Leftists and “the lesser of two evils”

One aspect which is central to the essence of being a leftist is this pressure, particularly from liberals, to constantly choose from “the lesser of two evils”. They tell us each election that rather than stick to a set of principles, allow your principles bow to pragmatism, always. And, pragmatism means voting for the lesser of two evils. Always.

Though, what shocks me is that people are surprised that those who have consistently voted democratically, with the pipe dream of improving their state of marginalization, are still upset, despite something as seemingly inevitable as Sanders conceding the democratic nomination to Hillary Clinton.

“What was clear for anyone watching Sanders’s unsuccessful attempts to calm the churning among his supporters is that the revolution he started is no longer one he can totally control. Or maybe even control at all.
This is the nature of centering a presidential campaign — or any campaign, really — on the absolute necessity of radical political change. Sanders, who has been working within the political system — albeit it on the outskirts — for decades, gets that at the end of a losing campaign, you line up behind the person who won. That’s just how things work.” — Chris Cillizza

Pundits at the DNC, as I write this, continue to follow suit in mentioning that Sanders seems to have “lost control over his delegation”. What they fail to recognize is that whatever control Sanders may have had over “his delegation” was based on an idea, on a radical, hopeful idea, that change was — it is possible. Bernie Sanders represented something, and that something transcends Bernie Sanders, the candidate. That’s more than a vast majority of politicians can say. The notion that individuals could rally as a people and have a voice which could be heard above the racket of politicking — that an accumulation of wealth could not stymie our agenda against our accumulation of voices — this idea does not simply cease to exist in the psyches of the disenfranchised.

“Radical” and “revolution” are the terms Cillizza uses to make us The Others, to make the establishment more palatable and less scary. And, the truth is, I’d say most leftists are sick as fuck with voting for the “lesser of two evils”. It is not an evil to have “lost control” over a revolution you’ve been attributed with beginning; its an indication of true social unrest which exists independently of you. Sanders did not create a social unrest with his campaign, he highlighted the existence of one which had been ignored, time and time again, as being politically too scattered to matter. Young people and poor people are those to whom you pay lip service to in American politics: one does not actually serve them. American politics serves the interests of those who control the means of production. They nearly always have.

We want to be truly represented, for once. We don’t want to vote for the lesser of two evils. We are mad that the DNC was stacked against our candidate. We are mad that our environment continues to be ravaged, and our futures put in peril. We are mad that we have been fed a myth about a meritocracy which does not exist. We want justice, we want greed reigned in — not further enabled. We want our representatives to truly represent us.

It seems unfathomable to me that the democratic establishment could be as genuinely surprised as they seem to be at this moment, that when a candidate managed to break free from the bonds of capitalist interests and unite a marginalized people, that those people would be susceptible to continuing to mobilize that unified voice.

We want to be heard, and, in my opinion, what you should be hearing from “Sanders’” notably unruly delegation is that: “we are sick of voting for the lesser of two evils”.

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