Where Obama's reelection leaves the Green Party and the left in general
One could be excused for wrongly predicting the outcome of last week's presidential election, given the the supposedly tight race that corporate-controlled media made it to be.But Obama's reelection was never really in doubt, the Democrats simply succeeded in using Mitt Romney as a bogeyman, in order to scare progressives into voting for the president.
Unlike in 2008, his voters mainly voted against the Republican, rather than in support of Obama. While Tuesday's results were a clear rejection of austerity and the gutting of social programs, it seems more than likely that the president will repay the American people for his reelection by implementing the very same policies they voted against. Even in his first term, he never rejected the Republican premise that the richest country the world has ever seen is both "broke" and that the social safety net must be dismantled to alleviate the problem. (All of that, in a time of huge corporate profits and a decrease in actual corporate tax revenue.). He has also promised a "grand bargain" with the GOP on deficit reduction , as has been somewhat widely reported by now.
It is needless to say that I accept the results of the election and that I don't wish to blame anyone for the way they voted.However, it is still important to mention what consequences a fear-driven vote has. It rewards the president for governing to the right of his hated Republican predecessor. It thereby diminishes the importance of progressives as a voting bloc. This has the effect of leaving us both politically disarmed and toothless in any potential struggle against the administration's pro-war and pro-Wall Street policies.
As bad as a Romney administration would have been ,at least everyone on the left would have been united in strong opposition to it. The anti-war movement is a prime example of this. It virtually died when Obama was first elected and there was no political force to challenge him on Libya, the drone wars or his kill list. That's why I agree with those who say that the Democrats are not the lesser evil,but the more effective evil. It's also the reason why the Georgia Green Party motto has always been "vote your hopes,not your fears". Our party is still quite small, but it's nevertheless the biggest truly progressive party in this country. This gives us a certain responsibility to fearlessly take on the establishment, both within and beyond electoral politics. Our 2012 presidential candidate, Jill Stein was certainly right when she said that the politics of fear has brought us everything we're afraid of.
We must work on building our movement, so that the left will be a formidable force in America once again.