Revolution newspaper – revcom.us
You know Romney is a fascist and that the racist lunatics are all whipped up against Obama. So you are thinking of voting for Obama. But before you do—and before you put your money and energy and hopes into “the lesser evil”—let us ask you a question:
What crime would Obama have to commit for you to stand on principle and refuse to vote??
>> Killing people, including U.S. citizens, without any sort of legal due process?
He’s done it. More than once. According to the New York Times (May 29, 2012), Obama meets with advisers to go over a “kill list” and decide whom to take out—with absolutely no “day in court” for those who end up on the list.
>> Holding prisoners of conscience in jail in conditions that are internationally recognized as torture?
He’s doing it. Bradley Manning was held in conditions of sensory deprivation and sleep deprivation in order to “break him”… for the alleged “crime” of exposing U.S. war crimes.
>> Ordering the bombing of countries and carrying out other military acts of aggression, and covering up the murder of civilians?
He is either doing it or has done it in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, Iran, and Libya.
>> Signing laws that enable the government to imprison people without trial if the government says they support “terrorism”?
He did it—he signed the National Defense Authorization Act that endows the executive branch of the U.S. government with just such unprecedented power.
>> Exult in such crimes?
He’s done it—with his sick jokes about “predator drones” and the ugly cheerleading at the Democratic Party convention for precisely these international outrages.
>> Remain silent while millions are shuttled through the horrors of the U.S. prison system and then, when he does speak of the problem, blaming the victims themselves?
He’s done it. There are now 2.4 million people in prison—a shameful “world record.” Many people agree that this genocidal mass imprisonment is the central and defining fact of American life—yet Obama says and does nothing, other than to continue and even step up policies that feed this modern-day slave ship. For instance, Obama has actually intensified the so-called war on drugs, especially marijuana. And when he does touch on the issue, it is only to warn people against protesting related crimes like police murder (as he did when the New York police who murdered Sean Bell went free), or to blame the masses themselves (as he did in his notorious 2009 Father’s Day speech, and in other instances as well). And the very fact that Obama was made president is used to say, “Look, he made it—why can’t all these other Black youth”—as if the fact that the one person out of 100 who makes it out of this white racist meat grinder of a system somehow shows that the meat-grinder is “fair and equal for all.”
>> Set the record for deporting immigrants and then, right before elections, making a small concession—which will enable the government to collect more names for more deportations later?
He’s done it. More than one million immigrants have been forcibly deported since Obama became president. The U.S. caused the wars or wrecked the economies of the countries that these immigrants come from. Now, their lives are further ruined and families are broken apart for the “crime” of seeking work or safety here. And the fact that he gives a little bit of a concession just before election of letting some younger immigrants to stay here—which, by the way, is a temporary concession and one whose registration procedures can later be used to deport the people who fall for it—cannot change the four years of unmitigated, escalated horror that went before it.
>> Refuse to do anything about the environmental emergency faced by humanity?
He’s not only fucked around while the earth has continued to burn—he’s made it worse. New gas and oil pipelines are being laid all over the place, and “fracking” (an environmentally destructive form of mining for natural gas) has blossomed under Obama. And this year, in his Earth Day address, he refused to even mention the words “climate change.”
>> Remain silent while abortion doctors are murdered, and then seek “common ground” with those who are not only attacking the right to abortion, but to birth control?
He’s doing it. Meanwhile, the outright fascists who would take away the right to abortion and birth control run riot and these lunatics are actually allowed to seize the “high moral ground.”
Again—what crime would he have to commit—and what crime would the system that he heads have to commit—for you to stand up and say: “NO MORE!”
These are horrors—and complicity is unacceptable. And, no, Romney is no better. But once you get into the “lesser evil” logic of defeating Romney, you are led to accept and support things that you abhor. It is as if you were to say, “We can’t have the openly fascistic Romney as president, so we have to support the president—a president who actually carries out some fascist measures and conciliates with others and goes even further in some cases.” People have been doing this for years now, election after election. But where has that logic led? Away from what needs to be done, which is to RESIST these horrors—all of these horrors—and not conciliate with them… and into the arms of growing used to them, accepting them and then going along with and in fact supporting them.
And beyond that—beyond the destructive logic of staying confined within the choices that they offer you—there is this fact: there IS an alternative. We really do not have to be confined to constantly choosing between evils, and ending up in a situation that continually grows worse.
There is an alternative to the current capitalist-imperialist economic and political system in which increasing exploitation is the driving rule and people, in fact, count for nothing. A different society—a socialist society in which masses of people are empowered to set about wiping out exploitation and oppression, and all the institutions that go with it—is possible. There is a constitution for such a society. And there is the leadership to lead the revolution needed to bring it into being.
Stop acting against your deepest principles. Start checking out, getting into and supporting the real alternative that gives expression to those principles.