The horizon is not so far as we can see, but as far as we can imagine

Is Lesser Evilism Failing In America

So, this tweet from Stancil, a particularly deranged Democratic partisan:

Hard to express my contempt for people who engage in the “I’m not voting for president” routine, a rejection of the basic civic reality that sometimes all the options aren’t going to be custom-built for you but democracy doesn’t work if you throw a sulk and refuse to participate

Refusal to choose between two genocidal maniacs is “anti-democratic”, rather than an acknowledgment that the Democratic system in the US is broken if it only offers Cheeto-Hitler and GenocideJoe.

Look, Trump has been very clear that he’d support the genocide too. He says he’ll federalize Red State militias and cops and send them into blue states to hunt down immigrants, presumably door to door, which makes the fugitive slave act that was one of the main causes of the civil war look reasonable and sane.. He’s a fool, deeply stupid, a rapist multiple times over, a man who cheats people who work for him and so on. He’s lower than pond scum. Any decent person wouldn’t spit on him to put out a fire.

Biden is actively assisting Israel in an active genocide. He deliberately caused a famine in Afghanistan after withdrawal, showing his one unique genius: the ability to kill more people without troops than with them.

Both of these men are profoundly evil. They’re also old and incompetent, though if you’re going to have evil as President, I suppose incompetent evil is better.

The American electoral system is broken in multiple ways, but one is that it doesn’t offer up even remotely acceptable Presidential candidates (or much in the way of acceptable candidates for lower offices.) This has been true for a long time, but it is getting worse and worse.

“I won’t vote for either genocidal maniac and refuse the system the legitimacy of my vote” isn’t an insane or stupid thing to do in this situation. If you can’t find anyone actually good on your ballot does voting make sense? There are arguments that it does, but it’s not obviously wrong.

Fundamentally the problem is that there is no significant resevoir of sanity among the American elites, and ballot access is very difficult for anyone else. In a country where most  people think of themselves as consumers rather than producers of politics, surmounting that barrier and offering up candidates that enough Americans will vote for seems essentially impossible.

Anyway, Stancil’s just a deranged democratic partisan “even genocide should not be a bar to electing Democrats.”

Lovely country. And not the only one.

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The Ant


Why Voting For The Lesser Evil Is Strategic Imbecility


  1. marku52

    Not voting for Genocide Joe. That simple.

  2. Soredemos

    Imagine if we had some of soviet-style, lower level democracy that better reflected people’s actual wishes. Because it should be abundantly clear by this point how utterly broken US liberal, ‘representative democracy’ is.

  3. Robert B

    To paraphrase Hannah Arendt: ‘The weakness of the lesser evil argument is that those who chose the lesser evil quickly forget that, in the end, they have chosen evil’.

    Electorally, a point that is often overlooked is the structural problem of the USA government relative to its republican origins. A basic example is that any one of the 435 representatives, the nationally elected position supposed to be the most responsive to a defined constituency, now represents somewhere around 760,000 people. When the country started, it was about 33,000 per representative. This and other structural anomalies are readily exploited by what is now an imperial elite to get what they want.

    Overlay this broken political structure with blatant, irredeemable corruption and you have the portrait of an Empire in steep decline. I would imagine that dissolution or devolution is closer than we think.

  4. Mark Level

    Beyond the shameful predatory behavior of the U$ Elites & their wonderful “system” of impunity for white collar crimes & kick-down Statism directed at robbing or jailing anyone not a member of the Elites, there remains the problem (Ian mentioned Consumerism & identity) of people largely lacking community or empathy for others in the same (sinking) lifeboat that they are in. Numerically, the latter group is the majority by at least 85% or more . . .

    It is hard for many to question the culture of Greed & “I’ve got mine” that is the substrata of Late Capitalist “culture”. Many of the victims internalize that they “deserve” their scape-dog (a goat has more agency than a dog) status & satisfy themselves by kicking down on those even lower in the pecking order.

