Monday, September 19, 2016

A Word From Robert Reich

The former Labor Secretary was a vocal advocate for Bernie Sanders in the primaries.  But like most adults, he accepted the fact that Hillary Clinton won the nomination and is now working to make sure that she wins the election.  He has something to say to his followers on Facebook.

Can we have a word? I continue to hear from many of you who say you won’t vote for Hillary Clinton because, you claim, (1) she’s no better than Donald Trump, or (2) even if she’s better, she’s still corrupt, and you refuse to vote for the “lesser of two evils,” or (3) you don’t want to reward the Democratic Party for corrupt primaries that gave the nomination to Hillary instead of Bernie Sanders.

Please allow me to respond.

(1) Anyone who equates Donald Trump with Hillary Clinton hasn’t been paying attention. Trump is a dangerous, bigoted, narcissistic megalomaniac with fascist tendencies who could wreak huge damage on America and the world. Hillary isn’t perfect but she’s able and experienced. There is simply no comparison.

(2) Even if you see Hillary Clinton as the “lesser of two evils,” the greater of two evils in this case (if you see the choice in these terms) is seriously evil. You’ve probably had occasion in the past to vote for someone who doesn’t meet your ideals, when the alternative is someone who falls much further from those ideals. This doesn’t mean you’ve sold out or compromised your principles. You’ve just been realistic and practical. Realism and practicality are critically important now.

(3) I understand your frustration with the Democratic Party, and your reluctance to “reward” it for its bias against Bernie in the primaries. But anything you do that increases the odds of a Trump presidency isn’t just penalizing the Democratic Party; it’s jeopardizing our future and that of our children and their children. All of us must continue to work hard for a political system responsive to the needs of ordinary Americans. The movement Bernie energized must not and will not end. But Donald Trump, were he to become president, would set back the cause for decades.

There are just over 7 weeks until Election Day. My request to those of you who still don’t want to vote for Hillary Clinton: Please reconsider. It is no exaggeration to say the fate of the nation and the world are at stake.

What do you think?

What I think is that when you have enthusiastically supported someone else in a party primary and your candidate doesn’t win (for me it was Gene McCarthy, then Bobby Kennedy in 1968), then you back the one who is on the ballot for the party you support if you care more about your fellow citizens and the fate of your country than you do about a bruised ego and disappointment.

I respect my friends and readers who support the candidacies of Gary Johnson or Dr. Jill Stein, but I also respect reality.  Neither of them have a snowball’s chance in Miami of winning even one state; they’re not even polling high enough to get on the debate stage.  It doesn’t mean you have to fall in lockstep with the Democratic platform or party machine — such as it is — but your chances of having your voice heard and getting things that you care about into the forefront of the national agenda are better if the party’s candidate actually, y’know, wins the election.

Personally, I have never been more concerned about who wins this election than I have been in the forty-plus years that I have been eligible to vote.  Not only would a Trump win set back a number of causes I care about such as LGBTQ rights, marriage equality, reproductive rights, education, immigration, climate change, and just about everything I’ve campaigned for here on this blog and in my real life since 1972, it would mean that fear and loathing wins.  Do you want that?

3 barks and woofs on “A Word From Robert Reich

  1. And while you’re deciding that a vote for Hillary is an insult to Bernie and you’ll show her – you’ll vote for Johnson, please take time to read the Libertarian party’s platform. It might open your eyes. It calls for the elimination of the income tax and the privatization of just about everything including education. So if parents don’t want their children educated or want them indoctrinated in a cult, or put them to work in a sweatshop instead of learning to read? Not our problem. And it opposes any kind of government regulation having to do with the environment proposing we rely on the courts. So if a giant corporation wants to poison the water of the air you breathe, just sue them. Think about going up against an army of lawyers hired by the corporation. Care to bet on the outcome?

    I quote Paul Krugman here because I think what he wrote is so powerful. A vote for Johnson is a vote for Trump.

  2. As I tell my Cuban friends who say they will vote for Trump: Think long and hard about your decision because there ain’t a boat from here to anywhere!!!

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