Image Transcription:

A tweet from the George Takei Twitter account which states:

"A Democrat was in the White House when my family was sent to the internment camps in 1941. It was an egregious violation of our human and civil rights.

It would have been understandable if people like me said they’d never vote for a Democrat again, given what had been done to us.

But being a liberal, being a progressive, means being able to look past my own grievances and concerns and think of the greater good. It means working from within the Democratic party to make it better, even when it has betrayed its values.

I went on to campaign for Adlai Stevenson when I became an adult. I marched for civil rights and had the honor of meeting Dr. Martin Luther King. I fought for redress for my community and have spent my life ensuring that America understood that we could not betray our Constitution in such a way ever again.

Bill Clinton broke my heart when he signed DOMA into law. It was a slap in the face to the LGBTQ community. And I knew that we still had much work to do. But I voted for him again in 1996 despite my misgivings, because the alternative was far worse. And my obligation as a citizen was to help choose the best leader for it, not to check out by not voting out of anger or protest.

There is no leader who will make the decision you want her or him to make 100 percent of the time. Your vote is a tool of hope for a better world. Use it wisely, for it is precious. Use it for others, for they are in need of your support, too."

End Transcription.

The last paragraph I find particularly powerful and something more people really should take into account.

  • @kool_newt
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    5 months ago

    It is exactly what it sounds like when people say to vote for the “lesser evil”

    You do realize that if you don’t get the"lesser evil" what you get in fact is “more evil” right? We don’t default to “not evil” by not choosing.

    (edit) People that say this often seem to think the choice is between (A) Choosing one of the evils (B) Revolution that ends capitalism and sets up communism.

    • @knightly@pawb.social
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      85 months ago

      Voting for the lesser evil is still voting for evil. Those who find it morally acceptable to legitimize evil out of fear are called “cowards”.

      • @Pluckerpluck@programming.dev
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        205 months ago

        I guess it’s fine to be responsible for letting the greater evil into power as long as you can tell yourself that you were morally correct at the end of the day. Because that’s what you’re doing. You’re making a selfish moral point, and in turn actively increase the odds of a worse outcome. You feel better about yourself at the expense of everyone (including yourself).

        Because what do you even gain by not voting here? The moral high ground? You just make it look like the greater evil is more desirable. At least spoil your ballot, so that it counts in the percentages…

        • @knightly@pawb.social
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          35 months ago

          “Letting” the greater evil take power is what happens when you choose to acquiesce to the carrot and stick. Regardless of the outcome, your participation legitimizes the false choice, gives the the lesser evil no incentive to reform, and the greater evil all incentive to push further in the future. No matter who wins, “Worse outcomes” are inevitable.

          The one making a “selfish moral point” is you, who argues in defense of evil because you fear the consequences of even the mildest rebellion against the Empire more than the cost of living under it.

          If you want me to vote for Democrats, then you’re talking to the wrong person. Call your reps amd convince them to form a Truth and Reconciliation Commission as a bare-minimum first step towards reform and they’ll have my support.

          • @kool_newt
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            95 months ago

            your participation legitimizes the false choice

            No, it doesn’t, this is a silly nonsensical argument. We are forced into this system and a voter can neither legitimize nor de-legitimize it to anyone except themselves or maybe their simps. Regardless of whether you participate in the voting, your going to get the consequences. A prisoner isn’t effectively fighting the system by refusing to choose their dinner option and ending up with kitchen floor slop.

            • @knightly@pawb.social
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              25 months ago

              Likening the American election system to a prisoner’s choice of dinner is probably a lot more apt than you intended.

              But to follow along with your metaphor, a prisoner does effectively fight the system by refusing to submit to prison slavery. Instead of providing extremely cheap labor and driving down non-slave wages, they become a drain on the finances of the prison system that is still obligated to provide them with kitchen floor slop.

              Participation in prison slavery, on the other hand, renders them complicit in their own imprisonment. Sure, they might be paid pennies on the dollar for their labor, but the vast majority of the value they create goes to offsetting the cost of keeping them locked up and fattening the profit margins of companies that rent convicts, providing financial incentives to further perpetuate the prison slavery system.

              • @kool_newt
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                55 months ago

                a prisoner does effectively fight the system by refusing to submit to prison slavery

                I said nothing of prison labor, that is not the same thing. I agree with you that refusing to submit to prison slavery could effectively fight the system.

          • @Pluckerpluck@programming.dev
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            95 months ago

            I’m fine with people who don’t care about politics. I think they’re missing out on having their say, but I get it. However I will never understand your mindset.

            You claim that participation legitimized the false choice, giving the lesser evil no incentive to reform, yet this is just wrong!

            Voting for nobody means the status quo sticks. Voter participation can drop insanely low, and still nothing will happen. You’re just giving more power to those who do vote. The lesser evil has no need to change their ways, because you are irrelevant to them. You are not part of the equation for them. You are, quite simply, nothing. You may as well not exist. Your voice isn’t being heard, because the only time your voice matters in the US is when you vote. If you don’t vote, you have no voice.

