Robert Meeropol





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"Robby & Elli" 1968


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Robby speaking at the re-launch of the Mary Pitawanakwat Fund in Toronto

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STILL OUT ON A LIMB

Clinton Over Republicans?

February 3, 2016

Tags: Hillary Clinton, Noam Chomsky, strategic voting

In last week’s blog I explained why I agreed with the following quote: “It is easy to focus our ire and ridicule on those we call ‘climate deniers.’ But the worst climate change deniers are not the ones who say it is not happening, but the ones who recognize the problem but refuse to confront its most basic sources and causes.” The author was referring to the empty promises and false green capitalist solutions of the Paris Climate Conference. In that blog, I wrote that the proponents of this path “in the guise of saving us … will make things worse.”

Last week Noam Chomsky said in an interview that what Republican presidential candidates “are saying is, let’s destroy the world. Is that worth voting against? Yeah.” He explained further that he always counseled strategic voting, and so if Hillary Clinton won the Democratic nomination and if he lived in a swing state, he’d vote for Hillary Clinton to defeat the Republican.

If Chomsky is correct, then the quote in the first paragraph is wrong.

The Republican candidates are climate change deniers. And Hillary Clinton is firmly in the camp of the worst climate change deniers, the ones who recognize the problem but refuse to confront its most basic sources and causes. If elected, she will continue Obama’s “all the above” policies that encourage renewable energy within the capitalist framework, while expanding off shore drilling rights, continuing the oil depletion allowance which gives massive tax breaks to the big oil corporations for extracting oil, protecting nuclear power, and opposing infrastructure projects like the XL pipeline only when it is politically expedient.

These policies will bring about the disasters that Chomsky correctly predicts will “doom our grandchildren.” Perhaps Clinton’s willingness to promote renewable alternatives will delay that doom a bit, but if her policies lull segments of the population into thinking that the government is addressing the problem, they will also serve to co-opt and weaken portions of the movement to prevent the growing climate chaos.

I call myself a radical environmentalist because I believe that we cannot prevent civilization-ending catastrophes without eliminating capitalism’s Grow-or-Die imperative, and its reliance on competition, consumption and military domination. I support Bernie Sanders because, although he has not jettisoned these ideologies, his “socialism” can undermine them.

If Clinton is nominated, I will vote for the Green Party candidate because Clinton will doom my grandchildren as surely as the Republicans. With Clinton’s election we would lose more than four precious years. We will be confronted with the same choice in 2020 when she runs for re-election, and beyond, as long as the major party duopoly persists without either a mass popular uprising or true electoral alternatives.

The global warming-induced climate chaos and consequent resource depletion that Naomi Klein wrote, “changes everything,” has begun. I believe that Klein is right, but that many progressive tacticians, even those as brilliant as Chomsky, remain stuck in decades-old strategic voting schemes. All of us must fully incorporate into our thinking, and our voting behavior, that everything really has changed.

Selected Works

Memoir
"Bravery is rare. Tyranny is commonplace. Both define the life of Robert Meeropol, son of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg. In his heart-wrenching, honest memoir, Meeropol recounts the emotional terrors of his childhood, the kindness of Abel and Anne Meeropol-who adopted him and his older brother after their parents' execution-his struggle to vindicate his parents, and his own political activism, culminating in the creation of the Rosenberg Fund for Children, which he now directs."
Publisher's Weekly
"one of those rare books everyone should read"
–Joyce Carol Oates

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