For years animal activists have attempted to impact politics. We manage to make progress with individual legislators now and then, but the political establishment Is deaf to the concerns of animals.
The reason is simple. Animals don’t vote. And people who care about animals do not vote in a bloc. Animal activists are spread across the political spectrum from libertarians to state socialists.
Many animal activists do not have animals as their primary concern when they vote. Guns, gays, abortion, immigration, taxes, and national security occupy most political rhetoric and flood the media. Relatively obscure political concerns are never explored or covered in the press. And many animal activists fall in with their political prejudices as though animal issues are beyond the reaches of politics.
Animal rights activists, thoroughly disgusted with our inability to impact public policy, recently launched the Humane Party, more out of frustration than not. Unfortunately, the Humane Party is doomed to failure. The American political system makes third parties almost impossible to exist, let alone to thrive and to succeed.
The problem is compounded by a lack of political expertise within the movement, and a general, understandable, antithesis toward politicians and politics.
The Democrats and the Republicans are both hostile to animal interests and oblivious to animal issues. Animal activists are too few and far between to be noticed, never mind accommodated, in modern American political dynamics.
This year could change that.
Hillary Clinton, and whoever is the Republican nominee, can be counted upon to continue the Obama administration’s anti-animal policies.
From the de-listing of wolves by the Environmental Protection Agency, to the killing of whales and dolphins by the Navy, to the roundups of wild Mustangs by the Bureau of Land Management, to the killing of millions of animals for the cattle industry by the Department of Agriculture’s Wildlife Services, to allowing Big Ag to engage in the most diabolically cruel practices in pursuit of profit, animals will continue to suffer and die under Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump, or whomever the Republicans nominate.
The prospects improve for animals if Bernie Sanders is president, based on his pro-animal voting record in the Senate and his opposition Big Agriculture.
But if Hillary is the nominee, there is no reason to support her if your litmus test of candidates is based on the welfare of animals.
Hillary is a political pragmatist, a polite way of calling her a political windsock. She changes positions with alacrity and as frequently as she finds necessary.
That character flaw may afford the animal movement the leverage to tip the scales in this election cycle.
If we can act in unison in November, it is possible that we could force the parties to consider, and adopt, animal friendly positions that they do not currently espouse.
We should demand that Clinton end wild horse roundups and abolish Wildlife Services as a condition of our support.
In fact, we should pledge to vote Republican unless she promises to implement both those positions.
Should she refuse, we make a similar deal with the Republicans.
If the race is as close as it is expected to be, animal activists could make a decisive difference in the presidential race.
And if we are successful, we will save millions of animals’ lives.
To achieve such a goal will require us putting aside our petty personal issues and political preferences.
I would make a deal with the Devil himself if it would benefit the animals. Voting for Hillary would be easy in comparison. So would be voting for Trump or another Republican.
To soften up Hillary’s camp and warm them to the idea, we must keep her feet to the fire as an unacceptable alternative to Bernie Sanders. If Hillary and her handlers perceive that the White House could slip beyond their grasp, I have no doubt she will enthusiastically embrace our demands as her own ideas.
The closer the general match-up appears to be, the more influence we will have.
Let’s make the animals our priority in November. More importantly, let’s make animal issues a priority of those who want our votes.
• I am unaware of any other blog with the Armory’s mission of radicalizing the animal movement. I certainly hope I am not alone, and that there are similar sentiments being expressed by comrades unknown to me.
If you know of other blogs dedicated to animal rights and the defeat of capitalism, please comment with a link.
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