The New Litmus Test
by C.A. Matthews
As the US November election day rolls around, the question as to whom to vote for haunts me. Often times, I only vote on the issues on the ballot (such as Ohio’s Issue 1 allowing abortion care without government interference) and skip voting for any candidates for office. I just leave those boxes blank. If I don’t agree with a candidate's stances, and if I don’t agree where their particular political party stands on any of the issues, then I’m not wasting my time or vote on them. It’s as simple as that.
It makes for a pretty quick voting process. I used to feel a tinge of guilt at leaving so many races without a check mark, but not so much anymore. If a candidate doesn’t prove to me that they deserve my vote, they don’t get it. If neither one of the usual two candidates running for the same office deserve a vote, neither one gets mine. None of this “lesser evil” voting nonsense for me!
I’ve always found it odd that some believe politics is some kind of card game that forces you to play a card whether you want to or not. If a person is undeserving of office, then they’re undeserving. They don’t need my vote endorsing their inadequacy.
Five-time socialist presidential candidate Eugene V. Debs said it well:
“It is better to vote for what you want and not get it than to vote for what you don't want and get it.”
With next year being another one of those “most important election of our lives” (to paraphrase an overused soundbite), most American voters will feel obligated to tick a box for at least president, senator, and/or governor. My take is that presidential or gubernatorial elections are no different than off-year ones. Candidates I don’t approve of one-hundred percent don’t get my vote.
If a write-in space is provided, I might write in a name of someone I feel who is deserving. If third party candidates make it to the ballot (and in this state, that is extremely difficult), I give them a look-see and check out their party’s stances. I investigate all independents’ stances as well.
But who is deserving? I hear you ask. Good question. In the past I’d go through a long list of issues that were very important to me—such as universal health care, UBI, supporting the switch to clean energy sources, and guaranteed food and housing for all—and find out where a candidate stood on these basic issues. Sometimes this is easy, as candidates often will make stump speeches and give interviews detailing exactly where they stand.
If a candidate is running for re-election, their voting record generally gives their worthiness or unworthiness away. It’s more like 9.9 times out of 10 a candidate running in an establishment party will vote the way they’re instructed to by party bosses no matter what the candidate actually verbalizes on the campaign trail. Not many status quo politicians are truly “their own person,” in other words.
Since the beginning of October 2023, however, I’ve come up with a much simpler political litmus test to determine which candidates are worthy of my vote. It boils down to this: Does this candidate condone the Israeli genocide of the Palestinian people in Gaza?
If a candidate says things straightforwardly like, “They're human animals! Death to Palestinians!” then I need not go any further. They’re struck off my list. If they try to soft-sell their stance by saying, “I grieve for the Palestinians killed, but/except I support Israel’s right to self-defense,” then I know they’re definitely off my list. They’re worse than the first guy who is an outright racist-bigot. At least the first candidate isn’t trying to sugarcoat genocide.
For those of you who argue that you can be opposed to the genocide of a people, but want to excuse yourself in order to kill a smaller subset of those same people, I’ll say this: What you're arguing is a logical fallacy along the lines of voting for the “lesser of two evils.”
Evil is evil. Period. Evil cannot be quantified. Some things just can’t be. Can someone be “less dead” or are they just “dead”? Dead is dead. Can you be okay with murdering “less” of a particular group of people and not be okay with murdering the entirety of those same people? Murder is murder. One premeditated killing is all it takes to be convicted of murder. The quality and quantity of evil are the same.
Trying to quantify genocide in any way, shape, or form is a signal that this person is a sociopath. The person who does so is actually equating the slaughter of innocents with “self-defense” in their sociopathic mind. Look at it this way: How many two-year-old Palestinians does a country need to be “defended against” through the use of ethnic cleansing or genocide? How many wheelchair-bound grandmothers does a country need to be “defended against”? If you said “one or two” then, please, find yourself a psychotherapist pronto and don’t run for office. We have more than enough sociopaths in politics already.
