Unlike Donald Trump or Gary Johnson, Jill Stein has a grasp of the issues and gives substantive answers to questions. Unlike with Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton, there is reason to believe that she means what she says.
Unlike Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton, Jill Stein can be counted on not to risk nuclear war with Russia or to continue wars to dominate the Middle East. Unlike even Bernie Sanders, she has a clear understanding of the costs and wrongness of U.S. military intervention.
Unlike Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton, Jill Stein can be counted on to respect the Bill of Rights. That means no assassinations, preventive detention or warrant-less surveillance. It’s true that the NSA, CIA and other secret agencies might resist any effort by Stein or any other U..S. President to curb their power, but a start has to be made somewhere.
Unlike Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton or Gary Johnson, Jill Stein can be counted on to oppose corporate and financial practices that redistribute income upward.
Alone of all the candidates, she takes the threat of global warming seriously and would give priority to moving the United States to a sustainable, carbon-free economy.
Her proposed “Green New Deal” would be an effective means of putting Americans to work doing things that America needs.
It is true that, if elected, she would have virtually no chance of getting her program through Congress. However, a President has many Constitutional powers she could exercise on her own.
She could prosecute financial fraud. She could authorize the Department of Justice to initiate anti-trust suits. She could nominate officials to regulatory agencies who were committed to enforcing regulations.
She could refrain from starting wars. She could find ways of carrying out diplomatic relations with other nations that do not involve the threat of military action or economic sanctions.
If she was limited in her power to make things better, she at least would not continue to make things worse.
It also is true that she has virtually no chance of being elected. My hope in voting for her is that someday there would be a critical mass of Green Party supporters, large enough to influence the two large parties and, maybe in the long run, become the nucleus of a new party.
But if a vote for the Green Party, or for that matter Libertarian Party, is wasted, why the relentless attack by Clinton supporters on the Greens? Why is the idea of an alternative to the two major parties so threatening?
I admit I do not agree with Jill Stein on every single point. For example, I am anti-interventionist, she is anti-military. I think the day will come when the U.S. will need a strong military to defend ourselves against all the nations our government has turned against us with its policies.
And I also agree that voting for a small political party will not, in and of itself, bring about social change. That requires grass-roots activist organizations, such as Fight for Fifteen, Black Lives Matter, Move to Amend or the Dakota Access Pipeline protesters.
My problem with this is that if I’m always willing to vote for a pro-corporate warmonger to avoid a lesser evil, then I’ll never be offered anything better. It’s necessary to look beyond the next election.
I don’t believe in the Leninist idea of “heighten the contradictions” (make things worse) in order to bring on revolution. But the contradictions are going to be heightened, no matter whether Trump or Clinton wins. The only long-range answer is to put the United States on a path to peace and prosperity, and neither of the two major-party candidates has a plan to do this.
My other problem with lesser-evil voting is that, as I see among some of my circle of acquaintances, critical support becomes uncritical support, and any criticism of Clinton or right-wing Democrats is equated with impermissible support for Donald Trump.
Spoiling for the Green Party: Before she can play on the national stage, Jill Stein must challenge lesser evilism’s reign by Jacob Silverman for The Baffler.
Jill Stein: The Democratic Party ‘fakes left,’ marches right by Eli Watkins for CNN.
Jill Stein Wikipedia page.
Green Party of the United States Wikipedia page.
Update: My e-mail pen pal Bill Harvey called my attention to UP FOR DEBATE: The Lesser Evil, an interesting symposium in In These Times magazine on whether to vote for Jill Stein.
The Left Deserves Better Than Jill Stein by Kate Aronoff.
More Than a Protest: Why Voting Green Counts by David Cobb,
Three Reasons to Vote for Hillary Clinton That Have Nothing to Do With Hillary Clinton by Thomas Geoghegan for In These Times.
How to Vote When There’s No Lesser Evil by Leonard C. Goodman.