The real problem with Jill Stein

The real problem with Jill Stein

Jill Stein, the Green Party candidate for President, has come under widespread attack from Hillary Clinton's unscrupulous supporters, but the real problem with Stein is how and why she became the most prominent left-wing candidate in the first place.

As we approach November, the attacks on Jill Stein will only increase from Hillary Clinton’s most enthusiastic supporters. These people are horrified by the possibility–however unlikely–that Donald Trump will become the next President of the United States, but they do not seem to be so horrified at the prospect of Hillary Clinton becoming President. They will largely be aware of Clinton’s support for the war in Iraq, her role as an architect of various brutal interventions as the Secretary of State in the Obama administration, her support for her husband’s policies of expanding mass incarceration, and her support for mass deportations. Yes, they will be aware of all of these. But they can put it all aside.

Donald Trump, on the other hand, is so bad because he rubs it in your face. That is abominable. Supporting Clinton, on the other hand, gives liberals a nice warm feeling. Sure, she has problems, they will say, but don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good. Then, in the next breath, they will declare that Jill Stein is the worst person who has ever walked this planet, because her very existence challenges the narrative of nice, warm-feeling liberalism in support of Hillary Clinton.

This is a problem for those of us on the radical and revolutionary spectrum of US politics, because we have to be clear about the utterly bankrupt attacks from Clinton’s defenders, but we also must have an independent critique of Jill Stein and the Green Party from our own perspective, and not from the neoliberal war hawk perspective.

A number of criticisms have circulated in recent months about Stein’s political platform, as well as the Green Party’s, which are not necessarily the same. Sure, we can point out some of her positions that we disagree with, and for some people there will be a litmus test that Stein cannot pass. There is nothing wrong with this. If sex work is the most important issue to you, and you are dissatisfied with her attitude on sex work, then you should not support her, and you should focus on sex work organizing. The radical community, and hopefully sex workers, will be better off for you having done that. Practical organizing over real issues that affect people’s lives will always be more worthwhile than electoral organizing.

The real problem, however, is not with any particular political position that Stein holds. Any person in her position will have some views which are just not good enough in some cases and that some radicals, rightly, cannot go along with. But the real problem is not in her political views, but in how she has become elevated by various forces on the Left to become the semi-official electoral representative of anti-capitalist struggle.

The real problem with Jill Stein is not so much with Stein as it is with the Left itself.

Why Jill Stein?

We need to ask this question, over and over again, because so many of our radically-inclined comrades are so unwilling to do so. Why Jill Stein? There are many people with politics as radical or even more so than hers who could be in the position she is in now. But they are not. Why is this the case? There is a simple answer to this question: the Green Party.

Stein has become the de facto leader of many on the Left because she won the Green Party nomination for President in 2012. This gave her the profile she has had for the last few months, has given her access to the media and has made her the presumptive and then the actual nominee for the Green Party in 2016. In other words, many people have decided that the Green Party is going to be the official channel by which these decisions will be made. This, and the fact that she has not completely discredited herself the way that some Greens have, is enough for some Leftists so that now “Jill Stein” is the answer to every political question.

Let that sink in for a moment. The Green Party in the US has a history of running candidates who use the party and then dump it for a career in Democratic Party politics. It is worth reviewing the role that the Green Party has played in helping the Democratic Party.

Audie Bock was an active Green Party member for several years when she ran for California State Assembly in 1999 as a Green, won, and then soon after left the Green Party. By 2002, she was officially a Democrat and ran against Congressmember Barbara Lee, stating that Lee’s opposition to the Afghanistan war was unpatriotic.

Rebecca Kaplan was also a mainstay of the Oakland Green Party for many years, running for City Council several times before winning in 2008. In order to earn the support of the Alameda County Central Labor Council, she changed her party registration to Democrat. She won the election and has been on the Council as a Democrat ever since. Kaplan remains a favorite of white progressives but does as little as anybody else on the Council to stop the police from killing Black men.

Ross Mirkarimi was a leading activist in the Green Party in San Francisco for several years and played a prominent role as an organizer for Ralph Nader’s campaign and the Green campaign for Matt Gonzalez for Mayor of San Francisco, which was a genuine threat to the candidacy of Gavin Newsom. Mirkarimi later won election to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, changed his registration to Democrat, and then won election as Sheriff of San Francisco County, in charge of the jail system where guards forced gladiator battles between the inmates. Mirkarimi lost re-election in part due to charges that he battered his wife.

Jane Kim is currently a Democrat on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors but she ran previously as a Green before switching her allegiance. Nonetheless, she is considered one of the most progressive members of the Board even though she supported a billion dollar “reform” of the City and County workers’ pension. She is currently running for a position in the California State Senate, for which she has earned the endorsement of Bernie Sanders.

Kaplan, Mirkarimi and Kim are all major political figures in Oakland and San Francisco. They all used the Green Party as a stepping stone into the Democratic Party, building left-progressive credentials and developing a base of support, then abandoning the Green Party when it suited their career. Of course, the Green Party cannot control every individual that enters its ranks, but it has shown no interest in doing anything about this problem. It appears to be perfectly happy to be a stepping stone for other people’s political aspirations. So long as there are people coming into the Green Party and campaigns that get some support and so long as there is an active base, everybody can feel like the Green Party is doing something positive and that is about all they want.

When people say that the Green Party can be an alternative to the Democratic Party, I wonder which Green Party they are talking about. This is the party that in 2004 ran David Cobb against Ralph Nader (who ran as an independent) because Nader was too opposed to the Democratic Party. Instead, Cobb ran a “safe state” campaign to assure that he would not hurt John Kerry’s chances against George W. Bush in states where the race was close. Fortunately for Cobb, his campaign was so irrelevant that it hardly mattered.

This is the party which has given Jill Stein the stamp of approval to be the official candidate of the Left. Had she not won the nomination in 2012, nobody would be talking about her today as an independent or anything else. There is something fundamentally wrong with a process where this party is left to decide who will be the Left’s official voice for a year or more.

Keynesian economics vs class struggle politics

This process leads us to two further problems with Jill Stein of which there is little recognition from her supporters. First, what does Stein have to offer? She regularly critiques inequality and racism and war, and that is useful. But what does she offer herself? The problem is, her answer to most questions is: “This is what I would do as President.” Burdened by student debt? I will cancel it! The President can appoint a Federal Reserve chair who will do that. Can’t afford healthcare? I will pass single-payer healthcare! Don’t have a job? We are calling for 20 million jobs!

