Media Marginalization of “Third” Parties

Interview with Mickey Z.

There has been a plethora of articles and commentary in progressivist media focused on the Democratic Party — considered left of the Republican Party (but clearly, for a non-American observer, a right-wing party and not a left-wing party). Yet some progressives in the media — forgetful of the Bill Clinton era — continue to push for the effete strategy of lesser evilism that no matter how terrible the Democratic presidential candidate of the corporate political duopoly is s/he would not be as bad as the Republican presidential candidate. Other progressives point out that the Democratic candidate, Barack Obama, is clearly aligned with corporatism and imperialism.

Despite all this, the progressivist media has excluded or severely marginalized progressivist “third” party candidates.

If there is any credence to the aphorism “any publicity is good publicity,” then Obama has reaped the benefits while progressivist candidates have been disadvantaged by independent/progressivist media.

To get a thoughtful analysis on lesser evilism and American “democracy,” I turned to Astoria, New York-based author Mickey Z., whose most recent offering is CPR for Dummies (Think: Henry Miller meets Bukowski and Vonnegut at Sunday Mass).

Kim Petersen: What is it about the political milieu in the United States that fosters lesser evilism?

Mickey Z.: I guess it’s one of the oldest tricks in the book (insert Eliot Spitzer joke here). You know: good cop, bad cop. Settle for less pain instead of demanding more pleasure. To delve a little deeper and risk armchair psychology, I’d say that when the “far left” engages in its despicable Anybody-But-Bush style delusion, it perhaps reveals their fear and unwillingness, re: radical change.

KP: Are the political duopoly and corporate media still so persuasive?

MZ: Well, ask yourself this: Why does every major newspaper and TV news show have a business section, but not a labor section? They cover automobiles, not bicycles. If the Dow Jones Industrial Average drops, it’s “Stop the presses.” But if the infant mortality rate rises, it questionable if it’ll even make the papers. If you created a blueprint for an apparatus that erased critical thought, there’s none more efficient than our (sic) corporate media.

KP: Obama exposes his regressivism with statements such as the recent: “But the greatest danger of all is to allow new walls to divide us from one another.” This he said in Berlin on the heels of departing the greatest wall-building project since dynastic China.

MZ: Well, there’s “our” walls (“our” being the US, UK, and Israel) and then you have “their” walls, Kim. We only build walls when left with absolutely no choice. We really don’t want to. Really… we don’t. I mean it. We’re the good guys. I can prove it: It says so in our history books.

KP: Why do you think it is that even the independent media excludes or marginalizes “third” party candidates and focuses so preponderantly on Barack Obama?

MZ: It’s just so distracting to focus on more than two things at once. The media are us. The press is made up humans shaped by the same hypocritical and destructive culture as the rest of us. All of us lunatics trying to navigate the Space Age with Stone Age brains. If believing that Obama is living proof that American democracy works keeps things simple, then it’s just so much easier to believe that. More subtly, the unspoken reality is that those who look beyond the accepted parameters of discussion are excluded from all the (alleged) fun.

KP: Sometimes the focus is support for Obama since he is supposedly less evil than John McCain, or it can even be about revealing Obama’s lack of progressivism. But the focus is on Obama and not the progressivist candidates out there. Given that Obama presents himself as a thoroughly unattractive presidential candidate for many progressives, why does one seldom encounter articles on more attractive presidential candidates in the independent media?

MZ: Ah, now we get to the dirty little secret of the so-called Left. A big chunk of them just wanna fit in. They wanna win… even if it means incredible compromise. Then there’s some of them that are happiest when bitching and moaning and complaining. Give them a cartoon character to hate like Cheney or Guiliani and they’re pacified. So once again in 2008, the independent (sic) press will buy the line of bullshit being sold by a corporate Democrat (sorry, I’m being redundant) and, by proxy, support the status quo and the subsequent global nightmare.

KP: Even if Obama were an appealing candidate for progressives, he would still be entrenched in the corporate political duopoly. Is a “third” party the answer to steering the United States away from the policies of the corporate duopoly? Is party politics even the way to go?

MZ: Corporate America could buy the Green Party as easily as it owns the Democrats and Republicans… but this isn’t a preordained theology or force of nature. The planet is fucked primarily due to decisions made by humans. If different choices had been made in the past, it’s very likely we’d have had different outcomes. If we start making different decisions now, there just might be enough time to create new outcomes. It’s not about party politics or religion or the system or terrorism or any other fairy tale… it’s about human beings changing their god damned minds and rejecting what has nearly destroyed us — and every other living — so far.

