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Response to pnwmom (Original post)

Sat Jan 28, 2017, 10:32 AM

66. There is a danger

 

in comparing 3rd party vote totals with margin of victory/defeat and declaring the former to be the cause of the latter.

When the margins of defeat/victory are as small as they were in the last election (particularly in Michigan and Wisconsin), and much more so when they are as small as they were in the GE-determinative outcome in in Florida in 2000 (less than 1000), any factor which suppressed Democratic turnout in an amount greater than these (small) margins is an INDEPENDENT (i.e., would have changed the outcome even if everything else would have stayed the same) cause of our defeat and accordingly is EQUALLY RESPONSIBLE for that defeat.

I mention this because it has become almost as de rigueur among a certain faction of the Democratic Party to "blame the left" for the outcome in 2016 as it was in 2000, when, in both instances, actions by the "middle" of the party deprived our candidate of the support of identifiable voters in a number sufficient to overcome these (small) margins.

Prior to the 2000 election, Florida used ChoicePoint to purge thousands and thousands of mostly black convicted felons from Florida voter rolls, even though their voting rights had been automatically restored upon their release from prison and/or when their parole ended under the laws of the states where they were convicted. I was among a number of attorneys who were contacted by these men to try to get them back on the rolls before the election. Because they were poor, because they were powerless, and because they were, after all, felons, it became clear that this effort was going to require both financial help and mainstream support from the national party. They were turned away. We were told by told by party officials that there was no way that, after the "Willie Horton" ads in 1988, the Democratic Party was going to make it possible for Republicans to make a black convicted felon the image of the party. Even the most cautious estimates place the number of Democratic votes lost in Florida close to 10,000.

A similar thing happened this election. CrossCheck (which is ChoicePoint on steroids) purged thousands upon thousands of convicted felons from the voter rolls in key states. Aside from one or two passing comments about the handful of "non-Willie Horton" voters who got swept up in this deliberate assault on the voting rights of a group of primarily young black men (who had already been targeted by the war on drugs) the party kept silent. In fact, when Governor Terry McAuliffe (D.Va.) took the extraordinary step of using his pardon power to restore the voting rights of convicted felons in Virginia, the national party kept him at arms length even as he was being eviscerated by the right.

People who regularly claim we should support moderate party leadership because "the left cost us the last election" should remember that the same "comparison of lost voters v. margin of victory/defeat" analysis which is being used to place the "blame" for the last election (and the election of 2000) on the left could easily be used to shift that blame back on moderates.

That being said, there are still MORE than enough reasons to despise Stein voters. The Green Party is, and always has been, a complete fraud. People who fall for their BS are either painfully na´ve or painfully lacking in the very concern for their fellow citizens of the world whom they claim to care so much about. Socialism and social justice SHOULD be inextricably intertwined (Quick example, how, other than socialism, does the $60 trillion of wealth stolen from people of color during the 400 years of North American slavery and the 150+ years of institutional racism that has followed ever get returned to the people who created it?). Unfortunately, in "the Greens'" deceitful and/or feeble hands, socialism has become nothing but a tool to achieve further benefits for an already-privileged class.

I completely agree that "the Greens" are not our friends. I agree that the millions they collected for recount efforts were not donated to help their overall cause and should be distributed to folks fighting Trump. AND I add that they are traitors to the cause of socialism who think that alliance to Russia and beasts like Putin somehow substitutes for standing with the oppressed. It's just that they aren't the reason we lost any more than was our failure to stand up for the most oppressed individuals among the most oppressed demographic group in our party.

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