Friday, October 29, 2004

November 2 and beyond

Anyone on the left thinking about voting for Ralph Nader should consider two possible outcomes, says Steve Shalom:

Four more years of Bush with Nader having gotten 1 percent of the vote or a Kerry presidency with Nader having gotten 0.5 percent of the vote. It's hard to see how the former would be better for anyone. For the Left, the former means having to operate in a far more repressive environment; having to organize against Bush policies that this time would have the endorsement of the U.S. population; having to fight to prevent the enactment of rightwing policies instead of working for progressive change. For African Americans, a Bush victory means continued assault on affirmative action. For women, it means reproductive rights will be in great peril. For workers, it means more attacks on unions, on the minimum wage, on overtime. For the elderly, it means privatizing social security. For gays and lesbians, it means the anti-same-sex marriage amendment. And for people around the world, it means fewer checks on U.S. military interventionism. These are some of the losses we would suffer were Bush to be re-elected; they might happen under Kerry too (who will, after all, probably have a Republican Congress), but it is less likely. Avoiding these setbacks does not come close to creating the world we want or need, but they are not nothing. And avoiding them will put us in a better position to fight for what we want and need after November 2.
The rest of Shalom's analysis is good, so read the whole thing.

I haven't weighed in on Ralph since this post from February. And, frankly, I don't have anything to really add to it.

I don't think there are compelling reasons for voting for Nader this time around, even though I am quite sympathetic to his political views. I do not consider myself an "Anyone But Bush" kinda guy, but realize that with the possible outcomes a week from now, a Nader vote is not going to bring about the best ones. Not even close.

I've pretty much resigned myself to voting for Kerry. That doesn't mean that I'm really happy with him, but rather that I think the war criminals currently filling the highest posts in Washington should be thrown to the curb as soon as possible.

Make no mistake, should Kerry win, there will be battles to be fought, not only against a vengeful right, but also against a good portion of those on the liberal left who will be more than willing to carry a Democratic president's water no matter the merits of his policy stances.

Let's not get ahead of ourselves, though. I'd much rather be fighting against Brookings policy wonks, DLCers, and humanitarian hawks than the current holders of power. In order to ensure that, Bush needs to be sent back to Crawford. We'll then go from there.