I share Professor Eddie S. Glaude Jr. *97’s frustration with President Obama’s disinterest in bringing about fundamental change in our country (Life of the Mind, Jan. 13). However, I was surprised by his proposed solution. Refusing to vote for the lesser of two evils worked out poorly for the left in Germany 1933, and I’d be curious to know if he can point to any subsequent election where such a strategy has paid off. Had Al Gore become president in 2000 rather than George Bush, it’s fair to say that we would not have gone to war in Iraq. Professor Glaude mentions the “massive amount of organizing” that went into opposing the war; wouldn’t it have been preferable if all that energy could have gone into organizing for positive change, rather than into a desperate fight to prevent an unnecessary disaster?
The point isn’t that voting for the lesser of two evils (or anyone else, for that matter) magically will solve all of our problems. It’s simply that history generally shows it’s a lot easer to organize for progressive change when the lesser of two evils is in office.