SocraticGadfly: Elections 2020 personal post-mortem

November 09, 2020

Elections 2020 personal post-mortem

PROLOGUE: (And update.) In comments, Tiago asked me, per my graphic, what exactly I meant by a non-Marxist post-capitalism rather than anti-capitalism. 

I can now offer a specific example. I'm not saying I agree with it totally, nor am I saying it's the only post-capitalist option out there, but? "Doughnut economics," as described in this story, are one example, and an example with an explicitly environmental focus. Is it perfect? Of course not? Is it even going to wind up being the best option? As currently formulated, likely no. Is it a good starting point, despite bashing from non-wingnut conservatives to Branko Milanovich on the left? I say yes. Robert Hunziker has his take on doughnut economics at Counterpunch.

And with that, on to the original post.

FIRST MAIN POINT: As I said more briefly in the middle of a couple of blog posts elsewhere late last month?

I didn't vote. I've defended principled non-voting by others for years, and now I'll defend it in my own self.

So, WHY?

In part, semi-technical reasons. I need to renew a piece of plastic, and I hadn't transferred it from a previous address, and the powers that be that oversee such things said I couldn't transfer the address or renew it over the Interwebz, and COVID. I will get it taken care of, but I didn't before the election. But, it also offered me a backup excuse beyond the real reasons.

At the presidential level, it was a mix of national Green Party and Howie Hawkins factor. Both the party's Presidential Candidate Support Committee and Howie's own campaign treasurer, Travis Christal, the former despite MULTIPLE emails, never gave me the so-called "letter of interest" submitted on behalf of Jesse Ventura by who knows who. (I asked Travis as I had his email, and explained I had asked the PCSC multiple times by email and hadn't gotten the time of day. I DID get a "welcome to the Green Party PR type email the first time, which only cheesed me even more.)

And, exactly that is the problem.

I want to know who, given all the shenanigans, and what exactly it said. That's doubly true as we could have another round of this bullshit in 2024. Background on Jesse, the letter of interest, and his desire to have his not-rose-scented ass kissed is here.

Related? The Green Party Facebook group, which is an official Party organ, after all, censored more than one of my would-be posts there, and I was able to prove it. And, I'm not the only person to have had such complaints. (The group is moderated, and favoritism by moderators, beyond censorship, seems to be a problem.)

Third? Not doing anything about the Rhode Island GP for endorsing Biden but threatening to do something to the Georgia GP because of "trans activists." I'm not a GCRF, as I've said before. I'm a GSHF. That is, I'm a gender-skeptical humanist feminist. I don't have a problem calling out misbegotten SJW-ism when it happens, even if I don't agree with all GCRF claims. Somewhat more on that issue, as well as the "trans activist" issue in general, is here. More on how trans activists both inside and outside of the Green Party get a lot of issues of biology wrong is here. And, Howie was at least a "fellow traveler" on all of this.

Fourth? Something I explicitly blogged about, Hawkins, along with top campaign advisors Margaret Flowers and the late Kevin Zeese, drinking the Xi Jinping Kool-Aid. I have long voted Green precisely because of foreign policy as well as domestic policy issues. That said, the U.S. foreign policy establishment isn't always wrong, and it's not wrong by default. Twosiderism that abets concentration camps is simply unacceptable.

Fifth? Yeah, a certain amount of Rethuglicans and Democraps believed some of the coronavirus conspiracy theories, too, but they ran hot and heavy among Greens. Howie himself supported vaccinations, and didn't support any of the conspiracy theories, but? The party needs to be more explicitly pro-science on this (and other badly stereotypical "Green" issues) in the future. Per the graphic at right, I not only vote based on foreign policy issues, I vote based on broad insight issues.

I saw no reason to vote below that level. Greens had two statewide offices for which I could vote. BUT? Reading between the lines of Texas Supreme Court rulings, had either David Bruce Collins or Katja Gruene won, the TSC said that Secretary of State Ruth Hughs could retroactively charge the campaign finance fees. And, would surely make them due immediately. Had Hughs and staff not screwed the pooch on trying to charge GP candidates within the party, before nomination, Collins and Gruene would have been dead in the water legally.

As far as Dems? Hegar left me cold. I had no clue about my CD 13 Dem for Congress. I know a ConservaDem ran against Drew Springer for the state House. And, all county-level races were primary-decided.

OK, now, what did "we" get wrong in the general election?

It wasn't "shy Trump voters" skewing polls, but it was (in part) QAnon Trump voters. That said, I don't buy this as a total explanation. There weren't THAT many Black and Hispanic QAnoners. 

Nationally, Biden ran lower than Hillary Clinton among both Hispanics AND Blacks. Maybe, per Nikole Hannah Jones of the 1619 Project, it's past time to ditch "Hispanic," which is about as meaningful as "Asian" as an ethnic category. (For that matter, re "African American," where do you fit new or newish Nigerian immigrants who came to America freely vs the descendants of slaves?) More here from Margaret Sullivan, where that Twitter thread link was seen.

And, on Texas Hispanics, if it's that they're now voters, just more Trump voters than in the past? Maybe it's MORE than about damn time that Texas Democrats mayordomo Gilberto Hinojosa et al dump the "demographics is destiny" claims, as Mezzcans for Trump has put paid to the old "non-voting state Texas" claims. I've said for almost a decade that this is wrong on religious and other grounds. 

