Public Comment

Response to Harry Brill's Election Article

Carol Denney
Friday August 05, 2016 - 10:37:00 AM

As thoughtful as Harry Brill's article is, it makes the same mistake I've seen throughout this election by focusing on the personal voting record or behavioral or personality traits of specific nominees. While not entirely irrelevant, this is not nearly as important as having an informed, focused electorate which not only votes but which sustains its pressure on representatives to fulfill progressive policy. This connected group, whether at a municipal, state, or federal level, is much more powerful than money. A political party may have its imperfections, but it has been, at least up to now, the best way for such people to unite and pressure together for sensible legislative options. Even Bernie Sanders recognized this by joining the Democratic Party, albeit at the eleventh hour of his career. 

But nobody needs to run for mayor or for president to be part of it; that united party can educate itself, the electorate, and even sitting politicians to re-direct legislation in favor of putting people first. What Bernie Sanders, Robert Reich, and most people who remember the Nader debacle of 2000 recognize at this point in the election (Reich was a Sanders supporter up to now) is that people who think of themselves as purists can destroy that party's chances by voting for a third party with no chance of winning, as though what an election is about is preening in a mirror looking for a candidate that looks like, sounds like, or somehow feels like you. 

This is simply immaturity. There is simple math about to happen state by state, electoral vote by electoral vote. Kris Hedges can certainly support building a stronger political movement AND still vote for Hillary Clinton out of at the very least the recognition that to do otherwise is to help Donald Trump become president. Presenting these two things as either/or is misleading. It really is that simple. And most people, especially those of us who remember Ralph Nader handing Florida to Bush, appreciate that national elections are not a personal personality or morals test. You pick the practical option because while it is certainly the fashion to treat politics as a passion play or a soap opera, it is a purely practical matter.