That a person in Stein’s position can say that she will do these things is utterly ridiculous. Try telling poor people that Jill Stein is going to create 20 million jobs and give them free healthcare. While you are at it, you might as well promise them a monorail. They will laugh in your face like the charlatan that you are. She will do no such thing. Ever. She should not promise to do such things. The only way out of the immiseration of class inequality, racist violence and gendered oppression is mass organizing, resistance and revolt among working people. Which I am sure that Stein supports, but her propaganda is entirely focused on the various Keynesian measures that she will supposedly pass as President.

Stein may want to hold up the legacy of Eugene Debs, but she seems hardly interested in doing so in a meaningful way. Instead of telling working people what he would do as President, Debs was committed, over and over again, to telling people what they must do to challenge the capitalist system. “I would not be a Moses to lead you into the Promised Land,” Debs famously said, “because if I could lead you into it, someone else could lead you out of it.” His message to working people was, you have to go out and fight for the world that you want to live in and create it yourself, and it will take great sacrifice and struggle, sacrifice which Debs was more willing than most to make himself, spending many years in prison for his political organizing.

It would be great if Stein or anybody else wanted to run a campaign like Debs, a propaganda campaign whose sole purpose was to encourage people to revolt. Sadly, nobody wants to. The problem is not just that there is no great labor leader today like Debs, who led a an illegal railroad strike that was crushed by the military and later helped form the IWW. No, there are no labor leaders like that today, but that should not stop anybody from running a campaign with his message, right?

The problem is, everybody loves Eugene Debs but nobody wants to be Eugene Debs. They are embarrassed to say that working people have to revolt, that they should not trust leaders including themselves, that the poorest and most oppressed of our society have the most power to transform it, much more so than self-promoting candidates, bureaucrats and academics. No, you don’t say these things among polite company.

While there is a lower class, I am in it; and while there is a criminal element, I am of it; and while there is a soul in prison, I am not free.

No, the Left today feels much more comfortable explaining how a modest tax increase on the richest one percent could pay for single-payer healthcare and a Green Jobs program, and if we could just convince enough college students and adjunct lecturers to organize for this then maybe some broad left-wing formation could develop that might be powerful enough to fight for it.

But that gets us to the other problem with Jill Stein.

Mental waterboarding

During the Greek negotiations with the European Union in the summer of 2015, all of the promises of SYRIZA were suddenly put to the test. The gruelling negotiations were often described as a coup, as the EU would impose its own sovereignty over the Greek people to bleed them even more than they already had. That there was no plan for this, the most likely outcome, says quite a bit, but that is another story.

What concerns us is that, during the negotiations stories came out that Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras was under so much pressure from the EU that it amounted to “mental waterboarding.” Considering the fate of Salvador Allende in Chile in the 1970s, Tsipras might consider himself lucky. Nonetheless, we now know that he was not willing to stand up to this pressure and folded.

In the post-SYRIZA era, we now have to ask of every person who wants to pose themselves as a social movement leader, what will you do in the face of “mental waterboarding?” This is a gruesome question to ask, but it has to be asked, not because this is how things turned out in Greece, rather because this is how everything always turns out everywhere. Neoliberalism will not face a serious challenge without responding with at least this much pressure. In the Green Party, we do not even get to mental waterboarding, instead everybody voluntarily abandons the facade of political independence as soon as they get anywhere near a position of power.

It would be nice if, as a gesture, these topics were taken up with some vigour among the Green Party and its supporters, but they are not. They do not even want to bother with the basic steps of trying to assure that various candidates are not going to just use the Party as a stepping stone for their career.

So, is Jill Stein ready for “mental waterboarding?” Has anybody even bothered to ask this question? If not, what do they expect to happen when she takes office, cuts the Department of Defense in half and ends funding to Israel? “We do not expect her to really do any of these things,” they will answer, and that is a good answer. We should follow that answer to its logical conclusion. But the point here is, when similar political forces approach some position of power, whether it is SYRIZA or the local Green Party candidate for City Council, these questions are rarely asked. When they are, a cadre of fools emerges from the woodworks to question why you would ever raise these things, as though their ability to end this conversation is going to help anybody challenge neoliberalism.

The reason why these questions are not addressed is because in many ways the Green Party, the Jill Stein campaign, and much of the Left exist largely for the benefit of their own participants. The problem is not with Stein herself, rather the problem is with the entire conception of what the Left is and should be and how it ought to make decisions about moving forward. So long as Jill Stein is fairly prominent and speaks from a fairly left-wing basis, that is enough for her supporters to go home at night and say, “I have done well,” and not worry about other problems, such as what if she is successful.

These difficult questions, the most practical questions there are about building a social movement, are left unaddressed because they pose difficult problems for which there is not really an answer–nor could there be until we actually try it out in practice. These difficult questions only remind the Left of its limitations, but many people prefer to read a book about Debs and put a Jill Stein bumper sticker on their car, maybe even argue with their neighbors about how so many problems could be resolved with a better fiscal policy that is totally reasonable. Unfortunately, such a fiscal policy will never happen and the task of expropriating the wealthy will be left to those who are the least likely to vote in this or any election.

It is not the case that everybody involved in political organizing in the US is simply looking for a warm fuzzy feeling when they go home at night. Rather, there are hundreds and thousands in cities like Ferguson and Baltimore and Anaheim and Salinas and Milwaukee and Oakland who have risen up against police violence. They are not looking for a good feeling, rather they are looking to protect their lives from state forces that want to kill them. They are not revolting out of inspiration over a Keynesian economic program or a promise to cancel their student loans, rather they are risking their lives and their livelihoods to construct a different world because they cannot survive in the one that they have been born into. They have nothing to lose but their chains.

Many of these people are now sitting in prison for years, charged with looting and arson and battery on an officer. They, too, do not want to be Eugene Debs, they simply did what they had to do to survive in a society that wants to destroy them. You do not have to ask whether these people are prepared for “mental waterboarding” as many of them are now suffering the same or worse.

Imagine Stein or her supporters talking to the young man whose brother was killed by the Milwaukee police, who says of the riots that “this is what you get” when the cops keep killing Black people. Or the people chanting “Black power” while a gas station burns down. Or the many people throwing bottles at police who are occupying their neighborhood. Yes, it is perfectly reasonable that a small tax increase will grant universal healthcare and could launch a jobs program, but maybe these perfectly reasonable solutions mean little to the people most consistently passed over by government programs. On the other hand, Stein’s comments about how to “avoid escalations like Milwaukee” suggest how out of touch she is for those whom escalation is a strategy for survival.

