Sunday, February 22, 2004
O Ralphie Boy, The Pipes, The Pipes Are Calling...
In this blog, I haven't had much to say about the primary race, because I see it as a farce. I had a post early on in which I said I didn't care what happened as long as Lieberman wasn't the nominee, and I stand by that. I don't think there are any substantive differences between the Democratic candidates, except that Kucinich is obviously a leftist, in the old tradition of Debs and all the others who dedicated their lives to giving Americans alive today an enormous gift: our social safety net, our child labor laws, our beloved weekend, our civil rights laws, our high standard of living.
That said I won't be supporting Nader this time around. Not because I think he will hand the election to Bush but because of what his 2004 campaign is going to do to the left. Look, the way I see it, the lesson we must take from the 20th century as a whole is that the long term survival of the human race is at stake. Read the Observer's article about the Pentagon preparing for wars of survival as sudden global climactic change becomes a reality in the near future. Pakistan has nukes for godsake. I like sentience. I like the human race -- and it's probably the only game in town. We are probably the most complex entity that has evolved in this universe. I'd like us to be around in, say, 10,000 years. If we are around in 10,000 years, it will be because the good side of our nature, the part that values freedom, that values cooperation and democratic ideals, the part that values solidarity and empathy with others, triumphed over the darker parts of our nature. If that happens it will be because we have built institutions that reward, reinforce, and amplify the good parts of our nature rather than exacerbating the myopic selfish part, as global state-sponsored capitalism does.
I supported the Green party in 2000 because of the possibility that it could blossom into such an institution -- a long shot, yes, but you have to start somewhere. Given the animosity and vitriol that has been directed at the Greens over the last few years (that I think was largely unjustified but very real, nonetheless -- so one can't just wish it away), it's clear now that we are going to have to start somewhere else. Nader should have stumped for Kucinich. All he is doing now is building a huge wall of hatred and resentment between the hard left and the liberal left that's going to take years to dismantle.
I wish him luck. Maybe he will find some way to do something positive here, but it doesn't seem very likely to me.