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To Endorse, Or Not To Endorse—That Is the (Wrong) Question


To Endorse, Or Not To Endorse—That Is the (Wrong) Question

Frances Moore Lappé, Adam Eichen

Public figures and political organizations are wringing their hands: Do we publicly throw our weight behind a fear-mongering demagogue or do we suck it up and endorse a “career politician” who can’t seem to earn voters’ trust?

But what if “endorsement” is a political red herring? “Endorsing” suggests approval, but for a lot of us that option is closed. But, hey, we still have to choose—we must choose because democracy itself is at stake today.


With Hillary all hope is lost.


Even those progressive Dems who eventually choose to hold their noses and vote for the candidate that is sure to most effectively advance corporate interests should, if they truly want to work strategically towards long-term progress, spend the urgent time between now and the election (a) challenging the election fraud that occurred during the Dem primary, and (b) fighting to get third parties into the debates. Without un-rigged elections and real choices for voters, options for reform are winnowed to revolution of the more-than-just-political kind. After the election, let's sustain the battle for democracy by working toward slower election reforms eg ranked voting, and disclosure rules for the media.


Yes, lots of us will be voting gladly for Jill Stein, and we will be able to look ourselves in the mirror the next day and say "good job!" We won't have to worry that we were responsible for Clinton reinvigorating the cold war with Russia to justify the $1 trillion "upgrade" the the nuclear weapons arsenal, or the Syrian no fly zone she is planning on.

Rewarding the Clintons for all they have done (NAFTA, CAFTA, the financial modernization act, the telecommunications act, killing Glass-Stegall and setting up the 2008 financial crisis, kicking poor families off welfare, militarization and privatization and extreme tactics by the prison industrial complex, etc.) is not an option for many honest voters.

We have been told by authors such as you to vote for the lesser evil far too many times, and now look where that strategy has gotten us; the two worst possible choices in modern history. Voting for the slightly lesser evil (debatable) again will ensure that our next choices in 4 years will be even worse.

Clinton says she is ready on day one because she has extensive ties all throughout the deep state, military and spy agencies that are currently out of control. She will know exactly how to make matters worse, quickly and efficiently. I am never going to vote for the lesser of two evils again. I will always vote my conscience from now on, and I recommend that everyone else do the same.


The leverage the 99% used to push FDR was 10% of US voters casting their votes for socialist or communist candidates during that era. This gave FDR and Congress cover to throw the 99% some crumbs in the form of the New Deal under the guise of preventing the US from going commie.

FDR warned the 99% as he took office: "we have nothing to fear, except fear itself". Lappe and Eichen need to remember this as they succumb to Democrats' pushing their fear buttons harder than they have ever been pushed.

With 98% of voters voting corporate Dem or GOP in 2012, the two Socialist candidates getting less than 1% combined, and the remaining 1% split among Libertarian, Green and Reform Parties, the Democrats have zero incentive to deliver for the 99%, and every incentive to deliver for the 1% while dismantling what remains of the New Deal.

Voting Green is the only way to gain any leverage over future Democratic Party actions.


The primaries are over and were never "elections" anyway. The parties will never again be able to function as they did this year. We have to reinforce that with followup activism, as the OP writers say. Parties over all are over, so there's no point in boosting the 3rds this time around.


(a) The inequality when FDR took office was not nearly as great as it is today; there was no 99%, partly because the rentier class had lost so much in the crash into Depression. (b) Don't call "crumbs" what allowed my coal-miner grandfather to catapult all 7 of his children into the mid-century middle class, 6 of them through college, even though he himself died of lung cancer in 1948 (the reason the 6th child, my Mother, came home from college in her 2nd year).


Of course you can also choose neither and vote for someone else.


Are you kidding? Considering that Trumps election is increasingly looking the most likely outcome - not only will the Greens not have any leverage, but the party itself will likely collapse under the recriminations.

And at any rate, most young former Bernie supporters are, absurdly enough, backing Johnson and the Libertarians - so much all that stuff over the past couple years about young poeple having favorable views on socialism.


They are right - "to endorse, or not to endorse" is the wrong question.

