- js reader version
- view hidden posts
- tags and related articles
by John Kerry and George Bush suck!
Sunday, Apr. 25, 2004 at 8:55 PM
The US Left should decide today to become the most vociferous, activist constituency of the Bush campaign. Yeah, I know, it's a gobsmacker and jaw-dropper, but don't react – think. And consider: Bush has a good chance of winning. You want to back a winner, or a loser? Be realistic. And yeah, I know -- Bush is almost Hitler-like. No doubt about it. I hate him as much as you do. But do you want Kerry, an ardent militarist, and the richest man in the Senate, in the White House? He says he's going to spend more on the military than Bush, add 40,000 more troops to the Army, and insists the US remain the world's preeminent military power. He wants to exercise US power boldly, says he won't wait for a green light from allies or the UN to use military force, and has articulated a doctrine of preventive war. That sounds pretty Hitler-like to me.
A Realistic Election Strategy
the Left Can Really Get Behind
by Stephen Gowans
April 24, 2004
Seeing as how my campaign to dissuade the US Left from endorsing the wholly un-Left-like candidacy of John F. Kerry has about as much hope of succeeding as my parallel campaign of getting Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake re-united for next year's Super Bowl, I've decided to pursue a new tack.
And this one has all the elements the "Oh my gosh, Kerry is an atrocity – Go Kerry Go!" cheerleaders can really feel comfortable with. So, who knows? Maybe it will work.
Before I draw back the veil, let me tell you why I think it's a winner.
1. My proposal allows the Left to participate in the upcoming election -- something leftists clearly want to do. Oh sure, between elections, they'll carry on about elections being bought, about how the two main parties are simply separate wings of the same party, about how capitalist democracy is a sham, and about how non-electoral activism is far, far, far more important that the sixty-second democracy of the ballot box, but that's for lecture halls and speaking tours and David Barsamian interviews.
As election day draws nearer, all that stuff becomes passé -- hardly the kind of thing realistic, hard-nosed people, with their feet firmly planted on the ground, would waste their time on.
2. My proposal allows the Left to participate in the election in a way that will really make a difference in the outcome of the vote. And that's important, because not only do leftists want to vote, they want to vote for a party that clearly has a chance of winning. Politics is a team game, and it's good to be rooting for the winning side.
3. My proposal will give ample opportunity to leftists to hold their noses, something they need to do to establish their credentials as hard-nosed realists, and to show how they're not dumb enough to let principles get in the way.
4. With my proposal, leftists can say, "Sure, the candidate is atrocious – no question about it," and really mean it.
5. My proposal will let liberals, progressives and radicals justify voting for a detestable candidate by invoking their favorite fantasy: "Once we get our guy elected, we'll mobilize to pressure him to move to the Left."
So, here it is.
The US Left should decide today to become the most vociferous, activist constituency of the Bush campaign.
Yeah, I know, it's a gobsmacker and jaw-dropper, but don't react – think. And consider: Bush has a good chance of winning. You want to back a winner, or a loser? Be realistic.
And yeah, I know -- Bush is almost Hitler-like. No doubt about it. I hate him as much as you do. But do you want Kerry, an ardent militarist, and the richest man in the Senate, in the White House? He says he's going to spend more on the military than Bush, add 40,000 more troops to the Army, and insists the US remain the world's preeminent military power. He wants to exercise US power boldly, says he won't wait for a green light from allies or the UN to use military force, and has articulated a doctrine of preventive war. That sounds pretty Hitler-like to me.
Bush, on the other hand, is only "almost" Hitler-like. A slight difference, but important.
What's more, Kerry's an admitted war criminal. He was in Vietnam, shooting up peasants in free-fire zones. Bush isn't much better, but at least he stayed home, and kept his hands clean. There's no Vietnamese blood on him. That makes Bush marginally better. And while his hands are indeed stained with the blood of Afghan peasants and Iraqis, Kerry, who voted for and approved Bush's wars (but thought the French and Germans should have been invited along for the ride) hasn't escaped the same taint. So, the way I see it, Kerry has more layers of blood to scrape away.
And yes, Bush represents the other wing of the business party, but at least he's open about what he's up to. There's no beating around the Bush with Bush. The Hitler-like Kerry, however, would hide his zeal for the bold exercise of US power behind a veil of moral authority – and behind words like "muscular internationalism." At least Bush says, "Look, we want total control, and we've got the firepower to get it." It's nice to know what you're dealing with – an incompetent incapable of putting a pleasing gloss on the expansionist logic of US capitalism. For that reason, he's slightly better. And you know, these guys have so much power, a slight difference can have an enormous impact (or so I've heard it said.)
There are, then, two choices this November. You can vote, or not vote. If you don't vote, there's a chance the militarist, war criminal, Hitler-like Kerry will become President. Or you can be realistic, and vote for the one candidate who has a chance of stopping him: Bush.
And with Bush in the White House, his new Leftist constituency can mobilize and agitate to make clear the militarist, bold exercise of US power proposed by the other guy won't be tolerated. If it's possible to bore within the Democratic Party, to push it to the Left, why not with the Republicans? Give it a try!
