Thursday, August 11, 2016

LOL no you should not vote for Donald Trump

The moral and political assumptions that we take for granted are often a good measure of civilization and progress. We do not, for example, spend a lot of time arguing about the merits of cannibalism, because decent people generally agree that cannibalism is bad. We also generally suspect that people who do accept cannibalism have values and perspectives so radically different from our own that arriving at some sort of consensus would take a lot more than, say, a casual exchange of tweets over the internet.

For this reason, I don't spend a lot of time doing things like shaking my fist against Vladimir Putin, or arguing against a vote for Donald Trump. The case against both of them strikes me as pretty remedial, and I generally assume that people who disagree with me about this do so for enormous psychological / socioeconomic / cultural reasons that aren't going to be productively addressed through sporadic, impersonal online criticism. The left critique of liberalism strikes me as a far more useful (and personally interesting) point of engagement, which is why I spend a lot more of my time complaining about milquetoast centrists, Clinton loyalists and bourgeois capitalists.

That said: FFS, don't actually vote for Donald Trump. There is not a good left case for it, there is not a good anti-establishment case for it, there is zero moral or strategic logic for it whatsoever. If you want to heighten-the-contradictions, vote for Clinton, who will spend the next 4-8 years proving that even the most liberal and humane capitalism one can imagine is absolutely unacceptable. If you want to spite the political establishment, you aren't going to do it by endorsing a dull Republican troll who will spend the next 4-8 years farming governance out to the usual geriatric oligarchs and imperialists while he makes dumb jokes on Twitter.

I am not going to spend a lot of time making this point, because I think Trump is going to lose anyway, and because liberals are obviously going to try to co-opt any criticism of Republicans into an endorsement of Democrats. But come on, people