            But if you vote for the lesser evil, you are now a threat to the greater evil. The greater evil must now start leaning towards policies held by the lesser evil party in an attempt to take votes from the lesser evil party. By doing this, the lesser evil party once more must distinguish themselves, and thus they will move further away from evil in an attempt to keep your vote.

            Voting for the lesser evil has a chance of improving the country. Not participating guarantees the opposite.


            And all of this is ignoring the short term effects of how one party is definitely more evil than the other. One of them is actively trying to make the system worse, and less democratic. Ignoring that fact is so strange.

            • @knightly@pawb.social
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              35 months ago

              You claim that participation legitimized the false choice, giving the lesser evil no incentive to reform, yet this is just wrong!

              Please explain.

              Voting for nobody means the status quo sticks. Voter participation can drop insanely low, and still nothing will happen. You’re just giving more power to those who do vote. The lesser evil has no need to change their ways, because you are irrelevant to them.

              Lower voter participation is a threat to “moderate” parties, forcing them to appeal to radicals they’d previously written off as irrelevant if they wish to remain relevant themselves. Rather than preserving it, this disrupts the status quo.

              You are not part of the equation for them. You are, quite simply, nothing. You may as well not exist. Your voice isn’t being heard, because the only time your voice matters in the US is when you vote. If you don’t vote you have no voice.

              This is a wonderful condemnation of our electoral process, detailing exactly why I’m being so openly performative with my refusal to vote for Democrats. A political party that is neither beholden to their constituency nor interested in appealing outside of it is not a viable party and must change to avoid a spiral into obscurity.

              But if you vote for the lesser evil, you are now a threat to the greater evil.

              If only it were that simple. In truth, the existence of opposition emboldens reactionary parties who rely on actual or perceived external threats to supress internal conflict. Dem victories drive Republican voters and vice versa. If the Republicans vanished overnight, factions within the Dems would split tomorrow. The structure of our first-past-the-post electoral system guarantees it mathematically and allows them to be manipulated by Capitalists playing both sides.

              The greater evil must now start leaning towards policies held by the lesser evil party in an attempt to take votes from the lesser evil party.

              This is the opposite of what we see in reality. Spite and fear drives the Republicans to further extremes to appeal to the most vocal and dedicated members of their base, and Democrats follow the Overton Window to the right in search of the new middle. This is called the “Political Ratchet Effect”.

              Voting for the lesser evil has a chance of improving the country. Not participating guarantees the opposite.

              I wish I could have such hope in the power of a single vote, but for that to actually be the case, we would need a Democrat party that’s willing to throw off it’s financiers and lobbyists to work for us instead. Until then, we’ll get (less) bread, (more) circuses, and maybe the occasional token gesture to rile up Reps and demotivate Dems to maintain the appearance of competition between them.

              • @Pluckerpluck@programming.dev
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                5 months ago

                Just for clarity, I’m actually from the UK, but we also have FPTP voting and a number of similar issues. The Democrats would (for many issues) be considered right wing in the UK though… The really difference though is we actually have minor parties that can leech power from the big parties (see Brexit for a side effect of that).

                This is a wonderful condemnation of our electoral process…

                I agree with this actually. The electoral process is horrible and needs reform. We just disagree on how to hopefully eventually achieve said reform

                Lower voter participation is a threat to “moderate” parties, forcing them to appeal to radicals they’d previously written off as irrelevant if they wish to remain relevant themselves.

                and Democrats follow the Overton Window to the right in search of the new middle.

                Gonna combine the rest here, because I think the crux of the issue is this. I believe that not voting leads to the Democrats shifting right, feeling no need to chase the “lost votes” that are too “radical” to ever convince. They’re too focused at trying to take votes from the Republicans to care about those further left.

                Your (simplified) argument, if I’m correct, is that by not voting you present a base of people that are currently untapped, and hope to encourage the democrats to move towards you in order to convince you to vote for them again.

                It’s effectively the same argument I used to claim that voting for the dems would encourage the republicans to shift left, but you’re trying to shift the dems further left instead.

                My concern is I think I agree with you regarding how the dems are chasing the republicans to the right, but trying to think about this now (after a few drinks) I still think not voting is worse than voting. The not voting method seems to rely on things getting worse before they get better. i.e. you shift far enough right that there’s a big chunk of people not voting on the left that you can grab up in one fell swoop with a big policy change

                Hmmm… I’ll have to think on this further, because you do raise interesting points to consider. So for now instead I would like to say thanks for replying in full and in detail. It’s rare to see people engage this way.

                • @knightly@pawb.social
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                  15 months ago

                  That’s the thing, I love arguing politics. It just gets frustrating when people come into it in bad faith rather than openly considering new perspectives and talking through the logic.

                  And anyway, I’m only threatening not to vote. Whether or not I actually do is separate from the effect of my ultimatum to the party.

                  If the Democrats believe that they need to shape up to earn the votes of people like me, then in a year’s time we might be lucky enough to have Democrats worth voting for on the ballot.

                  It’s pretty much the best move I could come up with given that I’m not rich enough to buy influence.

