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Why the Left Must Choose Biden

Actually, electing Trump generated the most intense progressive activity seen since the '60s IN A FORM THAT THE DEMOCRATIC ESTABLISHMENT HAS NOT YET BEEN ABLE TO CO-OPT VERY EFFECTIVELY, whereas electing Biden would probably have the same dampening effect on it that electing Obama did in 2008. Lacking a credible rationale for this time being different you’re just another knee-jerk lesser evilist (and one completely oblivious to the critical difference that Trump is a short-term evil whereas the Democratic establishment is both persistent and implacable).


I know precisely the opposite.
Organizing the MPP in a continuing Trump era will be easier than it would be under Biden/Harris.

Ask Medea Benjamin, who saw membership in Code Pink drop during the Obama/Biden years.


The author indicates it is important to vote for Biden even in safe states but doesn’t state why.


Keep your comment handy as a template for every election going forward.
Then all you have to do is change a few names and pronouns.


Well, @Christopher_Cook points out that Medea Benjamin is recommending people in swing states vote for Biden (e.g., ~https://ethicsintech.com/2020/09/24/55-progressive-writers-including-ethics-in-tech-board-member-wilkins-pen-open-letter-calling-on-swing-staters-to-vote-for-biden/). So she must feel that reduced membership is a price she is willing to pay. So maybe phrasing it as “ask Medea” doesn’t advocate for your point.

I hope the author will elucidate his opinions on third party since I found that lacking in his piece - he brings up prior support and planned support during Biden, but I don’t feel that part of his argument is very well fleshed out at all.

I appreciate when an author dialogues with the commenters on this site. Thank you and thank you for an excellent article. I can’t help but feel that the Democratic elite must think the election is a shoo-in without the votes from leftists and progressives or they would have been giving us some concessions to woo us over. Do you think they are that clueless to the need for our votes or are they that arrogantly dismissive of the needs of this world that they continue on their neoliberal crash course?


They are trying to woo Republicans, hence having John Kasich speak at their convention, and it would be an extremely difficult task to woo both Republicans and progressives. As for progressives, it’s easier to blame them than to woo them.


Blocking climate action and turning over more public lands and waters to Big Oil for decades-long leases isn’t a “short-term evil.” Destroying our international alliances as American power wanes isn’t a “short-term evil,” it’s blowing our last shot to help create a better international order. Fueling white nationalism (ie fascism) and anti-immigrant racism and protecting a violence, racist police system as it kills and maims more innocent people, those aren’t “short-term evils” either. They are evil actions at a pivotal moment in our history that will do irreparable harm to people and the planet. Pretending vulnerable communities can wait for justice is the epitome of white entitlement. And the progressive activism we’ve seen in recent years won’t matter if corrupt corporations and their right-wing enablers keep control of the Senate and the White House. They’ll just keep ignore us and undoing the political mechanisms we need to have an influence. You don’t need to like or trust the Democrats to understand that they’re the only major political party in the U.S. that progressives can work with and through to help this country make desperately needed, long-overdue progress. The greater evil is still the greater evil, and Trump is the greatest evil we’ve ever had in the White House – and had the opportunity to remove.

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There might not be future elections – at least none that matter as much as this one – if we get this one wrong again. I proudly supported Nader in 2000 and made all these same “I won’t support the lesser of two evils” pronouncements. They we had Bush, who ushered in endless wars and surveillance state, and Trump, who’s fueling American racism and trying to create a fascist state, and I learned that sometimes the greater of two evils is a much greater evil that will lead this country down a very dark path. Please, just watch how Trump talks and review his terrible record and try to appreciate the stakes of this election.

“By the way I very much appreciate you taking the time to respond to comments on your article - I wish more authors would do this.”

I can only second that, dara. More authors should be answering their critics in the comments. Ellen Brown was one such writer who would engage with her readers. I’m glad Christopher Cook is another

As for the article, nothing new and nothing surprising. It repeats the claim that another 4 years of Trump is an existential threat.

But is America, the world? Biden is a proven evil when it comes to foreign affairs. Lauded for his promise to sign up again to the Paris Agreement, what changes is he intending to make to improve something that is widely and already recognized as being a failure

But fundamentally we need to ask just how Biden will persuade those who voted Trump that they were wrong? Ask why Trump got such a solid support in the first place that has remained fairly steady and how a President Biden is going to offer solutions to them. It ain’t going to happen.

Politicians don’t run capitalism. It is the economic system that decides what a president can and cannot do.
(to blow my own trumpet, see an article on DV i wrote about FDR’s New Deal ~https://dissidentvoice.org/2020/10/savior-of-capitalism/ )

Let Trump disappear from the scene but do you really think there is not another who is standing off-stage, just waiting for his or her entrance.


Of course it’s not, but are you familiar with the term ‘useful idiot’?

We all know the duopoly must end

I should hope so, but you have not presented any even remotely credible explanation of how electing Biden would lead toward that goal given that it would simply constitute a return to a status quo which for decades has prevented any progress in that area and in fact has exacerbated the situation.

voting Green now, or not voting at all, doesn’t get us anywhere

Says who? Voting Green certainly provides worthwhile support to a progressive third party as well as evidence (as not voting does) that the Democratic establishment does not control the people it tries so hard to via articles like yours. One could at least as easily claim that voting for Biden doesn’t get us anywhere given his own history and that of his party’s establishment - it just depends on your point of view.

and will, in actual real life fact, only assist Trump’s re-election

So? Trump’s first election sparked the greatest surge of progressive activism seen since the '60s and there’s every possibility that his re-election would continue to propel it. Had he been defeated Bernie’s continuing support for his progressive policies would have fizzled out (just as it did temporarily after the 2016 Democratic Convention) and a series of Democratic primary upsets against establishment Democratic incumbents which Bernie inspired two years later (and which has continued this year) would never have occurred.

are all ready to protest and challenge Biden

An assertion not supported by evidence let alone by evidence that such efforts would amass significant support.

imagine how much harder any of this organizing will be

Give me a break: such organizing has been easier for the past four years than at any time since (as already noted) the '60s.

and how much harder all of life will be

Adversity can be the mother of activism, you know: it may well be a ‘no pain, no gain’ kind of situation.

