Noam Chomsky on Hillary Clinton

  1. Noam ChomskyVoting should not be viewed as a form of personal self-expression or moral judgement directed in retaliation towards major party candidates who fail to reflect our values, or of a corrupt system designed to limit choices to those acceptable to corporate elites.
  2. The exclusive consequence of the act of voting in 2016 will be (if in a contested “swing state”) to marginally increase or decrease the chance of one of the major party candidates winning.
  3. One of these candidates, Trump, denies the existence of global warming, calls for increasing use of fossil fuels, dismantling of environmental regulations, and refuses assistance to India and other developing nations as called for in the Paris agreement, the combination of which could, in four years, take us to a catastrophic tipping point. Trump has also pledged to deport 11 million Mexican immigrants, offered to provide for the defense of supporters who have assaulted African American protesters at his rallies, stated his “openness to using nuclear weapons,” supports a ban on Muslims entering the US, and regards “the police in this country as absolutely mistreated and misunderstood” while having “done an unbelievable job of keeping law and order.” Trump has also pledged to increase military spending while cutting taxes on the rich, hence shredding what remains of the social welfare “safety net” despite pretenses.
  4. The suffering which these and other similarly extremist policies and attitudes will impose on marginalized and already oppressed populations has a high probability of being significantly greater than that which will result from a Clinton presidency.
  5. [The previous point] should constitute sufficient basis to voting for Clinton where a vote is potentially consequential — namely, in a contested, “swing” state.
  6. However, the left should also recognize that, should Trump win based on its failure to support Clinton, it will repeatedly face the accusation (based in fact), that it lacks concern for those sure to be most victimized by a Trump administration.
  7. Often this charge will emanate from establishment operatives who will use it as a bad faith justification for defeating challenges to corporate hegemony either in the Democratic Party or outside of it. They will ensure that it will be widely circulated in mainstream media channels with the result that many of those who would otherwise be sympathetic to a left challenge will find it a convincing reason to maintain their ties with the political establishment rather than breaking with it, as they must.
  8. Conclusion: by dismissing a “lesser evil” electoral logic and thereby increasing the potential for Clinton’s defeat the left will undermine what should be at the core of what it claims to be attempting to achieve.

—Noam Chomsky
An Eight Point Brief for LEV (Lesser Evil Voting)

14 thoughts on “Noam Chomsky on Hillary Clinton

  1. It is sad he has to ask to not be contacted with responses because of the haterade that is splashed on people who say something others are too angry to want to hear.

    • I don’t actually think it is that. I think that Chomsky has historically responded to people who took the time to write him. I think he just doesn’t want to get involved in some long discussion on this matter. He’s aware that there are more arguments in this matter and that it could go on and on. I would assume if he got any hate mail, it wouldn’t be forwarded to him. Or I hope.

      • Based on what SEK tells us Facebook peeps, Noam probably already gets heaps of hate mail. This would make it much worse since there are certain people who don’t know how to restrain themselves.

        • And I honestly think he tries to believe the best of hate mailers. AKA, something that sounds like an ignorant rant might be someone with limited writing experience asking a legitimate question asking for clarification. So he’s given them the benefit of the doubt, because he’s Dr. Noam and a friggin’ great person!

          In this case, what’s there to clarify? If someone disagrees (and it’s reasonable to disagree), they can write their own damn post and put it somewhere, start their own blog, whatever. There’s no data to provide additional sources on, everything about Trump is well-known.

          As to people who can’t restrain themselves … yeah, you never win an Internet fight. It doesn’t stop from trying. Like the dumb macho dingbats I remember from junior high. “Sez you? NO, SEZ YOU?”

          • I recall how hard Paul Johnson had to work to slander Chomsky in Intellectuals. It speaks incredibly badly for Johnson. And incredibly well for Chomsky. (Johnson, of course, is a proud Catholic.)

        • There is at least one YouTube clip where a very aggressive libertarian type confronts him, and Chomsky deals with him in a very calm and rational way — trying to inform and enlighten.

          I came upon an article I had written about some YouTube troll who found the article and then invited me to a “debate.” It was funny, given that the guy at no point had said anything other than liberals believe X (which was not accurate) and are wrong and that’s why conservatives rool. Talking to people on the other side can be really helpful. But there is a certain type (and this is what Chomsky was up against, as I recall), who really have nothing at the core of their conservatism other than anger.

          • Yes I have read it. And while yes, Professor Chomsky is very very calm, he probably doesn’t want to deal with the endless nonsense they spew that is unchanging in its composition.

            It is the impolite version if our disagreement over Matt Bruenig.

            • I knew you read it. But you and James responded to the guy. I’m still trying to figure out the psychology of someone who is constantly claiming victory without ever doing anything. It kind of reminds me of “Yertle the Turtle.”

              • We like to play with trolls. Up to a point, it is fun.

                After that point it is just a miserable slog of trying to decide if death is preferable or not.

                • Yeah, and then, like in James’ article in The Onion, it is “terribly exhausting.” (BTW: a construct I doubt Chomsky would use. I’m not sure if that was meant to be a little style joke or not.)

  2. If it were an Onion piece the headline in 72 point type would be NOAM CHOMSKY ENDORSES HILLARY CLINTON. The lead would begin “Noam Chomsky published an eight point endorsement of candidate Clinton today. This places him slightly to the left of Bernie Sanders, two miles to the right of Chris Hedges, and an indeterminate Z axis from Jill Stein. And really, who has time to figure out what she’s doing?

      • “Today, I’m just going to kick back and enjoy some much-needed Noam Time.” I love it. “Noam Time.” That’s what he’ll be remembered for!

    • That’s funny. I have to admit, what’s up with Jill Stein. I wouldn’t be surprised in Sanders gets more write-in votes than she gets total. It’s not that I have anything against her. But I wasn’t terribly impressed with her in 2012.

      But Chomsky was very precise in what he said, so I won’t add anything to that.

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