These young people, with their record of sacrifice and courage, ought to be the leaders. They are the basis for future challenges against the current neoliberal order, not the Green Party, no matter how anti-capitalist its official program may become.

Comments

lproyect
Aug 16 2016 16:11

This is an interesting article with many good points but the idea of running a Debs type campaign in 2016 is ahistorical. What gave his campaigns momentum was a mass socialist and anarcho-syndicalist movement that worked closely together and had overlapping memberships. Also, in terms of her "Keynesian" program, the Greens are evolving. This year an anti-capitalist motion was adopted by the party, something that reflects the growth of the left in the party that is hostile to Demogreen politics. Finally, on "Stein or her supporters talking to the young man whose brother was killed by the Milwaukee police", I don't think Blacks need someone talking to them. They need a powerful movement of their own. As Malcolm X once put it to a white who asked what he could do to help Blacks, he answered that they should organize white people and not come into the Black community in missionary style. If the Greens had a party of 10,000 members who could be relied upon to raise hell every time there was a cop killing, we'd be in much better shape. I am for the growth of the Green Party for this reason.

Steven.
Aug 16 2016 17:47

Great article

Scott Jay
Aug 16 2016 18:04

"If the Greens had a party of 10,000 members who could be relied upon to raise hell every time there was a cop killing, we'd be in much better shape. I am for the growth of the Green Party for this reason."

Speaking of ahistorical, this vision for the Green Party has absolutely no basis in reality. But it feels nice to pretend like this is the direction they are going.

lproyect
Aug 16 2016 21:46

Well, look, I was in Madison Square Garden in 2000 when Nader addressed a wildly cheering sold out audience of 18,000 people. If the Green leadership had not caved in to the John Kerry campaign in 2004, it might have reached 10,000 members by now. My old friend Peter Camejo was desperately trying to shepherd it in that direction but lymphoma cut him down.

Khawaga
Aug 16 2016 21:57

You're proving the point the article is making with that anecdote.

craig002
Aug 17 2016 01:59

Enjoyed the article. One thing, among many I might add, particularly caught my attention; "The problem is not with Stein herself, rather the problem is with the entire conception of what the Left is and should be and how it ought to make decisions about moving forward."

Would you perhaps agree that the old paradigm of left vs. right needs to change? There has been talk over the years that a new political paradigm has come into existence, and that it more resembles the four directions of a compass. And that at each of the four points are groups of voters put together by shared values but with different numbers in terms of actual votes.

Picture if you will a compass laying flat with the four points laid out as would expect. In the very center is a circle that represents at least 20% of the people who don't vote, never will and there's no point in trying to reach them. Now in the East, we have a group of voters who share common values such as leaving the U.N., jingoistic, extreme hate of foreigners, strong faith in Christianity, very much conservative, capitalist tendencies. Their vote count is around 10-15% of the people that actually vote. The South contains the international business sector that has a sprinkling of conservatism, free trade, some multilateral-ism, like trade agreements and limited U.N. involvement, belief in U.S. world leadership and military intervention when needed. Their vote count is around 10-15%. The West has the sector that demands total multilateral-ism, total commitment to U.N. policy making over U.S. unilateralism, drastic cuts to defense and massive increases in domestic spending, end to the War on Drugs, total non-intervention unless for peaceful purposes and an end to all religious affiliation with politics. No fossil fuels to be tolerated of any kind, ever. In fact, they're also pretty much atheist and/or agnostic. Their vote count is 10-15%.

The North has folks who share commonality in the sense they want government to perform certain functions by making sure their taxes are spent appropriately like paving roads and the mail arrives on time, some U.S. international leadership is warranted but endless wars perhaps not, international trade must exist but not at the expense of racing to the bottom, fair treatment and respect of all races and religious creeds, creating more opportunities that lead to a lessening of the wealth gap, more choices in politics, greater transparency in government and by authority figures, they're pro-choice, don't care about guns and believe in a path to citizenship for illegals as long they pay taxes. The North believes it is long past due the U.S. had a comprehensive manufacturing and realistic energy plan that makes it more self-sufficient and creating more viability for the long-term, for example, solar and wind power alone aren't going to cut it for the short term but natural gas may be the bridge fuel for the next twenty years so we just need to clean up the extraction process. They believe in the EPA and leaving the environment better off than they inherited it but are practical about how to achieve the end game. This group comprises nearly 40% of the total electorate that bothers to vote.

As elections go now, the Left (democrats) merely borrow enough policies and messaging that appeal to the North, the West and some from the South to get elected but rarely follow through on definitive actions, as in no long-term planning for manufacturing and infrastructure improvement, no end to mass incarceration, and no end in war making. The Right (republicans) do the same thing by saying just enough to pull votes out of the North, East and South to get elected by promising more law and order, greater U.S. international leadership, creating fear of outsider influences, less taxation and government intrusiveness. Of course as we know, even if they achieve some goals such as militarism and intervention and taxation doesn't increase; racism still perseveres and government just got bigger. Meanwhile, the North goes on feeling frustrated and resentful at the continued gridlock, slow growth and increasing tension among us all.

Yet it is the North that is under-represented by either of the mainstream parties even though they count for double in terms of votes. This is where I believe the Green Party can migrate to and be more effective in the coming years. I feel what you say about the necessary social movements that need to arise but I also share your feelings that the likelihood of it happening except in disparate cases is the apparent outcome. I think the Green Party can attract good quality candidates and keep them in the Party by adhering to values held by a greater percentage of voters, like those in the North, than by continuing to just stay in the fringe, adhering to an old political paradigm, like left vs. right.

scottmclarty
Aug 17 2016 02:49

Three observations...

(1) Debs ran at a time when there was a thriving alternative-party political culture. Scores of Socialists held municipal office in (now red-state) Indiana. Five parties were seated in Congress in 1916.

Since then, we've had enactment of restrictive ballot-access laws designed by D & R lawmakers to rig elections in their own favor, Cold War hostility towards leftist parties, and the Democratic myth that Nader was the deciding factor in the 2000 election, all of which have pushed alternative parties to the extreme margins.

That's the reality that the Green Party is dealing with as it tries to revive an alternative-party culture at a time when the two major parties have proved themselves unfit for handling the biggest crises of the 21st century.

