The Evil of Lessers

The Evil of Lessers

Copyright 2007 by James Craven/Omahkohkiaayo i’poyi


My father gave me some advice when I was young that the Democratic candidates, for any office, need to take to heart: 1) “Never wind up the only honest person in a rigged card game.”; 2) “Never show up to a gun fight with a knife.”

Five basic possibilities emerge: 1) becoming corrupted by the game and other players; 2) finding onself continually getting taken; 3) trying to survive and outwit the corrupt within their own parameters and rules; 4) trying to evolve and impose a new kind of game with new rules and hoping that those whose interests will be threatened will not be able to resist; 5) Leaving the game and any legitimation of it.

Under the banner of “lesser of evils” we wind up supporting “the evil of lessers.” Or, as Plato put it: “Those who SEEK power, are invariably the least fit to hold and wield it.”

You can see it in the postures and speeches of the present Democratic candidates: “Yeah you may not like our style, you may not like how compromised to big money we all are to get elected, you may not like it that most of us we are part of a corrupt and do-nothing Congress with lower approval ratings than Bush, you may not like it that Bush and his gang could not have done all the damage to America and the world that they have done without our own opportunistic and spineless collusion with them, but, like it or not, your only real “choice” is between us and the likes of Bush and his gang; and we know, in the end, one more time, you’ll have no “choice” but to hold your nose and vote–and vote Democratic.” Beyond that, each candidate’s basic pitch is that choosing them will be less odious, and thus will require less holding of the nose, relative to that required in support of their opponents.

What we can do in the present circumstances, is to hold the Democratic candidates accountable not only for what they do say and do, for what lies they tell, and what opportunism and compromise they do practice, but also hold them accountable: for the questions they do not pose; for the facts they refuse to acknowledge or deal with; for the lies they sign on to and/or refuse to expose; for the real and necessary hardball they refuse to play and the consequences that follow.

When Romney took the meaning of “chutzpah” to a whole new level (from the usual of “killing one’s parents and pleading mercy to the Court on the grounds that one is now an orphan”) saying that his chickenhawk sons were giving best “service” to the nation by not being in the military and in Iraq but rather by working to get him elected, the Dems should be called out for not jumping all over that. Of course one reason they did not is because many of them are also big-mouthed chickenhawks so in love with the military in which they never served even when they had a chance and wars to which they never went.

Or, when Romney so piously talks about how, at a relatively advanced age beyond youth, he suddenly is no longer “Pro-Choice” on the abortion issue or “Pro Gay Rights”, then call out the Dems why they refuse to pose a simple question to Romney: “When you supposedly were “Pro Choice” and “Pro Gay Rights”, were you then lying to your fellow Mormons and the hierarchy of the Mormon church about being a “faithful Mormon” (as those positions are considered apostasy and grounds for excommunication) or were you lying to your supporters to get elected Governor of Massachusetts assuming the only positions on those issues that would have allowed you to get elected in that state.?”

Or, when Giuliani continues to make reference to his early education in Catholic parochial schools, call out the Dems for not asking why he keeps referring to his time in Catholic parochial schools when it is clear that his whole life has shown contempt for some of the basics he was taught in those schools: about marital fidelity, divorce, etc. And perhaps ask Giulliani why his two previous marriages involved annulment (thus logically making his children “illegitimate”) instead of his being excommunicated or threatened with it, as happens to a lot of poor Catholics who are not celebrities and not Church-hieriarchy-connected but are real candidates for annulment.

So when being schmoozed by these Democratic candidates, come with a list of normally “taboo” questions and demand that they be asked when being interviewed by the press and in debates with other Dems or with Republicans. And if they say that those questions are somehow off-limits, taboo, “impolite”, not “refined” etc, then ask them how “polite” is the massive death and maiming in the illegal Iraq War, etc.

In economics, a central concept is that of opportunity cost. The true cost involves not only direct dollar costs,but what one gave up or lost not pursuing the next best alternative. That means there are real costs on real people: when critical questions are not posed; when critical venues are not fully used; when candidates do not pose the questions that need to be posed and are carbon copies of their nominal opponents; when “the evil of lessers” is passed off as “the lesser of evils”.

James Craven/Omahkohkiaayo i’poyi


About jimcraven10

About jimcraven10 1. Citizenship: Blackfoot, U.S. and Canadian; 2. Position: tenured Professor of Economics and Geography; Dept. Head, Economics; 3. Teaching, Consulting and Research experience: approx 40 + years all levels high school to post-doctoral U.S. Canada, Europe, China, India, Puerto Rico and parts of E. Asia; 4. Work past and present: U.S. Army 1963-66; Member: Veterans for Peace; former VVAW; Veterans for 9-11 Truth; Scholars for 9-11 Truth; Pilots for 9-11 Truth; World Association for Political Economy; Editorial Board International Critical Thought; 4.. U.S. Commercial-Instrument Pilot ; FAA Licensed Ground Instructor (Basic, Advanced, Instrument and Simulators); 5. Research Areas and Publications: International law (on genocide, rights of nations, war and war crimes); Imperialism (nature, history, logic, trajectories, mechanisms and effects); Economic Geography (time and space modeling in political economy; globalization--logic and effects; Political Economy and Geography of Imperialism); Indigenous versus non-Indigenous Law; Political Economy of Socialism and Socialist Construction; 6. Member, Editorial Board, "International Critical Thought" published by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences; International Advisory Board and Columnist 4th Media Group, (Beijing); 7. Other Websites publications at;;; 8.Biography available in: Marquis Who’s Who: in the World (16th-18th; 20th; 22nd -31st (2014) Editions); Who’s Who in America (51st-61st;63rd-68th(2014) Editions); Who’s Who in the West (24th- 27th Editions);Who’s Who in Science and Engineering (3rd to 6th, 8th, 11th (2011-2012) Editions); Who’s Who in Finance and Industry (29th to 37th Editions); Who’s Who in American Education (6th Edition). ------------------- There are times when you have to obey a call which is the highest of all, i.e. the voice of conscience even though such obedience may cost many a bitter tear, and even more, separation from friends, from family, from the state, to which you may belong, from all that you have held as dear as life itself. For this obedience is the law of our being. ~ Mahatma Gandhi
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