    The entitlement of the Elites is stunning however. Individuals like the one you are quoting dare to tell me that because someone like Hillary has spat on my values openly, is a War Criminal, a racist (Goldwater Girl who opposed the 60s Civil Rights movement), homophobe (“I believe marriage is sacred between a Man & a Woman”, no filthy “deviants” need apply) & shameless liar– E.g. “Regulating the banks won’t do anything to help minorities”– uhhm, when there’s piles of evidence about how banks redlined, ripped off with predatory loans, etc. minority populations for a matter of decades? Then when they’ve shat on, spat on & ridiculed your humanist values for decades they run with “You HAVE to vote for me, I at least pretend to believe in some (very limited) equality & “tolerance”.

    I had a long letter published in the local (pretty good, actually lefty) free weekly paper saying I wouldn’t vote for Genocide Joe (formerly Jim Crow Joe) any more than Trump. The next 2 weeks the response was (a) one shit-lib wrote in that he understood my “despair” but I still have to suck it up and vote against the giant Cheeto. The 2nd week a woman wrote using pure Identity politics and claiming that since she is “an immigrant” and “a Jew” she (implied) was morally superior to me, & wrongly accusing me of being “White” & (with no evidence whatsoever) a Christian!!

    I’m a pagan Thelemite; additionally, now that I’m older I look white, but a 10% Sardinian & Spanish heritage from mom’s side allowed me to live in Mexico & Central America as a youth & be accepted as a member of La Raza by 98% of the folks I ever interacted with. For anyone who’s ever been there, Mexico is incredibly racially diverse. I met German Mexicans in the North with blond hair & blue eyes– nobody called them “Gringos” or extranjeros.

    The only hopeful thing I see currently is that a majority of the populace clearly has ZERO faith or trust in our “leadership” class or in our Elite Media Liars. We do seem to be somewhere close to the USSR’s status in the late 1980s where very high percentages know the Emperor has no clothes. But there will be NOTHING changed via electoralism, there is no such thing as “democracy” in the Western world.

    The Bosses have no credibility. I’ll repeat myself– a rat in a Skinner box stops pressing the lever after 500 tries with no food pellet. People just need to get off of their screens and be as smart as a rat. Stop paying your taxes, stop voting for monsters, stop supporting genocide & your own & your children’s impoverishment. Be as smart as a rat or dog, it really can’t be that difficult. (Oh, & I so much want to live long enough to see some of our ruling monsters get the ending that Mussolini & Ceauceascu got, they have certainly earned it.)

  5. Scott McC

    In the end, one or the other will win. You can influence it, or not.

  6. different clue

    Trump won the last Republican primaries and nomination because the Republican Party still ran free, fair and open primary elections. And they still do, which means Trump might win their nomination yet again.

    The Democrats have run crooked rigged primaries and crooked rigged nomination systems ever since the McGovern defeat, and lately more and more so. Sanders was rig-cheated out of the nomination the last two times. The most recent time was because Obama saw Sanders would win an early image-building primary and might go on from there to win, so Obama phone-consulted with all the other candidates and got them all to withdraw and throw their support to Obama’s personal pick, which was Biden. So perhaps we should start calling Biden by the name ” Genocide Joebama” out of respect for Biden’s being Obama’s most recent personal gift to the nation and the world.

    There is a case to be made for voting for Genocide Joebama in order to prevent Cheeto Hitler from becoming president. But the Clintonite Obamazoid Democrats have zero credibility to make that case. And the louder they shout their smelly case, the more votes they will repel away from their fetid sewage-y party.

  7. bruce wilder

    “ . . . one or the other will win. You can influence it, or not.”

    if you cannot influence the menu, you eat what you are served regardless of what you ordered.

    if people with real power cared about any thing you care about, they would have put a better candidate on the ballot. it is an obvious strategic choice: a young, charismatic leader. the last such was Obama and in retrospect, it was because the powers wanted a President who could protect them from pitchforks and torches — they were taking no chances.

    now they do not see a downside either way.

    i see only the downslope i am down siding and i have been on this path for close to 25 years at least.

    i see partisan determination to deny a common reality and that precludes democracy as much as the inability of a decent person to become a candidate of the masses in opposition to the predatory ruling class and their parasitic helpers.

