Reprinted from shadowproof.com
When Jill Stein ran as the Green Party's presidential nominee in 2012, media attention to her candidacy was rare. Now, with two of the most unpopular presidential candidates in history, she has received widespread attention. There seems to be record interest in third party campaigns, including Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson.
The editors gave Sawant's column the negative headline--"Don't Waste Your Vote On the Corporate Agenda--Vote for Jill Stein and the Greens"--but column does not hinge on loathing Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton. Rather, it makes a positive case for supporting Stein by primarily arguing the need for progressives to build an alternative to the two pro-capitalist political parties in America. It has a long-term focus on bringing about radical change.
Contrast the vision of Sawant's column with Holland's column, which is completely negative. It trashes the Greens and displays a brash contempt for democracy and those who are working to give voters more choices and more voices. It wholly ignores efforts for open primaries, open debates, and the need for reforms like ranked-choice voting or instant run-off voting, in order to have a system that has proportional representation and is more democratic.
The argument is representative of the discourse among many progressive commentators throughout previous elections, especially since Ralph Nader ran as a Green Party candidate in 2000. Instead of taking responsibility for how the Democrats failed to elect Al Gore and the role progressives perhaps played in selling out, Holland is a progressive who would rather scapegoat the Greens.
Hundreds of thousands of Democrats in Florida voted for George W. Bush. Tens of thousands of African American voters in Florida were disenfranchised. There were terrible issues with the butterfly ballot. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia helped deliver the White House to Bush with a 5-4 decision that prevented a recount. Gore did not win his home state of Tennessee. Yet, these are facts progressive commentators like Holland would rather ignore because they force them to confront dismal realities that require intense struggle to change.
It is much easier to bear one's insecurity with the presence of the Green Party in a two-party system that does everything it can to silence and erase their candidates when they run for office at all levels of government.
Holland relies on a fallacy that has become conventional wisdom among progressives--that the "Green Party's primary pitch to voters on the left is that there still isn't a dime's worth of difference between the two major parties."
A line Stein has repeated this cycle is the following, "There are differences between the two candidates and the parties. But those differences aren't enough to save your job." In other words, under a Democrat or a Republican, voters can expect corporate free trade deals that will offshore more jobs, privilege business interests, and ultimately lead to more poverty and hardship for the poor and working class.
Stein also told NPR in July, "I do not say there is no difference between the parties. What I say is that there's not enough difference to save your job, to save your life, or to save the planet. And the scary things, the horrific things that Donald Trump says, Hillary Clinton has already done. Whether it's massively deporting immigrants, whether it's threatening nuclear warfare."
In other words, Clinton was talking about deporting refugees from Central America in order to "send a message" before Bernie Sanders confronted her on this issue, and she was concerned it would cost her politically. She also once threatened to obliterate Iran if it attacked Israel, a blatant threat of nuclear annihilation.
"Put it this way: I will feel horrible if Donald Trump is elected, I will feel horrible if Hillary Clinton is elected, and I feel most horrible about a voting system that says: Here are two deadly choices, now pick your weapon of self-destruction," Stein contended.
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