Noam Chomsky tells those who refused to vote for Hillary Clinton to stop Donald Trump: You made a big mistake

US election was fundamentally a case of choosing the lesser of two evils, says US linguist, and those who refused misunderstood the overarching moral issue at the heart of this contest

Heather Saul
Friday 25 November 2016 13:50 GMT
Noam Chomsky
Noam Chomsky

Noam Chomsky has a grave message for liberal voters who refused to vote to stop Donald Trump by selecting Hillary Clinton.

That the two candidates in the 2016 US general election presented a stark choice for Americans was a view held by some, who responded by either abstaining from voting or voting for a third party candidate. Others voted for the Democratic nominee, who is leading in the popular vote but lost to Mr Trump because of the Electoral College, despite favouring Senator Bernie Sanders, in an unsuccessful attempt to prevent the billionaire business magnate from making it to the White House.

Speaking to Al-Jazeera, the celebrated American philosopher and linguist argued the election was a case of voting for the lesser of two evils and told those who decided not to do so: “I think they’re making a bad mistake.”

Donald Trump's four biggest U-turns

“There are two issues,” he said. “One is a kind of moral issue: do you vote against the greater evil if you don’t happen to like the other candidate? The answer to that is yes. If you have any moral understanding, you want to keep the greater evil out.

“Second is a factual question: how do Trump and Clinton compare? I think they’re very different. I didn’t like Clinton at all, but her positions are much better than Trump’s on every issue I can think of.”

Like documentarian Michael Moore, who warned a Trump protest vote would initially feel good - and then the repercussions would sting - Chomsky has taken an apocalyptic view on the what a Trump administration will deliver.

Earlier in November, Chomsky declared the Republican party “the most dangerous organisation in world history” now Mr Trump is at the helm because of suggestions from the President-elect and other figures within it that climate change is a hoax.

“The last phrase may seem outlandish, even outrageous," he said. "But is it? The facts suggest otherwise. The party is dedicated to racing as rapidly as possible to destruction of organised human life. There is no historical precedent for such a stand.“

Underscoring his warning, he said humans are “accelerating the race to disaster”.

Edward Snowden was one of the figures to recommend voting for a third option, arguing polls showed this could be safely done to build up a third political party without electing Mr Trump. After the Republican victory, the exiled NSA whistleblower conceded: “Political science is not a science”.

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