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That Is the Q (1)

June 24, 2016

Not The Bard’s or Camus’s first question of philosophy, but a Dickensian: “To vote or not, to vote that is the question.” Whether to vote for Clinton (and whether to leave the Dem party).

Yes, it has come to that, for some progressives such as the author of this tome. He and I have been going round and round about it. He can be exasperating.

Whether ‘tis nobler in the mind.

I have been drafting this page for a month, thinking that, close to the election, I would share what these thoughts had evolved into—if indeed the Qs still seemed urgent. But probably it’s better novelism to get this drama into the plot sooner, so I’m adding the page now, to be updated as the campaigning evolves (into what? certainly something ugly).

And since, as I’ve noted before, this novel lacks dialogue, I’m casting our thoughts into a simulation of our ongoing conversation.

Author: Okay. Bottom line, I believe that we have the outrageous fortune of living in an extraordinary moment of American history. (1) The great psychopathologies and psycho-pathologies of our democracy are cross-fertilizing: lust for wealth; ownership and exploitation of the earth; classism and residual aristocracy; sexism; racism; xenophobia; propensity for violence; militarism; know-nothingness. (2) Americans with remarkable financial power have laid the foundation (and are starting on the walls) of a genuinely, albeit American styled, fascist government. (3) To serve their interests they have captured one of our major political parties, and gained influence in the other. (4) Worst of all, climate change can soon—yes, soon—make life miserable, even unendurable, for billions of persons (not billions of $$) and countless species.

This is a crucial moment in global history. We have to make it a transformational moment.

But hey. So what? Who cares? If I’m wrong, let’s talk about things more pleasant. Let’s babble of green fields.

Me: You know that I agree and that I care, just as much as you do. We disagree about the what. How can you even think of allowing the possibility of a Republican president?

Author: Line just above the bottom, if we allow that, game over. But what’s on the line just above that one? Stopping the Rs is sine qua non, but pas suffisant. I don’t believe that a Clintonite Dem party will—or can, because of its ties to wealth—do what must be done. The interests of the wealthy run counter to what must be done.

So, can I compromise my moral and pragmatic imperative?

(And btw, the terrorists are the issue only for the terrified—and those who exploit them.)

[2 B cont, maybe right to the moment when the author puts his ballot in the mail.  What could make him change his mind?  Or me?  Opinions welcomed.]

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