KP: What is the most effective strategy for ditching lesser evilism?

MZ: I don’t know… but I’m guessing it begins with us in the privileged West waking the fuck up and taking drastic action as soon as possible.

KP: Lastly, is going for a “third” party a viable strategy? Or is participating in a rigged electoral system anathema?

MZ: In 2004, there were 202,746,417 eligible voters, but only 122,293,332 hit the polling booths. More than 80 million more Americans could have voted while George W. Bush won with 62,040,610 votes. Imagine if even 20% of those 80 million voted for Nader or McKinney in 2008 — if for no other reason than to demonstrate that what they (we) want isn’t on the menu. Sixteen million protest votes? In America? Hey, it’s at least a tiny step in the right direction… unless of course, they figure out a way to disappear all those votes. Oh well… never mind.

  • If you are in Astoria on August 7, hear more from Mickey Z. on the 2008 election, the state of activism in America, cell phones, gorillas, Gwen Stefani, and much more at the Waltz-Astoria Café.
  • Kim Petersen is co-editor of Dissident Voice. He can be reached at: kim@dissidentvoice.org. Read other articles by Kim.

    22 comments on this article so far ...

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    1. rosemarie jackowski said on July 28th, 2008 at 10:47am #

      Good article…
      About the marginalization of Third Parties – about a week ago, the first governor’s debate of this election cycle was held in Vermont. The Liberty Union (Socialist) Candidate was not allowed to participate. He refused to leave the stage. The State Police came, forcibly removed him, and arrested him.
      Ain’t much democracy going around these days.

    2. Deadbeat said on July 28th, 2008 at 10:47am #

      Yet some progressives in the media — forgetful of the Bill Clinton era — continue to push for the effete strategy of lesser evilism that no matter how terrible the Democratic presidential candidate of the corporate political duopoly is s/he would not be as bad as the Republican presidential candidate. Other progressives point out that the Democratic candidate, Barack Obama, is clearly aligned with corporatism and imperialism.

      Mickey Z with yet another critique of the Democrats and the lack of coverage of “third” parties. And when we speak of 3rd parties we are really taking about the “left”. The problem however is that Mickey Z doesn’t provide a critique of the left.

      Again let’s take 2003 when their was the potential of organizing around the anti-war movement. What happened? Was it the Democrats that induced the left to diffuse the movement? Was it the Democrats that twisted the arm of David Cobb and Medea Benjamin to sabotage the party? Was it the Democrats that induced Howard Zinn, Noam Chomsky, and Michael Albert to support the Anybody But Bush mantra?

      The answer to the above is no. What I find tiresome is that it is easy to be against the Democrats but what is HARD is finding something to be FOR regarding the left. In other word no analysis from Mickey Z why the left fails to offer a REAL alternative. What end up happening is that Mickey Z engages in a “blame-the-victim” REACTIONARY accusations.
      And if that’s the case that puts him in the same camp with many on the right who likes to engage in “blame-the-victim” rhetoric.

      To imply that people are not engage and that they are making poor choices belies the action of many people who took a stand and got active against the war in 2003.

      What Mickey Z avoids is any analysis whatsoever why the left diffused that energy and engagement that why the LEFT itself created the void that enabled a Barack Obama to fill.

      Mickey Z has a choice too. I hope one day Mickey Z decides to confront the serious leadership problems that befalls the left rather than merely blame average voters.

    3. bozhidar balkas said on July 28th, 2008 at 10:51am #

      for some time i did know what the Left in US stood for. kim petersen says the Left in US is the democratic party.
      to me, democratic party is a tad left/right of franco-mussolini’s facsism.
      republicans, broadly, r just like democrats in all salient domestic and foregn policies.
      thank u

    4. Sam said on July 28th, 2008 at 12:45pm #

      The average voter IS to blame, in part. Along with the corporate owned media. And easily-hackable electronic voting machines.

      Most people from an early age were/have been programmed with either D or R party-line thinking here in the States, and unless one seeks professional help to deprogramme this mentality most people can’t possibly conceive of voting for or supporting a politician who doesn’t have a D or R behind his/her name. This is true also for the so-called “progressives” who cling to the “lesser of two evils” (as they call him) Obama.

