December 14, 2023
From Internationalist 360
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Steve Salaita

The fundamental inhumanity of electoralism has reached its final stage.

On a more practical level, voting for Biden means disregarding (and effectively forgiving) what he’s done.  It requires incredible callousness to forget that Biden validated fabrications about rape and dismemberment; that Biden conceptualized an entire national community as terrorists; that Biden sent U.S. troops and warships and billions of dollars to facilitate carnage of inconceivable proportions; that Biden bumbled his way through an encyclopedia of ridiculous lies; that Biden treated Palestinians with vicious indifference; that Biden repeatedly offered the Zionist entity carte blanche to carry out its genocide.

What do you do with a genocidaire?  Demand his resignation?  Put him on trial?  Drag him through the streets?

If you’re American, apparently you make him president.

Such is the new (but same old) strategy of the new (but same old) liberal disciplinarians aghast that anyone might hesitate to vote for a man orchestrating genocide in the Gaza Strip.

“What about Trump,” they bellow.

“Quit being so selfish,” they bark.

“But…but…but,” they bluster.

If the threats and insults don’t work, things turn philosophical.  “Voting is a public good, not a personal crusade,” they declare in the tone of a newly-christened poly sci major.

It’s always a bit shocking to see how much heartlessness underlies this virtuous devotion to U.S. democracy.

Then I remember that devotion to “U.S. democracy” is the entire problem.

Electoralists say they’re protecting something precious and sacred on behalf of all humanity, but in reality their approach preserves an advantageous class position for the elite of both parties at the expense of everyone else.  Theirs is a profoundly anti-human way of understanding the world.

What do they get out of voting? Depending on their situation, either the fleeting pleasure of having fulfilled their civic duty (they will have just scored a crucial victory in the battle against fascism, after all) or preservation of an imperialistic system which affords them a comfortable lifestyle without having to think about its source.

What do Palestinians get out of voting?  A genocide.

This notion of civic duty isn’t simply self-serving; it’s actively hostile to the countless victims of U.S. foreign policy.

Consider for a second the moral assumptions inherent to a political philosophy that insists on voting for genocidaires rather than making genocidaires accountable to their victims.  If we are obliged to reward violence with power, then we essentially resign ourselves to passive spectatorship of ecocide and dispossession.  How can we conceive of a decent existence in a society that only allows for mechanical participation?  After all that we’ve seen, how can we give even perfunctory license to the U.S. ruling class?  Visualizing an outcome different than the current horror is exceptionalism in its most dangerous form.

American exceptionalism is primarily a set of national mythologies asserting that the USA is a unique force for good in the world.  This self-image is inextricably tied to conquest both in the past and present.  American exceptionalism, then, is also a narrative process about non-Americans and their ontological position in relation to the United States.  The process renders much of the world’s population an exception to the dignity of political and economic freedom.

Go ahead and let the magical thinking expire.  Gaza leaves no room for fantasies of salvation.  Palestinians have long understood this difficult reality.  It’s time to think alongside the downtrodden rather than glibly prescribing misery from afar.

On a more practical level, voting for Biden means disregarding (and effectively forgiving) what he’s done.  It requires incredible callousness to forget that Biden validated fabrications about rape and dismemberment; that Biden conceptualized an entire national community as terrorists; that Biden sent U.S. troops and warships and billions of dollars to facilitate carnage of inconceivable proportions; that Biden bumbled his way through an encyclopedia of ridiculous lies; that Biden treated Palestinians with vicious indifference; that Biden repeatedly offered the Zionist entity carte blanche to carry out its genocide.

Merely entertaining the idea of voting for Joe Biden is an insult to the thousands of innocent souls whose slaughter he endorsed.  The least we can do is ensure that their memories supersede the same old liberal delusions.

Biden Seeks to Dismiss the Charge of Genocide




Source: Libya360.wordpress.com