Can the Left Sink Any Lower?


I am inarguably not the most important intellectual alive. No, I am no Noam Chomsky, but neither am I a monosyllabic, mouth-breathing moron.

I have every confidence in my own personal powers of reasoning, and since the seventh grade (1979-80) have regularly utilized critical thinking skills. So it is that I have the audacity even to give “critical” consideration in regard to the urgent advice being offered by esteemed comrades. The result, unfortunately, is no small amount of confusion.

For months now, from Z Magazine to The Nation, from CommonDreams.org to WorkingforChange.org, I’ve been subjected to diatribes and pleas, to personal opinions and thoughtful analyses predicated on false arguments and supported by gross assumptions never questioned. Disingenuous, dishonest, and above all else blatantly contemptuous of one Ralph Nader, the left has sunk low!

The current trend amongst the celebrity (read elite) left is a convoluted, hyper-intellectualized muddle of profundity that essentially articulates a familiar credo: namely, the end justifies the means. It is a rationale I’ve never appreciated when employed by the right, and it is particularly disturbing when subliminally trumpeted by progressives.

I believe if certain things are worth fighting for, then surely they are worth voting for.

But I am supposed to believe that given current circumstances this is simply a foolish and impractical principle.

I believe we should, at the very least, be willing to preserve the integrity, the original intent, of the franchise — the vote is and should remain an affirmation of personal values and principles. If this is a creed whose time has passed, a foolish and impractical principle, then let us admit the entire shebang is little more than a grotesque sham, completely corrupt.

I could vote for the lesser evil, against my personal ethic, but I would have to admit — to a certain degree — my own collusion with that same said corruption, my accommodation of a systemic defect, my perpetuation of malfunction.

I could vote my conscience, uphold the original intent of the franchise, but I would have to endure — already have — the charge that I help to elect the most evil. (Examine that abstract construct for a few moments: if I vote for a losing candidate, I’ve actually voted for the winner — provided the winner is the worst possible candidate.???)

No, let us go ahead and admit that the entire shebang is little more than a grotesque sham, completely corrupt. In such a case, would it matter one-goddamn-rat’s-ass what I do or how I vote? So then why can’t Norman Solomon, Michael Albert, Stephen Shalom, Paul Rogat Loeb, Naomi Klein,…and all those anti-Nader Nader 2000 leaders get off my back? I am perfectly capable of making my own decision and am perfectly offended by the presumption that I can be cowed by a “Who’s Who of America’s progressive community”(gushes TheUnityCampaign.org) into voting against my own better judgement.

Throughout this election cycle progressives resolutely determined to affirm their values and principles with their vote have been called out and attacked by left luminaries: we don’t care for poor, working people, we fail to understand the dangers of Bush, we’ve fallen prey to infantile hero-worship. Our intellects have been impugned, and we are accused of being too rigid, absolutist, purist. Hmmm.

And I always thought the left stood for something (as opposed to rolled over for something else).

The left elite continues to earnestly plead/intellectually bully for the sacrifice of just some, wee, little, tiny, bit of our integrity. And for what purpose? A Kerry presidency?

Where did all this evangelical faith in the Senator from Massachusetts come from? It came from a Democratic campaign strategy that raised a banner for an ignorant and apathetic segment of the electorate — a segment with seemingly no idea what or who it wants. Progressive leaders can rationalize this Anybody-But-Bush sentiment from now until doomsday, but that doesn’t, can’t, and will never make it a progressive strategy.

Regardless of this election’s outcome, there will be much in the way of healing to do. Bush has not only divided the nation; he has — with the surreal assistance of Noam Chomsky et al — divided the left.

Strange times indeed!

CHRISTOPHER C. CONWAY is currently engaged in a battle against anger, frustration, disillusionment, alienation and the corrupt, corporate duopoly of American politics. A resident of Houston, Texas, he categorically rejects the “safe state/swing state” paradigm. He can be reached at: christophercconway@earthlink.net


More articles by:
Weekend Edition
March 23, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Roberto J. González
The Mind-Benders: How to Harvest Facebook Data, Brainwash Voters, and Swing Elections
Paul Street
Deplorables II: The Dismal Dems in Stormy Times
Nick Pemberton
The Ghost of Hillary
Andrew Levine
Light at the End of the Tunnel?
Paul de Rooij
Amnesty International: Trumpeting for War… Again
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Coming in Hot
Chuck Gerhart
Sessions Exploits a Flaw to Pursue Execution of Meth Addicts
Robert Fantina
Distractions, Thought Control and Palestine
Hiroyuki Hamada
The Eyes of “Others” for Us All
Robert Hunziker
Is the EPA Hazardous to Your Health?
Stephanie Savell
15 Years After the Iraq Invasion, What Are the Costs?
Aidan O'Brien
Europe is Pregnant 
John Eskow
How Can We Live With All of This Rage?
Matthew Stevenson
Why Vietnam Still Matters: Was Khe Sanh a Win or a Loss?
Dan Corjescu
The Man Who Should Be Dead
Howard Lisnoff
The Bone Spur in Chief
Brian Cloughley
Hitler and the Poisoning of the British Public
Brett Wilkins
Trump Touts $12.5B Saudi Arms Sale as US Support for Yemen War Literally Fuels Atrocities
Barbara Nimri Aziz
Iraqi Landscapes: the Path of Martyrs
Brian Saady
The War On Drugs Is Far Deadlier Than Most People Realize
Stephen Cooper
Battling the Death Penalty With James Baldwin
CJ Hopkins
Then They Came for the Globalists
Philip Doe
In Colorado, See How They Run After the Fracking Dollars
Wilfred Burchett
Vietnam Will Win: Armed Propaganda
Binoy Kampmark
John Brennan’s Trump Problem
Nate Terani
Donald Trump’s America: Already Hell Enough for This Muslim-American
Steve Early
From Jackson to Richmond: Radical Mayors Leave Their Mark
Jill Richardson
To Believe in Science, You Have to Know How It’s Done
Ralph Nader
Ten Million Americans Could Bring H.R. 676 into Reality Land—Relief for Anxiety, Dread and Fear
Sam Pizzigati
Billionaires Won’t Save the World, Just Look at Elon Musk
Sergio Avila
Don’t Make the Border a Wasteland
Daryan Rezazad
Denial of Climate Change is Not the Problem
Ron Jacobs
Flashing for the Refugees on the Unarmed Road of Flight
Missy Comley Beattie
The Age of Absurdities and Atrocities
George Wuerthner
Isle Royale: Manage for Wilderness Not Wolves
George Payne
Pompeo Should Call the Dogs Off of WikiLeaks
Russell Mokhiber
Study Finds Single Payer Viable in 2018 Elections
Franklin Lamb
Despite Claims, Israel-Hezbollah War is Unlikely
Montana Wilderness Association Dishonors Its Past
Elizabeth “Liz” Hawkins, RN
Nurses Are Calling #TimesUp on Domestic Abuse
Paul Buhle
A Caribbean Giant Passes: Wilson Harris, RIP
Mel Gurtov
A Blank Check for Repression? A Saudi Leader Visits Washington
Seth Sandronsky
Hoop schemes: Sacramento’s corporate bid for an NBA All-Star Game
Louis Proyect
The French Malaise, Now and Then
David Yearsley
Bach and the Erotics of Spring