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[Xmca-l] Why I Won't Vote for Sanders



Although I haven't lived in the USA since 1980, I am still an American
citizen; every year I file my income taxes, and every four years I
dutifully vote in presidential elections. This is because I think of
elections as civil war carried on by other means: it's what happens to
politics in non-revolutionary periods, and I want to be a part of it, just
as I would like to a part of politics during revolutionary developments.

Like many people on this list, I am a socialist, and I don't want to see
socialism disappear as a remote but real choice in political life. So I
usually vote for some extreme left wing party like the Socialist Workers
Party. There are many things I dislike about the SWP, but I like the fact
that they actually run candidates who are not US born, and who would be
constitutionally disqualified from becoming president; they are actually
running not just against the other parties but against the US Constitution.
I also like the fact that they ran a black man against Obama; they
correctly understood that Obama was a conservative politician, that
conservative hatred of Obama was therefore racial and not political they
saw that this was a clear way of trying to introduce politics into the
discussion again.

But why not vote for Bernie, as Andy would if he were an American? Well,
for one thing, I don't agree with his policies. For example, I am not in
favour of "breaking up the banks": I am in favour of nationalizing them
under workers control, and that's something very different--"breaking up
the banks" is actually a step in the opposite direction. I certainly do not
agree that the USA should be at war with "ISIS", in alliance with Israel,
or in support of South Korea, all of which Bernie believes.

But precisely because elections are really civil wars carried on by other
means, I don't think disagreeing with a candidate's politics is enough to
disqualify voting for them. After all, I don't agree with the SWP's
policies of "tax the rich" for the same reason I don't agree with Bernie's
policies on banking and I still, reluctantly, vote for them. If I woke up
in a one party state (say, North Korea, or Texas), I would have to say that
on most social issues (health care, tax breaks, social security) and even
foreign policy issues (Iraq, Libya, Syria) I am a lot closer to Donald
Trump than to Ted Cruz, but I would still refuse to get out of bed and vote
for him.

And that's the real reason I won't vote for Sanders. He's a Democrat. I
know, he says he's "independent", and a "socialist"...and similarly, Donald
Trump says that being a lubricious lump of demagogic white lard is all just
an act, and he intends to behave like starched shirt in a stuffed suit just
as soon as he gets elected, I am confident that President Sanders means to
do exactly the same. But Sanders is running on a ticket, and that ticket is
the party of the Confederacy, of Jim Crow, of the Treaty of Versailles, of
Hiroshima and Nagasaki, of Vietnam and above all of the indiscriminate
slaughter that was the obliteration from the air of every standing building
in Korea and all of the people in it. Until there is a real reckoning for
every single one of those atrocities, I will never ever vote for a Democrat
of any stripe. To do so is to give up our only real chance for change--a
working party for working people.

So I will vote for some far left candidate in November, and I will continue
to do so until they actually win, i.e. forever. What was it Eugene V. Debs
said? Better to vote for what you want and not get it, than to vote for
what you don't want and get it.

David Kellogg
Macquarie University

PS: On the "other" question: that is, the question of manologues; I note
three curious and I think very closely related facts:

a) Bernie is running against a woman--but this is correctly seen as
irrelevant. I think we can thank Republicans like Condi Rice,  Herman Cain,
Ben Carson for the death of all sorts of silly tokenisms. The Republicans
always knew that skin was just skin deep.

b) Prince just died. He is the SECOND dead person this year (after David
Bowie) to build a tremendously successful career by "bisexually" flirting
with gay and straight audiences and then politically betraying gay people
in their struggle. When people do this in racial or gender politics, it is
rightly condemned; somehow it's considered brilliantly shape-shifting and
gender-fluid and cool to do it with sexuality and in pop music.

c) There ARE real discussions of politics AND ideas about mind, culture
and human activity going on right here on the list right now. I think that
carefully purging our psychology of the sexist notions of Freud and the
racist ideas of Kardiner, no matter how they are disguised in the work of
Merleau-Ponty, is a more real, if somewhat nerdier and hence less cool, way
to pursue these discussions than simply purging our ranks of white male
voices. We need to get beneath the skin of these questions and even beneath
the shifting alliances and policies and look at their ideological
essences. By doing that, we will find the issues that Annalisa is raising,
but we will find them as real issues of mind, culture, and activity and not
as mere styles and stances.

dk