This is a diary with questions – not answers. Far be it for me, a Canadian with no right to vote in US elections, to determine what my neighbours to the south should do in November when they go to the polls -especially when I don’t know the ins and outs of supporting individual candidates that you know far more about than I do.

Because of that, I’m looking at the broader picture.
Over at my blog I just wrote two posts about the Bush administration’s attacks on the freedom of the press. That, coupled with a lack of congressional oversight of the president, leaves me deeply disturbed – especially considering the long erosion of civil rights in your country under an administration that exists soley for its own power; an administration so corrupt that America will suffer decades in order to heal the rifts created by a destructive political machine that has so venomously divided your country in the name of “war” and that has lied repeatedly to make that situation a harsh reality.

America – the ideal – is in danger.

Now, my main question is this: what ought to be the determining factor in how people on the left vote this November?

I have long been opposed to people like kos who claim that the only consideration ought to be winning. And now I find myself asking if I was wrong. (This is not intended to be a diary about him. This is about strategy.)

I am an ideological liberal, but I am also a practical idealist. There are some ideals I absolutely refuse to surrender and I would not expect others to do so either.

But… and that is a huge word in this current political atmosphere, how can those ideals and the reality of a country in danger be meshed and resolved in order to attain Democratic control in congress? That control is absolutely essential if your country is to begin to heal. And, for those of you whose allegiances live with other parties, such as the Greens, the sad reality for you is that the Democrats are the only party that has any sort of realistic chance of overturning Bush’s policies and holding him to account.

It’s a very uncomfortable place for many Americans who want to remain true to their ideals to face. The Democrats are not the left-wing representatives that so many would like them to be. They may, in fact, never be that. What remains then is to answer the question: how can the Bush administration best be held accountable? The only reasonable answer at this point to many is for Democratic candidates to win so they can use subpoena powers to investigate Bush.

So, you on the American left are stuck in a very difficult position. There have been many conversations in the blogosphere about whether a pro-life Democrat should be supported; about whether a longshot (netroots-supported) Democrat even has a chance to unseat a Republican; about the best strategy to follow. (And, yes, Lieberman has to go – no doubt about that since he would just put up obstacles to hold Bush accountable for anything).

I’m not sure I’ve been able to get the pulse of where my American friends are at. That’s why I’ve written this.

Do you reject ‘winning for the sake of winning’, preferring to stick to your purely ideological guns? And, is that a realistic strategy? (I’m just asking. You have the information to be the judges.)

Should winning be the sole focus? Can the Democrats win and stick to their quasi left-wing (centrist) ideology? Or, is it enough that more seats are won solely to have the power to investigate Bush?

These are hard questions and, yes, they’ve been debated endlessly. In the end though, what is the consensus? Are people like kos 100% wrong or can a reasonable compromise be found that will satisfy most everyone?

This is an absolutely crucial election. Give Bush two more years of unchecked power and who knows where your country is headed?

What is your main concern and how do you, personally resolve it?

Thank you.

Update: I forgot that I can add a poll here, so here it is:

0 0 votes
Article Rating