Wednesday, May 13, 2020

The civil war on the left

The progressive magazine The Nation published an open letter last month in which former members of the radical 1960s organization Students for a Democratic Society pleaded with a younger generation of leftists to support Joe Biden for president. The letter, titled “To the New New Left From the Old New Left,” warned that the re-election of President Trump would jeopardize “the very existence of American democracy.”

The signatories expressed fear that some supporters of Bernie Sanders, including members of the Democratic Socialists of America, would “refuse to support” Mr. Biden because they consider him “a representative of Wall Street Capital” — and therefore, in essential respects, not fundamentally better than Mr. Trump.

The letter was fair and sensible in its reasoning and right-minded in its conclusion. Given that the difference of a few thousand votes in states such as Michigan and Wisconsin might allow Mr. Trump to win a second term, a quixotic display of socialist principle in the 2020 election could have disastrous repercussions for the nation and the world.

Unfortunately, the letter’s fears were well-founded. The Democratic Socialists of America had already declined to back Mr. Biden. It has been joined in that refusal by Jacobin magazine, an influential publication among young leftists.

Read the rest here.


The Anti-Gnostic said...

So you've come around to practical politics over principle?

rick allen said...

Where's the lack of principle? Moral philosophy is more accurately called practical philosophy, not what one knows but what one does. And in this world our choices are limited. Why is it unprincipled, if I have to choose between the bad and the worse, to choose the bad?

I say too often I wouldn't vote for Donald Trump in a million years. But if he were running against Adolf Hitler, well, I take it back. I'd vote Trump.

Or (to pull another cliché out of the box) the perfect is often the enemy of the good. I hope the puritans don't stay home because Biden's not good enough for them. But it can happen. After the last election I've stopped predicting anything.

The Anti-Gnostic said...

If you're a principled socialist, you shouldn'tvote for Biden. He's not a socialist.

Name a single thing Trump has done that renders Hitler a better choice.

The Anti-Gnostic said...

Now I'll lay out my practical politics: of the two candidates, Trump is the one who doesn't seem to actively hate me or my history. He appoints conservative judges, which is a good thing in a kritarchy.

Biden, like Hillary, enacts the Democratic trifecta: "assault weapons," bureaucratically defined; hate speech isn't free speech; and if a migrant can get two feet across the border, she's here to stay.

So you are going to be outnumbered and outvoted politically and socially, and you won't be able to say or do anything about it. And all your cherished classical liberal principles won't help you one bit.

William Tighe said...

I agree with the Anti-Gnostic and, as a result, will almost certanly vote for Trump. (And in any case I would never vote for a self-described Catholic who both favors homosexual pseudogamy and who in the last decade has abandoned those partial and tattered pro-life/anti-abortion principles he once claimed to hold.)

Dale Griffith said...

I agree completely with what William Tighe has stated.

Ingemar said...

I would vote for Trump if for no other reason than he isn't trying to send Americans to jail for the crime of going to in-person Church services.

I used to think the Left projects as hard as they do because they're clueless, but these days I believe it's because every last one of them is a diabolical narcissist.

rick allen said...

I'm sorry that you think it's a plot of the Left. Most Christians I know, including myself, believe that extraordinary measures are appropriate, in the midst of a deadly viral pandemic with no cure and no vaccine, to protect those who are elderly or otherwise at a high risk. Like staying home from church when I have the flu, it's a matter of loving your neighbor.

Trump, by the way, is not a radio talk show host, but the President of the United States. The fact that he trashes the conventional measures for viral containment recommended by his own government is duplicity of the highest order.

The Anti-Gnostic said...

It's not inordinately "deadly" unless you're old, fat or immuno-compromised, like all viral infections.

There will never be a cure.

There will probably never be a vaccine, or it will only be 40 to 60% effective, like the vaccine for Influenza A.

What we are presently engaged in, is insane.