Very rarely will a candidate speak out against their own political party and remain within that party for long if they truly believe in what they’re saying. Leaving a political party is like experiencing a divorce, only worse. They instantly lose all their “friends” and supporters in that party. They instantly lose access to PACs/Super PACs and other funding sources to fund their campaign. Nobody will return their calls.
You might get an occasional, “I disagree with the party platform on this particular point,” comment, but if the candidate sticks with the party, then they’re pretty much saying they’re a loyal spouse. The only ones they’re “cheating on” are the voters, in a weak attempt to fool voters into thinking the candidate is something he/she is not.
If a candidate does speak out strongly against genocide and finds themselves kicked out of their party, then it could be worthwhile to check them out further. This person could be that very deserving and rare candidate who isn’t afraid to speak out on all the issues that you find important. If they’re able to speak up to support the voiceless innocents being bombed to pieces by racist war hawks, then perhaps they’ll have the guts to speak up for the rights of Americans to have access to health care and free education as well.
Another area that will reveal a candidate’s stance on this question is where and from whom do they receive their campaign funds. If a candidate receives any money from AIPAC (American Israel Public Affairs Committee), then they’ve automatically disqualified themselves. Can you imagine a candidate taking millions of dollars from AIPAC not saying, “The children of Gaza brought it upon themselves!” over and over again—even when confronted with shocking photos and videos of dead Palestinian children? Taking AIPAC and related monies to run for office is a very strong indicator they’re a sociopath who will do as they’re told by their genocide-enabling masters.
If a candidate and their political party are known for taking money from Big Oil and/or the Military Industrial Complex or its supporters, then they’ve pretty much given themselves away as sociopaths, haven’t they? Big Oil is killing our planet with excessive carbon pollution while fueling the engines of the War Machine that is currently genociding the Palestinians and other peoples throughout the world. Any candidate who is okay with their potential constituents dying of polluted air, water and food sources probably isn't going to lose any sleep over the genocide of millions in order for their corporate masters to get a chance to drill and make big profits from the oil reserves said to be located off the coast of Gaza.
I believe this litmus test will serve us all well this election and in elections to come. Feel free to use it and let me know how it worked for you. If anyone asks you about the litmus test you used to determine whom to vote for, tell them you found it at The Revolution Continues and share the link. Thanks.
With this new litmus test, we’ll be able to discern the sociopaths from the morally decent human beings running for office, candidates who can proudly say, “I don’t support genocide.” I hope in time, with less sociopaths in positions of power, our world will become a safer, healthier, and happier place for all. It's worth a try, isn't it?
I'm not the only one who thinks exposing the sociopaths could bring about an end to endless ethnic cleansing. Here's what Caitlin Johnstone says in her piece There's Only So Much Propaganda Spin You Can Put on the Murder of Thousands of Children:
The Gaza massacre throws a big fat monkey wrench in all that, because the raw data coming out of it is so transparently horrifying that no amount of narrative spin can make it look acceptable. The fact that the US and its allies are helping Israel murder children by the thousands is a giant glitch in the narrative matrix.
The longer this continues, the more people are going to wake up out of the propaganda-induced coma the empire has had them in all their lives. The more people are going to realize that their government is not what it has been pretending to be and the media have not been telling them the truth about the world. As the western empire backs the slaughter of thousands of children, the discrepancies between what the propaganda tells us about our society and what our society actually is are being brightly illuminated.
By murdering thousands of children in Gaza, the empire has exposed its true face in front of everyone. And the people aren’t liking what they see.
Related Articles and Interesting Links:
How Much Killing Is Enough Killing?
