Why Vote for the Lesser of Evils?

I did volunteer work for San Francisco Suicide Prevention for a number of years. I found that the biggest commonality troubled people have is the inability to put things into proportion. People with severe emotional problems tend to lose their sense of what is important and what is not. To use an admittedly tired cliché, they make a mountain out of a molehill. The essence of sanity it maintaining your sense of proportion.

How does this relate to this week’s election? I see a problem in perceiving an equivalency between the two major candidates. People say “They’re both equally bad.” But are they? Let’s take a look.

I voted for Bernie Sanders in the primary. Why did I not vote for Hillary? Bernie had the ideas I liked. Tuition Free higher education, single payer health care, renewable energy, fix the infrastructure, double the minimum wage, get corporate money out of politics, raise taxes on the highest incomes. Although some of these issues made it into the Democratic Platform, I think that Hillary is much weaker on these issues. She seems very comfortable with the corporatocracy and has ties to Monsanto, Goldman Sachs and other such multinationals. She has been involved with Obama’s foreign policies which have led the U.S. to bomb seven countries and appears to approve these policies.

This is the essence of my case against Hillary Clinton. The rest is, by and large, a product of Republican right wing propaganda, a cottage industry that has for twenty-five years sought to demonize the woman. I don’t feel that I can trust any of their claims. Hillary has been accused of many things over the past 25 years. There has been investigation after investigation, but no triable issues have emerged.

How does Donald Trump weigh in this balance? There is absolutely no equivalency, no comparison. On a scale of one to ten for evil, Hillary is a three and The Donald is a ten.

Where do I even begin? Donald Trump denies that climate change is man-made. Right there he condemns life on Earth to near extinction.

Donald Trump has brought out the worst in many Americans with his attacks on minorities. He has brought out the worst in many men with his denigration and degradation of women. He has set a horrible example for the youth of this nation with regard to the proper way to act with women.

Donald Trump’s ideal leader appears to be Vladimir Putin, a brutal dictator who imprisons political dissidents.

Donald Trump has avoided paying federal taxes for the past 20 years. You and I pay more federal taxes than he does. What kind of patriotism is it to avoid taxes and leave the responsibility of paying for government expenditures to others?

He doesn’t have a clue about how our government works. He either never took a civic class or if he did, he failed it. He asks “Why hasn’t Hillary changed the tax code that has enabled me not to pay taxes?” as though Hillary, as a member of the Senate, or a member of Obama’s cabinet had that power. Tax law originates in the House of Representatives. Donald Trump has never held public office and is completely unqualified for high political office. He would not even be a competent mayor. He is a demagogue pure and simple.

Morally, Donald Trump is a disaster. We hear story after story about how he has failed to pay his contractors. In one case, when a contractor sued he was black listed at Trump’s behest. He has been the object of literally thousands of law suits. We have a tape wherein Donald Trump boasted of “Grabbing them by the pussy.” He is being sued for having sex with a thirteen year old and the trial is set for December. He has been accused of racketeering and the trial is set for later this month.

The most disturbing feature of this election is the complete breakdown of civil discourse. I have never seen such hatred, such meanness, such ill will, such disrespect of others, in any previous election cycle, and I can’t avoid blaming this tone on Donald Trump. He has brought our political process to a new low.

From friends on the left I continually hear the refrain “voting for the lesser of evils is still voting for evil.” True, but human beings are a profoundly flawed species. There has never been an election where we have not been voting for the lesser of evils. This time the greater evil so far outweighs the lesser evil that there is absolutely no question of whom to vote for. Vote you conscience? Vote for Johnson or Stein or write in Bernie? There is no chance of any of them being elected, and a vote for any of them is a vote for Trump. I am voting my conscience, and my conscience would bother me if my vote enabled Donald Trump to be elected.

 

 

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