Discover more from Rationalist Judaism
Denying Reality - Again
In the previous elections, I wrote about the thousands of people who voted for Itamar Ben Gvir's Otzma party, even though there was absolutely no chance of it passing the electoral threshold (as it indeed did not). Many thousands of Otzma supporters are going to do the same again today. Some of them are simply in denial that they are throwing their vote away, succumbing to completely unrealistic fantasies that they will get enough votes to get in. Others claim that it's more important to "vote their conscience."
As I wrote last time, throwing away your vote in order to "vote your conscience" is just silly. The only reasonable excuse for ever encouraging people to throw away their vote is if the election results are truly insignificant either way, which is rarely anyone's perspective. The value of democracies is that you can influence the direction of the country. You can bring about good and prevent evil. You can encourage wise decisions and discourage bad ones. Yes, you have to compromise some of your values and work with people that you disagree with. But by doing so, you are able to exert influence on the bigger issues. You can prevent people from making well-meaning but foolish mistakes that can have absolutely catastrophic consequences. This is real life.
What's interesting about today's election is that many, many more than just Otzma voters are succumbing to completely unrealistic fantasies, and/or harming national interests for the sake of voting their conscience.
This is the third election in a year. At this point we can be very, very confident of how many votes each party will get, and what their leaders will and will not do.
And if there's one thing that's certain, it's that Benny Gantz does not have enough seats to form a coalition.
And if there's another thing that's certain, it's that Gantz and Netanyahu will not sit together in a national unity government.
You can despise Bibi all you like - and there are plenty of good reasons for doing so. But Bibi's unworthiness to be Prime Minister again does not make Gantz a plausible reality.
So, if we are to face uncomfortable truths, they are as follows: This is not an election in which you can choose between Bibi leading the government and Gantz leading the government. This is an election in which you are choosing between Bibi leading the government, and there not being any government.
Some very sensible people that I know have realized this. They utterly despise Bibi. They voted for Gantz the first two times. But at this point, they have come to terms with reality. And they see that it's better to have a functioning government than no government at all.
Another friend of mine sees things differently. He despises Bibi so much that he said he would rather have endless elections than another Bibi-led government. Well, that's his preference. But others, who don't want to continue with a paralyzed country, might see things differently.
Ideally, in a crazy election like this, there would be a party that has no values at all other than seeing a stable government, and would be willing to support whoever has the best chance. But there is no such party. So, in order to have *a* government, it's best to support a right-wing party, no matter what your politics.
That is the uncomfortable but undeniable reality.