• By The Financial District


Legendary activist Daniel Ellsberg has endorsed Joe Biden and says progressives must support the centrist leader if they want to reform the Democratic Party and advance social progress.

In an article written for Raw Story, the scholar who exposed the Pentagon Papers said: “‘Tis the season for some progressives to argue that the best way to build a progressive political movement in America is to stick it to the centrist Democrats–who have rejected progressive nominees and platforms–by voting for a third party, even in swing states.”

Ellsberg stressed: “If that helps elect what many regard as a ‘greater evil’ Republican, some third party supporters argue, it will radicalize significant parts of the electorate, help the third party grow, and gradually increase the prospect of victory for genuinely progressive politics. As die-hard progressives, we strongly disagree. Few beliefs among progressives have been so thoroughly tested in empirical reality over the last twenty years–and few have been so thoroughly discredited–than the idea that running third party candidates in swing states during close elections is a good way to build a progressive voting bloc.”

The elder Ellsberg wrote the article along with activist-son Michael and argued “of course, terrible judgment isn’t the only thing that keeps a progressive third party from growing. The fact is, our nation has a voting system that stacks the decks wildly in favor of the two-party system. There are many changes to our voting system that could break up the two-party duopoly, and we support all of them. Chief among these changes is ranked-choice voting with instant runoff (as Maine and many cities now have). This allows voters to voice their support for an alternative party, without the risk of helping to elect a greater evil. We should also abolish the electoral college. Doing so would avoid the loser of the national vote from gaining power, as happened with Bush and Trump (and could happen again this year). Ending the electoral college could also support the growth of alternative parties, as (without swing states) it would be harder for a tiny number of votes to swing an election; thus, fewer people would fear supporting an alternative party.”