      I have heard this “lesser of two evils” mentality one election cycle after the other—most recently with Bush-Enabler John Kerry in 2004—and look where it has gotten us. In this damnable rut. Yet most people refuse to learn from the past. Because of their D/R programming.

      It doesn’t matter what message forum I go on, the message/behaviour is the same. If I mention Nader or McKinney and that I intend to vote for one or the other, I am attacked by most of the so-called “progressives.” There may be one or two who support me. When I point out Obama’s voting record, many/most of the so-called “progressives” make excuse after excuse and apology after apology for why the Dems have enabled Bush and Cheney since 2000. They make excuse after excuse for why Obama voted yes for FISA, as one example. Or they refuse to talk about it altogether. Denial. And instead, they attack me because I refuse to follow the D party-line rut. But most often, the so-called “progressives” attack me (the messenger) for even raising Obama’s voting record or the too-many-to-list ways that the Dems in congress have enabled Bush and Cheney since 2000. So instead most of the so-called “progressives” want me to live in their Obama Dreamland with their wishful-thinking, false hope and Denial. And I’m not about to do that.

      If most people had the intelligence to vote for Nader or McKinney (as two examples) and if the “election” were legitimate, one of them would win. But unfortunately since neither have a D (or R) behind their name, most people can’t possibly conceive of voting for either. Because most people have been programmed from an early age with two things:

      Party line (D or R ONLY) and
      The belief in a god

      And you try to mess with either of these deeply entrenched programmed mentalities and you’re up against a thick wall that cannot be broken through. It’s impossible to break through.

      The “left” is dead as far as I’m concerned, just like the Dead Democratic Party is dead as far as working for We The People. They are very much alive and active; however, as far as working for the Bush regime.

      Unfortunately, the pro-war status quo will continue since most people will vote for pro-war, anti-US Constitution, corporatist candidates Obama or McCain. And assuming Bush and Cheney leave in January 2009—I’ll believe that when I see it since I don’t think they have any intention of going anywhere…Directive 51—most people will later wonder why little or nothing changes for the positive. Imagine that. Duh.

    5. Mira said on July 28th, 2008 at 1:06pm #

      The US Elections and Change
      Tuesday November 7, 2006 was the midterm election day in the U. S., more than 40% or about 80 million Americans exercised their rights and cast their ballots in that day, which by the standards of this country was an improvement.

      The majority of those who participated in these elections, showed their discontent about the terrible things that happened inside the country and by the aggressive behaviour of their government around the world. They simply wanted a change.

      Republicans always expressed that they are not pro-corporations (but they are), and Democrats always stated that they work for the middle-class (but they do not). Hereby, they acknowledged that the U.S. society is a class society. In this society, which is undoubtedly capitalistic, the majority of people are workers, working people, unemployed, discriminated women, disenchanted youth, impoverished students, sweat-shop immigrant workers, poor and deprived who were poorly represented or not represented at all by their merits. They should organize and struggle for their rights.

      It is evident that without these progressive elements, the change which was viewed by 3 out of 5 voters – and of course it was the will of the majority of those 60% who did not participate in that election – will not take place.

      But what happened on that day was historically important and a step forward. The right wing politicians already have started their counter-attack especially through corporate-media, to neutralize the people’s achievements. To bring change, the American people have to be vigilant and continue their historic march toward progressive targets. This, will be good for them as well as it will be helpful for the well-being of all the peoples around the world.

    6. Sam said on July 28th, 2008 at 1:42pm #

      The article above “The US Elections and Change” states that the 2006 “election” was a “step forward.”

      Hardly. The 2006 “election” continued the status quo.

      NOTHING has changed for the positive by giving the Dems the majority in congress, as some of us knew would be the case. I asked the D party-line so-called “progressives” before the 2006 “election”:

      Do you really expect the Dems to do a 180 overnight and stop enabling Bush/Cheney just because they become the majority?

      The answer was either silence or the so-called “progressives” attacked me for even asking the question.

      I said Pelosi was absolutely serious when she first spoke the words “impeachment is off the table.”

      The so-called “progressives” attacked me for saying that Pelosi was absolutely serious about “impeachment being off the table.” I said the woman had no intention of moving on impeachment. The so-called “progressives” said that Pelosi was just saying that and that she wasn’t serious. She was just saying that to “play the game” to fool the Repugs and they rattled off this long list of things Pelosi was supposedly going to do (in their dreams). None of it has happened.

