On Not Voting (No, Not Even for Bernie)

Foreign Policy Journal reader emailed me, in response to Paul Craig Robert’s article “Will The November US Presidential Election Bring The End Of The World?“, to tell me that, while he enjoys FPJ content, but that sometimes it is “extremist”. I replied:

What do you mean by “extremist”?

He wrote:

In many of your articles Sanders is attacked. While in my view he has pushed the envelope and the debate in the US as far as that is possible.

The journal has no appreciation for this. Seem as if they want something that is not possible at this time

Secondly do you really think that Trump would be a better president than Hillary despite all her weaknesses? I don’t think so

I replied:

Thanks for your feedback.

Why do you think Bernie Sanders should be above criticism? It seems to me the view that insists he’s beyond reproach is the extreme one. His delusional belief that government bureaucrats know better than the market with its pricing system how to efficiently direct scarce resources toward productive ends, for example, certainly warrants criticism.

As for the limits of debate, I can hardly agree that Bernie has pushed the envelopes. It is a very narrow spectrum indeed in which he had done so. The purpose of FPJ is to broaden the scope of the discussion.

I would never vote for him, either, but Trump has the advantage over Hillary of not being a war criminal in the pocket of the big banks.

In my view, it is an extremist, indeed, who could consider voting to put her behind the desk in the Oval Office.

He wrote:

Let me qualify my comment by letting you know i am not an american I live in another country.

I believe that berni is speaking a langauge that ordinary US citizens understand. by quqlifing his socialism he has made the word acceptable in the US..

the position that some of your writers on the left wants to make him adopt is not realistic in the US context.

It seem to me that taking into consideration the power of the US media Berni has done the best so far in offering an acceptable alternative

In a separate email, he added:

As far as Trump and Hillary is concerned. Let me say that Hillary maybe more a representative of big capital but Trump is big Capital.

Seem to me you don’t mind who wins

To the first email, I replied:

I don’t know what you mean. What position is it some of writers want Bernie to adopt that you think unrealistic?

I might agree that Bernie is the least evil. It doesn’t follow that people should vote for him.

And to the second:

I mind a great deal who wins and can’t imagine what I said you mistook as suggesting otherwise.

Trump may be a member of the one percent, but he’s a Washington outside and has the advantage of not being a war criminal who’s overseen one foreign policy disaster after another.

He wrote:

I still believe that the Democrats is the less of the two evils

My reply:

That’s arguable, depending on the issue. But more importantly, being less evil ought not to be enough to qualify a candidate for support.

His response:

In the US context it is important and yes to me it makes sense to support the less of the evil

I believe that whatever happens at these elections the debate will not go away. I hope the left can be more realistic

My reply:

It makes no sense at all to me to support evil.

I have a different view. I hope the “left vs right” debate does come to an end since this narrow framework is part of the problem.

Him:

That’s interesting. I don’t grasp it what do you mean. If it’s not too much trouble please elaborate

Me:

Most Americans view Republicans and Democrats as though they were literally opposites, as indicated by the very terminology of “left vs right”. I view them as two different heads of the same beast whose differences are marginal.

Participating in their political system by voting only serves to legitimize, in their eyes, their criminal activities. I want to see these crimes ended, not perpetuated.

And that’s where it ended. Here’s the article that sparked the discussion, if you’re curious (the views expressed are Paul Craig Robert’s, naturally, not mine).

The government perpetually lies to the public about important issues. The mainstream media dutifully serve to manufacture consent for criminal policies.

I free people’s minds by exposing state propaganda intended to keep them in servitude to the politically and financially powerful. My writings empower readers with the knowledge to see through the deceptions and fight for a better future, for ourselves, our children, and future generations of humanity.

I’m an independent political analyst, journalist, publisher and editor of Foreign Policy Journal, and author of several books. I’m also a coach who helps writers communicate their ideas more effectively to make a greater positive impact.

Learn more about my 10-Step Formula for Effective Journalism writing coaching program.

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