Letter: To avoid Trump, left must support Clinton

To avoid Trump, left must support Clinton

To the editor:

As this election cycle winds up and American democracy "slides down the razor-blade of life," as Tom Lehrer so elegantly put it, I would like to remind my good friends on the left that a non-Hillary Clinton vote is essentially a vote for Trump. The prospects of a genuine candidate in Bernie Sanders have diminished into oblivion, and now our strategy must change in order to avoid a Trump presidency.

The "lesser of two evils" logic is sound. First, we need to establish the facts: either Clinton or Trump will be the next president of the United States. That's an objective fact. An asteroid will destroy life on Earth before Jill Stein or any other third party candidate wins the general election. No one seriously contests this, and therefore you should pick the best choice of the two possible candidates.

If you vote for a third party candidate, you are overwhelmingly more likely to detract from Clinton, which is de facto support for Trump. This is the world we live in, it's not pretty, but it's all we have to work with at the moment.

This basic logic has evaded even some of my smartest friends, who refuse to jump on the Hillary bandwagon. I can't blame their instincts. The "Hillary bandwagon" smells of corruption, greed, democratic neglect, oligarchy, blind support of Israel, dynastic leadership, drone strikes, and endless war.

But the Hillary bandwagon has one glorious merit: it is better than the Trump bandwagon. Trump doesn't believe that climate change is real, is a proud racist and Islamophobe, and puts statements so absurd on to the public record that you must wonder whether he is actually some elaborate hoax.

I am mindful that, for some people, the opinion expressed above is going to be about as popular as Donald Trump at a QuinceaƱera, but the stakes are too high not to express it. I'm happy to end on a high note, though.

Elections are just a small part of a democracy. The values and goals of my friends on the left are part of a constant struggle, not an exercise once every four years, but a slow trudge to justice.

You can still have the world that you want even if Hillary Clinton is elected, provided you don't hoist the white flag after the election, but rather tighten the bandana and continue the good and important work that has always been necessary for real change.

Rich Herbert, Pittsfield, The writer is an attorney.


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