and not get it, than to vote for what you don’t want and get it.”
The quote is attributed to Eugene Debs, but oddly the first time it ever came to mind for me as a voter was when I cast my vote for Hillary Clinton in the 2008 primary.
Hillary is no Debbs, but she was running to the left of Obama. Although I doubted she would govern that way, I felt that was best for such a campaign to succeed as strongly as possible—that appeals to progressive values ought to be rewarded.
Of course Debs meant something very different when he said this, and I am in some respects guilty of turning his argument on its head. But it is clear to me that we often are faced with such choices, sometimes made more fraught by strategic problems created by our winner-take-all primary system.
I do not believe that Bernie Sanders has much of a chance to win my party’s nomination for president, in fact I doubt that he believes it either. But I am grateful for the chance to vote for what I want, and am at least open to the idea that Bernie’s campaign can open up some progressive anti-corporate space in the political discourse of this country.