Breaking! Lesser of Two Evils Still Better Than Greater of Two Evils

“Frankly, if Hillary Clinton were a man, I don’t think she’d get 5 percent of the vote. The only thing she’s got going is the women’s card,” Trump said during a news conference at Trump Tower. “And the beautiful thing is, women don’t like her.”

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The new and more Presidential Donald Trump:

“I haven’t quite recovered, it’s early in the morning, from her shouting that message. And I know a lot of people would say you can’t say that about a woman, because, of course, a woman doesn’t shout, but the way she shouted that message was not– ooh, I just, that’s the way she said it. I guess I’ll have to get used to a lot of that over the next four or five months. -On Morning Joe

Yes…and well, we’ll all have to get used to a lot of things. Even those who understood early on- though not early enough- that the Trump phenomenon was something real and dangerous never quite came around to emotionally reconciling ourselves to his nomination. It’s one thing to imagine the hypothetical; it’s another to imagine one of the worst people in America in front of a cavernous arena, filled with fulsome county clerks and backwater ward heelers, decked in their finest patriotic hats, yowling his name every time he mentions “crooked Hillary” and how he’s going to win, as a 200-foot banner with his grotesquely swollen visage unfurls behind him, and the lights around the stadium syncopate in flashes of his name, as he snarls and preens and basks in his Roman glory while the band plays a discordant national anthem, the kind you’d hear if it was interpreted by Stravinsky as he drove a bus straight into a mountain…

Terrible, horrible visions, a nightmare of democracy, and now all be inevitable. His managing to get over 50% in the last six states shows a momentum and acceptance and a rejection of Ted Cruz. Cruz might still compete in a couple of states, and might try to prove that he’s somehow the will of the people, the only way he knows how- by lying– but it is essentially too late. There can still be political fixes, and the conventions will be ugly, but no matter what we’ve entered a howling wilderness, brought on by greedy politics and the dissolution of the Republican Party into a million little hateful camps, driven by anger and institutionalised racism and racist anti-institutionalism. It’s where the broken come not to feel whole, but to break something else. That’s the Trump appeal.

Read more on why you should support Hillary Clinton, even if you don’t like her…

And yes, his opponent, Hillary Clinton, is part of those greedy politics. I think she has generally good intentions, and is more progressive than her husband. They both have a strong part on the ideological/cynical divide, and I think he flows more toward the latter, but she is no slouch in that department. Either. But there is no question as to what should be done here.

Hillary Clinton may be, as many Bernie Sanders supporters have said, the lesser of two evils. I don’t think that’s absolutely correct, and I think it underestimates her genuine progressive leanings, but we’ll stipulate it is. The real issue is: so what? This isn’t a situation where the level of evil is particularly close. It’s saying that you see no difference between getting a papercut on your finger and a nuclear bomb dropped straight on your house. Ideally you’d rather have neither, maybe, but there is no choice.

(And, dammit Bernie, I love you, but come on. “The Vermont senator was defiant in a speech to supporters in Huntington, West Virginia, saying that some national polls now show him leading Clinton. He also leads Trump by a bigger margin than she does, he added, noting that independent voters have not been able to vote for him in some Democratic primaries.” This isn’t the time for defiance and pointing to a few polls when you are down states, delegates, and millions of votes. It’s time to say “we’ll keep fighting for our principles and support the candidate.” Please.)

Not voting for Hillary because she isn’t your ideal candidate isn’t a matter of political courage or principle. It won’t speed up the creation of a third party of “heighten the contradictions” enough to bring on a revolution. It might destroy the Republican Party, but from its remnants will come another conservative party. The election of Donald Trump will make the lives of millions immeasurably worse.

I’m not terribly worried about Trump winning. After all, he can’t win Hispanics, he won’t win the black vote, and he’s alienating every woman. Saying “Hillary is playing the woman card” isn’t just insulting her: it’s saying “you women who support her are so dumb.” He is incapable of being a decent human.

But come on: anything can happen. We shouldn’t be at this point at all. Sanders supporters, if they care about social justice, progress, and living in a decent country, have to turn out against Trump. There has to be the biggest repudiation of his politics possible. I would have preferred a race against Cruz, to destroy his toxic conservativism, but rejecting American revanchism and outright racism is a worthy fight as well. Sanders supporters need to join it.

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