No, Voting Democrat is Not “Harm Reduction”
Andrew Dobbs

Income Inequality:

- You are arguing that the Obama-led Senate majority oversaw a return to wealth for the 0.1%, but while it’s true that there is a small growth between 2008 and 2010, the real growth happens from 2010 to 2012. What happened in 2010? Red wave. The Republicans seized control of congress.

- The peak in 2007? Hmm, let’s see, who caused that? Oh right, Republicans. And that peak there is the bubble before the Great Recession.

- Under Clinton, congress was controlled by Dems in 1992 and 1993. In 1994, Republicans got control of both chambers again. Notice the increase in income for the wealthy starts after 1994? Exactly when Republicans regain control?

- The dip in 2000 when Bush takes office can be attributed to a couple of things: The Senate was split 50–50, and 9/11 happened in 2001, kicking off the Iraq War.

- Anything before Clinton is irrelevant to the modern Democratic Party.

- Black and African American income inequality is more dramatically affected by other policy like the war on drugs, private prisons, and the school to prison pipeline than by tax legislation. Modern Democrats are openly opposed to all of these things, with some exceptions (in which case, you should vote your conscience).

- Consider that Democrats have been unable to accomplish any of their goals since 2010. That’s 8 years of not seeing how the Modern Democratic party would run things. In fact, in the last 24 years (since Clinton took office) Democrats have only controlled congress for *FOUR YEARS*.

- Given the above point, how can anybody claim anything about what has happened “under Democrat control”?

Mass Incarceration:

- It is well acknowledged by modern Democrats that Clinton was wrong about the war on drugs. If you look at most Dems in congress, their platform involves ending or curbing the war on drugs and eliminating private prisons.

- You even acknowledge a “slight” drop under Obama, but take a look at that trend. The “slight” drop has almost the same slope that the previous increases had.

- When you refer to states as “Red states” or “Blue states” you seem to be referring to which party the states tend to vote for for president. You mention California as being one of the most liberal states, but fail to acknowledge that most of California is Republican country. The giant urban centers are what make the state liberal. This is the state that elected Republican Schwarzenegger.

Health Outcomes:

- You readily acknowledge that the ACA has been a good thing, but then lazily dismiss it as not perfect and therefore not evidence that Dems are working for you to have better Healthcare? Are we just going to completely ignore the fact that the ACA that went into practice is a stripped down and weakened version of the original? Stripped and weakened in an attempt to court Republican votes. In fact, Republicans had a list of demands for the ACA before they would support it. The Dems weakened the ACA to compromise with the Republicans, and still not a SINGLE ONE voted for it. Any criticism leveled at the ACA should be directed at Republicans. Who can blame the Dems for wanting bipartisan support of the ACA?

- Obama absolutely dropped the ball when it comes to bailing out Wall Street. That’s true, and generally acknowledged by modern Democrats. This is something that many Dems in congress right now are not in agreement on, however, and is one valid criticism of the party. That being said, your main point here is that since the Democrats took so long to recover from the Great Recession that they’re just as bad as the ones who actually caused it?

Environmental Impacts:

- Republicans: Strip environmental regulations, dismantle the EPA, defund renewable energy efforts, pull us out of the Paris Agreement, remove Obama-era environmental protections.

- Democrats: Make environmental regulations that just aren’t good enough, don’t put enough effort into renewable energy, water down but ultimately join the Paris Agreement, make environmental protections that just get removed by the Rep — oh, whoops. Not supposed to put any blame on the Republicans for that. It’s Obama’s fault Trump removed his protections.

- Yeah, those two parties are definitely equally bad for the environment.

- Also, how can you write a section comparing and contrasting Democrats and Republicans on the Environment without even mentioning the fact that ONE OF THOSE PARTIES LITERALLY DENIES CLIMATE CHANGE IS HAPPENING.

Imperialist Violence:

- This is the best point you make in the whole article, but it’s simply not enough. Remember, this article is trying to convince us that voting for Democrats is not “Harm Reduction”. Let’s put that to the test, even considering the good points you make about the failings of Democrats on this subject.

- Yes, it’s true, Democrats have supported fascist regimes in other countries, and Obama did kill many civilians in Pakistan. However, you may recall that during the Democratic primary, foreign policy was one of the major wedge issues between Bernie and Hillary. There is a large sect of the Democratic party that takes issue with the way Democrats tend to conduct Foreign Policy.

- On the other hand, Republicans support fascists at home. The way the you present this, you’d have us believe that’s all they do. It sounds like you’re presenting a dichotomy here. But Republicans are guilty of all the things Democrats are (yes, Obama killed more civilians that W. Bush, but Bush still killed a ton of civilians) as well! Heck, Trump just endorsed Israel’s sovereignty! That’s a bit more intense than simply supporting Israel some of the time.

- So when it comes down to it, both parties are flawed on the subject. But one party ALSO supports fascism at home. The biggest criticism you can level at Dems on this front is that they’re not anti-fascist enough? What more should they be doing? They’re working to unseat the people encouraging it. They’re calling it out. The only things they can do beyond that are illegal.

Abortion Access:

- This entire section is absurd. You’re literally listing horrible things Republicans do and saying Democrats are just as bad because they sometimes can’t win or capitulate to the Republicans. THESE THINGS ARE ACTUALLY REPUBLICAN GOALS.

- You even point out that the regulations passed under Republican congresses.

- Trying to act like Joe Manchin is a typical Democrat is ridiculous. The guy is in a deeply conservative state. He’s only Democrat because he sometimes votes with the Dems, but more often than not he votes with the Republicans.

- Also, you present one Democrat voting for Kavanaugh as equivalent to an entire party PUTTING THE GUY FORTH IN THE FIRST PLACE.

- “There’s nothing stopping Democrats from screwing you [by allowing the Republicans to achieve their goal of screwing you] if that’s what their re-election entails.”


- Everything in this article is presented as if the Democrats are responsible not only for what they accomplish, but also what they don’t accomplish, what they don’t stop Republicans from accomplishing. Doesn’t it seem like you’re holding the Democrats up to an impossible standard?

- What is the alternative? You present none. Presumably you are implying we should not vote at all? It is well proven that when liberals do not vote, Republicans win. Given that a majority of your points boil down to “Democrats didn’t stop Republicans from doing X”, it seems like even you subconsciously realize that having someone there to try is better than giving Republicans carte blanche.