      Well we see how that turned out, don’t we. The so-called “progressives” who worship and enable these D politicians didn’t know what the hell they were talking about.

      The 2006 “election” which put the Dems in the majority has continued the Bush/Cheney status quo so it was hardly a “step forward” or “historically important.”

      The sad thing about it all was that the ignorant and uninformed voters really expected Dems to bring about change. There’s that D party-line programming again. Apparently these voters hadn’t been paying attention to these Bush-Enabling Dem politicians since 2000, otherwise they would have known that change wasn’t about to happen with them or by putting more of them in congress.

      The voters need an “upgrade” or a “service pack” (using software terminology) to update them on who and what the Dems really are, as opposed to what the voters think the Dems are and want the Dems to be, because the latter is not reality or about to happen.

    7. Rich Griffin said on July 28th, 2008 at 4:02pm #

      I’ve been shocked at the alternative media’s almost total blackout of McKinney, Nader, and other altnerative party choices. The few times I have written articles they have been rejected (because I’m not saying what they want me to say).

      I’ve been talking to my mother about my choice not to vote for Obama, or any democrats (I’ve never voted for a Republican). She doesn’t understand why I dislike, distrust, and can’t ever vote for her candidates. I don’t see my vote for alternative party candidates – despite that they never ever win – as a “wasted” vote. I want more and more people to vote and vote outside the system. I don’t need to “win”. I have a Buddhist practice and I know that it’s more important to work towards real peace and real progress. I hope Obama supporters can stop worrying about “winning” and will vote for alternative candidates who actually have the same vision as we do for the health & well-being of the world.

    8. dan e said on July 28th, 2008 at 5:46pm #

      Thank You’s to Rich Griffin, Sam, Mira, Deadbeat, Rosemary for v. interesting comments.

      And props to Mickey Z & Kim for focussing attn on this key problem. Of course there is much more that needs to be said, but we need to put the “progressive democrat” (oxymoron:) problem smack dab at the top of the agenda.

      Isn’t it amazing how people really seem to be deadset against “The War” as they call it, even against “The Occupation”, how many loudly proclaim “Nine One One” & the whole “war on terror” to be a colossal hoax — yet continue to insist that we all keep playing these “progressive democrat” charades? Even indignantly denounce those who see no point in trying to “pressure” a Pelosi? Who claim to “love” Cynthia McKinney, yet announce they intend to vote for Obama?

      I’m sorry, I don’t have the answer. Guess I should have studied more Psychology or sthg, cause I can’t make heads or tails out of most of the “antiwar” protesters I’ve encountered in the last six years. How they can keep playing footsie with D Party judasgoats, & then want me to think they’re friends of mine.

      As I see it, Dennis Kucinich plays a key role as an Enabler. Did I say Talk Is Cheap? Tom Hayden and Norman Solomon also come to mind as topgrade layers of the Big Smokescreen.

      I could go on & name a few more names, but to do justice to the subject I’d need to take some time, concentrate & think what I’m saying. Alas I can’t give it the attn it needs right now, so I’ll have to content myself with applauding Kim, Mickey & the commentors for focussing attn where it needs to be.

      Yes it’s great to put out Expose’s, report abuses, crimes, expose lies etc, but at some pt you realize that Issue-Based or Constituency-Based Politics is a ratrace. They have it all set up for you, just pick an Outrage and enter at the turnstile, follow the Leaders around the Mulberry Obama, I mean the Cheney-Bush:)
      No the Third Party trip isn’t going to solve all problems in the next 15wks. Electoral Politics itself is likely a secondary front of the Class Struggle in the next cpl decades, but at some pt it will become the key arena & at that time the “subaltern orders” will need skilled/experienced people who know that game.
      Of course that stage, if/when it arrives, may be quickly superseded, transcended by a massive wave of repression. But I think we have to develop the capacity to challenge the Status Quo within the parameters of the Rule of Law, within the US Constitution, the common law tradition of which Habeas Corpus is a keystone, the Univ Decl. of Human Rights, various Treaties & international agreements to which the US is signatory.

