The 2020 election is portrayed by many to be a deciding catalyst of what America is to become in the future.
This idea that the next POTUS will lead to irrevocable change has shaped an agenda that both sides are promoting: that their candidate should be elected solely out of fear of the ‘evil’ alternative. A prominent example of this is the left today and their insistence that settling for Joe Biden, the ‘lesser of two evils,’ is the correct move for any pursuit of left-wing politics.
America’s left-wing constituency, comprised of Bernie supporters along with more radical socialists, are in large part standing behind the idea that to abstain from voting for either of the two dotards in the running is a move only made by privileged white people who don’t have to deal with the consequences that Trump will bring to the more marginalized populations of people.
This frankly resigned position has even crept down to the establishment left, where Joe Biden himself is promoting the idea of a Trump-less Oval Office in lieu of promoting one with him in it. A recent tweet of Joe’s plainly accepted Trump’s sarcastic promise that, if he were to lose to Biden, Trump would leave American politics for good.
Regardless of the actions and declarations of the democratic establishment - which are by and large similar to those made by republicans, just branded with a woke, corporate-friendly truism - America’s transnational corporations will inevitably run the nation’s political system; this no matter which party is in office. Trump’s spoils system that awarded 281 lobbyists a job in the White House and Obama’s unwavering acceptance of corporate funded Super PACs illustrate this point well.
The idea that ‘settling for Joe’ and therefore settling for the obviously anti-left establishment is in any way positive for the advancement of socialism is dubious to say the least.
First, this idea of privileged abstention from voting is false as per many metrics. According to Pew News, nonvoters (who are validated to vote) are disproportionately nonwhite and lower-income; nonwhites make up nearly half of those who don’t vote, and 56% of nonvoters make $30,000 or less a year.
Maybe these nonvoters, who are themselves witnessing the (lack of) change of their situation irrespective of who is POTUS, are not voting because they don’t want to support an institution that explicitly goes against their interests, as neither party does much to secure the livelihood of those in the working class.
Empty populist rhetoric, of course, makes sense for the supposedly free market GOP - who have ironically been seeing a historical amount of interventionist policies under Trump in the form of corporate welfare - but the party that lies on the platform of equality has strayed from their purported pursuit as well.
The Democratic National Committee (DNC), as excruciatingly evident in the past few months, favors the wishes of suburban housewives over those who actually need change. White folks who live in gated communities can feel giddy in inclusion when they vote for the Party that promises open borders and affirmative action - when a candidate promises substantive change, though, these voters recoil in their mansions in fear that a higher tax may reduce their number of summer trips to the Caribbean.
Funnily enough, these same ‘leftists’ who promote voting on behalf of the needs of their ‘lowers’ consider nonvoting leftists to be elitist and utopian, as if voting for Joe Biden is the pragmatic solution to reducing wealth inequality.
Biden’s campaign is more or less a stammering version of Obama’s, and Obama’s time in office was hardly beneficial (read: disastrous) to not only Libyans, Yemenis, and the greater Middle East, but also to America’s working class.
“I’m so numb,” said Jan Toney, 45, who had written in Mr. Sanders. He said no president in his lifetime had done anything to improve the lives of black people, including Obama, whom he voted for twice. “It’s like I should have known this would happen. We’re worse off than before.”
It’s as if the grandstanding ‘leftists’ who advocate for a peachy and intersectional version of neoliberalism should not be trusted in their conclusions about the working class. If only the left-wing of America was made up of those whom the left-wing claims to support, then those in the inner city would only have to deal with de jure disenfranchisement, rather than losing their right to vote for a remotely promising candidate in fear of being ostracized by woke liberals.
Unfortunately, though, the left-wing of America is made up of those who gladly accept the DNC’s hand in hurting the working people and taking the lives of those in the third world. Hillary Clinton, who for some unfathomable reason is associated with the American left, denounced one of Trump’s few legitimate ideas that questioned the efficacy of NATO, whose now archaic existence was initially made to stop the spread of communism. Joe Biden, in the last Presidential Debate, relayed the same tired platitudes against North Korea (DPRK) and China in a way reminiscent to propaganda icon Joe McCarthy, insisting on unconditional acceptance by the Hermit Kingdom to denuclearize so the U.S. and its lackeys can further imperialize the state. Kamala Harris is infamously known for her hand in aiding mass incarceration, in some cases fighting for nonviolent prisoners to remain imprisoned.
If any of the above facts sound like the antithesis of the goals of the left, that’s because they are.
This is not a manifesto proclaiming that no one shouldn’t vote, or, God forbid, vote for Trump – advocating for accelerationism actually requires privilege. But 2020 isn’t a question about pragmatism, regardless of what Instagram stories may have you believe. There are very few tangible pros of unremittingly supporting an establishment that has shown time and time again their contempt for democracy.
The DNC uprooted the one campaign that had any popular support in 2020 as the leader of that campaign, Bernie Sanders, was deemed too radical and, in some remarkably unfounded ‘investigation,’ misogynistic. Considering the fact that their opponent is delegitimizing (what there is of) American democracy day after day gives at least some rationale into choosing the most dry and jejune candidate on the stage (sorry Steyer and Klobuchar) so to rile up broad support, but the ‘Orange Man’ in the Oval Office is there in large part due to the DNC’s meddling in the 2016 primaries.
Hillary Clinton was the DNC’s poster girl in 2016 despite her intense unpopularity, standing at a whopping 39% favorability rate (compared with Trump’s 41%). Clinton was chosen solely because she was not Bernie and therefore wouldn’t do any systemic questioning, and look where that got us today.
Were the ‘utopian’ nonvoters at fault for Trump’s win in 2016? Or was the DNC at least a little bit complicit in their undermining the desires of their constituency?
When the agenda of the establishment overrides the wants (and needs) of the people, one who is viscerally hated by most actually looks appealing as long as they conform to the status quo.
Hillary was backed by the DNC and its pundits despite her… questionable foreign policy record and despite the disastrous mishaps that inevitably come with her leadership. Bernie, on the other hand, whose polemic rhetoric could actually spur some introspection for otherwise complacent liberals, was far more dangerous to the DNC and the American state as it stands than Hillary OR Trump, which is why the DNC was (and is) content with Trump’s potential victory.
Regardless, the establishment left evolved and grew for this election. Mass media favors not-Trump at every turn so as to reduce any infighting regarding the DNC’s inevitably awful candidate. “Make America Not Embarrassing Again” is an especially funny maxim when considering the fact that the Democratic candidate is the one seriously risking pulling a Jerry Nadler on the world’s biggest stage.
It’s ironic, when considering the DNC’s role in the state of American politics today, that their constituency still propagates the idea of voting ‘sensibly.’ If the left continues to concede with an evidently stubborn and incorrigible institution that has systematically dehydrated their platform of any trace of left-wing thought, the American government won’t even need to hide their apathy toward the nation’s - and world’s - most destitute.
*The author does not claim to represent all the opinions of all the members of the Postpartisan in this essay.