It’s the only sane choice. He explains why he’s not voting for Obama in 2012, and he makes a good case: in particular, Obama has been disastrous for environmental issues, as Clarke documents. He also posts a minimal list of basic criteria for any good progressive candidate:
- must neither openly nor tacitly support the use of torture in any circumstance.
- must pledge to defend women’s access to abortion against any threatened limitation, whether that obstruction be political, religious or economic.
- must pledge to oppose the enshrining in law of social discrimination against any group of people based on gender, ethnicity, sexuality, language, religious belief or lack thereof, disability, social class, or other arbitrary division.
- must agree that the rich — who have after all profited most from the country’s natural wealth, infrastructure and financial policy — ought to pay their fair share of taxes.
- must at least hold as an aspiration the provision of a tolerable standard of living to all people in the US, including shelter, food, clothing, education, health care and access to communication, regardless of the individual’s ability to pay.
- must support the continued existence of labor unions.
- must pledge not to punish individual migrants for the failures of the country’s immigration policy.
- must at least pledge to value the ecological integrity of the United States’ landscapes over the possibility that profit might be extracted from them.
- must possess at least a high-school level understanding of science, especially regarding but not limited to crucial topics such as climate change and evolutionary biology.
- must oppose any interference in the routine and proper teaching of science in our public schools by religious groups.
- must abide by the War Powers Resolution of 1973.
I think I’d add a few, though.
- must openly and strongly support the separation of church and state — no prayer breakfasts, no faith-based initiatives.
- his economic advisors should be focused on the lower and middle classes, and not be stocked with bankers and Wall Street cronies.
- end the drug war, stop the privatization of prisons as big business, and release all non-violent drug offenders.
- must have a nation-wide plan for standards in science education that ends the petty tyranny of local school boards and the penny-pinching funding based on local levies.
The funny thing is, if you attend local democratic caucuses and conventions, you find mobs of people enthusiastically pushing these kinds of ideas for the party platform. Somehow, though, they all get lost on the long climb upward to our actual representatives, who all end up standing for nothing…other than getting re-elected.
Why did we all vote for that Obama guy, anyway? He’s doing none of the above. Oh, yeah, simply because his opposition was a venal Rethuglican.