Exterminate All the Brutes https://scheerpost.com/2023/10/29/chris-hedges-exterminate-all-the-brutes/
"A people, imprisoned in the world’s largest concentration camp for sixteen years, denied food, water, fuel and medicine, lacking an army, air force, navy, mechanized units, artillery, command and control and missile batteries, is being butchered and starved by one of the most advanced militaries on the planet, and they [the Palestinians] are the Nazis?" --Chris Hedges
The Miracle of Kindness: What Chris Hedges learned from the Palestinians (video) https://youtu.be/gpU-Sbxg01A?si=VsepH6uXXomNCW0n
Israel Has Permanently Lost The Argument https://www.caitlinjohnst.one/p/israel-has-permanently-lost-the-argument/
There's Only So Much Propaganda Spin You Can Put On The Murder Of Thousands Of Children https://www.caitlinjohnst.one/p/theres-only-so-much-propaganda-spin
Over 30,000 Babies in Gaza Are Drinking Contaminated Water, US State Dept Says https://truthout.org/articles/over-30000-babies-in-gaza-are-drinking-contaminated-water-us-state-dept-says/
US Media Is Still Avoiding the Word Genocide — It’s Past Time to Start Using It https://truthout.org/articles/us-media-is-still-avoiding-the-word-genocide-its-past-time-to-start-using-it/
It's Okay To Admit You Were Wrong About Gaza
Genocide Is Underway in Gaza. US Leaders Can No Longer Say “We Didn’t Know.” https://truthout.org/articles/genocide-is-underway-in-gaza-us-leaders-can-no-longer-say-we-didnt-know/
How can anyone deny the Gaza death toll is intentional?
Israel Kills Over 400 Palestinians in a Single Day of Airstrikes
Report: Blinken Urged Qatar to Censor Al Jazeera Coverage of Gaza Genocide https://truthout.org/articles/report-blinken-urged-qatar-to-censor-al-jazeera-coverage-of-gaza-genocide/
Propaganda War: Pro-Israel Trolls are Mobbing Twitter’s Community Notes https://scheerpost.com/2023/10/25/propaganda-war-pro-israel-trolls-are-mobbing-twitters-community-notes/
Media Manufactures Consent for Gaza Genocide https://kitklarenberg.substack.com/p/media-manufactures-consent-for-gaza
Rights Lawyers Release Legal Analysis Of US Complicity In Israel’s Genocide https://popularresistance.org/rights-lawyers-release-legal-analysis-of-us-complicity-in-israels-genocide/
Biden and Starmer face mutinies over genocide support
Joe Biden’s Armageddon, from Gaza to Ukraine
Protests Intensify Across US as Gaza Death Toll Surpasses 5,000
Palestinian American hospitalized following suspected hate-crime vehicle assault in Cleveland, Ohio https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2023/10/24/uvdu-o24.html
US blocks peace in Gaza, supporting Israel's genocidal war on civilians https://geopoliticaleconomy.substack.com/p/us-peace-gaza-genocide
As Gaza War Enters 'Second Stage,' Hundreds of Thousands March for Cease-Fire https://www.commondreams.org/news/gaza-war-next-stage-cease-fire
October 7 testimonies reveal Israel’s military ‘shelling’ Israeli citizens with tanks, missiles https://thegrayzone.com/2023/10/27/israels-military-shelled-burning-tanks-helicopters/
Hamas is an Israeli/Mossad creation: https://swprs.org/why-israel-created-hamas/
History: Was Hamas A Creation of Mossad? https://www.globalresearch.ca/hamas-is-a-creation-of-mossad/1818
Jeffrey St. Clair, Counterpunch, captures the essence of genocide:
"When you declare total war against Gaza, which has been under perpetual siege since 1967 after being seized by Israel during the Six Day War, what is it you’re going to war against? There are no airbases, no army bases, no tank battalions, no air defense systems, no naval ports, no oil refineries, no rail system, no troop barracks, no armored personnel carriers, no howitzers, no satellite systems, no attack helicopters, no fighter jets, no anti-tank batteries, no submarines, no command-and-control centers. Just people, most of them women and kids."
A Poultry Plant in Ohio Is Under Federal Investigation for Hiring 24 Children https://truthout.org/articles/a-poultry-plant-in-ohio-is-under-federal-investigation-for-hiring-24-children/
Activists Say Biden Betrayed Promises with Continuation of Border Wall Construction https://scheerpost.com/2023/10/24/activists-say-biden-betrayed-promises-with-continuation-of-border-wall-construction/
Australians Call to End Long Persecution of WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange https://scheerpost.com/2023/10/26/australians-call-to-end-long-persecution-of-wikileaks-julian-assange/