What's that? The proposal strikes you as dumb, reactionary, misguided, absurd, silly, dangerous and totally fucked-up? I guess you're right. It is.
But look. Is it really any different from the dumb, reactionary, misguided, absurd, silly, dangerous and totally fucked-up policy proposed by Chomsky, Zinn, Parenti, Herman, the four geriatrics of the US Left, as well as the Communist Party, ex-high class muscleman for US capital Stan Goff, and Mr. Society's Pliars, Michael Albert? The only difference is that I've replaced Bush's name with Kerry's, and offered a more realistic assessment of the latter, as opposed to one straight out of a university seminar on how the Democrats are slightly better. (Must be – they're Democrats! And no specific examples, please. We like to keep this on a purely abstract level.)
Is the US Left so confused, tentative, gutless and completely under the spell of the Democratic Party that it has lost touch with reality and believes, still, after all this time, that the Democrats are slightly better than the Republicans, and can be shifted to the left? It must be so, for the Communists, the Socialists, Z-Net and Michael Moore's fan club, operate as little more than recruiting branches for the Democrats – and have for some time. Last I checked, US politics had shifted about 10 more degrees to the Right, after doing the same four years earlier, and four years before that, and four years before that. It kind of looks like the plan isn't working.
I could pretend it is, or that it has a chance of working soon, but Chomsky exhorted me to be realistic, so realistic I'll be. Face it. The four geriatrics have grown old at the head of a US Left that's been as successful as Pat Boone trying to sell himself as a bad-ass rocker. So give my proposal a try. It has about as much chance of working as the old one. And who knows? Maybe you'll prefer being an elephant's tail to a donkey's ass.
Stephen Gowans is a writer and political activist living in Ottawa, Canada. Visit his website at: http://www3.sympatico.ca/sr.gowans/.
Report this post as:
LATEST COMMENTS ABOUT THIS ARTICLE
Listed below are the 10 latest comments of 1 posted about this article.
These comments are anonymously submitted by the website visitors.
GUIDE TO REBEL CITY LOS ANGELES AVAILABLE
lausd whistle blower
Help KCET and UCLA identify 60s-70s Chicano images
UCLA Luskin: Casting Youth Justice in a Different Light
Change Links April 2018
Nuclear Shutdown News March 2018
Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018!
Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018!
Spring 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert!
Anti-Eviction Mapping Project Shows Shocking Eviction Trends in L.A.
Steve Mnuchin video at UCLA released
Actress and Philanthropist Tanna Frederick Hosts Project Save Our Surf Beach Clean Ups
After Being Told He's 'Full of Sh*t' at School Event, Mnuchin Demands UCLA Suppress Video
Resolution of the Rent Strike in Boyle Heights
What Big Brother Knows About You and What You Can Do About It
Step Up As LAPD Chief Charlie Beck Steps Down
Our House Grief Support Center Hosts 9th Annual Run For Hope, April 29
Don’t let this LA County Probation Department overhaul proposal sit on the shelf
Echo Park Residents Sue LA Over Controversial Development
Former Signal Hill police officer pleads guilty in road-rage incident in Irvine
Calif. Police Accused of 'Collusion' With Neo-Nazis After Release of Court Documents
Center for the Study of Political Graphics exhibit on Police Abuse posters
City Agrees to Settle Lawsuit Claiming Pasadena Police Officer Had His Sister Falsely Arre
Professor's Study Highlights Health Risks of Urban Oil Drilling
Claims paid involving Pasadena Police Department 2014 to present
Pasadenans - get your license plate reader records from police
LA Times Homicide Report
More Local News...
Biodiversité ou la nature privatisée
The Market is a Universal Totalitarian Religion
Book Available about Hispanics and US Civil War by National Park Service
The Shortwave Report 04/20/18 Listen Globally!
The Republican 'Prolife' Party Is the Party of War, Execution, and Bear Cub Murder
Paraphysique de la dictature étatique
Book Review: "The New Bonapartists"
The West Must Take the First Steps to Russia
Théorie générale de la révolution ou hommage à feu Mikhaïl Bakounine
The Shortwave Report 04/13/18 Listen Globally!
“Lost in a Dream” Singing Competition Winner to Be Chosen on April 15 for ,000 Prize!
The World Dependent on Central Banks
Ohio Governor Race: Dennis Kucinich & Richard Cordray Run Against Mike DeWine
March 2018 Honduras Coup Again Update
Apologie du zadisme insurrectionnel
ICE contract with license plate reader company
Black Portraiture(S) IV: The Color of Silence...Cuba No...Cambridge Yes
Prohibiting Micro-Second Betting on the Exchanges
Prosecutors treat Muslims harsher than non-Muslims for the same crimes
Amy Goodman interview on cell phone safety
Mesa, Arizona police officer kills unarmed white man
Israeli leaders should be prosecuted for war crimes
Paraphysique de l'autorité
Two Podcasts on fbi corruption
Fbi assassins assault & try to kill DAVID ATKINS
EPA Head Scott Pruitt: Of Cages And Sirens
More Breaking News...