Sunday, August 31, 2008

For All My Progressive Friends, VOTE! Yes, it really does matter!

I'm just praying that the American Left won't stick to historical precedent and snatch defeat out of the jaws of victory once again.
On the one hand, being permanently marginalized means that you never have to be responsible for making policy; you can never fail because you can never try. On the other hand, being permanently marginalized means you can't make policy; your dreams will never be anything but dreams. I'm afraid nasty old Machiavelli was right. Politics is about the possible, not about ideology. It's about getting real things done for real people. Sadly, Democracy is a very dull homely date. It's not about saddling up your white horse and riding to the rescue. It's about committees hammering out compromises between competing interests, each with legitimate claims. No one is ever completely happy, but everyone can live with the results.

I'm not expecting a Progressive Messiah, nor do I want one. I voted for Ralph Nader in 2000 and I've regretted it ever since. If boring old establishment Al Gore had managed to keep his election victory in 2000, the Iraq Invasion would never have happened and thousands of people who are now dead might still be alive. Who knows? He might even have noticed that August 2001 memo that said "Osama Bin Laden is right behind you!" and 9/11 might have been nipped in the bud.
Sure, I think the Democrats take Progressives (and lots of other people) for granted. Yes, I think both parties are bought and paid for, but they are clearly NOT the same thing.


Lives are at stake. No, I'm not going to be perfectly satisfied by an Obama victory or a Democratic sweep, but this isn't about me. This is about The United States and the people who live in it and make it work.


FranIAm said...

Amen brother! Preach it - live it.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Doug. I'm with you on this one, and I always vote.

johnieb said...

Absolutely, CL. I don't regret my Nader vote, for reasons I mentioned above, but I have always swallowed my disgust for the compromises of the Dems when I thought of the evil Republicans represent.

Even in 1968, when my absentee ballot arrived in Vietnam after the election, I think I woulda sucked it up hard and voted for Humphrey. It woulda been awful to vote for the lapdog of the creator of my tragedy, but it woulda beat Nixon or Wallace.