SocraticGadfly: R, D, and G: Refudiating the "no difference" red herring

September 29, 2016

R, D, and G: Refudiating the "no difference" red herring

Plenty of Democrats, in presidential elections, in addition to using scare tactics like "oh the SCOTUS," or Swiftboating, like claiming Jill Stein is an antivaxxer, also like to use red herrings.

The most common one is that people like me claim there's no difference between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.

I don't know about other Green voters in particular or left-liberals in general, but as for me, that's simply not true. Period and end of story.

Now, I DO say that there's less difference between Clinton and Trump than between Clinton and Stein.

In 2012, I said the same about Barack Obama and Mitt Romney than Obama and Stein, or in 2008 between Obama and John McCain vs. Obama and Cynthia McKinney, or 2004 and John Kerry and George W. Bush vs Kerry and c.

I stand by that, and expect to stand by that in the future. (I won't hold my breath over who Dems nominate in 2020 if Clinton loses, nor will I hold my breath on Clinton being anything other than a generic centrist if she wins.)

You'll notice I didn't go back to 2000. That's because I've voted Green in every presidential election this century, and 2000 is technically in the previous century. I'll have more on Ralph Nader, the man vs. the myths, in the future.

Unfortunately, along with the general "two sides only" of the duopoly appears to come a lot of black-and-white, or better, Manichean, thinking in general.

Once again, in the face of such thinking, I quote Idries Shah:

To 'see both sides' of a problem is the surest way to prevent its complete solution. Because there are always more than two sides.
What else is there to say?

1 comment:

PDiddie said...

The contention that "both parties are the same" is often heard by pollsters and survey-takers from non- or infrequent voters. It is, as a point of fact, both true and false at the same time and the difference is a matter of perspective.

Partisans get apoplectic when they hear it, unable to comprehend that they (or their party and its candidates) have failed to make the case for the difference. When Democrats are too scared to "unilaterally disarm" and take money from Republican donors like Alice Walton, this is supposed to be a sign of their temperate, bipartisan governing. When they support fracking, it's because of the importance of the O&G industry to the Texas economy. And so on like that, until suddenly you have to dig into a few social issues like gay marriage in order to keep calling yourself 'progressive'.

Once the lines have been mostly erased, fair or foul becomes a much closer call, and the electorate are the umpires.

When the differences between the two don't make much difference at all to the more than 50% of people who are not register to vote, and the same percentage of those registered who don't bother voting ... it falls to the duopolists to examine themselves for what they're doing or not doing.

This is too much introspection to conduct this late in the cycle, and will only be conducted in the days that follow November 8 by the party that gets its ass kicked that day.