I think you know the answer

Well, you obviously think that YOU do.


“As for the article, nothing new. . .”

I’d say this article is different from most in one key aspect. So far, all of the pro-Biden articles have been either, “Trump is ao evil you must fote for Biden,” or “First vote for Biden, then push him left.”

This article suggests that while Biden isn’t great, he is, in fact, good–the only other difference you could ask for is one of a radical change of his preferred basis of government (i.e. he’s not a socialist) and as long as he’s doing good things within the current structure of governance, which the author would assure us he is, it’s really no sacrifice to hold off on trying to put a Green or Socualist in the WH for another 4 years.

What struck me was paragraph 13 in which he rather casually proposes, without support, that Biden’s administration will improve and protect people’s lives. Regardless of one’s reasons for voting for him, this assertion is completely untenable.


Nah, ain’t buying it. Biden is Trump with a better PR operation.


It is so refreshing to see the Democrats fighting diligently to maintain the Heritage Foundation Health Care Plan commonly known as the ACA.

While praising them for supporting insurance cartel interests over our health and wellbeing, let’s take a moment to reassure Charlie Brown that Lucy will not move the ball this time.


Hi Christopher. Thanks so much for contributing to the Commons by addressing comments - that is quite valuable (and unfortunately rare amongst CD authors).

In my mind the left has already lost the Presidential election and it is divisive and unproductive for progressives and leftists to be shouting at each other over the typical LOTE voting versus non-LOTE voting conundrum. I say our energies are better spent working for down ballot progressive candidates and initiatives. Let’s all contribute and work for people like Lisa Savage running as an independent Green candidate for Senate in Maine under a ranked choice system (~https://www.lisaformaine.org). The big media debates include Lisa and you can watch her tomorrow night in the third debate in that race. Let’s all contribute and work for initiatives like Issue 2 in Massachusetts to set up a ranked choice voting system there (~https://www.yeson2rcv.com).

I’ve laid out my individual voting strategy several times here (I voted for Bernie in the primaries then registered as a Green immediately afterwards and will track the polling closely to check whether the race is competitive in my state (defined by their being more than a 10% chance of Trump winning) to decide on how I’ll cast my ballot. But that is basically a no effort position for which I expect nothing from anybody in return. I’m happy whenever a progressive person goes to the polls regardless of how they decide to vote for President because I want to see good people voting for the candidates and initiatives where we still have a dog in the race.

As @dara argued, yesterday was the time to work on both progressive movement and electoral politics - not tomorrow.


Sorry, I missed this before. I’d still be interested in exactly why you think people should give up on the Greens and unite behind MPP (we don’t even know what they will call the party - it may not be the “People’s Party” which is not my first choice, but whatever). What specifically is different about MPP in your mind and why can’t the deficiencies you feel the Greens have be remedied? I’ve followed the MPP a bit and listened to most of the convention, but I’m not getting the feel that they have an obviously better chance of changing the playing field more than the Greens.

And what specifically would be the plan for the MPP to get more ballot access and more RCV states? It was well publicized the Democrats acted in underhanded ways to knock the Green party off as many state ballots as they could. Why are they inclined to work with third parties now? Maybe if they lost and it could be shown definitively that the would have won in an RCV election (not the case in Trump v Clinton as I have often pointed out here, but it could happen at any time), they’d be more inclined to actually fully campaign for RCV. What ideas do you have on third party organization that are different between Trump and Biden presidencies?

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Yes, I will vote for the mofo

(And quite likely wretch uncontrollably afterward)

But let’s not fool ourselves about the almost certain future.

Democrats will not do what’s necessary to arrest and reverse climate change, and even if The Green New Deal [tm] were to pass in full, it avoids the sort of truly transformational acts demanded by our dire circumstances.

Thus, the odds are astronomical that we’ll do anything come November 3rd aside from choosing how fast we want to careen off the climate cliff.

Our only hope is that evolution will accelerate faster than the car we’re driving toward the apocalypse, and I’ve seen no evidence to place any faith in that eventuality.

Faced with an emaciated “slim” versus a obscenely obese “none”, any sane person chooses the former, but that same grip on reality tells them that futility is their all but certain future.

I hope to the impending hell I’m wrong, it goes without saying

But the above needs to be said.

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Perhaps you heard, Medea is stepping down from leadership in Code Pink. So is Jodie.
I wrote them a pointed email expressing extreme disappointment in Medea’s Biden endorsement.
I thanked them for their leadership – but my donation to Code Pink will shrink.
Perhaps that effects Medea’s willingness to get partisan in this election.

That said, no leaders tell me what to think.
I can do the math for myself, with history and track records as my guide.

As for this article, sheepdogging is sheepdogging, whether it’s from Bernie, Medea, or the author.


You seem confused: the issue that @SkepticTank addressed is not who Media supports but whether electing Trump has proven to be a boon for progressive activity.

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You learned your lesson about voting LOTE, I learned another.