08 October 2011

"When you choose the lesser of two evils, 
always remember that it is still an evil."
   - Max Lerner, political commentator

I'm sick to death of hearing and reading comments from people who offer up the "lesser of two evils" as justification for whatever lame, misguided action they've taken or are about to take. Take the TSA apologists (please, take them), for example, who say that although the current agency staffing levels are outrageously high and expensive, that although travelers are being traumatized and brutalized simply because they want to go from point A to point B on commercial air carriers, that the delays and lines are getting worse and longer, and that although time and again, statistical and actual evidence suggests proves that those in charge of the agency know perfectly well everything the TSA does, from its tin-badged, flashy uniforms to the "gate-rape or grope," is pure security theater, the inconveniences are "worth it," because the TSA is the lesser of two evils. The other evil, presumably, is the lurking terrorist who plans to blast every US commercial airliner out of the sky, and most especially, the one with you on it.

How about all the people who are now engaged in spirited, if rancorous, discussions about whether the Democrats or the Republicans should be in charge? I listen to otherwise rational men and women assert that they're going to vote against a candidate, even if the opposing candidate is a known scoundrel and reprobate, because the bad guy is the lesser of two evils. Apparently, it never occurs to anyone that swinging back and forth along a pendulum path still tethers you to the crooked system from which it depends.

This week, Apple visionary Steve Jobs died. His mantra was, "Think different." If you want change, you have to not only think different, but act upon the thinking. Accepting the lesser of two evils results from a belief that we're stuck with a Morton's Fork, in which there is actually no choice at all, as no matter what you choose will yield an equally awful result. While I do agree that voting for a Democrat or a Republican will likely yield equally bad results, I suggest to you that there are indeed alternatives, if you look for them.

If you must choose, never, ever choose evil. You don't "throw away" your vote--you're taking a stand against a bad status quo, and you're encouraging others to do the same. Try it. Talk about it. Own the courage of your own convictions. At the very least, you'll sleep better at night.

Excuse me. I need to go see what positive changes I can make in the world today.


No comments: