Dilemma: A situation that requires a choice between options that are or seem equally unfavorable.There are still more than two months to go before citizens of the USA will have to decide how to vote in the presidential election on 6 November. For me, and from what I read online for many others, it won't be an easy decision. Oh, for those who have Democrat or Republican engraved on their hearts it won't be difficult. For those who prefer to engage head over heart, in this important instance, it will be a choice between evil, lesser evil, or in some fortunate states an alternative with no chance of winning. The alternative vote has an advantage - of proclaiming that the voter has had it up to here with lesser evilism, and with mainstream media blocking all mention and discussion of alternatives. Alternative voting, some of us think, would be a tiny first step out of the mire into which this country has been led.
As of yesterday, in Oklahoma, on the ballot for for president there'll be a choice between only the "two evils", no alternative, no write-in facility. All hope of Libertarian Gary Johnson being placed on the ballot was dashed by underhand dealings of local authorities, to ensure that Gov. Johnson would not be included under either Libertarian or Americans Elect headings. The Green Party allegedly didn't meet the (strictest in the country) requirements for ballot access here. My only choices will be to vote for one of the two evils or to leave the Prez space blank and vote as liberally as possible (actually, not very liberal at all) down ticket. Result for Oklahoma is a foregone conclusion anyway in this reddest of red states - Republicans need have no fear of losing here.
I'm a comparative newcomer, probably thought by some to have no right to voice opinions on US politics, even though I'm now a US citizen. But, but...I brought all my worldly wealth to this country - admittedly not a fortune - but a reasonable sum, harvest of my own working life and the working lives of my parents. I invested it in a home here, combined with my husband's input. I consider myself to have equal rights with native-born voters to voice an opinion. I'm first to admit, however, that others have a far better grip on the US political situation, due to years of having watched it develop. With that in mind, I saved some points made in recent articles and comments at The Smirking Chimp website. These were chosen to present a brief assessment from both sides of the "how to vote 2012" debate, for those who sport no R or D engraving on their hearts.
Clips from a piece by Brent Budowsky ...Last Stand for Liberals:
Today Republicans have an enthusiasm advantage, a turnout advantage, a money advantage, a voter suppression advantage and a media advantage, which is why I warn Democrats so severely........
Given my disappointments in the Obama presidency, why do I believe that a vote for Obama and Democrats in Congress is the most urgently needed vote in my lifetime, and, I suggest, in many lifetimes? Because for those of us who stand truly in the tradition of Jack and Bobby, Martin Luther King and Cesar Chavez, the suffragettes and muckraking journalists who battled Gilded Age corruption, defenders of the earth and opponents of those who put poisoned food into the bellies of little babies, 2012 can be described as our last stand..........
If Obama is reelected with sufficient Democrats in Congress, we can continue the modest but real advances since 2009 and the preservation of 120 years of steady progress that created the great national consensus that lifted many of the poor out of poverty, built the great middle class that remains threatened by descendants of forces that hated both Roosevelts, and built what was correctly called the American Century, which is the true American exceptionalism..............This election is the last stand for liberals and Democrats. Our champion Obama is not fully our champion. Our party in Washington sounds an uncertain trumpet. But make no mistake. If Republicans win they will turn back the clock to 1890 and destroy a long legacy of progress.
On the other side of the debate:
Comment from AntiSpin beneath a piece by David Swanson titled Obamobedience
.....The Democrats will never give up their growing allegiance to the One Percent until and unless they have reason to fear that they will lose an election unless they do so, and the only way they will learn that lesson is actually to lose one.
But more important, there will never be a less dangerous time for the people to teach the Democrats that lesson. Things are not going to get better by themselves. Unless we take action, it’s going to get worse every four years, forever. The Republicans will continue their rightward march into fascism, and the Democrats will continue right on their heels. As each successive election rolls by, the threat of a victory for Republicans will become more and more dangerous than it is now.
We have no choice. We are in the position of a cancer victim who wants to go on with life as usual, living on to a comfortable old age without having to get the necessary treatment, because “the alternative is worse,” – uncomfortable surgery, painful chemotherapy, dangerous radiation treatment. But we all know that his life will not go on as usual – he will die – and in the interim his condition will keep on getting worse and worse for as long as he puts off those painful treatments.
We are fools if we think that we can avoid the fearful consequences of rejecting the reelection of a Democratic president. And those consequences will become more and more brutal the longer we wait. Every time we reelect a Democratic president “because the alternative is worse” we will get a more Republican “Democratic” presidency, and the Republicans themselves will go on becoming more and more Republican (read “fascist”) as well.
The sooner we get on with the treatment, no matter how painful it will be, the better, because it’s going to be a hell of a lot more painful four years from now, and ever more painful eight years, twelve years, sixteen years from now. Or we can put our fingers in our ears, shut our eyes and go on humming “nah na nah na nah, nah!” until our very civilization is flushed down the drain forever.
AND A comment from HC Jack Shaftoe a comment beneath piece by "mewkitty" titled If you're not voting for Obama
Okay, so "when" will it be time to start moving off the dime we are stuck on?
Any argument rooted purely in "fear" and speculation of "avoiding a potentially worse" situation is irrational and little more than avoidance behavior. At some point the masses who continue to "vote for the lesser of evils" instead of starting the slow and painful process of shifting support to "alternatives" will come face to face with a traumatic national situation, scrambling around trying to figure out, "How could we have let things go so far without having made any attempt to initiate change"?
Shifting facing the music ever forward into the future, frozen in the headlights, avoiding the only possible rational alternative (shifting power to alternative coalitions), is deadly and assures no possibility for any kind of change whatsoever.
It is perfectly rational to acknowledge that given two choices one is less desirable than another but irrational, irresponsible, and delusional to believe that this is the only alternative. Such rationalizing based on fear of short term impacts guarantees that over the long term continued decay and a fixed path with absolutely no possibility for a change in path.
Locked into "lesser of two evils" is nothing more than fear and capitulation or more simply put, cowardice.
"Whether we and our politicians know it or not, Nature is party to all our deals and decisions, and she has more votes, a longer memory, and a sterner sense of justice than we do."
~~ Wendell Berry.