Meanwhile, ConservaDems in Congress are making new noise about moving that old Overton Window further right. That's even though, per Mondoweiss, "Squad" type new Congresscritters won most their races. 

THIRD MAIN POINT: Playing off the first main point, Democrats still don't "own my vote." As of now? Neither do Greens. They may, or may not, regain me, starting with the 2021 convention and what they do or don't do vis-a-vis Rogues Island, the Alaska GP nominating Jesse, and Georgia.

Otherwise? Per a "where are they now" piece in the Dallas Morning News about Metroplex area 1960s civil rights activists, with many of them saying they were civically active, but not politically active to the point of non-voting? I'm OK with staying that way myself.

The GP needs larger reforms to hold on to me. The SPUSA needs to move its nomination to 2024, not 2023, so that it can have a clearer idea of whether or not to have the potential Green nominee also be its candidate.

As for the party?

Per numbers from Great Lakes states in this National Review piece, Howie Hawkins 2020 finished well behind Jill Stein. Partly not his fault, I'm sure; likely that 2016 Greens had many "safe candidate" Berniecrats who went back to the Dem tribe this year. Hey, the Rhode Island Green Party even gave them an excuse. "Well, if GREENS are saying 'You have to vote Biden,' ..." you get the results pictured in the poll.

UPDATE, Nov. 20: Via Ballot-Access News, "others," as in the really minor candidates, outperformed Hawkins, who is listed at less than 400,000 votes. (As of late January, Wikipedia confirms that "others" did outperform him, with more than 600,000 votes. That's not totally new; if you lump McMullin with other "others," Stein lost by about 20 percent in 2016. She lost slightly in 2012.)

And, while the relatively small numbers on the poll on this blog make it anecdotal, it is an anecdotal confirmation.

Partially his fault? Probably. Partially internal GP things outside his control? Almost certainly.


Thiago said...

Post-capitalism YES!
anti-capitalism NO!
God is not coming, darling, what will post-capitalism be like?
I am from Brazill and the only thing I can see coming as post-capitalism is much more of it, something like an ultra-liberal free of state capitalist society, something like some call "anarcho-capitalism".
That's why we must fight capitalism, so post-capitalism doesn't make things even worse for ppl and the planet.
I am really sorry to see the USA's left having to say such things as that one.... it sounds like you are trying to convince ppl you are not a radical when you actually should be. And make ppl think of it too, believe in people's thinking capacity!

I'd like to know what your thoughts on the eco-socialist manifesto by Joel Kovel and Michael Lowy are.

Greetings from Brazil!

Gadfly said...

In case it wasn't clear, "post-capitalism" instead of "anti-capitalism" means rejecting Hegelian-based Marxist ideas, and at the same time recognizing that capitalism is but one stage in human economic development and moving beyond it, rather than having a Hegelian antithesis to this.

This isn't a prescription for everything that post-capitalism should be. It IS a prescription for a way of thought.

Thiago said...

Dear Gadfly,
My friend, acting politically in the world means having a concrete, solid plan of action, what do you want post-capitalism to be like? cyberpunk? Socialism? Ecosocialism?
You should take WHAT is planned for post-capitalism in count if you wish to act in the real world's practical politics.
However, now I do see how your political situation is deeply linked to what is happening in your country. Your thinking is a little seed of an autonomous reaction towards capitalism coming from its supreme keeper.
Nonetheless, I feel like, as someone living the worst capitalism can be, that I should warn you to be careful with capitalism ideologies.
According to papa Marx, Ideology is rhetorical, ideological ways of capital, and capitalists of coopting "free" "autonomous" ideas. If you live under capitalism, you are always pushed to agree with it and its contradictions.
See, in your country, things are very clear: left and leftists are liberal and their ideas are completely liberalized and that is the end of any actual alternative to solving capitalism problems, as it can't be radical and change, it only makes things better, nothing more, no change, no equality!
I mean look at Beyonce: she is black and now she is rich. Should this liberal representative equality be the left's goal? Nah, but people get stuck here and so does capitalism. That is why your plan for post-capitalism should exist, so you don't get stuck in ideology and COOL LEFT rhetoric( no real change there).
P.S.: I am talking about Marxist Marx, not Hegelian young Marx. Marx from the capital not from before german ideology.

Gadfly said...

Marx remains Marx, and he remains based on Hegelian dialectic, even if he rejected HOW young Hegelians used said dialectic. I'll continue to take a pass on Marxism, and continue to call it right on description, wrong on prescription.

Thiago said...

I am sorry to see how superficial your comments are. You really can't get to the core, post-capitalism-man.
You argumment like a kid and your political conceptions seem like ideias of a kid seeking for attention, nothing solid, nothing real, just trying to be the cool smart authentic guy.
You should not consider this a left blog,as left is about popular collective construction .

Gadfly said...

You're the person with all of three profile views who shows the sudden need to keep returning for the last comment.

Thiago said...

You can't understand the importance of dialoguing and co-constructiong, I am know longer speding time trying to educate you, read some Paulo Freire and have a good night, idividualist neoliberal leftist.

Gadfly said...

A. I"m crushed.
B. No, you were trying to evangelize me more than having a dialogue.
C. In answer to your first post's question? From what I know of it (and even more, from what I know of them), I look askance for exactly the reasons I state about Marxism itself, since they're Trots.
D. I'll take you at your word on your last comment, that you're moving on.