(2) One of the Green Party's main reasons for running presidential candidates is the assistance they provide for state Green Parties' ballot-access efforts, necessary for state & local campaigns. A few states even require a presidential nominee for a party to qualify.

When Greens nominated David Cobb in 2004 instead of endorsing Ralph Nader, they did so because supporting independent Nader would have done little for state parties and local & state candidates. As it turned out, Cobb didn't actually run a safe-state campaign -- and Nader at times urged safe-state voting while on the campaign trail.

Cobb ultimately acquitted himself very well in 2004. After John Kerry and his fellow Dems quickly conceded the day after Election Day, Cobb and Libertarian nominee Michael Badnarik responded to complaints of voter obstruction & election irregularities in swing-state Ohio, launched an investigation, and demanded a recount. They got almost no help from Dems, with a few exceptions like Rep. John Conyers, who held hearings a couple of months later. They uncovered lots of evidence that black, student, and other voters were hindered from voting in Ohio and that Diebold voting machines had been tampered with -- repeating the Florida scandal in 2000. Their efforts resulted in the conviction of a few GOP operatives.

(3) The author of the article sneers at the idea that Jill Stein, if elected, could deliver Single-Payer health care, 20 million jobs, etc. By dismissing the Green Party's program as a pipedream, he misses the point.

If Jill defied the extreme odds and won the 2016 election, her victory wouldn't occur in a vacuum. Those who voted Jill into the White House would also have elected lots of Greens, progressive Democrats, Socialists, and other candidates outside of the mainstream to seats in Congress and state legislatures. In other words, the entire political landscape would have shifted, bringing something like the Green New Deal within the realm of possibility.

That's what the Green Party is aiming for in the coming years. By organizing the party and running campaigns for president and other levels of public office in 2016, Greens are setting the stage for the shift and showing what a Green administration would look like.

(Disclaimer: I do media work for the Green Party.)

fordiman
Aug 17 2016 03:27
Quote:
Then, in the next breath, they will declare that Jill Stein is the worst person who has ever walked this planet, because her very existence challenges the narrative of nice, warm-feeling liberalism in support of Hillary Clinton.

Or, you know, because I disagree with her ideas - and specifically, their incoherency. She's supposedly environmenally concerned, yet wants to ban nuclear energy. She's supposedly a doctor, yet has dogwhistled to antivaxxers repeatedly. She's voiced nonsense about GMOs. She's actually claimed that "wifi" is an experiment on kids.

I don't want unskeptical left any more than I want unscrupulous right. I'll take someone who want things to improve, and is willing to follow the evidence there, rather than someone who toadies to their crunchy, crunchy base.

Hieronymous
Aug 17 2016 19:36
Scott Jay wrote:
The real problem with Jill Stein is not so much with Stein as it is with the Left itself.
Why Jill Stein?
We need to ask this question, over and over again, because so many of our radically-inclined comrades are so unwilling to do so. Why Jill Stein? There are many people with politics as radical or even more so than hers who could be in the position she is in now. But they are not. Why is this the case? There is a simple answer to this question: the Green Party.

I think this post is a very good prompt for a debate about the relevance of the multi-billion dollar electoral-industrial-media-complex. And I must begin by saying I appreciate the many good points Scott Jay makes. Such as Stein's statements about deescalating the rebellion against pigs killing another black young man in Milwaukee -- and her meaningless statements about other ongoing actions/protests of Black Lives Matters. Important stuff, since no political operator is willing to honestly discuss how ruthlessly the pigs have been killing black, brown, working class and homeless people.

So why the Green Party? Especially in a rigged winner-take-all system, and that at the level of the presidential election has an anti-popular vote institution like the Electoral College. Gore Vidal nailed it on the head: In the U.S. there is one party with two right wings. My addendum is this: one is pro-business; the other is anti-labor.

But since Scott Jay brought up the San Francisco Bay Area politicians who were first Greens, then went Democrat a little historical context is in order. This is the piece's weakness: it's a little ahistorical by not situating the electoral racket in the Bay Area with it's relationship with the local political establishment. And to paraphrase Engels, the state is nothing other than the executive committee of the ruling class.

Another factor is how, over time, AFL-CIO central labor councils have become the local political machines' electoral apparatus. As in, a lion's share of the funding for campaigns, and foot soldiers for get out the vote drives, door knocking, and spectacular media efforts.

Since the three core Bay Area cities of San Francisco, Oakland and Berkeley haven't had even the semblance of Republican challengers for the office of mayor since 1964, 1977, and 1971 respectively, they're true to Vidal's one-party states (although they are "mayor-council," "strong mayor," and "council-manager" systems of municipal governance respectively). So the whole political establishment is within the Democratic Party. Since no challengers exist to the right, leftists must adopt one of the micro-parties to be in any way autonomous. So with the Black Panthers city electoral runs in the 1970s, they helped form the still-existent Peace and Freedom Party. In Berkeley, progressive liberals formed Berkeley Citizens Action (BCA) in 1974. And in San Francisco, it's been independents like the Greens. But like anywhere, the real power brokers are the machines behind the scenes.

In San Francisco, where I live, the main political power is the Burton-Brown Machine within the state-level Democratic Party.* Liberals like Jane Kim, former supervisor and sheriff Ross Mirkarimi , David Campos, John Avalos, Eric Mar, and Aaron Peskin are to the left of the machine, but to gain any traction they have to toe the line and join the Democrats. But in their rise, as grass roots community activists, independent groups and parties can sometime be a benefit to their credibility. Many had started as members of the school board, a traditional stepping stone for political position. And since they're all, with a few exceptions, political hustlers whose goals are higher office, their ambitions would be thwarted without Democratic Party money and labor union feet on the ground during campaigns.

Mirkarimi didn't get run out of office for battering his wife (just check out how Fire Chief Hayes-White got away with beating the shit out of her husband ten years ago), as she adamantly refused to testify against him, but because he is a reformist liberal who was using state money to create jail programs to rehabilitate inmates through social programs, like education, behind bars. The Brown-Burton Machine has really morphed into Willie Brown's personal patronage racket where he makes deals for real estate interests and tech companies looking for handouts (mostly things like tax abatements) to locate in San Francisco (he's in cahoots with Rose Pak, power broker with the Chinatown Chamber of Commerce; hence their compromise candidate for mayor was Ed Lee). They want law and order candidates, so ruling class "investor angel" pals of Brown, like Ron Conway, funded the campaign to vote Mirkarimi out of office, as well as a power play to shift their stooge George Gascón from chief of police to District Attorney.