      At least we have to keep aiming at sthg like that. It may not ever work but what else is there to do? Maybe the wisest course is to kick back & wait for the rest of the world to get tired enough of being shit on by Uncle Sugar to get together & do sthg about it. Maybe nothing any of us do will really make a difference, but I for one intend to keep bitching about the present setup as long as I can get away with it.

      But the first step is to get away from the g.d. D-party & all their “progressive” shills. And clear your head of all the nonsense they’ve been feeding us since FDR & Woodrow “Wizard” Wilson, actually since Tom “Talk Is Cheap” Jefferson & Andy “Only Good Injun” Jackson.

      Rule of thumb: never socialize with anybody who attends Jefferson/Jackson Day Dinners, any more than you’d hobnob with somebody who went to the AIPAC convention.
      Oh it’s an Elaborate Minuet:) I mean, it’s not surprising that folks who thought Ronald the Walking Detergent Commercial Reagan was the “Great Communicator” would buy Dubya/et al’s snowjob about “Terrorism”, but to watch people who would have you believe they’re opposed to what’s going on, and then urge you to “write your congresscritter” like it was really going to impact sthg.

      Like these election-season homestretch “Impeachment Hearings” (sic). With fifteen weeks to go before Nov 4. Nothing but a D-Party election ploy. (the competition between the D’s & the R’s is real, because the winning team of gunsels & stooges get first dibs on choice crumbs from the table — but to the real topdogs it makes no diff which one wins, the same policies will be implemented. The important thing is to keep the chumps’ minds occupied:)

    9. Andrew said on July 28th, 2008 at 7:12pm #

      I am going to cast my vote for the whigs. What a farce! In the current economic crisis our government has already taken to socialism, so is communism lurking?
      Why does America have to settle for the lesser evil, in a country that celebrates its underdogs, it would seem that a “3rd” party would carry more merit. If only every American citizen would vote with their own brains and not be led to the trough by the American media.
      VOTE FOR PEACE! Not a tepid answer that could turn hot or cold at any second.

    10. Max Shields said on July 29th, 2008 at 6:31am #

      I think Z has hit it out of the park when he says: the Green Party could be bought too.

      It’s not that the Green Party is for sale. The point is that the system is beyond broken or corrupt. It doesn’t work. So-called national politics can never work. Representative government is never representative.

      A Party is not the solution, though I agree that the duopoly controls the narrative with the media. But the duopoly is really not in charge. It is the preditory corporatism which is wrapped up in lobbism (inclusive of the most powerful one: AIPAC). The Pols are pawns bouncing around to the music set by the corporate voice boxes – MSM.

      The dance is obvious, the tune a dronish monotone – flip from channel to channel and it’s the same “analysis” the same words, phrases and sound bites. Only the faces change. It can only be the penultimate of Orwellian.

      Such a deep, pervasive, ubiquitous mind control cannot be overturned by a third party. Third Parties only exist when the corporate elites can find a purpose for them.

      The net has created a space but even it isolates while connecting. Flesh and blood has become digitized. What it is to be human and living has nearly vanished in the shopping spree of American life.

      Taking that back – to be human – is what must happen if this species is to continue. And that will never be done through the political process before us. It can only be done by moving toward a deeper transformation which can only begin where you are.

      “Obama” owns the national stage of Owellian double and nuance.

    11. Michael Kenny said on July 29th, 2008 at 7:42am #

      “Lesser evilism” is what is known in the rest of the world as “democracy” and nothing could better illustrate the cloudcuckooland in which Americans live than this article! Democracies are governed by a permanent consensus of the centre. The precise content of that consensus changes slowly over time but until something enters into the mainstream concensus, it will tend to be dismissed as the ranting of extremists.

      Indeed, the role of extremist gadflys is precisely to propound “oddball” ideas which may well later become part of the consensus. A beautiful American example is Ralph Nader. When he first started talking about unsafe cars, he was dismissed as a crank (if you’ll pardon the pun!). Now, forty years later, his ideas are manistream, maybe even a bit conservative!

      Extremists in power are a disaster. They always make a monmental mess because they are out of touch with most of their fellow citizens. Either their government collpases in chaos or they have to resort to brute force to bully a reluctant population (or the latter brings about the former!). Either way, they discredit their own ideas. The neocons are a perfect example of what I mean.

