On November 3, 2020 (Election Day in the United States), I published an extraordinarily long post in which I discussed my thoughts about the presidential election, why I would not vote for the top two candidates running (Joe Biden and Donald Trump), and the prospect of voting third-party. I don’t know who read that post (it was long and I wrote some things that many people will disagree with), but I was always ready to defend my views because I have been sitting with those thoughts for a very long time.
On Monday, November 16, 2020, I received this comment from CalicoJack regarding the post:
I understand your frustration with the two-party system and your desire to vote third-party, but I don’t agree. I’ll distill my argument to this: why do you think Sanders ran as a Democrat and not as a third-party candidate. He never thought he could win apart from a heady month or so in 2016 and another in 2020. So, why’d he do it? Because he recognizes that true reform and change in the US will not come from revolution and throwing out the Constitution for a re-written one. If you think the powers that be control elections, you can be damn sure they’ll control that process. But, through incremental — although he was going for more than incremental change — from the inside. He pushed the Overton window to the left. It is now imperative that we take advantage of that by electing Democrats who can enact legislation and reforms that will be left-leaning.
Democracies will always be centerist governments. Democracies blend the voices, opinions, and desires of their electorates. In a sense they average us. The fundamental flaw in our democracy is that it is dominated by big money interests and that was before Citizen’s United. The only way out of it, though, is by electing Democratic majorities who are right now responding to the progressive element of the party and willing to pass electoral reform. By 2022, they likely will have moved on. New issues will be on the table and the electorate will be regressing towards the mean.
My opinion is that we work within the system to move it to the left because democracies will always hover around the middle.
November 16, 2020 at 10:24 pm
This comment was thoughtful, and it was rich, but I must respectfully disagree with Jack here. Now, I wanted to respond to him under the original post, but to avoid writing a monster comment under a monster post, I decided to write out a thorough response in another post.
Before I continue, I must warn you: I plan to go hard against powerful people in this post. I don’t like to shame voters, but I won’t be surprised if this post offends some people who read it. However, there is a difference between shaming voters, which I don’t really care for and trying to hold politicians accountable.
Now, what do I want to say? For starters, I would like to talk about why Bernie Sanders ran in the 2016 and 2020 Democratic presidential primaries. Other topics in this post include: how feasible it is the work within the Democratic Party, what the Democratic Party should have been in this two-party system, and what the fundamental flaws in the American system of government are. As a bonus, I want to talk about the need for a new Constitution, despite how hard it may be to get one.
Continue reading “Can We Work Within the Democratic Party? (My Response to CalicoJack)”