  8. Jynxie

    Let’s break down the pros and cons of not voting for Biden, thereby increasing the odds of a Trump win. To be generous to your argument, I’m only going to bring up the issues you raise in your post.

    – Trump uses the National Guard to “federalize Red State militias and cops and send them into blue states to hunt down immigrants, presumably door to door”, deporting millions each year.

    – Gaza policy (would be the same, according to this post; this is extremely charitable, btw, it would obviously be worse under Trump)

    – We would “refuse the system the legitimacy of my vote”
    – We get to “acknowledge that the Democratic system in the US is broken”

    Kind of seems like things get materially worse if Trump wins, and the only benefits of not voting for Biden are vague moralistic platitudes that do no favors to anyone. Least of all the millions of immigrants who will be “hunted down door to door,” a very real scenario so hideous you couldn’t help but include it here even though it clearly weakens your argument.

    Really, please explain in explicit, concrete terms what the point of this “refusal” and “acknowledgment” serves. Does it cause the Democratic Party to change its ways? Do we eventually get communism out of this somehow?

    Are we better off having had Bush II, not to mention Trump or Reagan as US presidents rather than their Democratic counterparts? Has there ever been a historical example of the type of activism you’re advocating for here accomplishing anything positive at all?

  9. Tallifer

    Fortunately, Suozzi just won his Long Island district for the Democrats. One more step toward freeing Congress from Trump. Keeping my fingers crossed for aid to Ukraine and Taiwan and a reasonable border solution.

  10. Dan

    As any conservative pedant will remind you (especially when the ruling class is doing what they want, in defiance of popular will): “We live in a republic, not a democracy.”

    And a pretty rotten and unrepresentative republic at that! On almost every issue, from abortion to universal healthcare to a ceasefire in Gaza, our ruling elite is diametrically opposed to what the majority of Americans say they want, in poll after poll.

    The next big bogeyman that liberals will throw out to scold Americans into voting for Biden this year is Trump and the Heritage Foundation’s Project 2025. Trump’s coterie is either not serious about it, or else supremely stupid for showing their hand this early. Any attempt to implement Project 2025 is as likely to lead to a military coup against a future GOP administration as it is to result in a right-wing authoritarian presidency.

    But at this point, I’m deeply afraid a majority of American would *welcome* a military junta, rather than the continued dysfunction we live under.

  11. When the option for decade after decade is “lesser evil” verse the “greater evil” it normalizes evil. Evil begets evil.
    Trump won in 2016 because the oligarchs convinced Dem primary voters to vote for the Greater evil (Clinton) in order to beat the even greater evil (Trump). Sanders was objectively by far the better candidate and polled a lot better then Clinton. Even Clinton supporters agree with this because they blame Sanders voters for Clinton’s loss.
    A reason Trump is popular is precisely because people no longer wanted an Evil that pretended they weren’t evil. Trump “tells it like it is” unlike those other politicians who pretend that bombing the Middle east is “peace and democracy” Trump outright said “its for oil”

  12. Mary Bennet

    It is hard for me to express my contempt for people who expect me to vote to support their PMC positions and lifestyles. OK, so maybe IDK exactly that the Deranged Dumbocrat is of that PMC faction, but I consider it beyond reasonable doubt that he is ( I gather we do believe that DD is male). There is the shrill tone of panic in his tweet of someone realizing that his gravy train is about to end.

  13. Ian Welsh

    Have parties ever adjusted their policies to get more votes after losing elections? Have third parties ever won?

  14. Soredemos


    “Guys, Trump might deport a bunch of people, and would somehow be worse than directly supporting genocide, which is why we must vote for the guy already directly supporting genocide.”

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