      The rickety, 18th century American electoral system exaggerates the “me-too-ism” of the parties and limits the range of ideas which are included in the consensus, but it cannot prevent ideas from becoming mainstream as they gain support in the population, or vice versa. PR would thus be an improvement, but it would not change the fundamentally consensual nature of democracy, indeed, it would reinforce it by forcing European-style multi-party coalitions.

      So instead of searching for some sort of dastardly corporate and media plot (Americans are always suckers for a conspiracy theory!), you need to realise that in a democracy, you always have to settle for the lesser evil, quite simply because you will never find anyone who fully agrees with you on everything!

    12. Dan Coyle said on July 29th, 2008 at 8:37am #

      Pick up a goddamn gun already.

    13. Charles said on July 29th, 2008 at 9:23am #

      Good stuff, Mickey. As always. And, best of all, no dopey picture comments as on other sites.

    14. ec said on July 29th, 2008 at 9:51am #

      I saw this recent news story on Yahoo! News ” Is media playing fair in campaign coverage? ”

      http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080720/ap_en_tv/ap_on_tv_obama_s_trip

      and thought “Great, finally a story addressing media bias against alternate political parties in the US”. I was wrong- it was a story about Obama getting more press than McCain.

      So I emailed the author of the story the following email:

      Mr. Bauder,
      One- thank you for including an easily understandable way to email you. Often journalists/reporters do not provide that via the article published. Usually not difficult to track down but sometimes they are.

      Two: My comment is that media is absolutely not “playing fair” in campaign coverage due to the media ignoring any third party candidates as viable candidates from the beginning. In fact I have only seen Bob Barr on Geraldo as the foil for the question “Is Bob Barr going to be a spoiler for McCain?” This media bias, if applied to a Republican, would have Rush Limbaugh’s blood pressure so far up while he was “On Air” that that he would probably have to be hospitalized.

      I realize that you are only part of the journalism / reporting industry (editors, bureau managers, chief editors, etc) but this type of biased reporting helps the stories become a self-fulfulling. I.E. the journalism industry only reports on who they think are “viable” candidates so only the “viable” candidates are reported on. Imagine if a third party candidate suddenly became the target of spin from several important and highly paid television reporters. That candidate would then get more air time and then become more “viable” to the rest of the media on whom to report. The perception now is that the reporting industry only wants a a black or white, Coke or Pepsi type contest (which is why the Obama/Clinton competition freaked the industry out also) which can easily be packaged for the consumer.

      Regards,
      EC

      and Mr. Bauder was nice enough to respond:
      “thanks for writing, E.C. That’s a tough issue.”

      In my opinion, I guess we are still up the creek without a paddle as for real unbiased coverage of ALL political candidates.

      ECLewis – voting alternate (3rd) party since 1988

    15. bozhidar balkas said on July 29th, 2008 at 11:18am #

      to me, essential fact to keep in mind, is that the basic structure of governance in US (and other lands/empires) has not changed an iota.
      in other words, US et al lands have always been governed by the richest people.
      and i do not see how one can change US for better unless the basic structure is changed; and/or the basic structure of governance is controled, at least in principle, by all the voters.
      broadly, we have a ruling/controling (tho stratified) and a nonruling/controling (also stratified) class just ab everywhere.
      no amount of revolution can alter the structure of any governance; only relentless education can awaken people to the fact that most of us r serfs.
      and, i deduce, ruling class in US knows this. that’s why it controls w. iron grip almost all education, sources of info, advertising, infantainment, fbi, cia, etcetc.
      amers need to learn first of all who controls ‘rica. huge task, no doubt.
      it may be very difficult or even nigh imposible to flush out the controllers. but even if u don’t find out who the rulers r, it is still a major step for change.
      true our (un)voluntaryserfdom may be eterne, whatever we do.thank u.

    16. Robert B. Livingston said on July 29th, 2008 at 2:31pm #

      Mickey makes a key point about the established alternatives to the corporate media:

      how they seem ultimately to focus on the establishment without discussing the alternatives.

      Life is too precious to waste pixels discussing the latest product placements– unless, I suppose, you have a stake in the product.

    17. Sam said on July 29th, 2008 at 2:39pm #

      Michael Kenny wrote:

      “…you need to realise that in a democracy, you always have to settle for the lesser evil, quite simply because you will never find anyone who fully agrees with you on everything!”

      Not true, at least for me. Off the top of my head I pretty much agree with Nader and McKinney on all the issues.

