By Reginald Johnson
When voters go to the polls on Tuesday, they will certainly recognize the top two names on the ballot --- Hillary Clinton, Democrat, and Donald Trump, Republican.
Dropping down a couple of lines will be the name of Gary Johnson, the Libertarian candidate. Some people might have heard of him. But the next name will likely be a mystery to many --- Jill Stein, the Green Party candidate.
This Harvard-educated pediatrician has been largely ignored by the mainstream media, which sees independent left candidates as a nuisance. Stein also doesn’t have the kind of the large sums of money needed to buy expensive TV ads, so the Green Party candidate has struggled to be heard.
That’s a shame, because Stein is clearly the most progressive choice in the presidential line-up. America deserves to know who she is.
She and her running mate, Ajamu Baraka, have advanced an agenda which says no to the pro-war, pro-military, and pro-corporate agenda of Hillary Clinton and also rejects the pro-corporate, pro-military, socially regressive and divisive positions of Donald Trump.
Stein and Baraka favor a sweeping “Green New Deal” which will transform our fossil-fuel based economy to an entirely renewable energy-based economy, and in the process create 20 million of new jobs. It will be funded by cutting our astronomical defense budget by 50 per cent and close our 700 military bases around the world.
Stein rejects further wars of intervention and says we must make peace in Syria. She says the U.S. has to stop funding repressive regimes like Saudi Arabia and Egypt and end any funding for Israel’s illegal settlements and occupation of Palestine.
She wants to break up the big banks, replace NAFTA and other corporate trade agreements with fair trade, provide aid to a new local economy of small businesses and co-ops, abolish student debt and establish a Medicare-for-all health care system.
Stein and Baraka recognize that unless we give up, once and for all, trying to work within the two major corporate parties and build an independent and revolutionary movement that rejects the power of big corporations and rejects militarism and war, there can never be meaningful change in this country.
“We are in a state of emergency and it requires a new way of thinking and political independence to stand up not just for what we can get but what we must have if we are to survive as a human species,” Stein said in an interview in CounterPunch.
|Jill Stein, Green Party candidate for President (photo from TruthDig)|
Correctly, Stein rejects the pick the “lesser evil” approach of many progressives who always say during presidential contests that you can’t “waste” your vote on a desirable third party candidate, but you must vote for a Democrat --- however flawed --- in order to stop the latest Republican monster from being elected. The GOP monster this year, and one whose rhetoric is particularly obnoxious, is Donald Trump.
Stein points out that progressives in general lined up behind Barack Obama in 2008, believing his promises that he would carry out a liberal, anti-war administration. People saw Obama as far preferable to Republican John McCain.
But what we got was the following: Wall Street bail-outs costing trillions of dollars; a succession of wars in the Middle East; regression on stopping the climate meltdown; heightened attacks on civil liberties; and persistent racism in the criminal justice system.
With her deep ties to Wall Street, a track record of promoting wars and regime change and her failure to criticize the erosion of civil liberties, Hillary Clinton threatens to carry on the same kind of program.
“The Lesser Evil argument has failed,” Stein told CounterPunch. “It has a track record. And what have we gotten from it? The politics of fear.”
If we are ever to break the stranglehold of corporate capitalism over our society and end the pattern of militarism and war, we need to make a clean break from the two corporate parties, and embrace a new movement.
Please vote for the Stein-Baraka ticket on Tuesday.