By Bonnie Weinstein
Proponents of “lesser evil” politics make the assertion—not supported by their own arguments—that Kerry would be “better” than Bush. They claim that he is more liberal and that “it would be better to fight a Kerry than a Bush” (presumably because since Kerry is more liberal, he will somehow be more reasonable and open-minded). But they give no evidence whatever to support this claim.
Those on the side of lesser evilism ask, “Is it better to kill one or to kill one thousand?” The implication of this question is that Kerry will kill fewer people than Bush—as if this is the best choice humanity can come up with—choosing between candidates on the basis of which one will cause the deaths of the least number of people.
Furthermore, this argument begs the question as to whether there are alternative ways to live together in this world other than choosing who will kill fewer of the innocent.
Lesser evilism ignores how this government, under both Democrats and Republicans, goes about killing the innocent in many ways in addition to war.
What happened when Clinton, the Democrat, with the approval of Congress, did away with “welfare as we know it”? This “reform” left hundreds of thousands of children in poverty and near starvation right here in the U.S.A. The elimination of this social safety net has caused, and is still causing, death and the ruination of lives every day, both directly and indirectly, through all the hardships and trauma that poverty brings to communities.
But are we and the rest of humanity doomed only to choose which murdering thief will rule us—with the most powerful weapons of mass destruction ever before amassed—based on who will kill the fewest of us and our children and grandchildren? Or by choosing who will destroy the earth more slowly? As if these warmongers had real control over the damage they have already caused!
The proponents of lesser evil politics assert, in the case of Kerry, that since he was opposed to the war in Vietnam, he will be less of a hawk than Bush. But while Kerry makes headway by using his opposition against the Vietnam War in the past, he brags of his “heroics” during that same war.
And, ironically, Kerry claims he would send even more “foreign” troops to help the war and occupation of Iraq. Kerry implies there would be fewer U.S. combat deaths if more “foreign” troops were to back up U.S. efforts to “bring peace” through occupation. But on the contrary, this policy will serve only to help our troops massacre the people of Afghanistan and Iraq more efficiently, faster and with fewer American casualties. And, to make matters worse, Kerry says that he would have voted with Bush even if he had known that Bush was lying about Iraq’s possession of weapons of mass destruction.
Yeah! I want to vote for the guy who would kill more Iraqi citizens faster with less loss of life for U.S. troops. Sure, I want to vote for the guy who wants to make our military-industrial complex more efficient!
What is absolutely clear is that both Kerry and Bush have an “American capital first” philosophy. They just disagree on how to best achieve it.
It’s a lie, in the first place, for Kerry to claim that he didn’t know Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction. There was no mystery about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. The U.N. weapons inspectors said over and over again before the war was launched that there were no such weapons in Iraq, that they were all destroyed after the first Gulf War, and that the sanctions imposed on Iraq had made it impossible for Saddam Hussein to reestablish any new weapons programs. Where was Kerry at this time? Didn’t he hear the reports of the weapons inspectors as I did? Did he question why Bush was ignoring these reports?
What these Kerry apologists are denying is that this is all a game for American capitalist investment. The Democrats and Republicans and their big business backers pay no mind to the dead and dying on either side. They pay mind to the dying of their dollars and nothing more. This is the undeniable truth. The decisions made by both the Republican and Democratic parties are based on how best to preserve and increase profits for American big business—their businesses, their capital, their investments. The weapons industry alone is a trillion dollar industry. War is profitable for capitalists!
Both parties—owned and controlled, lock, stock and barrel, by capital—have been equally complicit in all the wars our government has initiated and/or participated in. And all these wars were fought for reasons of increasing profit alone and not for the protection of any rights.
Otherwise the U.S. would not have turned away persecuted Jews escaping from Europe in 1939, before the Second World War even began. This government didn’t give a hoot in hell about the Jewish people and never has. They do care about the State of Israel as a stronghold in the Middle East for American business interests. And they do care—both Kerry and Bush—about access to and control over the oil in the Middle East as well as in the rest of the world.
The entire U.S. military and police apparatus is set up to maintain capital’s control over everything that will aid them in their quest to increase the rate of profit for American big business and to wipe out anything and everything that could threaten capitalism’s world supremacy.
And here we are today. Another presidential election year and again we are asked to choose the lesser of two evils, each one being a warmonger who represents capital first and foremost. Neither candidate denies that he is interested in preserving American capital’s position on top of the global marketplace. Again, choosing the lesser evil just brings more of the same!
Isn’t it shameful for antiwar activists to support a Democratic Party candidate who pretends he is antiwar? He throws away his medals in a dramatic, televised event (only the unimportant medals, however; he saves the ones that will give him political clout in the future) and then claims to be the more peace-loving candidate because he was against the war in Vietnam. Make no mistake about it. He makes this claim because he has read the polls and believes that the American people are against the war; he figures that he has to make this claim in order to get elected.
At the same time, he flashes his war medals (the ones he didn’t throw away) to indicate to the generals of capital that he has no intention of ending U.S. military hegemony in the world and, in fact, would be a better commander of those forces, since his policies would garner more international support for a U.S. military power-grab in Iraq and in the rest of the oil-rich world. Kerry claims he will get more “foreign” troops to join our cause even though he knows the reasons given for the war were all lies!
Is this more peaceful? Is this “better”? Is it better for the people of Iraq? Is it helping to keep the U.S. war machine from rampaging throughout the world? Is it better to vote for the candidate who promises to get (by hook or crook) more foreign puppet governments to force more of their own impoverished and starving youth to don a U.S., U.N. or N.A.T.O. uniform to become cannon fodder and die for U.S. capital throughout the world? Is that the lesser of two evils?
I want my grandchildren to have a better world—not a more powerful international military dictatorship of the rich over the poor. Especially since it’s the poor that are forced to pay for their own enslavement—for every bomb and bullet used to kill innocent people.
We have nothing to lose but our chains. We have to break those oppressive chains of decaying capitalism to create a world in which each person is given the right to whatever he or she needs to grow and thrive and to fulfill his or her potential—a world in which each person contributes to the good of all according to his or her own unique and individual talents and abilities.
You may say I’m a dreamer, but why not dream some beauty and truth. Why not dream of a real solution to end human suffering and to save the Earth from the destruction that will most certainly occur if capitalism is allowed to continue its rule.
The only real solution is a world socialist revolution that does away with capitalism altogether. This is the only solution that will make life better for everyone.