      The “lesser of two evils” mentality continues the pro-war, pro-corporate status quo. It’s the “they do it so we have to do it” mentality. In other words: Sheep.

      Wouldn’t one like to become something other than pabulum-swallowing sheep?

    18. Richard Posner said on July 29th, 2008 at 9:35pm #

      Here’s another option to consider.
      http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/help-stop-global-death-and-destruction
      “None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free.”

    19. Deadbeat said on July 29th, 2008 at 9:59pm #

      Sam writes…

      The “lesser of two evils” mentality continues the pro-war, pro-corporate status quo. It’s the “they do it so we have to do it” mentality. In other words: Sheep.

      I disagree with this kind of sanctimonious rhetoric. Apparently supporting McKinney is supporting someone who voted for the war on Afghanistan. Somehow voting against Obama and voting for someone who voted for the War on Afghanistan is not “lesser evil”.

      The problem is not voting for “lesser evil” the problem is failing to analyze what the hell is wrong with the left. The left is using this extremely reactionary “blame the victim” rhetoric and belittlement of ordinary workers and railing against the Democrats thinking that they will inflate their ranks. What it does is conceals and obscures the structural problem of the left.

      Apparently the left prefers obscurity rather than clarity. Essentially what it does is mocks the very people they should be attracting.

    20. Eddie said on July 30th, 2008 at 6:32am #

      One thing I’d add to all the good points above: OpenSociety, Demos, The Nation Institute . . . All the Soros payroll.

    21. JN said on July 31st, 2008 at 10:13pm #

      Michael Kenny has a very poor understanding of democracy. The US is not a democracy in any meaningful sense. It is a capitalist dictatorship with pseud0-democratic formalities. The 2 main parties do not represent the people but the corporate elite.
      To vote for the supposedly “lesser of 2 evils” (in reality usually just the better presented evil) is to perpetuate the current mess: capitalism, imperialism & all the suffering, death & destruction that they necessarily entail.

      Sam is basically right but referring to people as sheep is a really bad habit. It’s arrogant & counterproductive.

      Cynthia McKinney may not be perfect but she is the closest thing to a left-wing candidate that is currently available. She is correct on a lot of issues of huge importance. Even if she was just in favour of ending the genocidal occupation of Iraq & not starting any other criminal & murderous wars, that alone would be reason enough to support her. OK, she voted for the war in Afghanistan but it’s possible she has since changed her mind. If not, then she needs to be convinced or pushed to oppose that war also. She is certainly infinitely better than Obama or McCain.

      VOTE FOR McKINNEY!

      But more importantly, ORGANISE! ACT! ESCALATE!
      Build radical, committed mass-movements to end the wars & the capitalist system that produces them.

    22. Sam said on August 1st, 2008 at 12:49pm #

      JN wrote:

      “Sam is basically right but referring to people as sheep is a really bad habit. It’s arrogant & counterproductive.”

      Well, you can call it “really bad habit” all you want but it’s the TRUTH. To many people, the TRUTH hurts so then they try to dismiss the messenger (me).

      I’ve lived long enough to clearly understand and see that most people are basically sheep. Period.

      And you can call it “arrogant and counterproductive” and someone else can call it “sanctimonious” (while they write some self-righteous sounding comment in response) and all this other nonsense…I don’t care what you call it because it’s the TRUTH and it’s long overdue that somebody said it. Tell it like it is.

      Many people do indeed have trouble hearing the TRUTH, no matter how it is presented.

      And as I’ve said before, the reason most people stay in this so-called “lesser of two evils” rut is because they are programmed to do so by their parents/guardians without much if any critical thinking skills involved. That’s being SHEEP. Period. Just mindlessly following the “herd” because somebody else is doing it. I’ve even referred to a few people as a sheep to their face and they willingly admitted they were sheep and were quite proud of it in fact.

      For years I have heard people say:

      “My family is a good Democratic (or Republican) family. We always vote Dem (or Repug) and will do so until the day we die.”

      Well how damn bright is that? When your dead party works for the Bush regime, or have these people not been paying attention since 2000 to understand that?! Duh.

      That party-line thinking is programmed in most people at a very early age (as well as the concept of a supreme being) and it’s very difficult to deprogramme this stuff, without professional help.

      The consequences = the so-called “lesser of two evils” mentality. And then people (the mindless sheep) wonder why the status quo continues. Duh.