All that is to confirm that Scott Jay is right, opportunists use the Greens to get traction, and then ditch it as soon as they do and need to turn to realpolitik for their careerist advancement. Just look at Bernie Sanders' trajectory from Liberty Union as mayor of Burlington to Democratic Party as his ambition took him to hustle his racket at higher and higher levels. The mayor and former mayor of Berkeley, married couple Tom Bates and Loni Hancock (a local yokel version version of Bill and Hillary), took the same route out of BCA into the Democrats and positions in the state legislature before getting termed out. (see the brilliant essay, "Berkeley: From the April Coalition to the Clean Underwear Gang," by former BCA mayor Gus Newport, in Fire in the Hearth: The Radical Politics of Place in America, edited by Mike Davis)

But all this begs a last question: Why electoral politics?

I don't want to end this with a bumper sticker, but I wholeheartedly agree with this:

Alan Dawley wrote:
The ballot box is the coffin of class consciousness

That quote is from his brilliant book Class and Community: The Industrial Revolution in Lynn [Massachusetts] and I threw it in there because this has been true since 1856, when tax-paying and property-owning requirements were eliminated for white males in the U.S., giving the illusion that as whites -- and to the exclusion of blacks -- they were "incorporated" into the decision-making of their government. The 15th Amendment to the Constitution banned race restrictions on voting, women were given the franchise in 1920, and all rights against discrimination were finally secured with the Civil Rights-era Voting Rights Act of 1965. Since, to my mind at least, electoral politics are the anti-thesis of class struggle, why even bother -- except to critique?

Debs was also the anti-thesis of Jill Stein. He was a true working class radical with a revolutionary vision beyond capital, with the chops to put his ass on the line to fight for it (in a period of heightened class struggle worldwide). She's a opportunistic political hack whose delusional shtick is peddling an impossible slightly social democratic scheme for warmed over capitalism. This crap needs to go into the scrapheap of history where it belongs. We need class based actions, uniting struggles against pigs killing black young men, together with collective agitation on the shopfloor, against landlords, and attacking ruling class interests in all their forms. Elections require faith and magical thinking and this takes us further and further from changing the world -- it actually reinforces the existing system of exploitation and oppression.

*In the East Bay politics are controlled by the Dellums-Lee Machine within the Democratic Party, with the heir apparent being Keith Carson on the Alameda County Board of Supervisors. This leftist racket has its roots in the movements of the 1960s and support for the Black Panthers.

Eric Brooks
Aug 17 2016 04:27

The Green Party's Purpose

Sorry to be blunt this editorial takes itself and its thesis far too seriously, and is frankly pretty absurd in its hyperbolic assumptions and conclusions. It falls into the all too typical trap of assuming that electoral politics is some be-all and end-all of radical left action. Since when did -that- become the case?

Electoral politics (especially in the U.S. where we do not have proportional representation) is only one of -many- tools in the toolkit of radical left organizing, and is usually not even remotely near the top ranking of the best of those tools.

I myself am a structural anarchist who seeks a non-capitalist society that is run by federated community and worker coops, and affinity groups, which are organized by consensus. I seek truly radical change.

However, like the anarchists of the 80s in South Korea I also recognize that one of the tools I must use in my toolkit for achieving change is electoral politics. Because I recognize this, I chose the party that is closest in affinity to my ideologies (the Green Party) and I work extensively in the Green Party to help it achieve and maintain ballot status, to generally push electoral politics and governance as far to the left as possible through the very limited efficacy of electoral pressure, and finally to get candidates into office (Greens, Socialists and even Progressive Dems) who support progress, such as establishing public banks, free higher education and universal health care.

Such candidates are not going to bring the revolution, but they -can- help form the foundation of a 'dual power' system upon which true anarchism can eventually be built, and they can help make our society at least marginally livable enough for lots of people like myself to have enough personal and economic freedom to take time and space to learn how to become, and then foster, agents and mechanisms of more radical change down the road. (See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dual_power )

Within all of this, the Green Party is just a vehicle for change, and should not be measured against more radical structures and action but simply against the other parties in the -electoral- system. Of all of the parties, the Green Party is the most leftward party which has managed to build sufficient influence and ballot access to be viable enough to accomplish gains *in* the limited arena of electoral politics (especially on the local and state level). Other than also serving as a pretty standard progressive left grassroots organization that pushes in general for changes in laws and structures, peace instead of war, etc - this is -all- that the Green Party is, or should be counted on to be. It certainly should not be counted on to actually embody, spearhead, or bring about, the entirety of radical change in the U.S. The Green Party is a -tool- *not* a movement, *not* a revolution; just a tool for working electoral politics toward progressive gains. That's it.

So to write an essay that scoffs at a political party for not being a fully embodied revolution (which it was never meant to be, and *cannot* ever be) is just silly.

Let's engage in the most effective electoral organizing we can (in my view via the Green Party) but let's certainly not put all or even many of the eggs of our global revolution in that Green electoral basket.

Finally, to your one really cogent point about how far too many electoral candidates seem to simply use the Green Party as a launch point to become Democrats - yes, that is indeed the case, and the reason it is the case is that we don't have proportional representation in the U.S. If we did, politicians would be able to stay in alternative parties and build real power and influence.

Without proportional representation, all but the most dedicated Green politicians quickly hit a nearly impossible wall to scale which bars them almost entirely from advancing in their political career - and so they then often, understandably, give up the Green fight and become Democrats.

The only way to change that dynamic, is for you and I and thousands of others to engage a real and very hard fought campaign to change our electoral system to proportional representation, first locally, then in states, and then on federal level.

Alternative political parties will have little or no national power until we do so.

Hieronymous
Aug 17 2016 12:57
Eric Brooks wrote:
However, like the anarchists of the 80s in South Korea.

