Ever since Senator Bernie Sanders left the presidential race in late July, his supporters have sought another option other than Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. While a number of “Berners” have vowed to write him in where possible, many have switched their allegiance to Dr. Jill Stein, the Green Party presidential candidate.
While Stein has never held a political post higher than local office, she is uniquely qualified to carry the torch for Sanders supporters. At the very least, her in-depth knowledge of important issues such as aging, childhood development, political reform, climate change, and sustainable energy make her much more qualified than Donald Trump.
Stein graduate from Harvard magna cum laude and then graduated from Harvard Medical School. Contrary to what the Clinton camp would have voters believe, Stein is not against vaccinations, nor is she anti-science. The first clue would be her medical degree and long career as a physician.
According to Stein’s campaign website, she has been actively involved in environmentalism and political reform since the 1990s, when she began to notice the connection between toxins in the environment and illness. Some of her accomplishments include leading the fight against the “Filthy Five coal plants in Massachusetts, helping close a toxic medical waster incinerator, and helping to protect the local population from mercury contamination in the fish supply. She also co-founded the Coalition for Healthy Communities which focused on health care, environmental issues, workers’ rights and grassroots democracy.
In 2004 as a Green Party candidate, Stein ran for Massachusetts state representative. She came in second place ahead of the Republican candidate. Two years later, she ran for Secretary of State, garnering 350,000 votes: one of the highest totals ever for a Green Party candidate. She has also published highly-regarded reports. One of these, “In Harm’s Way: Toxic Threats to Child Development,” has been translated into four languages and “is used as a community tool in the fight for health and environment.”
In August, Stein and running mate Ajamu Baraka appeared on CNN’s Green Party Town Hall to discuss her platform and the struggle to gain exposure and a place on the debate stage. During the question and answer portion, an undecided voter who had supported Bernie Sanders asked Dr. Stein what she could say to win over those Sanders supporters. Stein explained how, although Bernie did everything right, he was doomed from the start.
“You’ve learned … why it is that you can’t have a revolutionary campaign in a counterrevolutionary party. Bernie did everything right, and his supporters did everything right, but the playing field was really steeply and unfairly tilted against you, from superdelegates to Super Tuesdays to voting irregularities, to the emails that showed how the DNC … was colluding behind closed doors with Hillary Clinton’s campaign to smear Bernie Sanders.”
Stein then pointed out that Clinton has shifted from trying to woo Sanders supporters to instead, wooing Republicans. Stein emphasized Bernie Sanders’ own words: “it’s the movement, not the man,” and in shifting from Sanders to Stein, progressives would be continuing the political revolution.
However, her best answer came when a former Sanders supporter asked her how she could sleep at night knowing she might be a spoiler that could cause Clinton to lose to Trump in the general election.
“I will have trouble sleeping at night if Donald Trump is elected. I will also have trouble sleeping at night if Hillary Clinton is elected.”
Trump, said Stein, is a “xenophobic, racist loudmouth,” but it is Clinton’s past actions and track record that have the Green Party candidate most concerned.
“Hillary Clinton has been promoting these wars that have killed a million black and brown people, in Iraq, for example. The Democratic Party has become the party of deportation, and detentions, and night raids, with millions of people deported under Barack Obama. Some of them include the refugees from Honduras where Hillary Clinton gave the thumbs up to a coup from which thousands of people have been fleeing, all who have not been welcomed into our country.”
— Jeanette Verdista (@JeanetteJing) September 10, 2016
In a primary debate with Bernie Sanders, Clinton herself admitted to supporting the deportation of children back to Honduras to set an example against sending unaccompanied minors to the U.S. In February, Time reported that Sanders criticized Clinton’s use of children to make a point.
In other words, Clinton has already practiced what Trump preaches. Stein addressed the ongoing trouble in Syria and expressed concern that should Clinton become president a nuclear conflict could break out in the Middle East.
Stein also address what she calls the “politics of fear” in urging voters to prevent a Trump presidency. It was a tactic widely used against Sanders during the primary by both Clinton and the corporate media.
“This politics of fear that tells you you’ve got to vote against the person … you are most afraid of … It’s been like the prevailing mythology, you gotta vote your fears, not your values.”
Recently, Stein gained media attention for joining the Standing Rock Sioux tribe in North Dakota in opposition of the Dakota Access pipeline. A previous story on Inquisitr reported that she spray painted the blade of a bulldozer and as a result, the Morton County Sheriff’s Department has issued a warrant for her arrest. Her participation in the protest gave both her campaign and the DAPL protests more media attention than before.
Progressive political site Common Dreams, recently conducted a presidential preference survey of its readers. The poll indicated that about 41 percent of its readers will vote for Hillary Clinton, with Jill Stein at just over 33 percent. More than 13 percent would write in Sanders. Combined, the Sanders and Stein voters totaled nearly 47 percent. Although not indicative of the larger liberal base, the survey shows a preference by progressive left voters for someone other than Clinton. Only 2.4 percent of readers would vote for Trump, trailed only by Libertarian Gary Johnson at 1.8 percent.
While Stein has little chance to defeat Clinton or Trump in the presidential election in November, her knowledge and and understanding of the issues could help the Green Party gain more exposure, giving it a better chance to gain traction for future elections.
[Photo by Alex Brandon/AP Images]