Clearly concerned about the so-called “enthusiasm gap” between likely Republican and likely Democratic voters, the White House recently began what is effectively a new campaign to shore up support for Democratic candidates among the party’s most vocal activists, and, by extension, its base. However, the explicit message of this campaign is highly counter-intuitive, at least at first glance. Its slogan: “Consider the Alternatives!” The message is difficult to ignore: in the White House echo chamber, the Vice President echoes the President echoing the Vice President. As ABC News reports:
At a fundraiser in Manchester, NH, today, Vice President Biden urged Democrats to “remind our base constituency to stop whining and get out there and look at the alternatives. This President has done an incredible job. He’s kept his promises.”
The remarks, made to roughly 200 top Democratic activists and donors, recall comments President Obama made last week to “griping and groaning Democrats…Folks: wake up. This is not some academic exercise. As Joe Biden put it, Don’t compare us to the Almighty, compare us to the alternative.” [Emphases added.]
Take a moment to consider the implications of the fact that the most prominent officials of the majority party are literally imploring Americans to “Consider the Alternatives.” Of course, in the Orwellian language that is appropriate to the bizarro world of Democratic-Republican party politics and government, the statement “Consider the Alternatives” means exactly the opposite of what it says. The implied message is immediately apparent: there are no alternatives, or rather, there is only one presumed alternative, voting Republican, but the presupposition is that this is simply not an option and therefore not an alternative. But how does a partisan of the two-party state understand the message? At The Reaction, Michael Stickings writes in a letter to the Vice President:
What’s with telling the Democratic base, your base, to “stop whining“? Sure, I get your point — as inartful as it was. If you put Democrats up against Republicans, and if Democrats are compared to “the alternative,” the choice should be clear, and Democrats, suffering from a lack of enthusiasm, should step up and do what needs to be done to prevent the Republicans from winning big this November.
In a two-party system, you’ve only got two choices, and often that choice is simply the least bad of the two. Is that what you meant? If so, and it would seem so, that’s hardly a ringing endorsement of Democrats, hardly an encouraging message to be sending. [Emphases added.]
In other words, the supporter of the two-party state thinks he has a choice when in fact there are no alternatives. Indeed, partisans of the two-party state are so blinded by the ideology that maintains it, they see two choices where in fact there are no alternatives.
The good news is that there are numerous alternatives to the false choice between the Democratic and Republican parties that has been forced upon us by the ruling corporate-political class. From a principled liberal or progressive perspective, left-leaning Independents, the Green party, the Socialist parties, even the Libertarian party, represent a superior alternative to the reproduction of the reigning corporatist two-party state. If you call yourself a liberal or a progressive, but you support Democrats, in what sense are you a liberal or progressive? By your actions you do nothing but provide popular political cover for a primary faction of the global warfare and corporate welfare state.