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Reply to Michael Albert’s Response to my Comments on the Open Letter


In his reply to my challenge to the Open Letter to the Green Party to get out of elections in the contested states in the 2020 election, Michael engaged in quote by quote commentary. I’m not going to bother readers with a detailed ‘he said she said’ response.

But what bothered me most about the Open Letter is that, despite all its clever intellectual nuancing, the Letter said it’s ok to vote for Biden and the corporate Democrat alternative in order to defeat Trump. Even when a vote for Biden will be a vote to elect Trump.

I will quote the Letter just one time on this point. It said: “real solutions require Trump out of office…Real solutions will be somewhat more probable even with the likes of Biden in office”.

Presumably that means per the Letter only in the ‘contested states’.  But how can the signers of the Letter know a priori which states are going to be ‘contested’.  Do you think this election is going to be simply a repeat of 2016? Do you have a political crystal ball? I don’t care what polls you refer to in support of this. The polls often mean little, and are more than not candidate marketing tools. You can’t know beforehand what states for independent third parties to run in, so you can’t demand they don’t run in any. To do so is to reject the progressive principle of independent political action.

The whole thrust of the Letter is that Greens should defer to the Democrats no matter who they run, including Biden! Sorry, that’s my reading of it despite all the nuancing about contested states, etc.

Would the authors of the Letter demand that as well, not just of the Greens, but of the ‘Our Revolution’ crowd. What if the OR group decides to run Sanders (or someone else) as an independent should the Democrats deny Sanders their nomination (again) when they manipulate their super delegates at their nominating convention this summer?  And they will. Their strategy is transparent:  split the primary votes and deny Sanders a nomination on the first ballot. Then release the political ‘Kraken’ of the Democrats’ hundreds of special delegates, mostly party hacks, to vote on the second ballot. That’s where Michael Bloomberg comes in.  Buttigieg, Klobuchar, and even Warren will be kept in the race by corporate money to ensure Sanders doesn’t win on the first ballot. Most likely Bloomberg then gets the nomination, and we all get to vote on which billionaire will be president for another four years!

And what if Sanders himself runs as an independent after being denied the nomination? (Very highly unlikely I admit). Should we still support Biden then, just to stop Trump? Should we tell Bernie don’t run in the ‘contested states’? Or tell disaffected youth and workers don’t write in his name? Or don’t vote for Greens or anyone else? Do the authors of the Open Letter see where this leads?

Trump has you guys all panicking. Willing to abandon important principles. Declaring that independents should not run ‘here or there’, a priori decided by some intellectuals.

Sorry that’s a Left Liberal position and formulation. It undermine the principle of supporting independent political action on the Left and among progressives everywhere. And it’s only independent political action that can get us out of this 40 year mess or economic stagnation and decline, the collapsing social structure, and the incremental (now accelerating) decline of even the limited democratic rights that still exist.

So, in short, I was shocked to read long time Z writers would stoop to support Biden and corporate Democrats if it came down to that. That’s what I expect to read from The Nation magazine, the Democrat party and corporate funded rag. Not from those who write for Z.

If the Democrats lose in November it will be because the corporate moneybag wing of the Corporate Party of America—aka Democrats—refuse to let go of the strategy they adopted back in 1992 when they put their boy, Bill Clinton, up as their candidate; and when the DLC faction took over that party, holding on to it to the very present. The Democrats are bankrupt. Look what Obama did for eight years, which created the groundwork for Trump. Look what Hillary didn’t do in 2016, giving Trump the presidency. Look how the Pelosi-Shumer regime has botched first the Mueller investigation and now the Impeachment. Do you think they, and Biden, will change anything? But the authors of the Letter say nonetheless we should vote for Biden (yes, you do say that, notwithstanding carefully nuanced).

Stop letting this guy Trump terrify you. After all, he is creating the next generation of socialists among millennials and GenZers.

As for Michael Albert’s comment, would I vote for Sanders. Yes, probably. But I’d vote for his program, not for him personally. And I am watching closely to see if he is really ‘for real’ and principled about his program or not. Or whether he’ll pull an ‘Obama’—i.e. talk the talk and then abandon the walk once nominated. Or, when shit on again by the Democrats at the convention, turn once more and urge a vote for them again—which will be Biden or Bloomberg.

It’s for that latter reason of mistrust as well that I won’t vote for Warren.  She’ll bend to corporate party pressure if nominated. She’s already offered them to do so. She’d be a repeat Obama.

And the others: Buttigieg (now getting big money from shadow bankers, hedge funds, private equity) and Klobuchar—they’re there to split the Sanders vote in the primaries.  And Bloomberg? The billionaire ex-Republican spending on ads trying to appear like a flaming progressive? He’s the party’s back up candidate and political safety valve.

The only real candidate is Sanders. But he’ll never get the nomination, and he will fall in line even after being deprived of it a second time, and say vote for Biden, like you guys of the Open Letter. The real candidate of the Democrat wing of the Corporate party of America is Mike Bloomberg, just offstage, waiting to be called in to save us all—like Bill, like Barack, like Hillary.

Anything to stop Trump. That’s the 40 year shell game. And I was greatly disappointed to read that the authors of the Open Letter have fallen for it again. All the rest of ‘he said, she said’ in Michael’s rebuttal to my initial post are irrelevant. It’s all about defeat Trump at any cost. The authors of the Open Letter support that. I don’t. Not 40 more years of a Biden or Bloomberg or any other corporate candidate.

In summary, I’m not for telling any independent party to stand down in any state, contested or not. That’s a matter of principle with me, I guess, which the authors of the Letter clearly don’t share.

1 comment

  1. avatar
    E February 2, 2020 10:29 pm 

    “Willing to abandon important principles.”.

    “Sorry that’s a Left Liberal position and formulation.”

    “In summary, I’m not for telling any independent party to stand down in any state, contested or not. That’s a matter of principle with me…”

    What can it mean for strategic voting (the Open letter’s preference) to be an issue of “principle”? Surely, the whole notion of tactics is about context-dependent action, and weighing the consequences of doing A versus B, given likely outcomes. The application of political labels (“Left liberal”, “radical”, “conservative”) to tactical choices is a logical fallacy, one that activists need to abandon if we are not repeat this lame debate every four years.

    Also, why would Rasmus be “shocked” at the suggestion to vote against the odious Republican in swing states? This issue comes up every four years. Chomsky had to defend himself against charges of “liberalism” way back in 2004, for suggesting that a vote for Kerry (probably even worse than Biden) would be the wise tactic. Ditto for Howard Zinn, if I recall correctly. There is even less reason to be shocked this time, given how exceptionally awful the Trump administration has been acting, with environmental devastation not far off.

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