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The "Lesser of Two Evils" Sucks
At Some Point Progressives Must Vote in their own Self-Interest
Voting for the lesser of two evils? Why? The Democratic Party has moved so far to the right to capture the “centrist” voters that neither the Republicans nor the Democrats will ever represent the “people” and what is best for us. At this point it is questionable whether there are any vestiges of democracy that might be left in the country.
Accordingly, rather than participating in the electoral charade that we hold every few years in this country, it is time for people to identify a set of principles that are immutable and worthy of support. (Principles mean much more than what any candidate says to get elected.) These 11 principles are listed below:
1) Support for a single-payer health care program is a non-negotiable. Any candidate who waffles on this issue should not be supported.
2) The U.S. must withdraw all of its troops, including mercenaries (the so-called “independent contractors”) from the Middle East immediately. The U.S. should shut down the great majority of its foreign military bases from throughout the world, and stop acting as an imperial power.
3) The U.S. must outlaw the use of Obama’s doctrine of drone warfare and torture (including Guantanamo Bay) as appropriate “tactics.” Renditions and drone warfare should not result in immunity for any U.S. soldier, politician, or mercenary who engages in them. These are war crimes.
4) The U.S. prison and jail populations immediately should be cut in half. Non-violent prisoners, and those incarcerated for drugs, prostitution and alcoholism should be dealt with via alternative institutions designed to modify behavior, not punish it. End the death penalty!
5) Tax the rich heavily. The trickle down theory is a lie, and the rich easily can afford to pay more to support the country than anyone else. The tax codes need to be modified to get rid of corporate loopholes that insulate the rich from paying their fair share to support the government.
6) Change the immigration laws to reflect the fact that no person is “illegal.” Undocumented workers, who create so much of the wealth in this country, should have the same opportunities to work in this society and be allowed to remain in the country. The concept of a fenced-in border should be eliminated.
7) Limit and regulate police powers so that the police are not de facto invading armies in our communities. Police misconduct must be evaluated and prosecuted by forces outside, not inside, the police departments.
8) Citizens United must be overturned, and corporations must be regulated and controlled by the government. The fiction that corporations are people is nonsense.
9) Abortion, birth control and a woman’s right to seek medical care must be a federal right, and not one the states can abolish.
10) Climate control must be made an economic and educational priority.
11) The government should provide free and quality education for all our children through college, as well as job opportunities.
Is it any surprise that the Republican Party has become so rightwing that no Democratic Party candidate will ever be the “greater” of two evils (except for Hilary Clinton, who, while representing mainstream Pentagon hawks, manages to rise above the threshold of being the “greater” of two evils)? Without changing course, the great majority of American voters are left with no alternative to the corporate-run state, dominated by Wall Street, the Pentagon, and various police-oriented administrations throughout the nation.
Since we know of no candidates who would support the principles set forth herein, we urge voters to limit their votes to referendums and issues we can support. Voting against our own interests should no longer be a viable alternative.
Lest this sound like an intransigent, rigid Tea Party approach to politics, we need to remember that this is not a “my way or the highway” position; rather, it is a set of principles that form the basis for reversing the fascist tendencies this country is pursuing.
There is no question that for a democracy to be viable, the poor and disenfranchised citizenry must be afforded equal power to that possessed by the rich in the decision-making process. Yielding on any of the 11 points set forth above weakens us all.
Marti Hiken is the director of Progressive Avenues. She is the former Associate Director of the Institute for Public Accuracy and former chair of the National Lawyers Guild Military Law Task Force. She can be contacted at info [at] progressiveavenues.org, 415-702-9682.
Luke Hiken is an attorney who has engaged in the practice of criminal, military, immigration, and appellate law.
The Progressive Avenues website, http://www.progressiveavenues.org, is regularly updated in the “What’s Added, What’s New” link on the Home page, at http://www.progressiveavenues.org/Whats_New_Added.html