Do you mean the Federation Anarchists Korean [sic] around Ha Kirak? If so, they were an inactive handful of very old men by the 1980s. The action on the streets, on the campuses, and in the factories completely eclipsed them and made then even more insignificant. Add to that, they were anarcho-nationalists. During the 1946 General Strike, that began with railroad workers in Taegu then spread nationwide, the FAK supported the U.S. Army suppressing the strike, arresting and executing some of its leaders, in the name of maintaining "order." Pretty reactionary stuff!

jesuithitsquad
Aug 17 2016 05:23

So, this article must've gotten linked somewhere because many of the comments are by newly registered accounts. To new posters, welcome to libcom--have a look at some of the introductory guides. this is a good place to start.

libcom wrote:
The name libcom is an abbreviation of "libertarian communism", the political idea we identify with. Libertarian communism is the political expression of the ever-present strands of co-operation and solidarity in human societies. These currents of mutual aid can be found throughout society. In tiny everyday examples such as people collectively organising a meal, or helping a stranger carry a pram down a flight of stairs. They can also manifest themselves in more visible ways, such as one group of workers having a solidarity strike in support of other workers as the BA baggage handlers did for Gate Gourmet catering staff in 2005. They can also explode and become a predominant force in society such as in the events across Argentina in 2001, in Portugal 1974, Italy in the 1960s-70s, France 1968, Hungary '56, Spain 1936, Russia 1917, Paris 1871…

We identify primarily with the trends of workers' solidarity, co-operation, direct action and struggle throughout history, whether they were self-consciously libertarian communist (such as in the Spanish revolution) or not. We are also influenced by certain specific theoretical and practical traditions, such as anarchist-communism, anarcho-syndicalism, the ultra-left, left communism, libertarian Marxism, council communism and others.

We have sympathies with writers and organisations including Karl Marx, Gilles Dauvé, Maurice Brinton, Wildcat Germany, Anarchist Federation, Solidarity Federation, prole.info, Aufheben, Solidarity, the situationists, Spanish CNT and others.

However, we recognise the limitations of applying these ideas and organisational forms to contemporary society. We emphasise understanding and transforming the social relationships we experience here and now in our everyday lives to better our circumstances and protect the planet, whilst still learning from the mistakes and successes of previous working class movements and ideas.

All of this to say, libertarian communists believe that no meaningful change will ever come from electoral politics. So feel free to stick around and discuss, but it seems like it's probably best to let you know in advance that a.) there aren't many Green Party supporters here and b.) while there is certainly a diversity of opinions on the site, most posters will agree (more or less) with the quoted text above.

Cheers

S. Artesian
Aug 17 2016 05:54

The real problem with Jill Stein and the Greens is that the notion of class-- that there really is a class organization of society where the condition of labor is always the issue driving other issues; where no other issue can be understood, made comprehensible without linking to that specific condition of labor-- is virtually anathema.

Marxists may run in an election, but not because they think an election to an institution of the bourgeoisie makes a bit of difference to the actual policies, actions, etc. that are built on the condition of labor, but rather simply as a class opposition to the organizations of the ruling class.

The semi-supporter of the Greens said it loud and proud: the Greens aren't a "movement"-- and certainly not one that can ever be linked or transformed into one of class vs. class; they are a "tool" for a "progressive" agenda, i.e. preserving the institutions of order-- the political equivalent of "social responsible investing."

EDIT: I think it's critical to point out that the same people who show up to talk about the Greens and building a mass movement out of the Greens, are some of the very same people who cheered on Syriza for providing a "broad movement," "offering real hope," blahblahblah, and are only to happy to repeat that miserable episode again with Podemos, or Corbyn, of the shadow of a "left" that supposedly the Greens might represent, if we all close our eyes, repeat "there's no place like home," and click our heels together three times.

Here's a word for grasping the role of the Greens: recuperation.

jesuithitsquad
Aug 17 2016 06:20
fordiman wrote:
Or, you know, because I disagree with her ideas - and specifically, their incoherency. She's supposedly environmenally concerned, yet wants to ban nuclear energy. .

Uh, so are you saying nuclear energy is something someone who is environmentally concerned should support?

deathspiritcommunist
Aug 17 2016 06:26

"These young people, with their record of sacrifice and courage, ought to be the leaders. They are the basis for future challenges against the current neoliberal order, not the Green Party, no matter how anti-capitalist its official program may become."

factvalue
Aug 17 2016 08:41
S. Artesian wrote:
The semi-supporter of the Greens said it loud and proud: the Greens aren't a "movement"-- and certainly not one that can ever be linked or transformed into one of class vs. class; they are a "tool" for a "progressive" agenda, i.e. preserving the institutions of order-- the political equivalent of "social responsible investing."

And given that the capitalist order is at the root of the disasters of both ecology and class, 'Green Party' has got to 'trump' even 'socially responsible investment' as a leading oxymoron of our age.

lproyect
Aug 17 2016 12:10

S. Artesian thinks that the capitalist system will be far more damaged by his articles on exchange value and the commodity form than anything else. What a pedant.

S. Artesian
Aug 17 2016 12:57
lproyect wrote:
S. Artesian thinks that the capitalist system will be far more damaged by his articles on exchange value and the commodity form than anything else. What a pedant.

Little Louie,

This isn't your chat-room/assisted living center for past and futured attenuated Trotskyists; nor is it your film critics blogsite; nor your living tombstone to the work of Camejo; nor any of the other self-aggrandizing efforts you flit through.

An unkind person would tell you to take your bullshit and peddle it somewhere else. Fortunately, I am not that unkind.

You flogged Syriza as "change," you've flogged Podemos. You flog the Greens. You've at the very least, critically, if not uncritically, supported Chavez, Morales, and even given the old nod and wink to Correa.

After endorsing Syriza, and pretending if Syriza didn't "deliver," that it would be time to break away with the left wing and move to a "real" revolution, you offered not a word of criticism of Syriza's policies; endorsing its actions; never even suggesting that the debt be repudiated in its entirety.

Now you make your second and third or so appearance here to tell us what's really going to change capitalism.

What a bad joke you are.

For the record, I don't think my explorations of value are going to change capitalism any more, or less, than supporting the Green party will change capitalism, or your movie reviews will change capitalism, or the legacy of social responsible investment advisers will change capitalism.

Oh, and thank you for proving my point-- any discussion of class, of capitalism as capitalism, is anathema. You are the perfect color green. Institutional green. .

petey
Aug 17 2016 21:15
Hieronymous wrote:
But all this begs a last question: Why electoral politics?

what i came to say. the only problem i have with this well written and closely argued article is that it's here at all. i may be a geezer but i know nobody who thinks that jill stein is the standard bearer of the left. the greens - who have a presence in nyc too, but not so big it appears as in the bay area - are looking only to use the levers of the state for liberal-reformist ends. which would be an improvement over what we have certainly, but i don't see how any libcommie can think that this is a current worth the time.

redsdisease
Aug 19 2016 04:04
petey wrote:
Hieronymous wrote:
But all this begs a last question: Why electoral politics?

what i came to say. the only problem i have with this well written and closely argued article is that it's here at all. i may be a geezer but i know nobody who thinks that jill stein is the standard bearer of the left. the greens - who have a presence in nyc too, but not so big it appears as in the bay area - are looking only to use the levers of the state for liberal-reformist ends. which would be an improvement over what we have certainly, but i don't see how any libcommie can think that this is a current worth the time.

