In this post, I am going to ask you to consider something you may initially feel a bit averse to: I am going to ask you to vote for the Green Party candidate for President, Jill Stein. If you are taking the time to read this, I feel it is only fair to give you that warning now. I know many of you will have the initial reaction of tapping the back button quickly and moving on with your day (while laughing at me), but I ask you human to human, person to person, intellectual equal to intellectual equal, hear me out and then decide if you disagree with me or not. As always I welcome your twitter hate here, but only if you read what I have to say first.
I was a Democrat until just this month. You can read my past postings on this site and you can track my whole political perspective over the course of the last 6 months or so. If you do, you will see that I was certainly not considering leaving the party at the start of this blog. I only decided I was actually leaving for good when I saw what party leaders had to say in the recent #DNCHack. It was really revelatory for me, it showed me what kinds of people we were letting lead us. Public officials should be held to higher standards, always. That isn't meant to be some kind of purity test, I just tend to think it basic common sense. These people are responsible for the well being of us all, whether we like to admit that or not.
When I went down to the clerks office (I'll admit I had to google where it was) to turn in the form I had filled out in order to officially switch party affiliations, I must have questioned what I was doing 1000 times. Did I really want to leave the party? I did, but it was very, very hard. I won't soon forget how silly I felt when the Town Clerk was talking to me and I had just prior been choking back tears. I tell you all this to stress that I take this all very seriously. To me, politics is not a joke. I believe one-hundred percent and truly that my vote matters and I weigh my options very carefully. I have in every election since I could vote. Please, give me the benefit of the doubt that I am not, in fact, an idiot.
When Bernie Sanders conceded his pursuit for the Democratic nomination, it was a pivotal moment in the presidential race. Millions of people who stood steadfastly opposed to Hillary Clinton and her brand of politics had to make a choice: continue the movement from within the Democratic Party or leave it behind. Based on what we have seen from poll numbers so far it would seem that a majority of Bernie supporters have decided to vote for Clinton to ensure a Trump defeat. But is that the right route to take? Can we, not just as Democrats, but as American voters do something bigger? Can we fundamentally change the electorate?
The argument for remaining and working from inside the Democratic party to fix its issues and improve our country is an appealing one. For starters, it is, most definitely, the best chance of stopping Donald Trump, at least right now. And I do believe that is a significant factor, but it is not the sole factor we must consider when casting a vote. We need to be bold in our vision for our country, right now there is no vision. Right now, we are voting solely based on the depths of our fear. Let's change that.
The Green Party offers something rather unique. It is a bank canvass we can co-opt and begin to build from the ground up. They have a platform that is built from a sense of compassion and human rights, they are progressive actors of change, a party that really WANTS to help the working people of America. The sad truth is, it is nearly impossible in our 2 party political climate for green to win... unless we, as a people, actually commit to growing it. If you take a small, but dedicated number of Bernie supporters and throw the weight of their grass roots effort behind a candidate like Jill Stein, there is no telling how many votes the Green Party can get come November. This is because Jill Stein has something that Hillary and Donald simply lack: humanity.
Jill Stein is grounded in the real world, in our world. She owes no favors to Wall Street or big banks, she is not in the pockets of lobbyists or corporate interests. As such, she can offer real proposals to the people and she can do it in real terms. She speaks directly to the concerns of the citizenry. Just watch some of her answers from last nights CNN Green Party Town Hall and you will understand what I mean. In answer after answer she astutely highlights concerns members of the American left have raised, only to see those concerns fall upon deaf ears. The Green Party gives people on the left of the political spectrum a real chance at having a voice in D.C., a place where we haven't had many voices in far too long.
Here is her answer about Overseas Military Operations:
If we are being honest, than we can at least admit that if a Democrat had said that 8, 16 or 24 years ago no one would have batted an eye. It is only very recently that Democrats have all but abandoned the peaceful wing of their party. Well, here it is. A true alternative. Someone who doesn't believe our only option is to continue drone striking weddings and funerals and hospitals in hopes that radicalized people give up and stop being radicalized.
When people criticize Jill Stein as a lunatic or some fringe fanatic try and remember this answer. If pleading for a peaceful approach in contrast to an unimaginably violent crusade against terrorism is crazy, who could ever wish to be sane? Clinton and Trump offer no voice to people who honestly believe that peace can, in fact, prevail. Jill is speaking to a segment of voters who rarely have an option when they step into the voting booth. We must show these voters there is someone out there for them. Perhaps, you are one of them, perhaps you haven't even realized it before. I think its funny how surprised people usually are when they realize they agree with much of what Jill Stein is about.
