During Bernie Sanders’ speech endorsing Hillary Clinton on Tuesday, Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein made it quite clear that she does not approve of the Vermont senator’s decision.
In one tweet after another, Stein lambasted Clinton for her role in various disasters, domestic and foreign, from the destruction of welfare at home to the destruction wrought by unnecessary interventions abroad.
“Hillary is a faithful servant of the top 1%,” Stein wrote. “We need to escape this trap where the political establishment supports corporate oligarchy.”
Stein continued, calling Clinton’s foreign policy “voodoo” and her progressive promises disingenuous. She also wrote that Clinton is beholden to Wall Street and other corporate interests, a criticism that Bernie Sanders has also leveled at Clinton throughout the primary process.
— POLITICO (@politico) July 12, 2016
“Hillary says she’ll break the stranglehold of special interests on our political process,” Stein wrote, “but it doesn’t pass the disclose your speeches test.”
Many supporters of Bernie Sanders are dismayed by his endorsement of Clinton, viewing it as out of step with his campaign’s promise to combat a system that is thoroughly corrupted by corporate money and that has, over the past several decades, run working families into the ground while enriching the wealthiest.
On Tuesday, Stein channeled this outrage, urging people to not give in to the two-party system and to realize that there are other choices available.
“If you don’t want to vote for a war monger or racist billionaire, there are more options. The political revolution will keep going.”
Stein also suggested that Sanders is merely playing the game with his endorsement of Clinton, which she believes does a disservice to those who have committed to his campaign’s platform.
The notion, she argued, that Hillary Clinton shares the progressive values expressed by the Sanders camp “doesn’t pass the laugh test.”
In a Facebook post unveiled on Tuesday in conjunction with his endorsement of Clinton, Sanders expressed confidence that the movement his campaign has sparked will continue long after this primary, and indeed long after he has left the political scene altogether.
“It is true that in terms of winning the Democratic nomination, we did come up short. But this election was never about me or any candidate. It was about the powerful coming together of millions of people to take their country back from the billionaire class. That was the strength of our campaign and it will be the strength of our movement going forward in the months and years ahead.”
Sanders also argued that, for the movement to go forward, progressives must put their energy in preventing a Trump presidency by voting for Hillary Clinton.
“Today, I endorsed Hillary Clinton to be our next president. I know that some of you will be disappointed with that decision. But I believe that, at this moment, our country, our values, and our common vision for a transformed America, are best served by the defeat of Donald Trump and the election of Hillary Clinton.”
— Slate (@Slate) July 12, 2016
For Jill Stein, this argument represents the core problem of American politics: It has become about the parties, not the ideas.
Stein argues, contrary to Sanders’ position, that a progressive movement cannot survive in the context of the Democratic Party, which has frequently pushed policies that are anathema to progressive values and goals.
As she put it, “you can’t have a revolutionary campaign in a counter-revolutionary party.”
This is why, late last week, Stein invited Sanders to take her position at the top of the Green Party ticket and to continue his political revolution outside of the two-party system.
“If he continues to declare his full faith in the Democratic party, it will leave many of his supporters very disappointed,” Stein argued. “That political movement is going to go on — it isn’t going to bury itself in the graveyard alongside Hillary Clinton.”
[Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images]