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On Lying and the 2020 Presidential Election


Source: Tedglick.com

Photo by danielfela/Shutterstock.com

 

I was raised by my parents to never lie, and I know that this is true for almost everybody in the world who is now an adult. From what I’ve learned via reading and personal experience, the vast majority of the world’s people are raised that way.

Even though, in practice, a small minority of adults do lie, or live a lie, and a larger minority too often slip up, a big majority of us make genuine efforts to be truthful people.

Mafioso Don, of course, is on the farthest end of the truth-to-liar spectrum, and his 13,000 or so lies since becoming President are certainly a world record for duplicity. Among those many lies is his denial of ever sexually harassing or attacking any of the two dozen or so women who have come forward accusing him of these actions.

Joe Biden has just publicly denied the account of one person, Tara Reade, who has accused him of sexual assault 27 years ago. I watched the interview Friday morning on MSNBC where he did so.

Taking everything into account that I’ve seen about this accusation, I believe Tara Reade, and I think Biden is lying.

I believe this in part because of what happened during the last Presidential debate on March 15 between him and Bernie.

In response to Bernie laying out a critique of him supporting in the past cuts to Medicare, Social Security and veterans benefits, Biden denied it. Here’s from the transcript of that debate:

“Bernie Sanders: (45:30)
One more time. Were you on the floor [of the Senate] time and time again, for whatever reason, talking about the need to cut Social Security and Medicare and veterans programs?

“Joe Biden: (45:40)
No, I did not talk about the need to cut any of those programs.

“Bernie Sanders: (45:43)
Okay. All that I would say to the American people, go to YouTube. It’s all over the place. Joe said it many, many times. I’m surprised. You can defend it or change your mind on it, but you can’t deny the reality.”

This is one of more-than-one example of a Biden lie, which seems to me to have relevance to the Tara Reid issue.

Does this mean I have now decided to vote for the U.S. Green Party Presidential candidate in November? No it doesn’t, and in part it’s because the national Green Party has a history of, in essence, lying about the potential impact of a GP Presidential campaign.

It is common sense that a very small organization like the GP with a very small social base has zero chance of winning the Presidency in 2020. For example, in 2000 Ralph Nader got 2.7% of the vote on the GP line. 16 years later Jill Stein got 1% of the vote.

How is the GP doing as far as its growth? Check this out: in 2004, there were a total of about 230 GP members in local offices of some kind around the country. According to leading 2020 GP Presidential candidate Howie Hawkins, there are now 130 in office.

Hawkins’ rationale for running for President boils down to the same one that has been used for over 20 years: to build the Green Party, even though the facts make clear that the GP’s strategy over that time for building itself is a failure, even on its own terms. When the electoral system in your country is winner-take-all, not proportional representation, that must be taken into account when determining electoral strategy. The GP doesn’t do this.

I believe that a major reason why the GP continues to be marginal on a national level is, in fact, its “Democrat or Republican, it doesn’t matter” strategy. People who like what they stand for, its 10 key values for example, know that such a strategy isn’t based in objective reality, and it turns them off.

If Bernie was the Democratic Presidential candidate in 2020, the election wouldn’t just be about defeating fascist Trump. It would be about the kind of progressive revolution needed today. With Biden, or maybe some other Democrat if he falters, it’s primarily about removing from office the person who is the greatest existential threat to the planet.

But it’s not just that. It’s also about giving the progressive movement a chance to mount, beginning in January, 2021, a powerful campaign inside and outside the Democratic Party, pressing Biden and the Democratic establishment, for a Green New Deal, Medicare for All, a $15 minimum wage, pro-justice immigration reform, and more. With a Democratic President, whoever that is, we have a real chance of winning these kind of reforms with a massive movement in the streets using all of the tactics successful mass movements down through history have used. With Trump in office we have zero chance.

I would be lying if I said that I thought electing Biden, or anyone other than Sanders, was a guarantee of such transformation. It wouldn’t be. But it would be a blow against rising fascism in this country, at least, and hopefully much more.

When it comes to the Presidential election, this is our way forward.

Ted Glick is the author of the forthcoming Burglar for Peace: Lessons Learned in the Catholic Left’s Resistance to the Vietnam War. Past writings and other information can be found at https://tedglick.com, and he can be followed on Twitter at https://twitter.com/jtglick.

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