As absoluetely true as Hieronymous's question is, I think it's not really aimed at libcoms but at a wider audience. And it does seem like it succeeded in reaching outside typical anarchist and leftcom circles.

FWIW, I think it provided me with some new food for thought about electoral politics and some new info to use in discussions with friends who are on board with the Greens. So even if I was never interested in the Greens I got something out of it.

Hieronymous
Aug 19 2016 13:27
petey wrote:
Hieronymous wrote:
But all this begs a last question: Why electoral politics?

what i came to say. the only problem i have with this well written and closely argued article is that it's here at all. i may be a geezer but i know nobody who thinks that jill stein is the standard bearer of the left. the greens - who have a presence in nyc too, but not so big it appears as in the bay area - are looking only to use the levers of the state for liberal-reformist ends. which would be an improvement over what we have certainly, but i don't see how any libcommie can think that this is a current worth the time.

While the original post makes several good points, it still isn't clear about why we should care about Jill Stein being maligned as well as being concerned that she's the torch bearer for the "left" (whatever that vague amorphous entity is). Anyone foolish enough to throw their hat in the ring is going to be the target of endless mudslinging and character assassination. It's the nature of the electoral-industrial-media-complex. Scott Jay's well-stated argument is journalism, rather than a class-based critique -- although to his credit, he does contrast an economistic approach to a class struggle one.

It shouldn't be assumed that the Greens have a significant presence in the Bay Area. As far as I know, their peak was 2003 with the Matt Gonzalez campaign for the mayor of San Francisco when they had 3% of the city's registered voters. They've been on the decline since then, but I stand to be corrected. Gonzalez forced the favorite, current California lieutenant governor Gavin Newsom, into a run-off that ended up being close. Gonzalez's campaign attracted lots of youth campaigners, much like that of Bernie Sanders recently, leading someone to dub him the "idie-rock Kennedy." But mainstream commentators also called Newsom "Kennedy-esque," so to reclaim the progressive mantle the new mayor ordered the city clerk to start issuing marriage certificates to same-sex couples in 2004. This set off a chain of other events: successful statewide Prop. 8 banning gay marriage, then countless court challenges and it being overturned, then it spread to other cities and states, and finally became a national debate where the Supreme Court upheld the bourgeois right to marry for everyone.

To preface my next comment, I must confess that I wholeheartedly agree with Bukunin when he said (to summarize and paraphrase): every politician has earned their place on the gallows a thousand times over. Every single one of them!

Scott Jay wrote:
Jane Kim is currently a Democrat on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors but she ran previously as a Green before switching her allegiance. Nonetheless, she is considered one of the most progressive members of the Board even though she supported a billion dollar “reform” of the City and County workers’ pension.

This is misleading because every single member of the board of supervisors advocated for increasing employee contributions to their pensions. In 2010 and 2011 there were competing pension reforms on the ballot and this sparked intense debate, which included everyone who would be depending on a pension one day. I have several friends who are city workers and this affected them, but amazingly they all agreed with the reforms. The reason? Because the whole bloated city bureaucracy is incredibly top-heavy. There are 23,000 civil servants in San Francisco, while nearby San Jose has only 4,000 despite having both a larger population and larger area (San Francisco population: 864,816 & 46.87 square miles; San Jose population: 1,015,785 & 176.526 square mile). After the onset of the economic crisis in 2008, the pension fund was teetering on the verge of bankruptcy. My friends were afraid that it would go completely broke and when they retired they would get nothing.

San Francisco's obese bureaucracy is a perfect playground for machine politics and currying favor with patronage. And countless personal economic scams. Case in point: "spiking" in a civil servants' last year -- which means milking as much overtime as possible as well as cashing in on accrued vacation pay -- because pensions are determined by year with the highest total pay. It's mostly done in departments politically connected, like cops and firefighters.

Here's an absurd example in a nearby small town:

In the East Bay suburb of Moraga, fire chief Peter Nowicki retired at age 50 with an annual pension of $241,000, but had only earned $185,000 in his "official" annual salary. This was due to spiking. But it gets worse: after his retirement, Nowicki went back to work at the same fire department as a consultant with an annual salary of $176,000 -- this on top of his $241,00 pension. Cops and firefighters in San Francisco do this all the time and it's absurd to read in the bourgeois press of high level civil servants earning nearly a half million dollars in their last year to spike their pension.

This is a class issue because those who do it are the brass, the management of these city departments. Lowly rank-and-filers don't have the power to set their schedule and spike their pay. It's a privilege of management which was bankrupting the system, leaving regular employees in fear of never getting a pension. This system won't chop from the top as it should, so from the bottom-up nearly everyone supported the reforms to merely keep the pension system solvent.

As for Jane Kim, she along with the other progressive-liberals, is the least bad option for the political hacks fulfilling the role of running the city. I'm an electoral abstentionist so I don't vote for them, but I do benefit because those well-meaning reformists passed laws making San Francisco's minimum wage $13 an hour (currently the highest in the country) and a health care ordinance requiring my employer to contribute around $2.50 an hour to whatever health plan I buy. So I'm grateful for the reforms these bureaucrats passed -- remembering my Bakunin quote above -- but also acknowledging that liberal and radical activists had been pushing for these reforms, from the outside, for decades.

Steven.
Aug 19 2016 10:38
petey wrote:
Hieronymous wrote:
But all this begs a last question: Why electoral politics?

what i came to say. the only problem i have with this well written and closely argued article is that it's here at all. i may be a geezer but i know nobody who thinks that jill stein is the standard bearer of the left. the greens - who have a presence in nyc too, but not so big it appears as in the bay area - are looking only to use the levers of the state for liberal-reformist ends. which would be an improvement over what we have certainly, but i don't see how any libcommie can think that this is a current worth the time.

