OPINION: Guest column: Response to ‘Choosing the lesser evil’

Posted on Feb 14 2019 - 5:50am by Benton Dodd

“Between two parties, we must choose the lesser evil” isn’t a promising start to a piece condemning divisive action. My issue with the article lies neither with the writer’s condemnation of the Smollett assault nor with her condemnation of racism exhibited by prominent politicians. It is with the conclusion that she presents. She claims that readers (voters) must choose the “lesser evil,” which happens to be the party that she identifies with.

She insinuates that the GOP is the greater evil but doesn’t offer much evidence to back this up.

Patton-Bey states, “It shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone that the site behind the revelation of the Northam scandal has GOP operatives.” The fact that the revelations came from a right-wing news outlet doesn’t make them any less true, and the fact that the GOP benefitted from them should be irrelevant. It would be entirely different if the allegations were unfounded, but they were supported with proof. Suggesting otherwise amounts to nothing more than conspiracy. After all, liberal media outlets have no problem reporting on various gaffes and missteps made by conservative politicians. Nobody in power is above criticism, regardless of what they believe. Are we only supposed to care about vile actions if they were committed by somebody we disagree with politically?

Patton-Bey goes on to accuse Big League Politics, and thus the GOP, of using “divide and conquer” tactics. It is baffling to me how the left hasn’t realized that labeling political opponents “evil” is exactly the type of thing that got Trump elected.

She states, “Between now and November 2020, we will probably be seeing a lot more scandals like the one in Virginia, in addition to the surfacing of sexual assault allegations against Democratic lawmakers. The right’s plan is to cast the Democrats as an equally racist and sexist bunch.” Unless she is suggesting that Democrats are totally incapable of sexual assault and racism, I question why this is even remotely a bad thing. The beauty of the #MeToo movement is that it is all about uncovering the truth in politics and not pushing an agenda. Vile behavior is reprehensible whether or not you are wearing a red or blue hat, and being a member of the party of social justice doesn’t exempt you from that same justice.

I understand the message the writer was going for, but unfortunately, the article comes off as nothing more than damage control after the loss of the moral high ground that is so essential to liberal politics.

Benton Dodd is a junior political science major from Nashville.