      • @kool_newt
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        125 months ago

        Ok then, thanks for supporting Trump I guess.

        • @knightly@pawb.social
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          35 months ago

          Lol, thanks for continuing to legitimize the Empire I guess. You’re really sticking it to those fascists by adding your voice to the implied consent of the governed. 🙄

          • @kool_newt
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            95 months ago

            You’re really sticking it to those fascists

            This reasoning is part of your mistake about me (and many others I presume). I don’t vote for Democrats to stick it to fascists. I don’t vote thinking that voting is the solution to the society’s fundamental problems. I vote because my other, non-electoral efforts to make the world a better place are significantly more difficult and dangerous with far right wing leaders vs right-ish leaders like Democrats.

            Not voting because voting can’t solve the world’s problems immediately the way you want seems like you’re letting perfect be the enemy of progress.

            You see the right wingers banning books, closing libraries, trying to take basic rights from minorities, those things make it harder for people in those groups to make real progress outside of the electoral system.

            • @knightly@pawb.social
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              15 months ago

              The sooner we can begin the transition away from Empire and towards a more equitable form of government, the more lives can be preserved.

              Electoralism can only delay the inevitable, and that time and energy is better spent on building networks of mutual aid so we can support each other and minimize loss of life during the Second American Revolution.

              • @kool_newt
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                95 months ago

                Ah, an accelerationist I see. For me, I don’t think it’s my place to choose to sacrifice other’s lives to achieve my political goals with expediency.

                • @WldFyre
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                  45 months ago

                  I’m sure the furries will be fine in the event of a revolution!

                • @knightly@pawb.social
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                  5 months ago

                  Call it what you will, the people dying in Gaza right now don’t have the luxury of waiting 'til after the next election.

                  I don’t think its your place to choose to sacrifice other people’s lives to accomplish your political goals at a more leisurely pace either.

                  • @kool_newt
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                    55 months ago

                    And how exactly is forfeiting your vote helping the people in Gaza?

      • @yetAnotherUser@feddit.de
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        55 months ago

        Not voting for the lesser evil is very much akin to supporting the greater evil because the greater evil is receiving a larger share of votes.

        Who would you vote for: Adolf Hitler or some person who stole a child’s lollypop once, who seeks to improve everyone’s lifes? According to you, voting for neither would be the best since you’d be legitimizing evil eithet way.

        • @knightly@pawb.social
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          15 months ago

          Do the Democrats have a candidate whose worst feature is a single incidence of baby-robbing, or are they just going to run war criminals for office again?

          The Democrats have a year to sort themselves out, but so many people in these comments seem to assume that they won’t even try. Its weird that all these supposed Democrat voters have such little faith in the party that they’d rather try and persuade me to vote blue no matter who than call their reps and demand they do better.

          • @yetAnotherUser@feddit.de
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            15 months ago

            Considering Republicans don’t have literally Hitler as the candidate (just Hitler lite™), my comment was meant to be hyperbolic.

            And honestly, does anyone think there’ll be any meaningful change? Are you optimistic they’ll change?

            Besides, I’m not even American, I couldn’t possibly vote Democrat. Though I could vote Republican funnily enough.

            As Americans, due to the influence of your country you have more responsibility than many other people on this planet.

            The climate will not survive another four years of Trump.

            • @knightly@pawb.social
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              15 months ago

              I’m not optimistic, and haven’t been since before I saw the American public buy “they hate us for our freedom”.

      • @Dagwood222
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        55 months ago

        Frederick Douglas was legally barred from voting. He still worked for politicians who wouldn’t promise to end slavery. Was he a dupe? Are you more moral than he was?

        • @knightly@pawb.social
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          35 months ago

          When criticized on that point by abolitionists, Frederick Douglass is quoted, “I would unite with anybody to do right and with nobody to do wrong.”

          I think that rather succinctly describes my criteria for judging the candidates next year.

          • @Kethal@lemmy.world
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            5 months ago

            He was saying he would unite with someone evil if he could accomplish good, and he would not unite with someone good to accomplish evil. That’s exactly the thing everyone else is saying. You have found a quote that perfectly contradicts your argument and supports everyone else, and you don’t even realize it.

            • @Dagwood222
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              35 months ago

              Thanks for replying for me. I’m sure they know it; they’re just the kind of troll who wants to wrap themselves in a cloak of piety.

          • @Dagwood222
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            35 months ago

            So, you’re going to unite with Trump. Kissinger always explained that he’d had to kill all those Asians in order to prevent WW3. Henry would be proud of your logic, Frederick not so much.

      • @kool_newt
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        5 months ago

        Option C – Hold your nose and vote for the least right wing choices available and work your ass off to build community and independence from capitalist systems.

        We should probably join with the UAW and their plans for a general strike in 2028. Prepare to survive without grocery stores or a job for 1 year by working with neighbors. Anyone talking about any sort of revolution without thinking about how 350 million people that are currently 100% dependent on capitalist systems people are going to eat when the supply chains break and stores shutter is being childish.

      • @Kedly
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        15 months ago

        deleted by creator