The Daily Bern: What About Jill Stein?

Written by on September 18, 2015

Jill Stein

Jill Stein

Bernie Sanders calls himself a Democratic Socialist on the presidential campaign stump. He ran for office in Vermont, successfully, as an Independent. But though he holds a worldview somewhat similar to that of Green Party candidate Jill Stein, he is running for president as a Democrat. I assume it’s for the same reasons that progressive icon Dennis Kucinich used for labeling himself with the “D” word. The two major parties are forced to kowtow to corporate interests and conformist voters, and mainstreamers tend to ignore or belittle third-party candidates.

As a progressive Independent, I’ve been a Stein supporter in the past and very well may cast my ballot for her in 2016. My support is leaning toward Sanders now because I sincerely hope he can shake up the very un-progressive Democratic Party and make it a voice for We The People rather than for the One Percent and Wall Street.

Admiring Stein, though, I have to wonder what she thinks of the Sanders campaign.

In short, she believes the Feel the Bern effort is doomed to fail.

“What they are not counting on is the basic structure of the Democratic party… [T]he Democratic party has a built-in structure for sabotaging that revolt,” Stein told RIFuture.org last month.

As examples, Stein brought up the presidential campaigns of Howard Dean, Jesse Jackson and Dennis Kucinich who were all sabotaged from within the Democratic Party.

Also, says Stein, there’s Super Tuesday, a big money primary that requires a huge amount of cash to win, since a candidate has to cover 25 states with advertising. Sanders will be hopelessly outspent here. But even if Sanders were to get through these hurdles, he still has to face the super delegates, created after George McGovern won the nomination, and they control half of the Democratic Party’s votes. …

“As Bernie begins to run into trouble there are going to be a lot of unhappy campers…” says Stein, and as Sanders brings his people into the Democratic party presidential campaign of someone like Hillary Clinton, he’ll be working against his own agenda.

She is correct. However, should Clinton survive her email scandal and garner the nomination,  thinking Dems and genuine progressives could throw their support to Stein. If we do so in big enough numbers, we could see a miraculous electoral revolution and thrust a knife into the heart of the two-party monster.

Now, that’s a gigantic risk. If that gambit results in a 2016 victory by Trump or Jeb! or some other Republican, imagine what the Supreme Court could become. Consider what a GOP White House would mean for working families, for college students, for the poor and uninsured, for LGBT people, for immigrants.

Politics is not for wimps. We progressives have a lot to consider, and the stakes are enormous. Get informed and ponder carefully. Whatever you decide, non-participation is not an option if you are serious about changing the system and improving the country.

 


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