I have argued for some time now with fellow Democrats and liberals about what I perceive as the lack of choice in candidates between the two major US political parties, especially for “higher” offices – President and Senator especially. Yesterday’s news that President Obama restarted an effort begun under the Bush presidency to establish a free trade pact with eight Asian nations, despite clear and unambiguous 2008 campaign promises not to, is the latest evidence supporting my theory.
My theory is the lede: you still get something evil when you vote for the lesser of two evils. This goes out to all the so-called Democratic activists who claim that voting for a “Democrat” is always the only choice. No, it’s not. It’s a terrible long-term plan because right-wingers purposefully grow more extreme, which pulls Democratic candidates and their policies further and further to the right. I only vote for candidates that I think will stop this trajectory. I didn’t think then-Sen. Obama would do that in 2008 and most of his actions since then have convinced me of that opinion.
The newly leaked document is one of the most controversial of the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact. It addresses a broad sweep of regulations governing international investment and reveals the Obama administration’s advocacy for policies that environmental activists, financial reform advocates and labor unions have long rejected for eroding key protections currently in domestic laws.
with the 2008 campaign promise:
“We will not negotiate bilateral trade agreements that stop the government from protecting the environment, food safety, or the health of its citizens; give greater rights to foreign investors than to U.S. investors; require the privatization of our vital public services; or prevent developing country governments from adopting humanitarian licensing policies to improve access to life-saving medications,” reads the campaign document.
The administration and its sycophants can spin this free trade effort any way they want – the end result will be the ultimate determination of what President Obama and his backers really want. Read again what I wrote in the first paragraph: Obama restarted the Bush effort. Obama stopped it once he gained office, with a grand public show trying to prove how change-gy and hope-y he was. Then he restarted it without public acclaim. His administration has been negotiating for over 2 years in secret. It’s all bipartisanship-y, which is exactly what the corrupt media inside the D.C. Beltway wants to see, but it’s not what average Americans want to see. Has Obama been campaigning on this effort? No, he hasn’t brought it up once. Nor has he campaigned on the other free trade agreements he’s signed. Our economy falters, which we’re told causes Obama to worry, but the free trade express keeps chugging right along without public debate.
So keep voting for the lesser of two evils. Just don’t expect me to consider a slower march to an evil state a success. A march away from that state would be a success. That’s what I’ll be voting for in November.