In that vein, the Managing Editor of TGP recently published “Stuck in the Two Party Rut.” Dr. Wolf bemoaned the present state of the hard left, with an emphasis on its tacit endorsement of Trump. Two other editors had preceded her, as such is the transparency of TGP. Now I will add my voice, not harboring any illusions regarding the vitriolic criticism it’s likely to elicit, but dictated by conscience.
The endless diatribes on the disastrous consequences of a Clinton presidency are well-deserved and then some. What boggles the mind is the direct and indirect promotion of Trump, sufficiently convoluted to constitute an assault on reason. Those who do so always qualify their “cleansing” of Trump by acknowledging the erratic cartoon character that he is, but then proceed to offer labored rationalizations as to the potential benefits of a Trump presidency.
Even the most tolerant of epistemologists would cry out in agony over the hard left’s commentary on Trump. We never have certain knowledge of what a given presidency will bring, but a candidate’s prior behavior and character traits provide a starting point in undertaking a rational assessment. This hasn’t dissuaded the hard left, however, as despite Trump’s manifest disregard for basic civility—much less the core values we embrace—the hard left has thrown reason to the wind with reckless abandonment.
The myriad of assumptions being peddled like vacuum-cleaner salesmen clearing Trump’s mountain of toxic debris make a mockery of deductive logic. Syllogistic fallacies, such as an “undistributed middle” (failure of a syllogism’s middle term to refer to all the members of a class in at least one premise) are replete in virtually every conclusion drawn vis-à-vis a Trump presidency. From the lens of logic, critical analysis, and common sense, what the hard left is selling as plausible is in fact as porous as tissue paper.
Logic aside and turning to history, when and where has a man who wears deception, exceptionalism, avarice, narcissism, and every conceivable form of virulent bigotry as a badge of honor furthered an egalitarian ethos? Even a modicum of historical literacy tells us that inept and inhumane leaders who wreak havoc induce the worst in the populace, as fear isn’t a prescription for compassion.
As Dr. Wolf has noted, the farce of asserting that Trump’s not a captive of the system is ludicrous on its face. In truth, he is the system, having richly profited from the cancer of capitalism. It’s nothing less than delusional to believe he’ll injure his own “baby” by design or even inadvertently through ineptness. Capitalism is Trump’s god, and to believe that any benefit could be derived from a man to whom character is a foreign word is pragmatically and morally unsupportable.
Trump is a man whose compass is calibrated on delusions of grandeur, but the hard left is undeterred in incessantly giving him facelifts. Have we reached the depths of desperation in which better to create chaos than imaginatively pave the way for systemic change, disregarding the pain that would be inflicted on the most vulnerable among us. The inability to supplant capitalism with a genuine democracy should prompt us to look in the mirror, not sanitize a man who embodies everything for which we profess to have contempt. Have we transformed hypocrisy into an art form?
Would our efforts not be more efficacious, not to mention sane, in advancing two excellent candidates in Gloria La Riva and Jill Stein—representing the Socialist and Green Party respectively. La Riva unfortunately isn’t on many state ballots, but Jill Stein—although not Cornell West—is eminently deserving of our fervent support in a year when millions are dissatisfied with both Trump and Clinton.
This is a fertile moment to seize in building our base, which hasn’t been lost on the Libertarian Party, whereas our brilliant tactical approach is whitewashing a coarse and unstable man. Even more incredulous, it stinks of the identical “lesser of evils” rationale we’ve long indicted as morally bankrupt. Jill Stein, an articulate and principled progressive, has largely been relegated to the bleachers by the hard left while we continue massaging Trump—an unmitigated disgrace by any standard of measure.
Would additional power serve as an antidote for his Messianic complex; will a 70-year old man grow a conscience and not roll back hard-fought gains for people of color, women, and gays; would he be sensitive to the millions suffering on the margins; will he appoint Supreme Court Justices committed to protect the exploited and oppressed; and to whom would he ultimately be more prone to speak the same language, Putin or Netanyahu?
The reasons for turning a blind eye to reality are many and varied, but I fear the raison d’etre of the hard left has been obscured in a self-righteous haze. Marx’s writings are obviously dated, but the ethical precepts remain as true as ever: “From each according to his ability; to each according to his need.” Yet we look for positives in a man who represents the very antithesis of that vision, which borders on the obscene. Worse than abandoning Marx, however, is abandoning those languishing in dire need.
What is this folly about in its most unadulterated form: the mainstream press, financial, and Republican Establishment are all trashing Trump, and thus he must have some redeeming virtues. After all, an enemy of my enemy is my friend. I can’t conceive of anyone with an iota of self-respect and mental acuity adopting a baseless cliché of this nature, but then here we are in August of 2016. Look at the hard-left publications, and they’re inundated with foul-smelling garbage comparing two people unfit to hold office—rarely, in any rational sense of proportion, promoting Stein or La Riva.
In sum, we have abjectly failed. Those who can afford it least will pay the highest price for that failure, while most of the “architects” of the hard left will be having abstract conversations over brie and Chablis. Shame on those who knew that elevating the standing of a quintessential capitalist and world-class bigot was an abomination of the highest order, but joined the mindless parade nonetheless. I personally fall into the equally complicit category of those who remained silent for too long when I should have been more actively supporting our sisters, Stein and La Riva. The sine qua non of our cause is authentic justice for all, and stating it mildly, we haven’t distinguished ourselves in that quest.
— Ed Duvin
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