Sunday, October 28, 2012

Stand with us or step aside, buster! There is no lesser evil in US politics!

We’re coming down to the wire on these odious elections where the scam of lesser evil politics crescendoes to a frenzy of panic. I go back to the “I like Ike” election in 1952, so forgive me if I don’t share the panic--not just because I’ve heard it all before, but because I don’t think social transformation will ever come from double-talking, millionaire politicians. Social transformation is a democratic & participatory process; there are no saviors in politics. It’s just plain hard work.

As a long-time feminist, it is regrettable to me that US feminists are among the most ardent supporters of Obama, arguing that he is emancipating women from 'barbarous, Islamic regimes' by killing them & their loved ones with drone aircraft, bombing their homes, schools, mosques, hospitals, fields, destroying their countries. That political dissonance is because the leadership of the women’s movement of the 1970s made a devil’s pact with the Democratic Party (DP), hitched its fortunes to Democratic politicians, & demobilized as a social movement. That’s the function of the DP--to control & demobilize progressive movements. In that stinking bargain, many feminists made their peace with war, racism, & colonialism.

That is more than evident in the present election when you witness feminist reaction to the attack on Malala Yousufzai, which they use to justify support for Obama despite massive drone bombings in several countries which are killing thousands of men, women, & children. And it is evident when feminists ignore these barbarous assaults claiming that even if Obama is a war-monger, at least he will maintain reproductive rights in this country. The truth is, women’s rights are under attack because the women’s movement is parked inside the DP, waiting for that male-dominated, misogynist party to save us & has refused to lead a relentless fight for women’s rights regardless of who is in power.

What is equally disturbing to hear is progressive people who reject the lesser evil paradigm but accept the false counterposition between war & women’s reproductive rights. This mendacious dichotomy is a fiction perpetrated by DP ideologues. Women’s rights are not negotiable--at least to the millions of women who face unwanted pregnancy or the hundreds of thousands who die from illegal abortions or the thousands subjected to racist population control programs. Principled politics are not horse trading. We don’t throw women’s rights--or anyone’s rights--under the bus just because cynical ideologues of the Democratic Party play that game. We don’t decide which demands can be dumped as secondary or as extra baggage because that’s the death trap of divide & conquer. We demand every human right we’re due, leaving nothing out because of expedience, & making no concessions whatsoever to lesser evil mendacity.

We demand the immediate cessation of bombing & the unconditional withdrawal of all US-NATO troops; we demand women’s rights, & civil rights, & LGBT rights, & worker’s rights. And if candidates cannot stand with us & our demands, we throw our votes for them under the bus!

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