I invite you to click the Twitter link below and read the entire thread. It's not really about avocados. Remember: Retweets do not equal agreement. I RT'd it to make it easier to find for the purposes of this blog entry.
So despite her long thread that starts with avocados and concludes with her determination to help Biden/Harris get elected, by any means at her disposal while she remains in Aotearoa/New Zealand as a long-term guest, I am not canceling Amanda. I am not unFollowing her.
I agree with Amanda that quibbles over individual issues should not be inflated into irreconcilable differences. The avocado discussion is not really such a small thing, but we could point out the destructive side-effects of the production of nearly everything we eat. I still eat avocados. I still occasionally eat quinoa. I remain married to a woman who eats meat, fer chrissakes.
I agree that the Left should unite. But I absolutely do not agree that we should unite behind a center-right party and its presidential tandem.
AFP, as fans call her (perhaps you can guess what the F is for), supported Bernie Sanders in 2016 and 2020. Last election, after the Democratic machine had sealed the nomination for Hillary Clinton, Amanda announced that she was indeed with Her. At least, she reasoned, HRC was a better choice for this nation than Donald F-in' Trump. On some level, I even agree with that. It doesn't make her a good choice.
As a former Democrat, I understand how someone with progressive views would reach that conclusion. Still, it boggles my mind that anyone who participated in or supported the Occupy Movement could be comfortable voting and advocating for a corporatist Democrat.
Somewhere in the thread, Amanda falls back on the old "this candidate doesn't tick all the boxes, but I'm voting for him/her/them anyway because the other option is so much worse" rationalization. Dude, Joseph Biden is actively hostile to those boxes. Not only does he oppose Medicare for All and similar progressive programs, he has spent his whole political career in the service of big banks and the Military-Industrial Complex. His corporate masters will not let him speak sincerely in favor of, say, tuition-free public college or legalizing recreational cannabis.
In other words, speaking only for myself, I reject the avocado analogy because the actual Left is not pushing for purity tests; rather, we are tired of having to choose between Kang and Kodos. We want policies that place People, Planet, and Peace over corporate profits.
Occupy Wall Street started in the third year of the Obama/Biden administration, when it had become clear that Barack Obama had hoodwinked progressives during the 2008 campaign and was governing as a corporatist. The Affordable Care Act was a clever way to bolster insurance companies bottom lines through its use of "marketplaces," and it still left tens of millions without health insurance, mostly unable to afford ObamaCare premiums.
Democratic mayors in large and middle-sized cities sent the cops in to infiltrate and crush the Occupy encampments—or at the very least did nothing to stop the cops. The crackdown was a bad scene here in Houston under Annise Parker, but it was far more violent in NYC and Oakland.
Any Progressive who could reward the Democratic head of the War & Wall Street Party or its candidates with a vote is either (a) not really a Progressive or (b) thoroughly gaslit into believing that there is nowhere else to go.
Like me, AFP is not from the working class. She may have identified and sympathized with the working class back in 2011, as I still do; she has experienced poverty, as have I. A few successful recordings, marriage to Neil Gaiman, and a reliable stream of income via Patreon have afforded her even more comfort than her middle-class childhood in suburban Lexington MA. Too much comfort can kill the Progressive or Radical in all but the strongest and most committed. In sum, given her life over the last nine years, promoting the Democratic presidential ticket now makes it look as if her appearances at Occupy were just a desperate ploy to acquire some street cred.
Lexington is also the town that the indefatigable progressive activist Dr. Jill Stein calls home. She has a fairly comfortable existence, even after quitting the medical profession and devoting herself full-time to the cause. I don't see her throwing in the towel and saying, "We gotta vote for Biden to stop four more years of Trump!"
We Have Become 1980s El Salvador
From a historical perspective, I call this electoral situation the El Salvador Choice. It's only slightly different from the Kang vs. Kodos allegory.
Back in the Reagan era, when the US supported counter-insurgency aid to El Salvador and other Latin American countries (i.e., we funded and trained the Death Squads), US diplomats convinced El Salvador's ruling junta that it was time to start letting people vote for their leaders to give at least the appearance of democracy. Left parties either were banned or violently resisted the pseudo-democratic election; outspoken small-d democrats who weren't members of FMLN boycotted it. With a choice between far-right and center-right, and international monitoring agencies observing the proceedings, guess which way the vote went.
That's where we are today. The US is El Salvador, Biden is Duarte, Trump is d'Aubuisson, our militarized police forces are the counter-insurgency task forces shooting rubber bullets and tear gas canisters directly at nonviolent protesters.
I'm not saying there will be overt, organized death-squad activity under a Biden presidency; however, the injustices of the system will continue. Billionaires will acquire more billions; regular folks by the thousands will die each year for lack of affordable health care or kill themselves with drugs of despair; the effects of climate disruption will continue, with impacts mostly on the poor and people of color; cops will keep killing mostly young, mostly unarmed black and brown folks, often with impunity; detention centers for immigrants will not go away, and mainstream Democrats will stop protesting against baby jails because their party is back in charge.
The Green Party's platform proposes dismantling this unjust system and replacing it with a government that is genuinely of, by, and for the people.
Don't settle. Demand what you, this nation, and this planet need.