I’ve spent roughly a day debating whether or not to post this. Those of you who know me know that politics once played a much more decidedly prominent role in my life, one that has certainly become downplayed in the four years since I was actually the kind of person who might be posting this sort of thing for public consumption.
Maybe like everyone else, I’ve just been a bit galvanized by seeing a prospect I’ve never had. A realization that maybe the fact that I could sit out for so long is exactly the reason that I shouldn’t have.
Maybe it was that like 79,999,999 people who weren’t me, I saw the first General Election Presidential Debate and felt the dire need to talk about it all over the place. I have things on my chest, and I’ve got a platform of my own creation, maybe that’s why I’m writing this now. Whatever it is, I’m not here to start a conversation. I’m not here to start a debate myself. I’m here to scream out into the void something that I may have no right to yell, posting it late enough in the desperate hope that maybe everyone will ignore it.
I want to say first that my vote is not my own. I believe in the pragmatism of political action, and that to be a progressive is to make progress. When I choose my vote, I want to choose who I truly believe who will be able to do the most good for the country. It’s never about making a point, never about only what I believe is best for me. That’s not how living in a society works.
So, yes, we live in a country that makes that vote the choice of a “lesser evil.” I believe the history of this country has shown that disproves that notion, but I digress. The simple fact is that, yes, I have to often compromise and make a choice that doesn’t necessarily check every box, because I refuse to let the greater evil win.
That’s right, there are lesser and greater evils. Something in the American political character seems so often determined to fall right back on the most intellectually lazy notion: That everything and everyone sucks. It’s the kind of sentiment espoused by those who refuse to engage with the normal subjects of this blog, and it’s the kind of sentiment espoused to comfort those who refuse to engage in political life.
Comfort seems an odd notion there. What is comforting about the idea that we’re all doomed? Because it’s easy. It’s refusing to cut through both narratives and find one that actually rings true. It’s refusing to stand up for the good and the right in favor of taking a backseat, because “What can I do in a system that’s rigged?” It’s refusing to recognize that humanity and the humans that take actions are complex, and refusing to recognize those who find a way to do the right thing.
It’s refusing to realize that the lesser evil can actually be allowed to be a good.
In other words, thanks to Monday’s debate, we know who the greater evil is. And we can see the good within our “lesser evil.”
There is ink spilled on this again and again, and I won’t waste your time with more than a paragraph. But Donald J. Trump is a thin-skinned moron. A horrifying parody of the worst in America. He openly brags about his avarice and hate spews from his twisted visage every minute he’s been given a platform by a Republican Party too spineless to be called principled. I’ve never earnestly believed a politician could damage our country, and yet here he stands, ready to drive our nation into the ground because he can’t let an insult go. I hope every day that every politician and pundit who collaborated with him, every church leader who let him pretend at morality, and every useful idiot who bought his con proves that America can have a long memory.
But it isn’t enough that we have a greater evil, though yes, if you love this country, you should vote to allow it to continue. It’s that anyone with eyes sees that we have a greater good.
I’m not here to undo 20 years of right-wing (and a year or so of left-wing) propaganda and 20 years of legitimate mistakes from Hillary Clinton. She needs to be challenged and she needs to be pushed and a good progressive movement should be constantly making sure that she keeps her promises.
But last night, she was professional. She brought actual, legitimate solutions to bear on a set of issues. Good solutions, solutions that give us a point to start at, even if there’s still work to be done, she’s done more than anyone else would have. Through all the bullshit, she helped us remember that it’s policy, work, and collaboration that will help this country, not sloganeering and rage. She was strong, poised, and treated the election like it’s something that matters for the country, not for her own ego.
Last night, she was a President. For a long time, I was voting to stop a greater evil. Now, on November 8th, I’m voting for a greater good. I’m with Her.
For sitting through this, here are some hot-take entertainment opinions to fulfill this blog’s purpose and maybe get you angrier:
The Get Down is incredibly good. Hip-hop’s story as American mythmaking. Those kids are all gonna be stars.
Stranger Things is not. It’s a weak show with a good casting and a popular aesthetic. It’s an entire show built around the idea that “Yes, I recognize that.” Season 2 is gonna disappoint everybody.
My first round of premature Best Picture nomination predictions: La La Land, Fences, Silence, Manchester By the Sea, Lion, Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk, Arrival, Loving, Hidden Figures with Moonlight in the wildcard slot.
Star Trek : The Original Series is the best Star Trek then DS9 theeeeennnnn TNG theeeennnnnnnnnnnnnn Voyager thennnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn Enterprise.
Hannibal is my least favorite Bryan Fuller series.