September 18, 2016

LETTER TO THE EDITOR | Ending the Political Hegemony of Righteousness

Print More

To the Editor:

We have recently witnessed an upsurge in liberals and Clinton supporters devaluing large left-leaning segments of the population which are considering voting for third party options, or not voting at all, in the coming presidential election. Being a member of this ideological trend I am forced to respond to these attacks, to give public representation to a position which is constantly being decried.

I respect those whose political choice is to cast their ballot in favor of Hillary Clinton, some of which will even do this against their conscience in a respectable effort to stop Donald Trump from winning the presidency. I, and many others, do not share that sacrifice, however legitimate in its own right. The mainstream liberals, clearly represented on this campus by the Cornell Democrats, however, have an egregious will to undermine our divergent political choices. The Sun recently dedicated an article to the Democrats position, titled “Cornell Democrats Warn Students of Risks of voting for Third Party.” This reminds us one more time of how racist and scary candidate Trump is, and, in essence, works to guilt trip us into voting for their candidate. I will respond to the arguments formulated in that article and demonstrate their fallacies.

One member of the Cornell Democrats hails at us to “wake up and smell the fascism” to appeal to our sense of duty against such forces. There is an absence of historical understanding of fascism inside the ranks of Hillary Clinton, however, which limits the conception to its bare minimum. A Fascist movement, although catalyzed by a powerful figure during its rise and climax, necessitates pre-conditions for its emergence. The defeat of Donald Trump will not shut down the large sections of American society which are responsive to his rhetoric. The end of Trump will not save this country from these threats. The far-right reactionary and fascist movement will keep rising, finding a new leaders if it needs to, unless it is opposed by a genuine anti-fascist united force, a progressive socialist movement which doesn’t flirt with the establishment. Clinton is born of the neo-liberal economic order, the same establishment politics that have generated the fascist movement taking place today. It is not a far-reaching certitude that Clinton, outside of mild appeasing economic reforms, will maintain this order and therefore only generate more reactionary forces.

Another point of pride made by the Cornell Democrats about Clinton is that she “treats her political adversaries with respect” as opposed to the unpredictable and provoking Trump. We have accumulated enough information by now, especially through the WikiLeaks email disclosure, to know that the cooperation between the DNC and Hillary Clinton’s campaign was real and seriously undermining the fair process of the Democratic primaries. Hillary Clinton, although more subtly than Trump, knows how to do this and will undermine her political adversaries when she needs to.

A third and final, rather prevailing, point made by the Cornell Democrats concerns the recognition of the sacredness of the right to vote, aimed at those planning on not voting. A member mentions the sacrifice of those who achieved the legal right and our inherent duty to use it. How pleasant the hypocrisy, this argument ending an article focused exclusively on dictating whom to vote for. The right to vote, in all its sacredness, also encompasses the right to choose for whom to vote.

To Cornell Democrats specifically, and to all Liberal moral-givers generally, I will not criticize your voting decision but keep us out of your political calculations. You are responsible for the creation of this bi-partisan system which has left us a choice between fascism and neo-liberalism. Today, some of us are ready to formulate and construct a brand-new path, and we won’t delay this project any longer because of your petty cries for help.

Alec Desbordes ’17