell. Did either ones’ race or color have anything to do with who they were and what evil deeds they engaged in?!
I did not waste my vote on Obama or McCain. And, I am not going to give you one of those lines I truly despise ‘oh, I told you so.’ However I do want to bring up this notion of considering voting for an independent candidate as ‘waste of my vote, since he or she has no chance.’ Here is an excerpt from what I wrote last spring:
I know there are other candidates who are ‘much less evil’ and have much better track records. However, as you see, they don’t have a chance. The MSM and the establishment have either marginalized them or never acknowledged them in the first place. They have no chance, thus, I won’t ‘waste my vote and will choose between the ‘viable’ candidates declared ‘electable.’
We don’t give those ‘better’ candidates a chance even when we believe in them and their competence. What if every one of us who’ve been active and pushing for ‘real changes’ disregarded the ‘established’ etiquette of candidate viability, went out and actually voted for the candidate we trusted ? What if by doing this that ‘nonviable’ candidate ended up with, lets’ say 15% of total votes? Granted he or she has not become the ultimate winner, elected, but what do you think that 15% would mean in the next election? Would it encourage more people to do the same, cast their vote based on what they really believe? Would it motivate better people to rise up and take on leadership? Would it help the current landscape of the MSM – promoting coverage of a ‘people’s candidate’? And finally, what if two election seasons later we get to see a ‘people’s candidate’ with 50% or more of votes cast?
A while back I wrote ‘The Two Sides of the Same Coin’ on Obama’s presidency within its first 6 months. My list of his changes on changes in that article has by now tripled or maybe even quadrupled. I stand proudly with my record on ‘not wasting my vote.’ I hope more people are coming to the needed realization that their votes based on ‘lesser of the two evils’ and ‘not wasting my vote’ were indeed wasted. I hope to see more people voting as a statement of where they stand and what they truly believe, rather than casting votes on either side of the same coin presented to them by those above.
I hope this post-Obama speech awakening will be neither short-lived nor misdirected. While the Party-Connected media, websites, and blogs are savvy enough to know that real criticism is in order after Obama’s decision for the surge, they are pro-establishment enough to change the tune and misguide, misdirect, and misinform when the time comes for the next elections. That’s when both parties, tied together at the top as one big party, the war party, the establishment party, will try to have you drink the same Kool-aid again, walk the same path, think the same thoughts, and vote the same vote to elect those deemed viable and subservient by the now ruling establishment.