My assessment of Trump and Clinton as candidates has remained pretty constant throughout this grotesque chapter in American electoral history. They are both corrupt, dishonest, self-serving sociopaths who crave power and will tell any lie to make sure they get it. Donald Trump is a serial sexual predator. Hillary Clinton has spent decades enabling the sexually predatory behaviour of her husband by openly lying, going after his victims and so on.
They are both utterly despicable candidates.
I’m also pretty firm on my stance on voting. It’s a terrible idea. I’d even go so far as to say that there is a moral imperative NOT to vote.
There’s an argument that I’ve seen a lot of people put forward. A lot of people, from close friends to public intellectuals, most recently, Sam Harris – the argument goes like this:
You should vote for Hillary Clinton because she is the lesser of two evils.
I have historically disagreed with this line of thinking for two reasons. Firstly, I was sure that Hillary was NOT the lesser of two evils, she was simply the more competent of two evils. And secondly I saw the argument as non sequitur.
There were a number of things which I had missed in my calculus regarding the magnitude of Trump’s evil (if it is even possible to gauge such a thing). I learned during the debates just how protectionist he is (an area where he agrees with Bernie Sanders) – he believes in policies which would harm a lot of developing economies around the world, and would push poor people living in those countries further into poverty.
Also, there’s the question of his outrageous misogyny and bigotry. I think this has been something of a perfect storm, this election. We know Trump is a serial sexual predator – but because Hillary is so vulnerable on this subject, she hasn’t been able to go after him for it. And the press have been worse than useless, as always.
There are a lot of people who aren’t sexual predators, but who are perhaps young and inexperienced men who haven’t been exposed to ideas around consent who will see Trump’s antics, see the things he has got away with, hear the things he is saying and will adopt some or all of his views – in short, he will become a poster child for rapey men. Thanks to Anudari for correcting me on this point.
A Clinton presidency will be a disaster for many people – particularly women, and a disaster for the country. She will set back feminism 30 years, in my view. A Trump presidency, on reflection, will be a disaster for far more people, including women and people around the world, and will set back feminism 70 years.
So on balance, I think a Clinton presidency will be marginally less terrible than a Trump presidency. This does not mean I have changed my mind on voting – a vote for anyone is still a vote for the system which gave you two sociopaths from which to choose. Abstention is still a moral imperative.
So the inevitable is happening. Now Americans have to fight off Clinton’s attempts to crush free speech, to attack privacy and encryption, to support Saudi Arabia, to support Israel’s brutalisation of Palestine, to support the military-industrial complex, and probably to bomb some brown people.
Now, Americans. Choose the form of the destructor. (h/t Reason for the video)