RE: measuring candidates

From: Eugene Matusov (
Date: Tue Jan 27 2004 - 13:35:36 PST

Dear Steve, Nate, and everybody-

Steve, I like your quote from Eugene Debs. It represents an alternative
approach to my motto of selecting a lesser evil. The problem is that these
approaches have to be contextualized. I think that they are both useful but
in different historical contexts. I do not think that either of them has to
be rigidly committed and followed. For example, now we know that to be
guided by "vote out of your dream" was not a good idea in the 1933 German
election when a broad coalition was needed to defeat Hitler - even a
coalition with right-wing libertarians and Stalinists. In this case, "a
lesser evil" approach was not so bad.

In other cases when stakes are not very high or there is a chance for a
better candidate, it is a good idea to push for "vote out of your dream."

I think that in the coming election, "a lesser evil" approach is better. I
do not what to compare this son of Bush with Hitler but, for me, he is TOO
harmful and destructive to tolerate him other 4 years. Maybe I'm too
intolerant or too sensitive to the damage his administration is making to
people that I care about (and I do not believe in "the worse is the better"
approach). If we dealt with Bush the Dad or Bob Dole, I'd have no problems
supporting "vote our of your dream" approach.

Saying all that, I really appreciate people who stay firm or try to push
Democratic Party to the left. On the long run, it is very important. It is
just I worry that in some conditions we might not have this "long run" any
more (again memory of Germany haunts me). Maybe I'm paranoid (but as Woody
Alan says, "From the fact that you are paranoid, it does not mean that the
world is not going to get you").

What do you think?


> -----Original Message-----
> From: Steve Gabosch []
> Sent: Tuesday, January 27, 2004 2:21 PM
> To:
> Subject: Re: measuring candidates
> Nate's comment:
> >My greater point similar to the socialist saying, vote your dreams not
> >your fears, is if many of us fall into the left / libertarian camp, why
> >we continue to push for and support right authoratarian candidates.
> ... reminds me of something wise Eugene Debs, the early 20th Century
> American socialist, said about voting: "It's better to vote for what you
> want, and not get it, than to vote for what you don't want, and get it."
> - Steve

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