Thomas Friedman, shown above looking (quite undeservedly) a bit like Uncle Joe Stalin, has ‘risen to the defense’ of Hillary Clinton. So I will be breaking the habits of a lifetime this November and voting… for Donald Trump.
Of course it’s a futile gesture. I live in New York, a state the Clintons bought and paid for years ago. But it will do for me the only thing that voting ever does for anybody: namely, make me feel better.
Now this decision has led to a curious self-discovery: namely, that I do in fact take voting seriously, though yesterday I would have told you I didn’t.
I seem to recall that Alex Cockburn told a story about his father, Claud, and the latter’s advice to a fellow-Commie who wanted to marry a Catholic girl. The other comrade was balking at signing some paper the Church wanted you to sign in those days. Claud’s response was that the comrade was clearly taking the Church too seriously, and respected an oath far more than any good Commie ought to do.
But I’m like Claud’s weaker comrade in this respect. In some way it seems that I regard voting as a kind of collusion. You vote for somebody, then you’ve sorta signed on with ’em.
So I’m trying to take Claud’s advice and work this faiblesse out of my system. Stop moralizing, stop worrying so much about your soul, Smith. Treat the damn thing as the imbecile charade it is. Get some fun out of it.
So here’s my case for Trump as the Lesser Evil:
- The guy is a blowhard and a loon. We have no idea what we would do. But we know exactly what Hillary would do. Regression to the mean suggests that almost any unknown X would be better than known Hillary.
- He’ll be utterly ineffectual, whatever he wants to do, whereas Hillary might actually have a chance to achieve something. I don’t recall to whom we owe the concept of ‘the less effective evil'(*) — as distinct from ‘the lesser evil’ — but it seems germane.
- People are always telling me that Trump is a fascist and he would bring the US closer to fascism. But they’re all fascists, and the US is already a fascist society. Of course this is a gradient, and you might say we’re not as fascist as Germany was in say 1939. And you might be right. But whoever becomes president this November will move us further down the road. Will Hillary move us faster, or will Trump? See point 2 above.
(*) A kind reader points out that it was the wonderful Glen Ford of Black Agenda Report.