There’s probably never been a US presidential election where both likely nominees are more despised by more people. Millions on both sides plan to vote for the least despicable candidate. Do you need more proof our political system is corrupt to the core? If you’re a Hillary Clinton supporter and plan to vote for her, that’s fine. But Bernie Sanders supporters are being pressured and shamed into voting for Clinton. This “pragmatic” lesser of two evils tactic may work for the short term, but it will just embolden establishment politics and undermine future chances for real progressive change.
Even if your vote helps defeat Trump you’re clearly telling Democratic party elites they can confidently betray your concerns as long as they offer you someone marginally better than the Republican alternative. Where will it end? The Democratic Party will just continue to betray progressive causes with impunity. Progressives should say enough is enough and put moral principles above short-term political expediency.
The Democratic Party elites are going out of their way with all manner of dirty tricks to stack the deck for Clinton. They’re counting on Sanders supporters to “feel the guilt” if they dare to not vote for their chosen one. But if Trump wins, it won’t be the fault of Sanders supporters voting their conscience. It will be the fault of party elites trying to force an establishment faux progressive down the throats of true progressives knowing full well their choice will alienate millions of progressive Democrats and independents while bringing Trump supporters out in droves.
Like Clinton supporters, Sanders supporters have every right to vote for someone based on their moral principles. Sanders supporters shouldn’t be coerced to compromise their moral principles and merely vote against someone. Democratic Party elites are blackmailing them by claiming, “if you don’t vote for our chosen one, it’s your fault if Trump wins.” No, it’s the fault of the Democratic Party for ignoring and marginalizing progressives. If it were really about beating Trump, party elites would change their allegiance to Sanders who would beat Trump more handily than Clinton according to multiple polls.
The onus is on the Democratic Party to promote someone who is worthy of your vote. The party elites shouldn’t expect to be exonerated for second-rate judgment by getting Sanders supporters to violate their moral principles and vote for the lesser of two evils.
Voting for the lesser of two evils is a logical fallacy called false dilemma
Voting for the lesser of two evils is not like choosing to switch a runaway train to another track so it kills one person instead of five if you do nothing. In this hypothetical case, there are only two choices. But when faced with two repulsive candidates for office, there are other choices – abstain from voting, vote for a third party candidate, or write someone in. If you aren’t fooled by the Democratic Party’s propaganda, you’ll see the real lesser of two evils choice here is voting for the lesser of two evils versus refusing to vote for the lesser of two evils. Which choice is really the lesser evil?
A Trump win may actually stimulate progressive change
Trump may be a (loose-cannon) unpredictable evil. But then, based on her long track record, Clinton is a very predictable evil. In fact, Trump is left of Clinton on such things as legal marijuana, NATO aggression, and trade policy. His crazy proposals (e.g. Mexican wall, banning Muslims) are just bluster with zero chance of becoming reality. If Congress can stop Obama, it can stop Trump. But Clinton has a predictable pro-war track record (Iraq, Libya, Syria) and a predictable track record of changing positions for political expediency (e.g. Iraq war, NAFTA, Bankruptcy Reform Act of 2000, immigration, gun control, the Keystone XL pipeline, the Trans-Pacific Partnership, same-sex marriage). How can you be sure she won’t conveniently change her current progressive positions as president? A Trump presidency just might force Democratic Party elites to start seriously addressing the populist concerns they now arrogantly ignore.
If you vote for Clinton as the lesser of two evils, you’re compromising your moral values, you’re condoning the Democratic Party’s shoddy treatment of millions of progressives, and you’re sabotaging future real change. You’re virtually guaranteeing the Democratic Party elites will put you in this position again and again. If you refuse to vote for the lesser of two evils, maybe you’ll help elect Trump (or maybe your write-in or third party choice will win). But you’ll certainly send a very clear message to Democratic Party elites that you’ll no longer tolerate being ignored, marginalized, or shamed with false lesser of two evil choices.