Some “Progressives” Just Don’t Get it

I consider myself “progressive.” I believe in the Golden Rule, cherish the green earth the Good Lord gave us and respect the pursuit of knowledge and the advancement of technology. As a progressive, I plan to vote for Barack Obama because he is the only one of the two real candidates in the American presidential race who comes close to my ideals.

I am not ecstatic about everything he does, of course. I wanted a single-payer health care act, and I would have had American troops out of Afghanistan long ago. Then there’s the way those drones are being deployed…

But that doesn’t matter. Not now. Not in this election.

To me, it would be a disaster for Americans to elect Mitt Romney president.

Not just because he’s so much like those snooty rich kids I went to school with. Not just because he apparently lacks any understanding of what it means to be a normal human being. Not just because he believes (as they used to insist in those old Lil’ Abner comics) that what’s good for General Bullmoose is good for America. And not just because he plans to give millionaires and billionaires huge tax breaks at the expense of middle-class Americans.

It would be a disaster because it would mean a massive military build-up – and possibly a Third World War. It would be a disaster because it would mean hundreds of thousands of  children being deprived of healthcare and food. It would be a disaster because it would mean so many of us old folks being unable to get nursing home care at the end of our lives…

I could go on and on – and on.

So when I read this morning that Professor Noam Chomsky of MIT (above, left) is “probably going to vote for Jill Stein,” I couldn’t believe it.  Professor Chomsky is a progressive icon, and I imagine he must have a high IQ to be a professor at MIT. But I had to wonder if age has clouded his judgment.

I was reassured to read further down in the Matthew Filipowicz interview that if Chomsky lived in a swing state he would vote “against Romney-Ryan, which means voting for Obama.”

But even so, why would he vote for Dr. Stein? Elections are notoriously unpredictable. Any state could turn out to be a “swing state.”

This election could be close, and every vote is precious.

I know, I’ve read Janice’s comments on my blogs. She says she is voting for Jill Stein to teach the Democrats that they can’t take black Americans for granted. That’s the kind of thing I expect to hear from a petulant grade school kid, not an alert and engaged American voter.

I don’t know why Dr. Stein is running in this vital race. She represents the Green Party and if there’s any hope of reversing the current decline in environmental protection, it lies with Obama.  Dr. Stein and her party are no more than a quixotic footnote to this year’s election. And anyone who votes for her is throwing a valuable vote down the drain.

People do dumb things to make a point. Samson didn’t care that he would surely die when he pulled down the Philistine’s temple to which he was chained.

In Jamaica, they say, “One fool makes many.” And it seems to apply in American elections.

I once let Ralph Nader make a fool of me. He made a fool of himself by running for president and I voted for him to “teach the Democrats and Republicans a lesson.”  Of course it taught nobody anything. Al l it did was throw away my vote.

I am sure Dr. Stein is an admirable human being. But she has zero chance of becoming president, and all she will do is siphon valuable votes away from President Obama at a crucial time in America’s history.

Fortunately, she has company on the conservative side. There are folks like Gary Johnson, the Libertarian candidate, who will probably draw votes away from the Romney-Ryan ticket.

And there’s a host of other wannabes nobody ever hears about, people like Rocky Anderson of Utah and Rosanne Barr of Hawaii. I’m sure they mean well, most of them, anyway. But they’re just wasting their time – and oh-so-precious votes.

This is no time for that kind of tomfoolery.

Click here to read the Noam Chomsky interview.

Click here for the names of all U.S. presidential candidates.