Petey, the vast majority of the over a quarter of a million people who read this site every month aren't convinced libertarian communists, and we don't run this site just to speak to ourselves!

petey
Aug 19 2016 19:44
Steven. wrote:
Petey, the vast majority of the over a quarter of a million people who read this site every month aren't convinced libertarian communists, and we don't run this site just to speak to ourselves!

Steven i know that's true but i don't see that the OP was written for another venue and then linked here, though it may have been posted elsewhere too. i'm being peevish, it gets frustrating when the conversation keeps being brought back around to electoral choices, even to critique one or the other of them.

and in case the author reads these comments, i was quite serious when i called the article well written and closely argued, though i learned yet more from Hieronymous' expansions on bay area party politics. no ill will intended.

Steven.
Aug 20 2016 17:00
petey wrote:
Steven. wrote:
Petey, the vast majority of the over a quarter of a million people who read this site every month aren't convinced libertarian communists, and we don't run this site just to speak to ourselves!

Steven i know that's true but i don't see that the OP was written for another venue and then linked here, though it may have been posted elsewhere too.

No, it was written for here, but we specifically want people to write stuff which is outward looking, and aimed at people who do not already share our politics.

Quote:
i'm being peevish, it gets frustrating when the conversation keeps being brought back around to electoral choices, even to critique one or the other of them.

Well unless the site dies and no one bothers coming here any more then I'm afraid this kind of discussion is always going to keep coming back! Ditto on questions of national liberation, the unions, etc etc. I think if you don't like a particular topic probably best to just ignore it

jondwhite
Aug 22 2016 14:20
Quote:
libertarian communists believe that no meaningful change will ever come from electoral politics

If voting changed anything they’d make it illegal.

This is why the cavalry charged the tens of thousands demonstrating for the vote in Manchester in the Peterloo Massacre in 1819. This is why hundreds of Chartists demanding the vote were arrested in 1842. This is why German Chancellor Bismarck passed the anti-socialist laws in 1878 in an effort to curb the rise of the SPD. This is why following Debs landmark campaign for President in 1912, and massive Socialist Party growth, that ten states significantly increased the number of signatures required to qualify a candidate; some of these instituted restrictions for the first time.

This why large sections of the poorest parts of America were denied the vote altogether until 1965. And this is why the United States is still today among the most punitive nations in the world when it comes to denying the vote to those who have been convicted of a felony offence and does its utmost to strike poor citizens from the voting rolls.

Debs was famous for his election campaigns and abstentionism wouldn't have helped him, just as it won't today.

Supporting leaders, or voting for the lesser of two evils won't make socialists or strengthen the campaign for common ownership and democratic control so I don't see why voting for the lesser of three evils will make any difference either. To paraphrase Debs; it is better to vote for what you want and not get it than to vote for what you don't want and get it.

strypey
Aug 29 2016 13:20

"The ballot box is the coffin of class consciousness"

Stirring rhetoric indeed, but demonstrably untrue (although perhaps more valid in previous centuries). I have met plenty of anticapitalists committed to a post-class future who see voting as a tactic, not an alternative to horizontal organising. Where there's good reason to think one candidate or party will be more repressive than another, it might makes sense to vote against the most repressive. One can engage in such a tactic, even advocate for it, without it having any negative effect on class consciousness. So long as one doesn't fall prey to, or go about fostering, any illusions that whoever you vote for can fix the system "from within", as opposed to delivering some minor reforms or blocking a worse force from gaining majority control of governmental power.

In the last couple of NZ elections, almost a third of the voting age population didn't vote, and I'm sad to report we appear no closer to an anarchic utopia as a result. Low voter turnouts don't seem to make revolution any more likely, or easier to organise, on the contrary my experience is that they deliver governments who serve the ruling class all the more blatantly and ruthlessly. They also give oxygen to true believers in electoralism who will use the low turnout as an excuse for why the system isn't working. If most people vote, it severely weakens this argument, and I can't see how turning up for half an hour, every 3 years (in this country), to prove that it's ineffective, has any negative effect on class consciousness.

True, we must loudly reject arguments of the "if you don't vote, don't complain" or "people died in WW2 so you could vote so you have to" variety, and defend not voting in any given election as a perfectly valid tactical choice. But believing we can just ignore "representative" government and hope it will go away is as naive and utopian as believing that all the environmentalists leaving the industrial system and going back to the land would fix all environmental problems. This truly is magical thinking, not to mention poor strategy.

One more thing, if anyone reading this from the US is under the illusion that proportional representation will make the system work for the people, just check out NZ, and Germany from whom we borrowed the MMP system. Yes, it does allow a more diverse range of forces into Parliament, resulting in a lot of stuff that would otherwise be horse-traded behind doors to end up in public debate. But after 20 years of MMP, we still have basically the same 2-party system (or "one party with two right wings"). Minority factions of the 2 parties have the option of sitting outside them and pretending independence, but they inevitably form either coalitions or support agreements with the same party they would be inside under a non-proportional system, with the exception of one or two old seatwarmers who would join whatever coalition wins, and would justify governing with Nazis if they had 51% of the seats.

That said, I think proportional representation would be a good thing to campaign on in the US, although I highly recommend STV over MMP. This would allow candidates a better chance of winning without selling their souls to Democrat or union electoral machines, which would give your electoral system a good shake-up. Also, it would move people who haven't yet shed their electoral illusions into a large scale campaign that's about the people choosing how the system works, rather than which manager should run the store as it is, which has got to be more radicalising than supporting Clinton because "Trump!", or supporting Stein because "Trump and Clinton!" or otherwise falling into the Cult of Personality.

Spikymike
Sep 6 2016 16:19

jondwhite,
Voting in capitalist elections is often useful in maintaining the system and enabling differences between sections of the capitalist and ruling class to be debated and resolved without recourse to civil war. Extensions of the franchise in the past have also often been resisted for sectional reasons or otherwise until it was recognised that there was no significant threat to the established order. So voting may change some things (even from time to time resulting in some limited concessions to us workers) but they are not a means of transforming society towards libertarian communism.

jondwhite
Sep 7 2016 16:26

Just because voting doesn't always or hasn't changed things doesn't mean it can't help emancipate us in the future.

jesuithitsquad
Sep 7 2016 20:36

Just because every time i drive my car into a brick wall it smashes my car to hell doesn't mean i can't some day drive straight through it unharmed.

jondwhite
Sep 7 2016 21:30
jesuithitsquad wrote:
Just because every time i drive my car into a brick wall it smashes my car to hell doesn't mean i can't some day drive straight through it unharmed.

How is that analogous to voting?