To Preserve Democracy, Democrats Are Better Than Republicans


There's a common argument that one can expect to hear from some on the political left in the United States. The two major political parties are so similar, they say, that there's little reason to support one over the other. I can understand why someone might say this. I find it to be inaccurate in the best of times and harmful in the worst of times.

This argument is an expression of dissatisfaction with today's Democratic Party. I can understand it because I share this sentiment. The Democrats seem to have lost their way and often appear ineffective or even hapless. But more to the point, the mainstream of the party is more conservative than I'd prefer.

When I hear a socialist say that the Democrats are too much like the Republicans, I agree. Some of them have positions closer to Republicans than I'd like too. Some of the policies they support aren't what I'd choose either.

Despite this, there are far too many important differences to ignore. I do not buy the claim that there's no reason to support one party over the other. Even though the Democrats aren't what I wish they'd be, they are preferable to the Republicans. And this isn't a narrow gap.

I wish that the Democratic Party had lined up an alternative to Biden, but I'll take Biden over Trump any day. There are more than a few Democratic members of Congress I'd like to see get the boot. It would be great if they had suitable primary challengers and incumbency didn't mean we'd be stuck with them. But I'll still support them over the party of Trump.

I don't agree with any Democratic politician on everything, but I don't regard any of them as existential threats. As for the narcissistic nihilism modern Republicans are offering, I want no part of it. We can't continue to elect people who don't view government as legitimate and expect them to govern.

In an ideal world, we'd all be able to vote for a candidate that inspired us. We'd each have a candidate we wanted to support, one who deserved our support. We'd take to the streets and support them with enthusiasm because we knew they were working for us.

We don't live in such a world. Some of us have had this experience once or twice in our lives, but many have never had it. Instead, we've found ourselves voting for the least bad of two candidates we don't like much. This can be hard to stomach, but that doesn't make it any less necessary.

There are times when we won't have a good option and the best we can do is reject the worst option. And there are times when the worst option is so much worse that we must do everything in our power to reject it. Those who want to prevent authoritarianism from gaining more ground may recognize that such a time is near.

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