Your Principles Are Trash

At Politico, Ben Schreckinger has written a profile of 2016 Green Party candidate Dr. Jill Stein, who continues to be just as aggressive an asshole as she was before the election.
So does Stein, with the benefit of hindsight, have any regrets? "I don't think so," she tells me by phone from her home in Lexington, Massachusetts. Decrying "fake news," citing the "sabotage of Bernie Sanders," and talking up the "tremendous" campaign she could have run with more money, Stein is projecting a Trump-worthy level of defiance. "I consider it a great honor that the party and our prior campaign for president is suddenly being attacked outside of an election season," she says.
There is a lot more where that came from, including Stein dismissing serious questions about her own possible collusion with Russia as just one of the Democrats' "pathetic excuses" for losing.

And she continues to insist that there isn't more than a slim stream of daylight between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton: "There are differences between Clinton and Trump, no doubt, but they're not different enough to save your life, to save your job, to save the planet. We deserve more than two lethal choices."

That is a truly incredible contention from the Green Party candidate, given that one of the supposedly insignificant and not-lifesaving differences between Clinton and Trump is that Clinton gives a shit about climate change and Trump does not.

Maybe it helps Stein sleep at night to assert that there would have been no discernible difference between a Clinton presidency and Trump's presidency, or maybe she's just too actually stupid to understand how very different they would have been, but, either way, this oft-repeated assertion is not principled, the way she and so many of her dead-ender compatriots believe it is. To the absolute contrary, it is pompous as hell.

It is the height of self-aggrandizing bullshit to claim to have voted one's "conscience" to justify a vote that will cause harm to millions of people.

I am no stranger to making principled choices, even and especially when they have meaningful and material consequences for my life (like earning less money). A choice that would soothe my conscience but have deleterious consequences for millions of other lives isn't a principled choice. It's a shitty, vainglorious, harmful choice.

And that fact doesn't change no matter how many lies one tells about the sameness of Hillary Clinton's policies to Donald Trump's.

It also doesn't change no matter how much one insists that the horror show of the Trump presidency has a "silver lining" for leftist activism.
I thought I might be able to find some daylight between Stein and other Green Party leaders, who I expected might be troubled at any role they might have played in helping elect a man who once claimed climate change was a hoax perpetrated by the Chinese.

I was wrong.

"In some ways, Trump is one of the best things to happen to this country because look at how many people are getting off their posteriors," says Sherry Wells, the Green Party's Michigan chairwoman. "So part of me is giggling."
What an asshole.

One really has to be safely ensconced in a bubble of privilege to "giggle" at the thought that Trump's being one of the worst things to happen to this country is somehow one of the best things to happen to this country.

I know quite a number of long-time activists who have been off our posteriors, and not a one of us is feeling "energized" by Trump. Perhaps that's because we know how fucking hard this is going to be, from years of fighting for progress inch by precious inch.

I don't have the luxury of believing that a leftist utopia will rise from the ashes of Trump's presidency. As I've written previously: "Let him tear it down and then we'll build something better than we ever had" was always an incredibly dangerous gambit. And an incredibly foolish one.

I will never stop being angry at the people who thought that was a risk worth taking, at the cost of millions of people's safety and lives.

They're giggling many of us right into the fucking grave.

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