Thursday, September 16, 2004

A Uniter, Not a Divider

Great jumping Christ. Noam Chomsky has come out saying that voters in swing states should vote for John Kerry.

[Chomsky] said: "Kerry is sometimes described as 'Bush-lite', which is not inaccurate. But despite the limited differences both domestically and internationally, there are differences. In a system of immense power, small differences can translate into large outcomes."

Now, Chomsky himself is voting for Nader. That's because he lives in Massachusetts, a safe state.

“I will vote for Nader because Mass. is a safe state. And voters in ‘safe states’ should not vote for Kerry.”

Okay, a little weird -- if Chomsky really thought any significant number of people would follow his advice, Massachusetts would stop being a safe state.

(Besides, even if Kerry loses the Electoral College, it's important to give him a big popular-vote victory, because it could at least provoke more debate about whether we should get rid of the Electoral College, the most anti-democratic institution outside of Tom Delay's office.)

But in another interview, Chomsky has a beautiful, absolutely withering attack on the view that it makes no difference who you vote for:

These may not look like huge differences, but they translate into quite big effects for the lives of people. Anyone who says "I don’t care if Bush gets elected" is basically telling poor and working people in the country, "I don’t care if your lives are destroyed. I don’t care whether you are going to have a little money to help your disabled mother. I just don’t care, because from my elevated point of view I don’t see much difference between them." That’s a way of saying, "Pay no attention to me, because I don’t care about you." Apart from its being wrong, it’s a recipe for disaster if you’re hoping to ever develop a popular movement and a political alternative.

That's it. Little differences matter too. Even if you think it's only the lesser of two evils, isn't it still less evil? Even if it saves only one life, isn't it worth showing up to vote for?