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Thursday, May 5, 2011

OK...vote for Obama in the general election but not in the primary: 10 reasons to have more fun and produce a better outcome.

Despite the title of this blog, I really still want to vote for the President in his reelection but I plan to support Ron Paul because endless wars and empire building and maintenance are preventing us from building the peaceful green economy. We have to strike a death blow to the MIC first if we are going to free up enough funding for building the PGE. Many progressives are very scared that a President Paul will not only destroy the MIC (which most would applaud) but also destroy social security, Medicare, every reasonable regulation, etc. I know he would like to do this and so I understand the skepticism. Nevertheless, for political reasons Paul will not be elected without making a deal with progressives who can give him the presidency in coalition with libertarians and independents. He will owe us and this obligation will prevent him from overreaching. Regardless, let's suppose progressives will not lend a hand in getting Ron Paul elected. Does this mean they should not lend him a hand in getting him the GOP nomination? My answer is, of course, no. We should help him get the nomination for the following reasons:
1. Most progressives have little reason to vote in the 2012 Democratic primary. If you live in a district and state where progressive Democrats already hold office, it is highly unlikely that a blue dog will challenge, let alone, defeat the incumbent.  The converse applies to blue dog districts and states. If you do have a truly contested primary, then by all means, don't jump ship; support the progressive candidates in such primaries. But if the outcome of your state's Democratic primary is fairly certain, why not have fun making the GOP miserable?
2. Getting Ron Paul a plurality of GOP primary voters will make the 2012 GOP convention actually worth watching. Establishment Republicans will stop at nothing to prevent Ron Paul from getting the nomination. If Ron Paul wins, the GOP splits and some kind of Romney/ Huckabee combo goes independent.
3. A 3-way race among the president, Ron Paul and the GOP establishment candidates means Obama wins big time (unless, of course, enough progressives decide that Paul offers a better deal).
4. Voting in the GOP primary also gives progressives the ability to nominate either libertarians who will assist a newly peaceful and green President Obama (I keep praying for it.) to dismantle the MIC, or to nominate GOP extremists who have no chance of winning in the general election.
5. Voting in the GOP primary gives progressives the opportunity to significantly weaken the neo-con/cultural traditionalist coalition, a fitting punishment for all they have done to ruin our country and prevent progressive legislation like single payer or public option from even making it out of committee.
6. If the economy tanks (not that I think we are out of the tank yet), which of the Republicans would you rather have running the country? Nominating Ron Paul guarantees that a Romney, a Huckabee or one of their clones does not win the general election. Even causing a huge stink at the GOP convention all but guarantees these military Keynesians fall short in the general election even with a double dip on.
7. An overreaching Ron Paul, if elected, will destroy the libertarian cause. (I really think he is too smart to overreach and will confine his cutting to the MIC at least through his first or only term.)
8. A Ron Paul surge or nomination gives the president and the Democrats a wake up call: do not take progressives for granted! Can you think of any other way for progressives to flex their muscles right now. A Democratic primary challenge will weaken the president and when a diminished but inevitable nominee loses the general election, guess who gets the blame and more of the marginalization we've come to expect.
9. A libertarian coup on the other side of the aisle means the Democratic party finally moves left of center and has a constructive opposition that it can make real deals with. Wouldn't this be a change: trying to out-peace a fatter libertarian faction of the GOP? The alternative is more of the same presidential and congressional "centering" (with all the paranoid avoidance of being perceived as weak on defense) against an increasingly rightward gravitating GOP.
10. A Ron Paul nomination serves as the first victory over corporatism since the New Deal. Our vote could actually have some real significance for a change. Along the way toward this victory, we might discover some unexpected ways to make deals with libertarians who, at least for now, offer us a better bargain than the corporatists who ignore us except to plant us in their astroturf.


  1. Excellent! Thanks for contributing this to the discussion. We need this thinking to go viral! Let's do this!

  2. thanks i am reposting ur article here. hope u dont mind

  3. I just switched parties so I could participate in the primary/caucus process in CO. I just put a yard sign out too. I'm known as an anti-war, anti-corporate progressive. Ron Paul is the closest candidate to my beliefs.

  4. tsatriano, That's great...what got you to that decision? Let's keep in contact and make this happen.