We have a real chance to show the nation that there is an alternative to endless war that only helps to put money in the pockets of our military industrial complex. At the 30:30 mark in the above video, Cuomo follows up and asks Dr. Stein if she wants to close all foreign military bases, here is her response:
The rest of her answer talks about the inflated costs and the need to decrease our military spending. It shouldn't be a radical or extreme to bring these ideas to the National Debate. The framing of these types of opinions as fringe has done nothing but hurt the country over time. Now we must call for people on the left to actually support the left, in order to balance out a discussion that takes place between two sides that pretty much always agree. the question isn't whether or not we are going to bomb between Democrats and Republicans, its how many bombs we will drop and where... We, as good and rational citizens, cannot allow this to be the case anymore, we cannot make that change by remaining complacent within the Democratic party.
Some of you may be thinking: 'But Sal, I know you think Jill is great, but she is crazy and anti-science. She doesn't even believe in vaccines! You can't vote for someone like that.' Luckily Jill cleared all this up for us and then some:
Now that that is cleared up, I want to address the notion that Jill Stein cannot win in November. Getting a victory for the green party in this election is going to be extraordinarily difficult, but she touches on something that I believe is true and definitely opens the door to the possibility of a Green victory. She talks about the 43 MILLION Americans that are currently saddled with student debt and how, as president and without the need for congressional approval, the President of the United States can use the Federal Reserve to eliminate all student loan debt nation wide.
Dr. Stein doesn't just offer this as an idea in passing, rather she goes to great lengths to explain clearly and eloquently how realistic of a possibility it is, how reasonable of a solution it would be and how it is within our rights as Americans to CHOOSE this option. Essentially a vote for Jill Stein is a vote for an economic stimulus package that would be given directly to the 43 MILLION people who are over burdened with student debt. Please, if you are going to take one thing away from reading this post, let it be this argument that Jill Stein makes. It will begin when you hit the play button below and will continue on past the 53 minute mark, but every moment is highly important. I implore you to watch the whole student debt clip.
Between my parents and myself, we pay over $1000 a month in student loan debt. Under a Jill Stein presidency we would essentially get 1000 extra dollars a month to pay off all of our other debts and contribute directly to the economy. This would be the case for millions of families all across the country. It would benefit all of us to place that money directly into the pockets of the members of society that spend their money the most, the lower-middle and middle classes. This proposal requires nothing more than a vote for Jill Stein. It doesn't depend on the cooperation of congress and can take effect nearly immediately. It is a true silver bullet to boost the velocity of money in communities all over the United States.
If you are disillusioned with the actions of the Democrats and the Corruption of the Clintons than this is the moment to take action. We have to stand up together and announce that we are making a change. The Green Party provides an opportunity to do something that only happens occasionally in US politics, start fresh. A party that is starting from basically nothing only needs the ideas of those who chose to grow it. I beg you to consider making that choice. Think of all the people you know who struggle weekly to pay bills because of high student loan payments and consider them and realize you have the power to be an agent of good in their lives.
It is so very easy to fear Donald Trump, but at what point do we decide to stand up against the hostile corporate takeover of our government. Bill Clinton famously said about union workers who opposed NAFTA: 'They have no where else to go'. Let's show the Clinton's they are wrong. We do have somewhere else to go, somewhere free of the money and power that keeps our government from acting the interests of the common good and instead is beholden to only the bottom line. We currently live in country that places the dollar above all else, above the health of the people, above the homeless children on the streets, above the slave laborers in its prisons... This absolutely must change and that change cannot wait four to eight years under the guise of incremental progress that ultimately accomplishes nothing. Especially not when real solutions can be implemented today.
A vote for the Green Party maybe something many once scoffed at, but it is within our reach to legitimize and revolutionize this party. It is in our power to take control and rise up en masse to stand politically opposed to both the DNC and the GOP. It is entirely possible to stand up and say 'I CHOOSE PEACE, I CHOOSE COMMON SENSE, I CHOOSE ALL OF US.' The offer is peace, prosperity, and freedom for all of us....not just those who can afford it. All it takes is your voice and your vote. That is why I ask you, if you are still reading this, to vote for Jill Stein and stand up to our LITERALLY CORRUPT establishment parties, not because it is the easy decision to make, but because it is difficult and we really have too.
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