Letters: Chomsky replies
Some truth to it, but wrongly put. I’ve never adopted the curious new concept of ‘lesser evil voting’ and have argued strenuously that even raising the notion, as is done here, is a sellout to the establishment. For the left, politics is activism, daily. Every once in a while an event comes along called an ‘election’. A genuine leftist asks whether some candidate is so awful that it’s worth taking a few minutes to vote against them, and if it is, does so, and then goes back to work.
Noam Chomsky in reply to ‘Lesser Evil’ article in October Socialist Standard.
But, unless this is just going to be a private gesture, it will involve much more than just a few minutes, won’t it? If you really want to stop the most awful candidate you need to work out who amongst the other candidates has the best chance of winning instead, even if there is another candidate standing who is less awful. And then you need to urge others to vote for your chosen anti-most-awful candidate. Which is what you have been doing, urging voters, at least in the swing states, to vote for Biden and not to vote, for instance, for the Green Party candidate. We would have thought that this is precisely ‘lesser evil’ politics. If we are talking of gestures, a more principled one would be to cast a write-in vote for socialism – Editors.
Socialist Standard November 2020