I feel pretty much the same way about choosing Obama over Romney this election. From Vice’s interview with the irrepressible Cornel West:
We have to prevent a Romney takeover of the White House. No doubt about that. It would be very dangerous in terms of actual lives and actual deaths of the elderly and the poor. Those people who are dependent on various programs would have to deal with the ugly damage of the further redistribution of wealth from the poor and working people to the well off….
A Romney administration would be a catastrophic response to an already catastrophic condition. I still get in a lot of trouble with my left-wing comrades on this—that I would still support Obama winning while continuing to tell the truth about drones dropping bombs on innocent people, which I consider war crimes, about the Wall Street government, about the refusal to close Guantanamo, about [section] 1021 of the National Authorization Act where you can detain citizens without trial or even assassinate citizens based on the decisions of the executive branch. All of those things to me are morally obscene. It’s a matter of telling that truth, strategically. I think we have to ensure that we don’t have a takeover by conservative right-wing or we’re in a world of trouble.
I say this to the Left all the time: There comes a time when you have to accept reality and focus on outcomes. While in principle I agree with people like Glenn Greenwald and other strict civil liberty advocates, in practice, it doesn’t do any good whatsoever. Not voting for the Democrats on principle just makes it even harder to implement meaningful change, and you just end up shouting to hear the sound of your own voice. I’m sure West likes to hear himself speak a lot of the time too, but he recognizes that lives are literally at stake and election outcomes matter.
Ben Cohen is the editor and founder of The Daily Banter. He lives in Washington DC where he does podcasts, teaches Martial Arts, and tries to be a good father. He would be extremely disturbed if you took him too seriously.