Vote Green and Let Trump Bring the Revolution?

The Green Party

The Green Party

Some progressives don’t care if voting Green splits the left.

“If Trump wins he will herald the revolution.”

Something like the antichrist heralding the end of times. (Some still call Obama the antichrist — he’s got a few more months to bring “the rapture,” I suppose.)

And Democrats are worthless, anyway, they continue.

If Trump wins no biggie. Dems are worthless?

“Democrats haven’t created a perfect progressive world. And I am PO’d!” some say.

Just like Republicans haven’t created a perfect right-wing world.

There’s a reason for that. We live in a highly polarized society with Republicans blocking progressive policy and Democrats blocking reactionary laws.

I meet with members of Congress on poverty and climate issues, like these:

  • Charge carbon companies a fee to be redistributed to citizens to offset higher energy prices.
  • Workers shouldn’t work full-time and still be in poverty — expand EITC (Earned Income Tax Credit — which brings income past the poverty line).
  • Early childhood education = more high school and college graduates, less teen pregnancy, less crime, less welfare

Dems support everything we want. Republicans block everything. (Though some GOP are beginning to see merit in some of this.)

And Democratic Supreme Court appointees have voted to decrease the power of big money in politics, while Republican appointees have voted to make it stronger.

Ted Cruz purity: Bring on the revolution!

On left and right many believe their parties aren’t pure enough.

Ted Cruz and other right-wing whackos insist: If only the Republicans were extreme right they would win!

Actually, so few Americans are far right that such a nominee would lose in a landslide.

Meanwhile Green Party candidate Jill Stein claims, “If you have to lose an election in order to establish your power, you have to do that.”

She has lost many elections. But she hasn’t garnered much power from all that loss.

Purity can be the enemy of progress.

Left and Right both await the second coming

Essayist, author — and Sanders supporter — Kevin Baker, wrote an insightful piece for the New York Times. On purity he says,

A doctrine of purity speaks directly to the reasons today’s liberals seem to have such difficulty holding and wielding power in this country. “The worse, the better,” went the Leninist saw. There is no reforming the rotten old system. Best to “let the empire burn,” and have the fires purify the new society.

Baker highlights an observation Todd Gitlin made in his book, “The Sixties: Years of Hope, Days of Rage.” As a young idealist he believed Hubert Humphrey was so impure that Richard Nixon might as well win. Now he says progressive purity has become a vine that strangles actual progress.

Revolutions are not necessarily superior to evolutions. Baker points out that when friends told liberal Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis to visit 1930s Russia “to see the future,” he responded, “Why visit Russia when you can go to Denmark?”

Denmark is looking way better than Russia these days.

The far left cannot force progressive revolution anymore than Ted Cruz can force a revolution on the right.

Baker concludes:

Change — lasting, democratic change, which is the only kind worth fighting for — is hard, slow, and often exasperating.

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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 30, 2016, in politics/class inequality and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 10 Comments.

  1. This is all a game to politicians and Americans are stuck picking sides like it is a divorce every 4 or 8 years, like we have to decide which parent has our best interest in place. I really feel its not that hard, i mean every president has a blue print from the last presidents of what not to do wrong. How do you fail that? Majority of failures i see see are in inequality and livable wages, no poverty more education, state approved guidance/guardians for single parents, more jobs that pay well and are less stressful just some ideas. Maybe everyone should work shorter lenghts of time and open up new hiring without pay cuts. Parents need to be in kids lives. Life is a game of survival at the end of the day.

  2. Very timely post ~ I arrived in HK today and found my ballot waiting for me. I could not open it fast enough, review it and make sure my voice (no matter how tiny) would be heard. I believe in the democratic process, but also fear when a candidate very well may slip in and do incomprehensible harm…a slug would be a better option 🙂 Politics in the US is truly broken…

    • Thanks for voting! These are worrying times. I hope the politicians start to see how much damage can be done when they don’t respond to their middle class and working class voters, like finding their constituents supporting crazy people who say the things they want to hear, but who are completely unqualified and wacko.

  3. I’ve struggled with this issue myself in deciding how to vote. When Ralph Nader used to run, I probably voted for him couple times. My thinking was that you should vote for the best person, not the lesser of two evils from the major parties. Probably won’t do that this year. Finding Trump so thoroughly despicable, I walk into that booth and pull the lever which in my mind stands for no Trump.

    • Voting green or other third-party may not be a problem in non-swing states, though it might be risky even there. But if the race is close in a state, I’d be worried that not voting for the lesser evil means essentially voting for the bigger evil in our winner-take-all system.

  4. Actually, I think the support for Gary Johnson is even more worrisome. He’s polling way higher than Stein and it seems to be coming from Clinton, not Trump.

  5. “hard, slow and often exasperating” – that sums up western politics perfectly!

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