bouncing ethnicity

NM nillo at
Wed Mar 31 09:42:03 PST 1999

>Doug Henwood wrote:
>> . How I wish it were possible to see how folks would line up were it
>> Bob Dole rather than Bill Clinton giving the orders.

Carrol Cox:
>Doug, I believe you suggested in an LBO a year or two ago that "the
>lesser evil" question was getting a bit more complicated. (I think in
>reference to some quotes from Al Gore on defense.)
>I'm almost tending towards thinking that the GOP is indeed the lesser
>evil. They are so much easier to fight, and are so much less attractive
>to what John Taber recently called, so nicely, "hand wringing complicity."

A number people have suggested this, more seriously than you, and I think it is a shame and a sign of political desparation. A few years ago at a public meeting, some yo-yo from the SWP stood up and said that the Contract On America shouldn't be fought so strongly, because if things get real bad, more people will move to the left. Seems to me that this sort of formulation, in addition to ignoring actual demographic shifts right and left, is based on the frustration the Left has with gaining an audience. It does seem that the left only gets the attention it does in a crisis or tragic situation.

However, I don't think either party in the States rates being a lesser evil. The few formal policy differences between the parties on the level of the national convention have evaporated and even when they were in force, getting somewhat useful policies meant people fighting for them, not politicians nodding and promising them. The issue, I think, is of expectations and conditions. Low expectations and poor conditions don't lead to action and neither does high expectation and good conditions. Get expectations to outstrip conditions and we may have something. Instead of voting Republican to worsen conditions (or vote for Democrats for that matter, and yes, the Democrats *have* worsened conditions and have shrugged off all attempts at reforming it for the past 150 years), what can we do to make people's expectations for a better planet rise?


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