Closer, at this time, to a right question would be:

Why are we not being allowed hear Jill Stein and Gary Johnson speak and debate?. Let us hear them do so. Let us listen, think, and then make up our own minds about who and what we want?

At this point it is the networks that are the gatekeepers who need their feet held to the fire on this, and it will be useful to ask how that can be done. Do we pressure the networks? Do we make the issue "news"? or ???.


I see the abuse of the flagging system continues apace.


Ugh. Here we go again.

You are right about one thing. This past primary wasn't an "election." It was a coronation. And while I understand that you think it's okay to commit election fraud if you're a Clinton supporter, the rest of us can't lie to ourselves that way. We can't just pretend that we didn't witness it, just because the corporate media refuse to acknowledge it. We can't deny the CONTENT of the DNC email leaks, regardless of who leaked them.

And we also can't forgive her blatantly spitting in our face during the primaries, not even trying to appeal to our issues and grievances. We didn't get the "I agree. Now make me do it" speech. We got "Why should I? I AM WINNING!" She's actively seeking the endorsements of right-wing WAR CRIMINALS. Why should we reward that behavior with the most powerful position in the world?

And that crack about the parties being over? Come on, give us a break. Even the Republican party isn't going anywhere. They won't cease to exist, just because they nominated the Worst Person in the World. They're just owning the crazies now. And the Democratic party is the oldest party in the history of this country. They will carry on as they always have, protecting Big Money interests, especially if we give them our tacit approval by voting for them. That's just another shallow attempt to prevent those of us from voting Green. Nice try.


If you want to find out what's worse than Trump besides Democrats, keep voting for Democrats. By the time Hillary is done with you, they'll have to vomit up the corpse of Hitler and stitch it to the corpse of Caligula and say it's a Republican to scare you into voting for Democrats. Although if they tell you it's a Democrat, some people will still lap it up.


Where did I ever say anything remotely of either sort? The primary season is not an election because it's the project of a private organization. It should be even more so, as in taxpayers shouldn't be paying for any part of it. I actually like the caucuses better, with the parties renting their own locations to do it and supervising it according to their own wonts.

And there's no need ever to get personal.


How old are you? Remember Nader in 2000 (who I fanatically supported) and the wilderness that he and his supporters still inhabit? But GW Bush is Eugene McCarthy (look him up if you have to) compared to Trump.

Why, following a Republican victory, would the Democrats move anything but further right? The strategy of trying to push Democrats further left by primary or third-party challenges has been failing since 1968!

Or to be more blunt (and I absolutely do NOT mean this as a threat - just a prognostication) Jill Stein is probably going to need a couple bodyguards if Trump wins.

The purpose of this election is strategic damage control. Under Clinton, the left will have 4 to 8 year extension of the Obama status-quo to move the national conversation right (i.e. leftward) direction - a major chanllenge as it is with the god-awful "Libertarians" ascendant amond the confused US youth. But under Trump, the non-racist right-minded fraction of the US population will be begging for merely a return of the liberal status quo.


More effective in my opinion would be to somehow and somewhere visibly stop the system from running smoothly. Possibly to take over major intersections to demand at least some semblance of democracy. Demand that the networks "Let them speak" and "Let us hear the alternatives before we make our decisions". The goal of the protest would be to be noticed in a way that the public would also want and demand answers.


Mine is a panpartisan observation and unrelated to the particular behavior of any party in the current cycle.


Click on the little arrow by ... oh look, it's your name ... and you can see to what I was replying. And it immediately preceded. Not really that hard to follow.


If the purpose of boycotting the debates is to raise awareness of the alternatives then if no one knows about the alternatives then there will be no effective boycott, a catch-22. If no one is asking why Stien and Johnson are not being given air and debate time will the public notice or care.


I would expect that the couple of hundred people would end up looking like unreasonable hooligans, would deservedly be arrested for blocking the polls, and most likely would be wasted cannon fodder so to speak because it would not give Stein and Johnson any exposure and the issue of media censorship would remain suppressed. To the extent that the protest got any exposure at all the action would be spun by the media as being against and about Clinton.

We need some action to occur much sooner than the vote, some action that would spark outrage and a demand to hear what Stein and Johnson have to say because We, the People, have the right to fair access to this information.