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Why “the Lesser of Two Evils” Isn't (Dec. 18, 2011)

By Dennis Loo

Whenever the election cycle starts up, some people tell us that they feel that they have no choice but ”to hold their noses” and vote for the “lesser evil,” by which they usually mean the Democratic candidate (although there’s a right-wing version of this in which they choose the Republican when they’d really rather have the libertarian).

One respondent to a recent Energy Insiders Poll in National Journal about the [Keystone XL] pipeline explained that these groups will reluctantly come back to the President: “Environmentalists will not be happy, but they have nowhere else to go, since they scorn Republicans.”

                                                                        — Jessica Goad and Stephen Lacey

For the last few presidential race cycles we’ve heard people from the left and from the Democratic Party tell us that “this is the most important election in your lifetime.”

It’s funny how for several times in a row it’s been the “most important election in your lifetime.”

And what have we gotten by this process?

People have been holding their noses so long that some of them have suffered some brain damage from lack of oxygen.

In an episode of the TV show “The Simpsons,” Homer finds himself in an alien spaceship orbiting Earth. The aliens have managed to kidnap the Republican and Democratic Party nominees for president and have them imprisoned in capsules on their ship. Hitting buttons randomly on the ship’s control, Homer inadvertently jettisons the two candidates into deep space. Doh! After this, Homer somehow manages to steer the spaceship back to Earth and upon landing in Washington, D.C. finds the two aliens, disguised as the two presidential candidates, giving campaign speeches together on the Capitol steps. Homer unmasks the aliens, revealing them to be two very large, very grotesque, octopus-looking creatures. The crowd gasps. The aliens hesitate for a moment. Then one of them says to the crowd: “It’s a two-party system; you have to vote for one of us!” There is a pause and then somewhere from the crowd says: “He’s right!”[1]

Is he?

                                                                                                            — Dennis Loo[2]

We’ve gotten the most egregious violations of the rule of law under the former Constitutional Law professor, Barack Obama, who has assassinated American citizens with drones without trial and without convictions, just on his say so as president.

This former Constitutional Law professor told Sen. Carl Levin to take out of the NDAA before Congress passed it the language that would have excluded American citizens on U.S. soil from being summarily arrested and indefinitely detained.

Not that I think that the bill is any more acceptable by exempting American citizens, but the point is that Obama is to the right of those who proposed and passed this – and I say this as a strict descriptor – fascist law.

The only thing worse than this law would be mandated executions on the spot of people that the authorities regard as a threat. That is the next step beyond the NDAA. And, in fact, we’ve had incidents in which exactly that has occurred: where an individual has been summarily executed, except that it hasn’t yet been put down on paper as a mandate. It’s de facto and not yet de jure.

So let’s be straight on what the situation is, shall we?

What is this business of elections, since according to the news and the government this is where it’s at, this is where the people get to have their say and decide what’s going to happen.

Let’s put this in context: If you were a member of the 1% and enjoyed your luxuries and lifestyle more than justice and fairness, would you allow one of the two major political parties in this country or any candidate for office to actually pose a threat to your multi-millions and multi-billions?

Would you put the American Empire with its nearly 800 military bases, its military industrial congressional complex, its CIA, DHS, NSA, DIA, NYPD, and all the rest of the damn acronyms up to a popular (grimace) vote?

Would you allow the public to have the power to unseat your de facto rule through the simple process, god forbid, of voting?

Would you? If you did, you probably got your money from an inheritance and can’t think straight.

Wouldn’t you make sure that the people who were the nominees on the ballot were in your pocket before the votes were counted?

And if anyone somehow slipped through the cracks and got elected or who had an epiphany while in office and turned against you, getting it into their head that they were going to tell the people the truth (I know, it’s a wild thought, but imagine it for a moment), wouldn’t you make sure that they were muzzled or disgraced or disappeared in an accident?

The Occupy Movement has shown that the people have somewhere else to go besides trailing after and pleading with Democrats to do something other than enriching the plutocrats and raining death upon people abroad.

The anti-Vietnam War movement had somewhere else to go besides begging the Democrats to please “give peace a chance.”

The civil rights movement and the black power movement of the 1960s had somewhere else to go besides waiting for Democrats to end racist oppression.

The women’s movement had somewhere else to go besides being respectful and asking Democrats to honor the rights and autonomy of women.

The trade union movement and the unemployed and the poor had somewhere else to go besides putting their hopes and dreams and fates in the hands of the Democrats.

Do the people of this country who can think straight and who are not all wooly headed from fear and complacency have somewhere else to go besides voting for Obama again after he has shown repeatedly since winning office that he is like your partner who abuses you because he knows that you will never leave him and have nowhere to go? “Sure, I know you don’t like what I’m doing, but at least I’m not the other guy.”

Do you have somewhere else to go? Do we have something else to do besides being played for fools every four years?

I think we do. And history shows that we do, including very recent history.

As GOP pollster Frank Luntz openly admitted in front of a crowd of Republican governors this month: "I'm so scared of this anti-Wall Street effort. I'm frightened to death. They're having an impact on what the American people think of capitalism.”

Scaring them is good. Scaring them some more is even better.

Notice that Luntz, the GOP pollster, didn’t say he was scared to death that people would vote for Democrats.

When your adversaries tell you that the path you should take if you want to change things is a path that your adversaries advocate and celebrate, you need to take stock and ask yourself: if this is something that my adversaries endorse, doesn’t that mean there’s something innocuous to them about this path? If the people who endorse it are the people who do the very things that I think are awful, then shouldn’t I be doing something other than what they recommend?



[1] "Treehouse of Horror VII" 
Episode #801 4F02, 
Original Airdate: 10/27/96

[2] Dennis Loo and Peter Phillips, Impeach the President: the Case Against Bush and Cheney, New York: Seven Stories Press, 2006, p. xxiii.

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