Ahmed Afzaal

The Voter’s Dilemma (3)

Let’s examine Noam Chomsky’s full argument. Here’s a short excerpt from an interview that he did with Mehdi Hasan on April 17. The journalist asked the question: “What do you make of the ‘Never Biden’ movement?” Chomsky responded as follows:

It brings up some memories. In the early 1930s, in Germany, the Communist Party, following the Stalinist line at the moment, took the position that everybody but us is a social fascist, and so there is no difference between the social democrats and the Nazis. So we are not going to join with the social democrats to stop the Nazi plague. We know where that led. There are many other cases like that. And I think we are seeing a rerun of that. So let’s take the position “Never Biden, I am not going to vote for Biden.” There is a thing called arithmetic. You can debate a lot of things, but not arithmetic. The failure to vote for Biden in this election in a swing state amounts to voting for Trump. It takes one vote away from the opposition is the same as adding one vote for Trump. So if you decide that you want to vote for the destruction of organized life on earth, for the sharp increase in the threat of nuclear war, for stuffing the judiciary with young lawyers who will make it impossible to do anything for a generation, then do it openly and [say] yeah, that is what I want. That’s the meaning of “Never Biden.”

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The Voter’s Dilemma (2)

I have been using the word “dilemma” to name the difficulty of deciding whether, and for whom, should I vote this coming November. After having chosen it, I started wondering if it was, indeed, the right word for this purpose, so I decided to look it up in the OED.

Capture

So, a dilemma is basically a situation that offers two or more alternatives, known as “horns,” which are—or appear to be—equally undesirable.

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The Voter’s Dilemma (1)

I voted for Bernie Sanders in the Democratic primaries, but he is no longer in the race. I am now being told that I should vote for Joe Biden in the fall, for if I abstain from voting or if I vote for the Green Party candidate then I would be guilty of supporting Donald Trump and would therefore have to accept part of the responsibility for all the horrible things that he would probably do. But I don’t want to lend my support to Biden either, for many different reasons. This situation poses a dilemma. It is a real dilemma, not a made-up one, and so it deserves some serious attention.

dilemma

Let’s begin with a fundamental questions: What is the purpose of a Presidential election? Here’s a tentative answer: The purpose of a Presidential election is to provide citizens the opportunity to express their opinion as to which particular candidate should hold that office for the next four years.

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