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Friday, August 12, 2016
“We are told that our only viable option is Clinton. Get behind her or risk the future of the nation, they say. Political hokum”—Eddie S. Glaude
“…Perhaps the most persuasive reason to vote for Hillary Clinton is Donald Trump. Trump is worse. I know that. The prospects of a Trump presidency—what would be a deadly combination of arrogance and ignorance—ought to frighten anyone. It frightens me.
“But my daddy, a gruff man who has lived all of his life on the coast of Mississippi, taught me that fear should never be the primary motivation of my actions. It clouds your thinking, and all too often sends you running to either safe ground when something more daring is required, or smack into the danger itself. (I learned a similar lesson after reading William Faulkner’s ‘The Bear’ in Go Down Moses.)
“The real danger goes beyond the demagoguery of Trump and the racist bile of some of his supporters. The danger is that the way we live our lives as Americans, no matter our optimism about the future, is no longer sustainable.
“We can’t continue to live with the current level of income inequality. Hard working people are working longer hours for less pay. And politicians and their benefactors continue to argue for trade policies that have decimated the working class in this country.
“We can’t continue to lock up black and brown people or watch them killed in cold blood by people sworn to protect us or fail to publicly educate all of our children. We can’t continue to bomb people around the world into oblivion.
“We can’t even approximate a robust idea of the public good when filthy rich people believe that the only role of government is to facilitate the transfer of public dollars into private hands, and the function of politicians is to make us believe that it is in our best interest that we allow such a thing to happen.
“In the end, Donald Trump is just an exaggerated indication of the rot that is at the heart of this country. That fact of Trump alone, and the democratic anguish that goes with it, cannot be the only rationale to support Hillary Clinton. Something more substantive is required of us—of her.
“Many, despite what I’ve written, will still vote for Clinton. I do not fault them—especially if they live in a hotly contested state like Ohio or Florida. Vote for Clinton to keep Trump out of office. I completely understand that. But I can’t vote for her.
“I will vote down ballot, focusing my attention on congressional, state, and local elections. And I will leave the presidential ballot blank. I have to turn my back on the Democratic Party that repeatedly turns its back on the most vulnerable in this country, because the Party believes they have nowhere else to go.
“That false belief betrays a fundamental misunderstanding of this period of democratic awakening.
“We find ourselves in a peculiar moment in American history, crystallized by profound grief and the hard, pressing work of imagining a future under siege by the callousness and greed of the present.
“A renewed democratic faith in each other is required to change our course. Thin imaginations will seal our fate. But, I see that faith blossoming throughout the country (even with all the tears and anguish). The Sanders’ campaign was just one bloom. Everyday people are standing in democratic opposition, shouting with Melville’s Bartleby Scrivener, ‘I prefer not to…’”
From My Democratic Problem with Voting for Hillary Clinton by Eddie S. Glaude