Monday, February 29, 2016

I love to vote, but won't. Not tomorrow.

I'm going to try to keep myself from voting in the Massachusetts Democratic primary tomorrow, in which Hillary is pitched against Bernie.

I see the problems with Clinton, if anything underlined by the NY Times piece about her role in the overthrow of Gaddafi, with no thought for the day after.

So we stepped in to overthrow a tyrant, with some archetypically American root conviction that once you banish tyranny democracy ineluctably sets in. For us it's always King George v. George Washington, despotism v. liberty.

The downside of the uniquely successful American Revolution is the fostering of the illusion that its model is everywhere applicable.

In any case, Libya has become a failed state. (Can anybody think of another state in the Middle East which we delivered from tyranny only to reduce it to metastatic sectarian chaos?)  

Gaddafi's abundant weaponry flowed to Islamicists in Syria. And lo and behold Libya, today, is the new center for ISIS.

Hillary was the deciding influence on Obama,  who was hesitant about United States involvement. For all his supposed timidity, which I do not doubt may have flaws, Obama has a better sense of history and of the limitations of American power than most of his critics.

As for HRC, I don't trust her judgment, or her ability to reflect on and correct it.

Still, I think she has the better chance to beat Trump or whomever, and, as I’ve said, that is uppermost for me.

As for Sanders, I like him, like him too much to vote against him. I loved that he named his son Levi. I know people who decry him for not making more of his Jewishnness. That's not, let me be clear, a demand that he be more observant, or "Judaic" if you will, but that he be more upfront — or something.

And yeah, it's more than bit weird that he has described himself as descended from Polish immigrants. Polish immigrants? In Poland, his forbears were seen and treated as Jews, not Poles. When they came here, except for a small number of their kind, Yiddish, not Polish, was their mother tongue.

So yeah, that is weird, and discouraging, if not cowardly.

Beyond that, I have zero problem with his manner of being  and not being Jewish. Maybe he fears anti-Semitism. Silly Bernie, hasn't anyone told him that this is America and not to worry? Or maybe he doesn't want the Orthodox stopping him on the streets of Burlington and demanding to know the last time he put on Tfellim. He did spend time on a Hashomer Hatzair (left-wing Zionist) kibbutz in Israel, and might say something more about that, including what he didn't like about it (he didn't stay) and maybe more about the whole Israeli-Jewish shtick. It would be interesting.

The right, esp. the Christian right, can't attack Sanders for his dalliance with Hashomer Hatzair. They LUV everything Israel too much.

I think, though, that Bernie does have a skeleton in the closet — Trotskyism, membership in the Socialist Workers Party (SWP). Hillary didn't and wouldn't bring it up. And sure, who among us has not had youthful dalliance with political dementia? That said, Sanders's approach to economic issues, including his flagrant use of the word "socialism" — which means exactly what, if you're in America not Denmark? — does not indicate aversion to nationalization of banks and industry, as a means to combating the admiited onerousness of increasing income inequality.

Hillary and Sanders were very adult in their debates; she did not red bait.

Trump or whomever, will. Count on it.

I won't vote in tomorrow's Massachusetts primary. I will accept either Hillary or Bernie as my candidate, and do my utmost for either.


  1. A good nutshell, though my hunch is that either Dem would wipe the floor with Trump, the most likely Republican candidate, unless a desperate GOP manages to pull some bunny out of the hat and trip him up. So if your only reason for favouring Hillary is that she's more likely to defeat Trump, I think you could go ahead and vote for Bernie, whom you seem to like better and trust more. But even if you're right about Hillary having a better chance against Trump "or whoever", I can't see why you're abstaining from voting.

  2. If, as you argue, either Dem could trump Trump, what is the urgency about voting in this primary?

    But the truth is not voting gets harder by the minute. I'll have to cast a ballot.