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Tue Mar 8, 2016, 12:04 AM

Perspective: Why I Can't Support the Second-Best Candidate

I won't settle for second-best. I won't settle for pragmatic, incremental progress.

According to yet another divisive opinion, this one in the Guardian, and subject of a DU post, my self-righteous insistence is a result of white privilege, because only affluent white progressives can afford the privilege of being so picky.

Affluent? Hardly. I have a government document, Form 1044, that challenges that assertion, if it doesn't outright refute it.

White? Granted. Half of my ancestors were born and bred in eastern Europe. At some point one of them was progressive enough to leave Poland for the New World, come to look for America. I'm quite aware of many advantages their skin-color genes have given me. It's good to be as white as the President, and beneficial to look as white as the ones before him.

Progressive? OK. More of a liberal really, though apparently now it's acceptable to own even democratically-modified small-s socialist.

Privilege? The other half of my family has been in what is now the U.S. for thousands of years, ever since migrating down the glaciers from interior Canada. For most of those millennia things were quite good, privileged with plenty of food and enough wealth to share around.

Then the Russians came with their diseases, and things got worse.

Then the Boston Men came in their gunboats, and things suddenly got much worse. The U.S. Navy destroyed my family's town: bombarded it and then burned what was left, leaving the survivors with no winter stores. Eventually the town was rebuilt.

Then the Yankee missionaries came, and things got still worse again. The church men convinced the people that they were hell-bound sinners. They burned their totem poles, burned their regalia and any other sign of their culture; they suppressed their language and marriage customs; they moved out of their clan houses and into respectable American single-family dwellings (each needing a separate source of heat, the fuel oil conveniently sold by...guess who!). They sent their kids away to boarding schools. The cultural destruction and public burning was continuing in 1992.

Then the businessmen came, and grabbed up all the resources. They continue grabbing today.

Still, over the last hundred years or so, things have gotten gradually, incrementally better, less dramatic than bombing and burning, anyway. Not so much better for the young ones who decide suicide is a good choice. Or drugs. Or alcohol. (Hooch is the one word from their language that has been absorbed into English.) But better, generally -- mostly for those who more fully adopted the American life-style -- so there is an awareness of incremental improvement.

All this history, it is a kind of privilege: fear isn't going to work. Eight years of Big Hands or Booger Eater in the White House is not that scary to the kind of people who preserved an un-exploded Navy bomb in their homes for 140 years, because it was part of their town's history, and sacred in the sense of at.oow, a thing that defines them, paid for by lives. Fear isn't going to work. Another generation of conservative bigotry on the Supreme Court is not that scary to people who have hardly seen anything but bigotry there.

Is perfection the enemy of the good? Yeah, maybe, but the best is by definition better than second-best, isn't it? Self-righteous? Yeah, maybe. Sacrifice? A single vote in one election -- yeah, maybe. Life is full of loyalties, some more dear than others.

There's a long memory active here: our ancestors are never gone, they're always here, now. Our descendants are not away in the future: they're here, now. They're watching.

I can't afford to support second-best. I can't afford to choose the lesser of two evils. I can't afford to settle for "not as bad as the other guy," that idle threat. To be a good ancestor, for the sake of my descendants -- and yours too, by the way -- I can't afford it. I can't afford not to be idle no more.

It's not simply a matter of privilege: it's a matter of perspective.

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Arrow 8 replies Author Time Post
Reply Perspective: Why I Can't Support the Second-Best Candidate (Original post)
Mike__M Mar 2016 OP
CaliforniaPeggy Mar 2016 #1
JonLeibowitz Mar 2016 #2
tk2kewl Mar 2016 #3
AtomicKitten Mar 2016 #4
Mufaddal Mar 2016 #5
Svafa Mar 2016 #6
Uncle Joe Mar 2016 #7
Omaha Steve Mar 2016 #8

Response to Mike__M (Original post)

Tue Mar 8, 2016, 12:19 AM

1. Thank you, Mike...

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Response to Mike__M (Original post)

Tue Mar 8, 2016, 01:25 AM

2. Excellent post, Mike. Thank you. Your perspective is appreciated.

And I do believe I agree.

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Response to Mike__M (Original post)

Tue Mar 8, 2016, 05:57 PM

3. "Best is by definition better than second-best," and when second-best is still bad...

 

Bad is better than worst... is that really how I want to vote?

I have no faith that Hillary will do anything to reverse global neoliberal economic policy. Financial and corporate grip on governments is killing democracy and killing the planet. At some point people have to stand on honor and principle or we're in big trouble.

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Response to Mike__M (Original post)

Tue Mar 8, 2016, 05:58 PM

4. Great OP. Thanks. k/r

 

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Response to Mike__M (Original post)

Tue Mar 8, 2016, 06:08 PM

5. "Privilege" is the luxury of being able to continue voting for the establishment

and candidates who advocate, at best, half-measures.

And as I said in another thread, somebody please go tell Winona LaDuke about how "privileged" she is and let me know how that goes.

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Response to Mike__M (Original post)

Tue Mar 8, 2016, 06:11 PM

6. This is great.

Thank you for sharing.

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Response to Mike__M (Original post)

Tue Mar 8, 2016, 06:14 PM

7. Kicked and recommended.

Thanks for the thread, Mike_M.

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Response to Mike__M (Original post)

Wed Mar 9, 2016, 01:52 PM

8. K&R!



OS

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