Lesser Evilism and Negative Politics

I have remarked before that lesser-of-two evils voting is the height of negative politics in the duopoly charade. A vote in favor of the lesser of two evils is, first and foremost, a vote against the greater of the two evils under consideration. Lesser evilism may well be the dominant form of reactionary politics under the conditions of the duopoly. In its most extreme form, it is indistinguishable from alarmism: vote for the other guy, or we're all going to die! In defense of this form of political activity, partisans of the duopoly parties paint themselves as pragmatic realists, and trot out the usual arguments against independent and third party activism: the two-party system is the name of the game, there is no viable third party, and there is no time to build one etc. In practice, however, the end result of their efforts is still necessarily, and admittedly, evil: their pragmatism is opportunism, their realism is cynicism.

At Red Lavender Insurgent, Robert Halfhill takes liberal Democratic lesser-of-two-evilists to task from the left:
the ruling class in this country have quite cleverly arranged to have two ruling class parties, one, the Democrats, slightly -- only SLIGHTLY -- less evil than the Republicans. But this slight difference enables the advocates of voting for the Democrats as the lesser evil, even after you have pointed out all the evil we have received from the Democrats, to argue that things would be much worse under the Republicans. This fear of how much worse things would be under the Republicans, causes all the liberals who are desperately clinging to the Democrats with there lesser evil strategy, to hysterically attack you once you point out the flaws in their stategy, terrified of the doom they imagine befalling them if you cause enough people to abandon their lesser evil stategy and cause the sky to fall. And since both the Democrats and Republicans are financed by the ruling class, it is no accident that the organizations who advocate supporting one of these parties, even if only lesser evil support, have the larger email lists, etc. It is time for us all to stop and reflect. The difference in evil between the Republicans and Democrats is no where near great enough to justify all the time, effort, and money liberals have expended on electing Democrats.
With the appropriate substitutions, the same could be said of conservatives who continue to support the GOP. In a post at Dead Enders, Out of Hand Mary argues that "we don't have to like the Republicans," but we have to vote for them. She concludes:
The window of opportunity to get rid of these Obama-Vermin is closing fast. We know obama’s plans to collapse America by crashing the economy, creating a one-party state, and putting paid to the Constitution, particularly the Bill of Rights. If we don’t let the RNC know right now that we’ll back their candidates, we’ll lose the chance to delouse Washington forever.
The problem, however, is that removing the Democratic lice only to replace them with Republican nits does not solve the infestation problem in Washington D.C. Though duopolists dismiss independent and third party activists as naive idealists, the practice of lesser-evilism reveals them for the naifs that they are. The two-party system is already effectively a one-party state. And the reigning Democratic-Republican Party is a far cry from its historical namesake. The global warfare and corporate welfare state is tuned not to protect the Constitution, or steer the economy for the benefit of the individual, but rather to serve the militarist agenda and the corporate paymasters of the duopoly parties.


Samuel Wilson said...

Maybe if we identified the Republican and Democratic leaders, along with allies like the commission on presidential debates, as the American "Guardian Council," more people would begin to get the point.

d.eris said...

hehehe . . . maybe.