Vote Green and Move Country Right

Green PartyHillary Clinton is the Democratic nominee, and some progressives are crying, “I’ll vote Green!”

Problem: this risks moving the country right — the opposite of what they want.

In parliamentary systems you can vote as far left (or right) as you want, without harming your cause, because winning is proportional.

If 25% vote Green and 26% vote Democratic, then Parliament is 25% Green and 26% Democratic — and the left governs with a 51% majority.

But the US is “winner take all.”

In the US if 25% vote Green and 26% vote Democratic, and another 40% vote Trump, you get Trump.

Split the left and get “W,” Reagan, Nixon… and Trump?

Splitting the left has boosted the right too many times.

In 2000 when Ralph Nader ran Green Party, a sliver of voters threw the election from Al Gore to George W. Bush.

And the world became less Green.

Work on climate change stalled. And we got a reactionary Supreme Court for a generation.

The Reagan revolution was similarly boosted by intra-party fighting when Ted Kennedy idealism undermined Jimmy Carter.

Liberal discontent helped Richard Nixon beat Democratic nominee, Hubert Humphrey.

HRC: I'm with her

HRC: I’m with her

A liberal circular firing squad is what essayist and author Kevin Baker calls it, as the far left takes on the talking points and perspective of the far right in attacking HRC. Mr. Baker voted for Sanders in the primary, but now he worries:

What is arguably the most successful left campaign in the nation’s history (Bernie Sanders) stands in danger of being undone by an infantile fraction of its own supporters.

… the growing desire of some in the (Sanders) campaign, both on its periphery and at its core, to walk away from the real prospect of building left power by refusing to work with allies and potential allies in the Democratic Party — all these now threaten the campaign’s potential to bring lasting change to American politics.

Harold Meyerson, vice-chair of Democratic Socialists of America warns against self-indulgence and self-righteous on the left.

I’m with him.

And I’m with her.

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About BroadBlogs

I have a Ph.D. from UCLA in sociology (emphasis: gender, social psych). I currently teach sociology and women's studies at Foothill College in Los Altos Hills, CA. I have also lectured at San Jose State. And I have blogged for Feminispire, Ms. Magazine, The Good Men Project and Daily Kos. Also been picked up by The Alternet.

Posted on September 23, 2016, in politics/class inequality and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 12 Comments.

  1. You’re confusing proportional representation with parliamentary systems. In the UK (the home of parliamentary systems), the above scenario you’d also get Trump because it is first past the post voting for every seat. In the EU parliament you’d get 26% democrat and 25% green. In Australia you’d get mostly Democrat because it is preferential voting in the lower house and 26 > 25, and in the upper house you’d get 1/4 Democrat and 1/4 Green because it’s proportional representation.

    • Not true.

      If all US progressives voted for whoever they wanted then Progressives would win in a parliamentary system because more people are on the left than the right in the US. And then Parliament would select whoever they wanted to be Prime Minister. And that would not be Donald Trump.

      That’s why we have a two party system in the US – because it’s winner take all. Not voting or voting for the lesser of evils ends up helping your worst enemy here. That’s not the case in parliamentary systems, which is why they have so many parties.

  2. The above logic condemns the USA to a two party oligopoly for eternity…

    • Unfortunately our political system is set up that way. In our system if you vote for Stein you will end up moving the country right. Because the reality is that Hillary will have less votes to beat Trump.

      And then climate change is likely to keep going, money in politics will be more entrenched, affordable care is likely to get repealed, more tax cuts for the rich… Partly because of the Presidency and partly because of the Supreme Court — A Republican will create a right-leaning Supreme Court.

      If you can picture a scenario where voting for Stein or a libertarian doesn’t help elect Trump under our winner-take-all system, please explain how you see that working.

  3. I generally vote R, but no way in hell I’m voting for Trump. He sounds like he’s purposely trying to throw the election to Hillary by saying one outrageous, misogynistic, racist, moronic, apocalypse inducing statement after the other. And yet he gets more and more support. Is it because people hate Hillary that much? WTH? And I surely can’t vote for Hillary. so…

    • So depending on where you live you are willing to help get Trump elected? Well, if you don’t live in a swing state I can see voting your conscience. But if you live in a place like Florida, Ohio, Nevada… I don’t get it. Trump seems especially scary looking at international relations with his man-crush on Putin and his propensity to say inflammatory things that could create all sorts of problems. Any thoughts on that?

      • What’s scary about his man-crush on Putin? Doesn’t that just mean the two countries would get along better? Oh, I forget, we have been conditioned by the media and state to dislike Russia because Washington sees Russia as a competitor for influence in the world?

      • It shows how easy it is for Putin to manipulate Trump.

  4. But based upon Clinton’s hawkish record as Sec. of State, and her pro-military, pro-interventionists views, she will get the country in another war… And then think of all the innocent people that will die. Estimates of civilian deaths in Iraq as result of the US invasion exceed 500,000. And is Iraq better off today? I think life would be better under Saddam Hussin than in America’s ‘liberated’ Iraq…. How many Syrians have been displaced because the US (Obama and company) support of regime change? Over 1,000,000 refugees have entered Germany alone last year.

    Everywhere that the USA intervenes, the end result is human tragedy…

    • If Trump is elected climate change is more likely to devastate the entire world, droughts will increase — killing people, So will hurricanes and tornadoes. More wars will be fought as people fight over water. And at some point the planet will get so hot that these wars won’t even matter by comparison. He thinks climate change is a hoax.

      Obamacare is more likely to be repealed under Trump, which means a lot of people will die because they can’t afford medical care.

      He is more likely to appoint right-wing Supreme Court justices, and that will kill a lot of girls and women when they try to get abortions illegally. Laws against abortion don’t stop it, they drive it underground.

      Money in politics will become more entrenched too because right-wing justices vote in favor of money in politics.

      Wars have been fought because men were trying to uphold a sense of their manhood and wouldn’t back down. They say and do insulting things, and behave in erratic ways. For that reason I think that Trump is much more likely to get us into a war than Clinton is.

      At least with Syria the motivation was to try to stop the Assad government from using chemical weapons.

  5. Maybe Clinton would not be manipulated by Putin, but based upon some of her comments, Netanyahu has her wrapped around his finger..

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